A Brief Look at Various Skin Types

 
 
Knowing what skin type you have will help you in making good decisions about the way to treat it. Certain ways of caring for or treating skin will work better for each individual type. Your skin quality is largely determined by external factors and genetics. But you can use proper care to make the best of any skin type.

Normal Skin

If your skin is soft and smooth and looks even, without the marks of blemishes, you likely have normal skin, and you're lucky. It is a symbol of a strong and healthy immune system and overall good health.
 
The pores of normal skin are small and not noticeable. This will allow your skin to look suitably moist or dewy, and not greasy or oily. To keep your normal skin looking and feeling its best, avoid poor diet choices, pollutants in the environment and excessive exposure to the sun.
 
Your normal skin will look and feel fresh, without traces of oil or areas of dry skin. Exfoliation is not so much a danger to normal skin as it is to dry or oily skin. Taking proper care of your skin will help in maintaining its healthy glow.

Sensitive Skin

Many people have sensitive skin, although its definition can be a bit obtuse. If your skin is sensitive, you may experience inflammation. This can come in one of four types, including irritants or allergens, burning or stinging, rosacea or acne.
 
Taking care of sensitive skin is difficult, because products marketed for simply "sensitive skin" may not be suitable for your individual type of skin. Products for rosacea are different than products made for acne. They will react differently on your skin, depending on the type of sensitivity you have.

Combination Skin

If you have combination skin, it probably leans toward being more oily or more dry. This influences the way you will treat your skin.
 
Oily combination skin usually features a T-zone of skin which tends to become greasy. The T-shape covers your forehead, down your nose and then to your chin. If you use products designed for oily skin, they will help your T-zone. But they are not beneficial to the areas of your skin that are dry.
 
Dry combination skin shows some dry facial areas and some that are oily. The face overall is more dry, with only smaller parts shaving issues with oil. If your chin seems oily but your cheeks, nose and forehead are dry, this is dry combination skin.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is uncomfortable to live in, and is commonly found on parts of the face, as well as your arms, lower legs, thighs and sides of your abdomen. If you have dry skin, you probably experience itching, cracking skin and possibly scaling.
 
It's not uncommon to have dry skin. You will notice it more in the winter months, when the humidity is low. This is brought about by the cold air found outside buildings and the warm air inside. Air from furnaces is notoriously low in humidity.
 
If your skin is dry, it tends to lose moisture and you may find that it peels and cracks. It may also be susceptible to inflammation and irritation. If you shower too often, this may lead to drier skin. Eczema is also a dry skin cause.
 
Keep your skin hydrated well, to fight its dryness. Using lotions, creams or ointments a few times a day can help in fighting dry skin. Be sure you don't use any products containing alcohol or dyes, since these may dry out your skin more. A home humidifier may also be helpful.

Oily Skin

Do you have oily skin? Many people have this problem, and some who think they have oily skin actually have oily combination skin, if they have dry areas of skin, as well.
 
If your skin is oily, you are more likely to develop acne. Washing your face less often will help keep it from producing even more oil. Likewise, using gentle products will keep from harming your skin. Taking proper care of your oily skin will give it a chance to become healthier overall.
 
 
References:
  • Cosmedix: This source describes the typical characteristics of normal skin, and the best ways to help keep it healthy.
  • AAD: This section speaks about the various forms of sensitive skin and the problems encountered in choosing medications for sensitive skin.
  • Natural Skin Junkie: This source describes the different types of combination skin, one which tends to be more oily and the other more dry.
  • NLM: This selection tells where you are most likely to find dry skin, and some of the things you can do to lessen dry skin problems.
  • DivineCaroline: This source reveals the problems most commonly associated with oily skin, and ways to best treat it.