Does your skin tend to be oily and shiny or dry and dull?
Do you have large pores or small ones?
Do you break out often or hardly ever?
Your answers to these questions can help you determine your skin type. Then, you can maintain a skincare routine that is tailored to your skin type, which will aid your skin in looking and feeling its best.
There are five main skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive. Your skin type can evolve over time based on various factors, so don’t assume that you are stuck with the same skin type forever.
Normal Skin Type
The “normal” skin type is well-balanced. It is not too dry or too oily. It’s not too sensitive or too tough.
You’ll tend to have a good complexion and a healthy “glow.”
Your pores will be small or barely visible, and you generally won’t have many blemishes. If you do, they will be small and heal quickly.
With this skin type, you might not need any specialized products, but you’ll still need to practice good skincare habits, such as cleansing, moisturizing, and wearing sunscreen.
Dry Skin Type
Dry skin is just that—dry.
It can feel tight, itchy, and rough. You may develop rashes or cracks, and your skin may flake or peel.
You’re also more likely to have a duller complexion, visible lines, and wrinkles.
Genetics may play a role here, but your environment and lifestyle choices also contribute to dry skin.
For example, if you live in a dry environment, the low humidity can pull the moisture out of your skin. Or if you regularly take long hot showers or baths, that can also dry out your skin.
Regular moisturizing is key for repairing dry skin. You should also consider getting an indoor humidifier for your home to help add moisture to the air. Also, avoid using harsh soaps or cleansers, which can further strip your skin of its natural oils.
Oily Skin Type
Oily skin can give you a shiny appearance. Your pores will be larger, and you may tend to have more blackheads, pimples, or other blemishes.
High humidity environments can cause oily skin. It can also be set off by stress, puberty, or other hormonal changes.
If you have oily skin, look for skincare products that are meant for oily skin or labeled as “non-comedogenic.” These products won’t clog your pores and will help to control the oil production in your skin.
You should also avoid using oily or greasy products on your skin, as they will only make your skin oilier.
Combination Skin Type
People with a combination skin type (most people are like this) have a mix of normal, oily, and dry skin areas.
You might have an oily T-zone—that’s your forehead, nose, and chin—but dry or normal skin everywhere else. Or maybe the opposite.
You’ll need to use different products on different body parts to care for combination skin. For example, you might use an oil-free product on your oily skin areas and a more hydrating moisturizer on dry areas.
Sensitive Skin Type
Sensitive skin is more delicate than other skin types and is easily irritated.
You might experience rashes, itchiness, dryness, or redness. Your skin may also react more to the environment and certain products. This can be due to an allergic reaction or possibly a condition like eczema.
If you have sensitive skin, it’s important to use products that are labeled as “sensitive” or “for sensitive skin.” You should also avoid using harsh cleansers, exfoliants, fragrant products, or anything else that might irritate your skin.
It’s always a good idea to test new products on a small area of skin before spreading them all over, especially if you tend to experience reactions. If something irritates your skin, wash it off and discontinue use immediately.