Women often wonder, How many skin types are there? There are 5 main skin types: normal, oily, dry,combination and sensitive. Understanding the types of skin will give you a better way of how to treat acne breakouts and reveal smooth, clear skin.
Skin type is usually due to genetic predisposition, but there are habits that can exacerbate a skin condition. Pinpointing your skin type and understanding the ways to properly treat it can help you achieve clear, healthy-looking skin for a lifetime. Each skin type has a specific set of characteristics and symptoms, and thus requires special attention. Read on to find out about your personal skin type and determine how to best treat it.
Normal Skin Type
What is normal skin?
Normal is a term widely used to refer to well-balanced skin. The scientific term for well-balanced skin is eudermic. The T-zone (forehead, chin and nose) may be a bit oily, but overall sebum and moisture is balanced and the skin is neither too oily nor too dry.
How to identify normal skin
Normal skin has:
a fresh, rosy colour uniform transparency
good blood circulation
a velvety, soft and smooth texture
and is not prone to sensitivity.
As a person with normal skin ages, their skin can become dryer.
It’s not easy to define normal skin types and characteristics, as they are made up of a degree of expectations. When it comes to normal skin, the individual generally doesn’t describe their skin as dry oily . When dryness and oiliness are present, it’s rare and tends to be easy to get rid of or resolve. When it comes to pore size, normal skin types feature small pores that are not engorged or easily visible. Normal skin doesn’t normally have a great excess of shine, and it also doesn’t tend to be cracked or flaky. Normal skin types usually exhibit few lines and wrinkles, and the skin’s tone is generally even, with no marked blemishes.
Those with a normal skin type should use products that don’t make their skin feel overly greasy and avoid products that make your skin excessive dryness. While normal skin types require less maintenance than other skin types, it’s important to remain consistent with a regular skin care product like BioClarity that’s gentle on the skin but provides the key ingredients to keep your epidermis looking and feeling its best.
Even if you have normal skin type with few blemishes, incorporating our tips for clear skin and following the right skin care regimen can keep your skin looking vibrant and healthy for the future. Normal skin is not a synonym for perfect skin and even those who characterize their skin as normal deal with the occasional blemish or other skin issues. Skin changes over time as well, meaning those that have no skin problems currently could potentially develop issues with age and life events, including pregnancy and menopause. If your hormone levels change for any reason, or you happen to use a product that your skin is sensitive to, you may experience a hormonal acne breakout.
What is oily skin?
Oily skin is used to describe a skin type with heightened sebum production. An over production is known as seborrhea.
How to identify the different types of oily skin?
Oily skin is characterised by:
enlarged, clearly visible pores
a glossy shine
thicker, pale skin: blood vessels may not be visible
Oily skin is prone to comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and to the varying forms of acne.
With mild acne, a significant number of comedones appear on the face and frequently on the neck, shoulders, back and chest too.
In moderate and severe cases, papules (small bumps with no visible white or black head) and pustules (medium sized bumps with a noticeable white or yellow dot at the centre) appear and the skin becomes red and inflamed
Those with oily skin tend to notice a great deal of shine on their face, and may deal with terrible acne breakouts.
What Causes Oily Skin?
You’ve probably asked yourself: Why do I have oily skin? Oily skin is the result of both genetic factors and hormonal changes experienced in an individual’s lifetime. Those with a genetic predisposition to active oil glands produce a higher amount of sebum, an oily substance created to help keep the skin soft and hydrated. This oil flows from inside the epidermis to the surface of the skin through pores and hair follicles. When the body experiences a fluctuation in hormone levels, it signals the production of androgens, a male hormone present in both men and women.
The production of androgens stimulates an increase in sebum production, but when an excess of this oil is produced, it can expand the size of the skin’s pores and result in blockages that become pimples and other acne blemishes. Oily skin is more prone to acne breakouts, and may feature a plethora of blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules or papules. Your pores may be more visible because of their size expansion, and your skin may appear greasy throughout the day. If you wear makeup, you may find it slides off quite easily.
Oily Skin Treatment
Many individuals struggling with oily skin head straight for products that promise to dry out the skin, like acne treatments that contain harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, but this can actually be counterproductive. Drying ingredients may trigger your skin to work harder at producing more oil, resulting in oilier skin.
It’s important to lightly exfoliate oily skin, as the buildup of oil can cause dead skin cells to become trapped in the pores and lead to acne blemishes. While you may be tempted to reach for harsher products and rough loofas, it’s important to use products that contain gentle exfoliators, like the salicylic acid found in BioClarity products. Salicylic acid is a natural exfoliant that gently sloughs off the dead skin cells that may result in pore blockages.
Oily Skin and Acne
Excess sebum production can cause acne, and those with oily skin often struggle with whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Salicylic acid is a proven acne treatment that many dermatologists recommend to those suffering from mild to moderate acne. It permeates into the pores, ridding them of built-up sebum, dead skin cells, and debris that may lead to breakouts.
Oily Skin and Aging
Those with oily skin are fortunate when it comes to signs of aging. Oily skin develops fewer wrinkles, meaning you seem to age more slowly. Oily skin types tend to have thicker skin thanks to genetic factors, and this thickness means less fine lines, as their skin is less prone to dehydration.
Habit and Lifestyle Changes
While those with oily skin cannot change their genetics, there are daily habits that may lead to the decrease of excess shine and oil production. Reevaluating your diet may be beneficial as there is a proven correlation between eating and acne.
Those with excessively oily skin may assume they don’t need moisturizer, but forgoing moisturizer can actually make the skin even oilier. Using products or skipping product altogether to dry out your face can actually signal the oil glands underneath the skin to start producing and pumping out more sebum, resulting in a worsened oily condition. Find a moisturizing cream that’s lightweight and oil-free to keep your skin soft and properly hydrated.
Oily skin types should stay away from thick, heavy cosmetics that can lead to blocked pores. Use oil-free products crafted for oily skin types, and make sure you remove your makeup each night before going to bed, and before you head to the gym. Also be sure to clean your makeup brushes regularly to avoid the spread of bacteria across your skin’s surface.
Rest Your Face.
Those with oily skin often struggle with acne blemishes, and it can be tempting to pick at these lesions, but this practice may exacerbate pimples on acne-prone, oily skin. Your fingers can easily spread bacteria and make a small breakout turn into a large one, so it’s best to find a skin care treatment that will help treat the pimples best.
Dry Skin Type
What is dry skin?
Dry skin is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. This leads to an impaired barrier function. Dry skin exists in varying degrees of severity and in different forms that are not always clearly distinguishable.
Significantly more women suffer from dry skin than men and all skin gets dryer as it ages.
The Causes of Dry Skin
The cause of dry skin can be attributed to some factors. Dry skin is hereditary, as genetic predispositions can affect the amount of sebum produced in the skin’s oil glands. Sebum is responsible for keeping our skin soft and supple.
Many assume that dry skin is due to a lack of moisture, but the water content of dry skin is generally found in similar levels to that of oily skin. Adding water to dry skin is actually counterproductive to treating this skin condition.
Skin moisture depends on supply of water in the deeper skin layers and on perspiration.
Skin is constantly loosing water via:
Perspiration: active water loss from the glands caused by heat, stress and activity.
Trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL): the natural, passive way in which skin diffuses about half a litre of water a day from the deeper skin layers.
Dry skin is caused by a lack of:
Natural moisturising factors (NMFs) – especially urea, amino acids and lactic acid – that help to bind in water.
Epidermal lipids such as ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol which are needed for a healthy skin barrier function.
As a result, the skin’s barrier function can become compromised.
How to identify different degrees of dry skin
Dry skin ranges from skin that is a little bit drier than normal, through very dry skin to extremely dry skin. The differences can normally be distinguished by:
Mildly dry skin can feel tight, brittle and rough and look dull. Skin elasticity is also low.
Very dry skin
If the dryness is not treated, skin may develop:
a feeling of tightness
mild scaling or flakiness in patches
a rough and blotchy appearance (sometimes it appears to be prematurely aged)
It is also more sensitive to irritation, redness and the risk of infection. Find out more in dry skin.
Extremely dry skin
Certain areas of the body – particularly hands, feet, elbows and knees – are prone to:
chapping with a tendency to form rhagades
Extremely dry skin is most commonly found on the elderly or on severely dehydrated hands.
If you have dry skin, you may feel a tightness in your skin. There may also be scaly patches or flaking. Those with dry skin generally have almost invisible pores, and may suffer from premature wrinkles and regular irritation to the skin.
The Importance of Moisturizer for Dry Skin
Finding a moisturizer that helps your dry skin replenish its vibrancy is essential. It’s important to keep up with a regular regimen of skin care with gentle products like BioClarity’s acne treatment system, made up of naturally derived ingredients. Those with dry skin often suffer from slight allergic reactions and tend to benefit from creams instead of lotions when it comes to moisturizers, as they contain more oil, making it thicker and more moisturizing. The more oil found in a moisturizer, the better it can absorb throughout the epidermis’ barriers to help hydrate the tissue. Before adding a daily moisturizer to your skin regimen, make sure to test it on a small portion of your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
Can Drinking Water Hydrate My Skin?
While drinking enough water is important for holistic health, the pervasive myth that upping your intake of water can improve your skin is actually a fallacy. Drinking more water doesn’t improve dry skin, but ensuring your body is as healthy as possible can, so it’s important to drink the recommended amount of water each day.
Avoid Harsh Cleansers
Those with dry skin are generally advised to avoid benzoyl peroxide treatments, as this further diminishes the amount of oil our glands produce. BioClarity products contain no benzoyl peroxide and offer replenishing, moisturizing ingredients such as green tea extract to ensure your skin remains moisturized and supple.
Try to avoid taking long, extremely hot showers. Hot water can actually strip the oil from your skin and spending prolonged periods of time under the water can dry it out even further. Save water and your skin by limiting yourself to 5-minute showers that use lukewarm to warm water.
This skin condition is characterized by scaly, red rashes that may or may not be itchy. Breakouts of this condition can be found all over the body, but like acne, tend to be found on areas that are saturated with oil glands. You may find that your scalp and eyebrows show more dandruff, and there may be scaliness present on the sides of your nose.
What is Combination skin?
In combination skin the skin types vary in the T-zone and the cheeks. The so-called T-zone can differ substantially – from a very slim zone to an extended area.
Combination skin is characterised by:
normal to dry cheeks
an oily T-zone (forehead, chin and nose)
enlarged pores in this area perhaps with some impurities
Combination skin features two or more different skin types on the face, and typically presents with dry and flaky skin on portions of the face, with excessive oil on others. Many mistakenly believe they have oily skin when they, in fact, have combination skin type. Unless an individual’s skin is oily all over, there are likely portions of skin that are dry or normal, which would qualify under combination skin.
Combination skin is the most common skin type, but it can be hard to identify and treat. The skin will often be shiny in the T-zone, which includes the forehead, nose, and chin. These areas tend to have more active oil glands than other parts of the face like the cheeks. Dealing with both dry and oily skin means finding the perfect skin care regimen that’s strong enough to exfoliate without irritating the skin.
Avoid Products with Fragrance
Those with combination skin tend to have cheeks that are flaky and dry, and dry skin can be susceptible to irritation from products that contain ingredients known to irritate and anything with chemically created fragrances. Stick to products with natural ingredients, like BioClarity’s line of acne treatment designed to soothe and protect the skin.
Use Two Different Moisturizers
It’s good to use moisturizer products, but with combination skin, it can be hard to find the right balance between a cream that treats the dryness found on the cheeks and the oily areas found on the T-zone. In these cases, it’s a good idea to add two different moisturizers to your skin care regimen. Use a heavier moisturizer on your cheek area, or any skin that’s excessively dry, and use a lighter moisturizer on the oily parts of your face.
Stick to Natural Ingredients
Those with combination skin often find that harsh, chemically based treatments like those that contain benzoyl peroxide can actually dry out the dry areas of their face and cause the oily areas to increase production of acne-causing excess sebum. BioClarity products contain natural extracts of green tea, cucumber, and chamomile to soothe the skin and calm inflammation.
Be Sure to Exfoliate
Exfoliating is essential for those with combination skin. Dead skin cells on the dry part of the face will be sloughed off, while clogged pores will be unblocked and cleared. BioClarity products contain the highest allowable concentration of salicylic acid, a natural exfoliator that can help unclog pores and slough off dead skin cells that can lead to dull-looking skin.
Sensitive skin is skin that is easily irritated by different factors, that are generally tolerated by well-balanced skin, such as skin care products or high and low temperatures. For some people, sensitive skin is a permanent condition, for others, sensitivity is triggered by certain internal and external factors. It occurs when skin’s natural barrier function is compromised, causing water loss and allowing penetration of irritants. Symptoms are exacerbated by factors that facial skin is most exposed to, from the sun to some ingredients in cosmetics and cleansers
Sensitive skin types may exhibit the characteristics of dry skin, oily skin, or combination skin, but they also deal with a great amount of irritation and redness. Normal skin types may also have sensitive skin, but these generally don’t overlap. Those with sensitive skin types should avoid harsh chemical-based skin care treatments, and can be caused by other skin conditions like rosacea or allergies. Sensitive skin is easily inflamed, so it’s important to choose the right natural skin care products for sensitive skin to avoid any bad reactions.
Unlike skin type, skin condition can vary greatly during the course of your life. The many internal and external factors that determine its condition include: climate and pollution, medication, stress, hereditary factors that influence the levels of sebum, sweat and natural moisturising factors that your skin produces as well as the products that you use and the skincare choices that you make.
Skincare products should be selected to match skin type and address skin condition. Dermatologists and other skincare experts determine a person’s skin type condition by measuring the following factors: