What Is My Skin Type?

Skin Care Questions
How Do I Find Out My Skin Type?

There are several different types of skin:

Normal skin
Dry skin
Oily skin
Combination skin
Sensitive skin

Knowing which type of skin you have is important because it will determine what sort of moisturizer and body cream you should buy.

Panels Of The Face



T Zone: Forehead down to the tip of the nose.
Eye Area: Skin around the eyes.
S Zone: Skin on the cheeks.
O Zone: Chin and skin around the mouth.

Skin Types And Characteristics

Skin Type Signs
Normal Skin

This is in fact the rarest type of skin because as soon as puberty starts the skin becomes oilier, and when we get older it becomes drier. If you have 'normal skin' count yourself lucky because it means you must be glowing with good health and your skin cells are working in balance, renewing and shedding at an optimal rate.
Skin looks clear and blemish free.
Has an even color.
Does not feel tight or greasy.
Soft and supple to touch.
Epidermis is average thickness.
Requires minimum care, just regular washing and moisturizing.
Dry Skin

Dry skin produces less natural oil which means it feels rougher to the touch. Dry skin can be caused by environmental factors like indoor heating, air conditioning, the sun and wind or it can be a natural consequence of the aging process. In others it may be genetic while in some it can be self-inflicted by an unhealthy lifestyle, not moisturizing enough or using harsh soaps or over-cleansing the skin. See also:
What is dry skin?
What is the best treatment for dry skin?
Skin is pale in color.
Has a thin epidermis.
• Tightens after washing.
Looks dull.
Skin can be flaky.
Fine lines appear prematurely around the eyes.
Broken capillaries (tiny veins) can appear on the cheeks.
The pores are very fine/small.
Oily Skin

This type of skin is most common in teenagers and young adults. It is also more common in certain ethnic groups (particularly mediterranean groups including Hispanics).
See: What is oily skin?
Open pores, particularly down the T zone.
Blackheads (also called comedones).
Prone to spots and acne.
Shiny looking skin.
Thick epidermis.
You may have a sallow complexion and look slightly younger than your age.
Sensitive Skin

This type of skin is becoming increasingly common - partly due to environmental pollutants and partly because due to increasing sensitivity to chemicals in products that come into contact with our skin. Sensitive skin is easily irritated.
See: What is sensitive skin?
Reacts to many skin products becoming red and itchy.
Prone to dry flaky patches and broken capillaries.
Wrinkles prematurely.
Feels tight after washing.
Thin epidermis.
Translucent appearance.
Hypo-allergenic products are easier to use.
Combination Skin

About 70 percent of people have combination skin. These people will have a combination of characteristics from each of the other 4 skin types.
Skin is normal or dry around the S and O zones, as well as the eye area.
T zone is oily.
Skin may be sensitive from time to time, usually because of overuse of harsh products.
Neck tends to be dry.
Pores can be different sizes in different areas of the face.

Is Dehydrated Skin And Dry Skin The Same Thing?

No, although dehydrated skin is often mistaken for dry skin - people with oily, combination, normal or sensitive skin can occasionally suffer from dehydration. If your skin is dehydrated, it is dry from lack of moisture (water) rather than oil. Drinking several glasses of water a day will rehydrate it and improve the appearance.

Quick Skin Test: How To Check Your Skin Type

1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat it dry.
2. Wait for 15 minutes, avoid touching your face in the meantime.
3. Dab your face with tissue, particularly around the T-zone.
If your skin is oily the tissue will stick to oily bits on your face. If the tissue does not stick, or doesn't pick up bits of oil, then your skin is dry. If it only sticks to your T zone, you have combination skin.

Related Questions
What are the ingredients in skin creams?: From enzymes to acids, and what they do.
When does the skin start to age? When fine lines around the eyes appear.

• Need more information about skin care? See: Skin structure and function.
• Got another question? See: Skin Care Questions

Homepage: Womens Health Advice

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