Description of Skin Types
Your skin is the largest organ of you body. It
serves to protect your body from external influences,
senses the environment with nerves and hair, eliminates
toxins and helps control internal temperature through
About Skin Type
The cosmetic industry attempts to define the skin's
needs and reactions to skin care products by assigning
it a category. The most common are Normal, Oily, Acne,
Dry, Damaged, Mature, Sensitive and Combination. Most
people will find that their skin does not rigidly fit
into one specific category, meaning that Combination
skin is the most common.
Factors that Influence Skin Type
There are many external and internal reasons why
skin behaves as it does. Working to eliminate or change
these factors can greatly improve the skin.
- Climate/Weather - Cold, Warm, Humid or Dry will all
affect your skin. Cold/Dry environments will take the
moisture from the skin causing it to be dry and
vitamin deficient, whereas Humid environments will
cause sweating and excess body moisture leading to
oily/acne prone skin. The best thing to do for
Cold/Dry environments is to use a humidifier during
sleep to replace lost moisture. Steam is a powerful
healing agent for any skin type, even oily/acne, since
it will eliminate toxins and balance the skin. For
Humid places, use rice paper blotters throughout the
day to remove excess sweat/oil from the skin. Again,
steaming and deep cleaning the skin at least once a
week is important to remove excess sebum build-up that
occurs in these environments.
Water vs. Soft Water - The type of water you use to
bathe and wash your face does affect your skin. If you
live in the city you will likely use chlorine treated
water. This type of water dries and depletes the skin.
Whereas, those with water softeners will have water
with a high salt ratio and usually no harsh chemicals
added. This type of water is more suited to cleaning
the skin and leaves it feeling soft. If you have hard
water the best thing to do is to buy some distilled or
purified water to wash your face.
Exposure - Every person needs a little sun in their
daily life to create valuable Vitamin D. Most can
achieve this with about 5 to 15 minutes a day of sun
exposure. Getting moderate amounts of sun without
burning or tanning is recommended. Sun burn
leads to skin damage. It can take years for this damage
to show up or cancer to develop. Most middle aged
people acquired their damage during childhood/teen
years. Sun damage will cause premature lines and
wrinkles, sun spots/freckling or hyperpigmentation,
dry and peeling skin, and at worst skin cancer. Always
protect your skin with a sunblock or SPF moisturizer.
Avoid sun exposure for prolonged periods and never
burn your skin.
- Hormones - Women and men have hormonal fluctuations
that will definitely change their skin. At puberty the
body goes through radical changes and it is common for
excess sebum and acne to appear. Women experience
monthly changes with their menstruation, while
pregnancy and menopause have their own complications.
This type of influence is the worst since it is
difficult to control hormonal fluctuations which can
change from day to day.
- Genetic predisposition - Every person is likely to
have an inclination to one type of skin or another.
Ethnicity is one example. Fair (light) skin tends to
be drier, shows age and freckles/burns easily. Darker
skin has more natural sun protection, ages gracefully,
but has a higher sebum production. Understanding how
your genetics play a role in your skin type can help
you take precautions or make changes in your skin care
- Smoking - Actually causes external and internal
damage. Smoking depletes the body's nutrients and
hinders the immune system. Toxins build within the
body which will be apparent in the skin. Smoking
causes deep lines around the mouth, while the skin
will appear dull and dry. Overall it will cause a
premature aging effect. It can take years for these
symptoms to appear, but it can be prevented by not
smoking or quitting before they begin.
- Diet/Nutrition - You've likely heard the expression
'You are what you eat.' This simple fact will be
apparent in your skin. Eating unhealthy foods like
those high in sugar, carbohydrates and fats, as well
as those with artificial ingredients will lead to
toxins building up within the body. The body naturally
eliminates these through the skin. An unhealthy diet
can lead to a variety of skin conditions. The best
kind of diet for your body is balanced meals of carbs,
proteins and essential fatty acids that consist of
plenty of organic (when possible) vegetables, fruits
and meats. Avoid processed sugar foods, fried foods
and artificial ingredients. Most importantly try to
get as much variety in your diet as possible.
- Water - Drinking plenty of water will help your body
expel excess toxins and hydrate your body
internally/externally. The recommended amount of fluid
intake per day is 8 8-ounce glasses. Herbal teas
can account for some of this amount, while soda,
juice, coffee and black tea do not.
- Exercise - While not a direct reflection on the facial
skin, exercise does help with stress relief,
increasing immunity and removal of toxins. All of
these benefits will help the entire body including the
- Sleep - During sleep the body rejuvenates itself. This
is highly important for all body functions. Be sure to
get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Illness/Medications - When the body is ill, either
through chronic illness or a temporary cold or flu, it
will be reflected in the skin. Likewise, many types of
medication will alter the skin.
Throughout life your body will go through many
phases which will affect your skin. During youth most
will have normal skin, however this will change at
puberty. For some people the skin type they develop as
an adult will mostly stay the same, for others with many
internal or external influences the skin type may change
Note About Acne
There are actually several causes of acne that
should be taken into consideration prior to choosing
skin care products. Acne can have external or internal
origins. External causes of acne include bacteria on the
skin that causes breakouts or reactions. This type of
acne will often clear up by introducing products that
include oxygen or peroxide ingredients since these will
kill the surface bacteria. Internal causes of acne such
as a genetic disposition towards oily skin, hormones or
diet are much harder to treat. You must try to make
changes internally or skin care products will only be
slightly effective in combating the problem.
Every Skin Type Needs
Regardless of your skin type, every person needs:
avoid prolonged sun exposure that will lead to burning
avoid smoking and drugs
drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated
eat a balanced and natural diet
get enough sleep and learn stress coping methods
regular daily skin care regimen with a cleanser, toner
possible to have a professional facial or home facial
for deep cleansing and skin rejuvenation
Types of Skin & Determining Yours
skin is not too oily or dry in any particular area.
Normal skin is firm with a healthy glow or shine with a
tendency toward smooth texture and small pores. It is
not easily irritated and blemishes are rare. Most
children and young adults have normal skin, while it is
uncommon in adults. It is important to protect normal
skin by using sunblock and proper hygiene to prevent
skin care problems from forming.
for Normal skin:
you have even skin color, free of red or dark patches?
you free of enlarged pores?
acne problems clear up after puberty/teen years?
your hair stay fresh between washing?
you try products without fear of irritation?
normal, oily and dry skin existing at one time.
Generally dry on the cheek area, while oily in the
T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin). This is the most
common skin type. Products that balance the complexion
for Combination skin:
you notice patches of dry skin and/or oily skin on
different parts of your face?
you have irregular breakouts or random blemishes?
you find that products suited for oily/acne skin dries
your skin, while dry skin products make your face too
type of skin may be easily irritated by soaps, touch,
or other substances in the environment. It may be
thin, dry, with fine pores. It may become red and
damaged easily, while appearing blotchy and irritated.
Broken capillaries and vessels beneath the surface may
be apparent. Great care must be taken to not
over-stimulate sensitive skin and hypoallergenic
products must be used. Avoid harsh detergents and
products with alcohol, dyes and perfumes.
for Sensitive skin:
your facial skin turn red or breakout after touching
the face or cleansing?
you find that using products, especially those with
alcohol or chemicals/artificial ingredients, causes
your skin to become irritated, itchy, red or
you have fair or light toned skin, which might tan or
you have known skin allergies or prone to
you have food allergies or follow a restricted diet
due to a medical condition?
skin often has large pores. Forehead, nose and chin
are often shiny or greasy. Under the skin there is fatty tissue
which creates higher sebum production with the
probability of blackheads, blemishes and acne. Severe
acne can lead to scarring, hyperpigmentation and pitted
skin. Glycolic products are highly effective at treating
oily to acne skin. Acne caused by bacteria on the skin
responds well to oxygen or peroxide products. Steam and
deep cleansing treatments are also recommended. Great
care must be taken to avoid using too many products that
will dry (alcohol, salicylic acid, or sulfur) the skin
as it will lead to peeling or irritation or the skin
will often retaliate by producing more sebum. Its best
to take the approach of balancing the skin.
Questions for Oily/Acne skin:
you have a problem during puberty/teen years?
your hair tend to be oily/greasy?
your foundation wear off within a few hours?
you wake up with an oily film on your nose, forehead
you have darker skin tones or tan easily?
new products cause your skin to break out?
you notice that your skin breaks out during your
you troubled by dandruff?
your parents or family have a history of acne?
skin is not able to sustain a significant moisture
level and irritation occurs. It can be characterized
by redness, roughness, and flaking or peeling skin.
The skin is tight, lacks suppleness and fine lines
appear around the eyes and lips. This type of skin is
likely to occur in those with fair skin, hard water or
cold/dry environment. Products that exfoliate and
nourish the skin are recommended. Glycolics followed by
an appropriate moisturizer are effective. Use of a
humidifier or steam treatments are excellent ways to
replenish lost natural moisture.
for Dry skin:
you under 35 years old?
your hair dry or brittle?
your hand often feel tight and rough?
your skin feel tight after washing or showering?
you rarely have blemishes?
your make-up tend to crease or look as though it
hasn't absorbed into your skin?
your facial skin texture rough, peeling or cracked?
35 years on, the skin starts to loose tone and
elasticity due to diminished production of Collagen
and Hyaluronic Acid. Menopause depletes the body of
the hormone estrogen which keeps the body youthful. Fine
lines may appear, as well as, dryness and a loss of
elasticity. Products with collagen and elastin are
recommended along with vitamin serums for skin
rejuvenation. Glycolics are beneficial at smoothing fine
lines and wrinkles, texture and eliminating
for Mature skin:
you over 35 years old?
you have raised brown spots, large freckles or reddish
patches on your skin?
you developed lines around your eyes, lips, and
your skin dull with a pale or yellowish tone?
your skin sag along the jawline?
to the sun, pollution, smoking, stress and many other factors
can damage the skin. It is characterized by brown
spots, roughness, loss of elasticity and premature
aging. Products that are suitable for dry and mature
skin work well for this type of skin. Care must be taken
to remove the external causes of skin damage for
treatment to be effective.
for Damaged skin:
you spent prolonged time in the sun during your
childhood and teen years, often resulting in tanning
you a sun worshiper who likes to tan often?
you live in a cold/dry climate?
you notice brown spots, large freckles or reddish
patches on your skin?
you developed lines around your eyes, lips and
your skin dull with a pale or yellowish tone?
you have premature aging or appear older than you