Skin Type Beauty Tips
Just as we all have a body type or hair type, we also have a skin type. Recognizing what skin type you are can help you love and appreciate the skin you’re in and how to care for it.
Although factors like genetics, diet, stress, hormones, and medications can play a role in what skin type you have, sometimes the wrong beauty routine can make certain skin conditions, like oiliness, breakouts, or dryness, worse.
In this post, we’ll help you identify your type of skin based on certain characteristics, or traits (i.e. dryness, oiliness, tone, texture, etc.), your skin displays followed by our beauty tips and recommendations on how to properly care for your specific skin type to keep it healthy and looking its best.
In general, skin is classified into five basic skin types: dry skin, oily skin, combination skin, normal skin, and sensitive skin.
Skin Type #1 – Dry Skin Type
Does your skin feel as dry as the Sahara Desert? Then you may be a dry skin type. Dry skin can be attributed to several distinct factors including climate and genetics.
Dry skin types typically have invisible pores and often experience wrinkling, flaking, scaly patches, and dullness from dead skin build up.
Many dry skin types think that the key to caring for their skin is to simply add more moisturizer. However, studies have shown that the water content of dry skin types and oily skin types are equivalent (go figure)! In fact, skin care experts say that adding water to dry skin types can make this skin type’s symptoms worse.
Dry skin type beauty tips:
- It’s recommended that dry skin types wash with a gentle creamy cleanser designed for dry skin followed by a hydrating toner, and hydrating serum.
- It is also recommended that this skin type use cream, as opposed to a lotion, since creams are thicker and contain more oil to soothe dry skin symptoms.
- We also recommend that dry skin types use a gentle exfoliator at least once a week to get rid of dead skin build up that can make the skin appear dull and lifeless.
- Dry skin types can benefit from using a mineral water mist throughout the day to keep skin hydrated.
- If you live a dry environment, dry skin types will benefit from using a room humidifier to keep skin hydrated. We recommend making sure to replace the water every day, so bacteria and mold don’t have a chance to grow.
- Also, dry skin types should avoid taking long, hot showers that can strip natural oils from the skin. Save your skin and water by using lukewarm to warm water and limiting shower time to 5 minutes.
- While drinking plenty of water is important to the overall health of your body, increasing your water intake won’t necessarily improve dry skin. We recommend drinking enough water daily to ensure your body is as healthy as possible which will improve the health of your skin.
If the above beauty tips don’t help alleviate your dryness, this could be an indication that your dry skin type could be caused by a more serious underlying condition. If this is the case, make sure to talk to a dermatologist or doctor to rule out the following conditions:
- Seborrheic Dermatitis – Characterized by scaly, red rashes that may or may not be itchy.
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis – Allergic reaction to an outside substance like a topical skin product, poison ivy, or medication.
- Athlete’s Foot – If you have a lot of dry skin on your foot, whether that be on the soles or in between your toes, it may be an indication of athlete’s foot.
- Eczema – Also known as Atopic Dermatitis, Eczema is characterized by itching and redness. It affects 9 to 30 percent of the population and is often hereditary. Some cases can last years or a lifetime.
Skin Type #2 – Oily Skin Type
Does your skin consistently look and feel like a greasy oil slick? The shine you see could be an indicator that you’re an oily skin type. Oily skin types have shiny skin, typically in the t-zone, and are characterized by large pores and frequent acne or breakouts.
When you’re younger, oily skin can sometimes be considered a curse because of the greasiness and acne. However, as you begin to age, oily skin becomes a blessing in disguise! This is because oily skin types tend to age better than dry skin types by forming less lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
Oily skin beauty tips:
- Avoid using products that will dry your oily skin out, like benzoyl peroxide. Such products will excessively strip your skin and will cause your skin to produce more oil!
- Oily skin types should wash with a cleanser designed to break down oil on the skin and follow up with an astringent in the morning and evening. We find that products containing tea tree oil (a natural antibacterial agent) to be beneficial in controlling inflammation and keeping breakouts at bay.
- Gentle exfoliation is also recommended for oily skin types, at least a couple times of a week to remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause breakouts (namely blackheads).
- Some oily skin types assume that because their skin is oily, they don’t need a moisturizer. However, skipping this step will signal to the skin to create even more oil. Oily skin types will benefit from the use of a light, oil-free lotion to moisturize as opposed to a heavy cream.
- Oily skin types should avoid heavy, thick cosmetics that will block their pores. Use non-comedogenic or oil-free products and be sure to remove all your makeup before going to the gym or going to bed.
- It’s also helpful to wash your cosmetic brushes regularly to ensure you don’t spread bacteria on your skin when applying make-up.
- One of the things that oily skin types often must struggle with is frequent breakouts or acne. While the temptation can be overwhelming, it’s important that you don’t pick at them. Doing so can make the situation worse.
If the above beauty tips do not alleviate breakouts on your oily skin type, we suggest that you seek the advice of a professional (read below regarding the acne scale to gauge the severity of your breakouts).
Skin Type #3 – Combination Skin Type
Is your skin, sometimes, as confused as you are? No worries! It’s said that almost 70% of people have a confused or combination skin type that is characterized by a slightly oily t-zone, dry cheeks, and dry skin patches. Combination skin types have large pores on certain areas like their cheeks or forehead as opposed to all over the face, like oily skin types.
Since combination skin requires taking care of two different skin types at the same time, it’s important to find the right skin regimen to cater to both needs.
Combination skin type beauty tips:
- Wash with a cleanser designed for combination skin types followed by an astringent only on your oily areas.
- Combination skin types should exfoliate their skin a couple of times a week to remove dead skin cells that may make the skin appear dull and lifeless.
- It’s also recommended that you use two different moisturizers if you have a combination skin type: a cream for dryer areas like the cheeks, for instance, and a lotion for the oilier areas, like the t-zone.
- We recommend combination skin types to avoid products containing harsh ingredients and fragrances. Instead stick to products that are natural and contain plant-derived extracts like cucumber, chamomile, or green tea to calm inflammation and smooth the skin.
Skin Type #4 – Normal Skin Type
If you’re lucky enough to have a normal skin type then, congratulations! Normal skin types are neither too dry or too oily, tend to have small/invisible pores, rarely have breakouts, and have little flakiness, lines, or wrinkles.
It’s important to point out that “normal skin type” does not mean “perfect skin type” (even though most of us would gladly give up our favorite designer handbag to have it). Just like other skin types, normal skin types require some tender loving care to ensure that their skin continues to look healthy and radiant.
Normal skin type beauty tips:
- Wash with a cleanser designed for normal skin types.
- Follow with a mild toner and serum to maintain normal moisture levels.
- It’s also recommended that you gently exfoliate skin at least once a week to maintain skin’s natural radiance.
- Finally use a lightweight lotion or cream to maintain normal moisture levels in the skin.
Skin Type #5 – Sensitive Skin Type
Are you easily irritated? Then you may be a sensitive skin type. Sensitive skin is characterized by fine pores and thin skin. This skin type tends to be sensitive to sun, skin care, and some cosmetics. Typically, sensitive skin will react to sensitivity with blotchiness, redness, irritation, and itchiness.
Because of its unpredictable nature, sensitive skin types must be extra careful when trying to find the right skin care regimen.
Sensitive skin type beauty tips:
- Sensitive skin types should steer clear of any products with fragrance or harsh chemicals.
- Stick with skin care products that utilize gentle, natural ingredients that are suitable for sensitive skin types.
- When shopping for skincare, we recommend that sensitive types request samples of skin care before committing to full-size products or check that the store will allow returns if your skin doesn’t react well to skin care products.
Other Measures of Skin Type
Beyond these basic skin types, there are other ways to classify skin. Skin care professionals, like dermatologists, use a variety of classification systems and scales when administering skin care treatments including the Fitzpatrick Scale and a system of grading the severity of acne.
The Fitzpatrick Scale was developed as a universal skin classification system in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist. The scale is designed to estimate the response of diverse types of skin to ultraviolet (UV) light. It turns out acne and sun exposure are correlated and learning what skin type you have can help you avoid breakouts and burns.
The Fitzpatrick Scale is commonly used to research the causes and effects of human skin pigmentation in a variety of environmental conditions. A dermatologist may use this scale to determine how a patient may react to certain facial treatments.
In general, there are seven main types of skin types in the Fitzpatrick Scale:
- Very light skin type – This skin tone is characterized by red or blond hair and blue or green eyes. If you have this skin tone, your skin always burns and never tans. It’s also very susceptible to damage and skin cancers.
- Light skin type – This skin tone is characterized by blonde, light to medium brown hair and light to medium eyes. If you have this skin tone, you almost always burn and rarely tan. It’s also very susceptible to damage and skin cancers.
- Medium to olive skin type– This skin tone is characterized by medium brown hair and medium to dark eyes. If you have this skin tone, you sometimes burn and sometimes tan. It’s also very susceptible to damage and skin cancers.
- Dark olive to light brown skin type– This skin type is characterized by deep brown to black hair and medium to dark eyes. If you have this skin tone, you tend to tan easily and are less likely to burn.
- Dark skin type – This skin tone is characterized by dark hair and dark eyes. If you have this skin tone, your skin most likely tans easily and rarely burns.
- Very dark skin type – This skin tone is characterized by dark hair and dark eyes. If you have this skin type, you never burn.
If you have acne, dermatologists will often use an acne scale to gauge the severity of your breakouts. This, in turn, helps them determine the appropriate treatment for your skin type.
In general, there are six main types of acne in the acne scale:
- Blackheads – Blackheads are categorized by their appearance where the pimple comes to a head. The black marking isn’t from infection or dirt but happens when the sebum oxidizes at the surface. Blackheads are clogged pores from oil buildup and debris.
- Whiteheads – Whiteheads appear as white spots or bumps. They are clogged follicles covered by a thin layer of skin.
- Papules – Papules are inflamed lesions that can be painful and sensitive. They may have a red appearance.
- Pustules – Pustules are another type of acne that’s an inflamed lesion. They may appear yellow or white and are generally filled with pus.
- Nodules – Nodules develop under the skin and are a severe form of acne. They are hard to the touch and don’t generally contain pus.
- Cysts – Cysts are another severe form of acne that are filled with pus, inflamed, and painful. They may require professional medical treatment.
Having the right knowledge about skin types and how to figure out your skin type is key in developing healthy habits and a beauty routine that works for you. We hope that the above information and beauty tips will get you on the road to achieving the best results for your unique skin type!