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Skin Types

Skin Types

Skin type is a classification that describes a person's genetic skin attributes. Your skin type is determined by genetics and ethnicity, but like everything else, skin can change over time.

skin types
examples of skin types

Generally, skin becomes drier over time because our cellular metabolism and oil/lipid production slow down as we age. Skin type is based primarily on how much oil is produced in the follicles from the sebaceous glands and on the amount of lipids found between the cells. The T-zone is the first step in determining skin type. The T-zone is the center area of the face, corresponding to the "T" shape by the forehead, nose, and chin. All skin types need proper cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating, and protecting.

Different Types of Skin Types

There are four different skin types:

  • Normal

  • Combination

  • Oily

  • Dry

Oily skin ages more slowly because the oil acts to protect the skin. Dry skin can be compromised trans epidermal water loss (TEWL). Normal skin often changes as we age.

Normal Skin

  • Oil: balanced

  • Hydration: balanced

  • Follicle size: very small

  • Appearance: uniform luminosity, no or rare blemishes

  • Feel: soft, smooth texture; good elasticity

You can treat this skin type by cleansing, exfoliation, nourish, protect. Introduce anti-aging products because normal skin will often become drier with age. Reinforce use of sunscreen.


  • Oily: moderate to high

  • Hydration: good to dehydrated

  • Follicle size: larger in T-zone than cheeks and sides of face

  • Appearance: can have buildup of dead skin and oil in pores around nose but dry or flaking skin outside of T-zone; some blemishes and comedones

  • Feel: oilier in center T-zones than sides of face

You can treat this skin type by cleansing and regular exfoliation, water-based products, and avoid harsh products and rough exfoliation. Skin should be evaluated often as oil-hydration balance can be disrupted by hormonal and environmental influences. Reinforce use of sunscreen.


  • Oil: moderate to high

  • Hydration: good to dehydrated

  • Follicle size: moderate to large

  • Appearance: shiny; comedones and blemishes may be present

  • Feel: thick and firm, uneven due to congestion

You can treat this skin type by regular cleansing and exfoliation and hydrating with water-based products. Getting regular treatments to balance oil production. People with oily skin breakouts and comedones may have them on the neck, back, shoulders, and chest. People with oily skin age more slowly, since the oil acts to protect the skin. You will need to use SPF regularly to avoid post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a common aliment that accompanies acne.


  • Oil: minimal production

  • Hydration: minimal production

  • Follicle size: difficult to visualize, fine pores

  • Appearance: dull, lack of luminosity, flaking, blotchy

  • Feel: rough, thin, tight

You can treat by using oil-based products to provide protection of acid mantle and increase the barrier function. Dry skin often has comprised TEWL; water loss caused by evaporation on the skin's surface. The best skin treatments are ones that provide nourishment and protection. Dry skin may often be dehydrated. Like all other skin, reinforce use of sunscreen.

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