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What's Your Skin Type?

Updated on December 10, 2013
Image courtesy of posterize at
Image courtesy of posterize at | Source

While attending cosmetology school and working on clients, occasionally, there would be a client that was unsure of or misclassified their skin type. As a result, they were using the wrong products on their face and confused as to why they were continuing to experience breakouts and blemishes.

Knowing your skin type is the first step to achieving and maintaining healthy skin. What’s the point of spending your hard earned money on these fancy products if you don’t even know what skin type you are?

So, here is a breakdown of the 5 basic skin types and the skin conditions that may come along with them.

Image courtesy of posterize at
Image courtesy of posterize at | Source

Skin Types

1. Normal – This is the ideal skin type. Normal skin types have the right amount of sebum (oil) production and moisture. They experience little to no breakouts and blemishes. Pore size is generally small with maybe a few medium sized pores in the T-zone.

2. Dry – With this skin type, there is very little sebum production and not enough moisture. Because of this, the skin will constantly feel tight, delicate and thin, which leads to increased sensitivity. Those with dry skin are also more prone to fine lines and wrinkles because of the lack of moisture to the skin.

3. Oily – Basically the total opposite of a dry skin type. The pores are large and easily visible. There is excess sebum production, which makes skin appear shiny, and maybe greasy. The excess sebum makes the pores more likely to clog and breakout, and can lead to persistent acne. Bright side of all of this, oily skin is thicker and does not wrinkle easily. This skin type is most common in men.

4. Combination – The combination of characteristics of both dry and oily skin types. Usually described as oily with larger, clogged pore down the center of the face (T-zone) and dry in the outer portions of the face. This is the most common skin type.

5. Mature/Aging – Generally common in those over the age of 50. Is characterized by loose, dry, thin skin. There is a lack of skin elasticity and firmness, showing fine lines and wrinkles with signs of premature aging caused by the environment.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at | Source

Skin Conditions and Disorders

With these skin types come a number of different skin conditions and disorders. Some can be fixed or treated just by eating healthy and being cautious of the products you use. Others tend to be more severe and require that you see a dermatologist to receive a prescription.


Probably one of the most common skin disorders with the largest market of products. It is simply defined as the over activity of the sebaceous glands, leading to blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and pustules. It is an outward reflection of the internal changes within the body because it’s caused by the overproduction of androgen (a hormone that is usually higher in men). Therefore, making it most common during adolescence when the body’s hormones are extremely out of sync. However, there has been an increase of adults with acne.


The lack of moisture (water) in the skin that can be caused by misuse of products, environmental influences, or just by not drinking enough water. It is characterized by superficial dryness and flakiness. Those with oily skin can experience dehydration as well. Dehydration can be fixed by using the right products, specifically moisturizers, and making sure you are taking in enough water in your daily diet


A lot of people assume that sensitive skin is a skin type, but it is a skin condition. Any skin type can experience sensitivity, especially those with dry and oily skins. It is characterized by constant redness and/or warmth in the skin. Those with sensitive skin tend to experience abnormal reactions to certain products and should take caution.

Image courtesy of stockimages at
Image courtesy of stockimages at | Source

The Test

To test what type of skin you have, wash your face just before you go to bed, but do not put on any moisturizers or serums. When you wake up in the morning, before you wash your face, gently rub your fingers around all areas of your face to feel the texture of your skin. Then compare what you feel to the characteristics of the skin types listed above. Simple as that!

Now that you know what type your skin is, buying cosmetic products should be much easier…for your skin and your bank account.

What skin type do you think you have?

See results

© 2013 Brittny W


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    • BritStar profile image

      Brittny W 4 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks :)

    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 4 years ago

      This has some really useful info in it. I also noticed that certain products, if they are too harsh, can change my skin type, for example from oily to dry, so if you use those products in moderation, you can get a pretty good balance in your skin. Voted this hub up!