5 Skin Types and How to Care for Each One

Each of the different skin types reacts differently. Discover what they are and how you should take care of them in the following article.
5 Skin Types and How to Care for Each One

Written by Daniela Andarcia

Last update: 04 April, 2023

Many people care about skin care, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, a bulk of the population uses the wrong products or applies the most popular tricks on the internet without even knowing which of all the different skin types they have, which ends up worsening dryness, acne, and other problems associated with the dermis.

Each of the 5 different skin types reacts differently to products and ingredients. The first step to a healthy dermis begins with knowing your own skin type.

The 5 different skin types

There are 5 natural skin types, which are normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive. These can vary in an individual due to different factors, when crossing the various stages of youth or when advancing into old age.

1. Normal skin

This type of skin has little or no blemishes. Among its qualities, it’s perceived as thick and radiant with barely perceptible pores. It doesn’t age prematurely and has good circulation. In addition, sebum production is balanced and its care is usually easier.

Normal or eudermic skin is considered to be neither too dry nor too oily; It lies in the middle of those two.

2. Oily skin

Oily skin or seborrhea is skin prone to abundant sebum secretion. It’s usually shiny and suffers from redness as a result of pimples. It also tends to have more blackheads, enlarged pores, and other blemishes like marks and bumps.

3. Dry skin

Its texture is rough and scaly because it produces less sebum than normal skin. It lacks shine and is prone to creating lines around the mouth and eyes. The lack of moisture-retaining lipids makes it more vulnerable to climatic changes.

Likewise, it can worsen or be caused by genes, long or hot showers, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, aging, soaps, and cosmetics.

The skin has different degrees of dryness:

  • Mild: Low elasticity, looks dull, and is slightly rough and brittle.
  • Very dry: More prone to irritation and itchiness, looks rough and blotchy, scaling can be light and patchy, becomes red, and is at risk of infection.
  • Extreme: Rough and itchy cracks form on feet, hands, knees, and elbows.
Dry skin on the face.
Dry skin has different degrees, but all involve flaking and cracking.

4. Combination skin

Its care may require different treatment depending on the area. This is because the skin can be dry or normal in some parts and oily in others. This type of dermis is oily on the forehead, nose, and chin, known as the T zone, and dry on the cheeks.

5. Sensitive skin

Experts say that this type of skin tends to redden frequently, react negatively to certain products, and suffer from itching, burning, tightness, and dryness in different areas of the body.

How to know what type of skin you have

Although the most exact way to find out what type of skin you have is by consulting a dermatology specialist, you can perform a test at home. This consists of observing the amount of sebum. The most accurate way to determine how much oily, waxy fluid is coming out of your pores is with a clean face. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Wait 30 minutes after washing your face and pat dry.
  2. Then, use a tissue or oil blotting paper and press on different parts of the skin (forehead, chin, nose, and cheek).
  3. Take the paper to a light source and observe the transparency.

The possible results that you can obtain are the following:

  • You have dry skin if the paper isn’t transparent and there are traces of tight dermis or scales on it.
  • Your skin is oily if the paper is saturated.
  • If the paper has different levels of absorption, you have combination skin.
  • Your skin is normal when the paper does not have traces of scales and also does not leave oil-soaked patches.
  • Sensitive skin can’t be measured by the amount of sebum the body produces. This depends on how quickly it blushes, how it reacts to products, if it has frequent skin allergies, becomes very oily in summer, or if you experience redness after eating spicy foods.

Specific care for each of the different skin types

Daily skin preservation routines keep this organ healthy. You just have to follow the recommendations that correspond to your dermis. There’s scientific evidence that supports individualized and personalized care.

1. For normal skin

  • Cleanliness: Removing your makeup every night is a rule that can’t be broken. Wash or clean your face no more than twice a day, before bed, even if you don’t wear makeup.
  • Hydration: Normal skin is the easiest to care for, however, if you don’t drink enough water during the day, it can cause dryness, flaking, or excess sebum production.
  • Use moisturizers: As it’s important to keep your skin moisturized throughout the day, you can start by using a lightweight, gel-based, non-comedogenic moisturizer. According to the Mayo Clinic, these can improve texture and prevent dry skin.
  • Sunscreen: It’s imperative to use sunscreen, even if it’s not a sunny day. This will prevent dry skin, wrinkles, and dark spots. Apply 15 minutes before going for a walk.

2. For oily skin

  • Avoid exfoliating the skin too much or too strongly: This will overstimulate the production of sebum.
  • Wash or clean your face only twice a day. Washing too much removes natural oils.
  • Drink water regularly to avoid excess sebum production.
  • Use a light moisturizer that doesn’t block pores: Consult your dermatologist to prescribe the best one.

3. For dry skin

  • Dry your face by dabbing gently with a towel.
  • You should use a humidifier to retain your skin’s natural moisture.
  • Avoid hot showers or spending a long time under the shower.
  • Use moisturizer regularly to maintain softness.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Use sunscreen on a daily basis and reapply as needed.

4. For combination skin

  • Use gentle cleansers, especially for the T zone.
  • Exfoliate once a week. Doing it every day removes the natural oils from the skin.
  • Use oil-free sunscreen.
  • Use oil-free products. When buying makeup, make sure they don’t contain oil in order to avoid clogging the pores.
  • Stay hydrated.

5. For sensitive skin

  • It’s imperative to perform the patch test and not use products without first testing them on your hands. This test consists of applying paper impregnated with different chemical substances on the back to identify allergies.
  • Don’t apply a lot of products on your face, but do use a cleanser, sunscreen, and gentle moisturizers.
  • Not all products labeled hypoallergenic will work on your skin, so patch testing is key.
Skin cream.
The choice of creams and lotions can’t be random. Rather, products should be chosen to respect each of the different skin types.

“Tricks” to avoid for all skin types

Myths are going around on social media that promote certain practices and the use of certain substances without scientific foundation. We’ll warn you about the most frequent:

  • Don’t use baking soda on the skin. An investigation published in The International Journal of Cosmetic Science exposed that it can cause dryness and dehydration in the dermis.
  • According to DermNet New Zealand, toothpaste has the potential to absorb oil and kill germs, however, it also causes irritation and dryness.
  • Sugar as an exfoliant might be too strong for the skin on the face.
  • Avoid applying lemon juice to the skin; this tends to dry and irritate the dermis and if exposed to the sun, dark spots will appear.
  • Raw garlic can cause allergies, watery blisters, eczema, and inflammation.
  • The topical application of vitamin E could irritate the skin and so far, there are no conclusive studies that support that it improves the appearance of scars.

Different skin types require different care

Products react differently on each skin type, even if they’re natural. Off-label use of a product may cause blemishes, dryness, breakouts, or redness. It’s best to use the right care routine according to your specific skin type. Be careful with the ingredients and do your research before applying any lotion or cream.

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Los contenidos de esta publicación se redactan solo con fines informativos. En ningún momento pueden servir para facilitar o sustituir diagnósticos, tratamientos o recomentaciones provenientes de un profesional. Consulta con tu especialista de confianza ante cualquier duda y busca su aprobación antes de iniciar o someterse a cualquier procedimiento.