Skin Types 101: What Skin Type Do I Have?
Preparing an effective skincare routine starts with first understanding your skin type. Different skin types require specific ingredients and steps to achieve healthy looking and feeling skin. Typical skin types include dry, normal, combination, oily and sensitive skin. In addition to your skin type, you may also experience additional skin conditions that pose extra considerations when developing a skincare plan. Understanding what type of skin you have is the best way to achieve balanced, nourished, and healthy skin.
An Overview of Different Skin Types
Different skin types have different needs and triggers, the most common skin types include normal, dry, oily, combination and sensitive skin. Most people’s skin type is a result of genetics, however, external influences such as exposure to different climates, and UV can also affect your skin’s appearance. Similarly, stress and lifestyle choices (food intake, alcohol, smoking) can also impact your skin’s health.
It’s important to remember that your skin type is not fixed and can change over periods with age. The primary indicators of skin types are moisture and oil levels within the skin’s cells, and skin sensitivity. If you’re still wondering ‘what kind of skin do I have?’ look for enlarged pores, skin luminescence and texture, these signals alongside breakouts or sensitivity will help determine your skin type1
What Factors Determine Different Skin Types?
● Skin moisture levels, which affect the skin’s plumpness i.e. how comfortable or tight the skin feels.
● How much oil is held within the skin’s cells - this can affect how soft and nourished the skin feels.
● Any increased sensitivity from external or environmental factors like climate or sun exposure.
Different Skin Types Explained
An understanding of your skin type will help guide how you develop your skincare regime. Find a breakdown of the most common skin types (normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive) below to help you determine what skin type you have, and how to best care for it.
Normal skin is balanced and responds well to most products, it does not have any particular reactions or sensitivities and acts, well, quite normal. Normal skin will have the ideal amount of oil and will not be too dry. Generally, normal skin types will not present enlarged pores or signs of sensitivity, but instead, appear visibly healthy and vibrant. Normal skin types require a simple skin care regime comprised of a facial cleanser and facial moisturiser that help maintain balanced skin.
As dry skin is depleted in both water and natural oils, it typically results in a coarser and drier texture. Visible fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, sagging skin, and increased sensitivity can be signs of dry skin. If the skin feels tight, it may be dry skin seeking a burst of hydration. On the upside, dry skin is typically less prone to enlarged pores. When choosing the ideal cleanser for dry skin, consider the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, as it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that retains moisture to help keep the skin hydrated.
Following cleansing, choose a facial moisturiser that provides 24-hour hydration like the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturising Lotion which is formulated for normal to dry skin types. The CeraVe Moisturising Lotion is a great body moisturiser for those with dry to very dry skin as its oil-free formula is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.
Oily skin produces excess sebum, a natural oil produced by the skin. While sebum is important for skin-hydrating purposes, too much sebum can lead to enlarged pores, blemishes, breakouts and excess shine. Oily skin types can experience fluctuations in their sebum production that coincides with hormonal changes, stress and changes in climate1. A gentle cleanser that removes excess oil should be used in the morning, evening, and after perspiration, alongside a moisturiser that won’t clog pores. Formulated with salicylic acid, the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser is an ideal cleanser for oily skin, as it gently exfoliates and removes excess oil and build-up. After cleansing, apply the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF15, a day time moisturiser that provides moisture and hydration throughout the day, without clogging pores.
Combination skin is a common skin type, where the skin presents both signs of dryness and oiliness (oily skin typically appears around the nose, chin, and forehead in the T-zone). Combination skin can be difficult to diagnose as many of the signs vary between people. Some common signs of combination skin can be enlarged pores, blackheads and excess shine with drier areas such as the cheeks.
Combination skin can fluctuate between being oilier or drier depending on external or environmental factors. When developing a skincare routine for a combination skin type, balance is key. Try to introduce skincare products formulated for both dryness and oily skin, without exacerbating either of the concerns. Incorporating products with hyaluronic acid will provide hydration and moisture without disrupting the skin’s barrier. The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser removes excess oil while maintaining the natural oils and minerals within the skin.
Sensitive skin is prone to signs of redness and inflammation as it is more vulnerable to external irritants due to a compromised skin barrier. A useful way to manage sensitive skin is by identifying and avoiding your personal triggers (1). Skincare for a sensitive skin type requires mild and gentle products with nourishing ingredients like niacinamide and three essential ceramides for their skin-strengthening properties. Try to avoid fragranced products and harsh cleansers which can be sensitive skin triggers. The CeraVe Moisturising Cream’s gentle formula makes it suitable for sensitive skin on the body. Always read the labels and opt for skincare products designed for sensitive skin.
Skin Care Tips For all Different Skin Types
- Cleanse your skin every morning, evening, and after excessive perspiration
- Try to avoid very hot water on your skin and be gentle during washing1 as to not over-scrub
- Apply moisturiser after cleansing when the skin is still moist
- Apply at least SPF15 daily1 and reapply as necessary (every two hours)
- Always wash off makeup before going to sleep.
1. Baumann, Leslie (2008) Understanding and Treating Various Skin Types: The Baumann Skin Type Indicator. Dermatologic clinics. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5300732_Understanding_and_Treating_Various_Skin_Types_The_Baumann_Skin_Type_Indicator