There are 5 different types of skin types that we categorize as oily, normal, sensitive, combination, and dry.  Below are characteristics to help you identify what skin type you have and the right treatment plans. 


How to tell: Usually very “shiny” in the t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and tends to be blemish and breakout prone.

Treatment: When your skin is producing a lot of sebum, you want to use products that help balance but are not overly drying.  Oils are your friend so long as they are non-comedogenic such as grape seed oil and castor oil; the alternative is using a comedogenic such as coconut or olive oil which will increase breakouts. Ingredients such as mineral oil, petrolatum and alcohol are very drying and should be avoided. Our immediate reaction is to dry out but that can, ironically, back fire causing your skin to increase sebum production. 


How to tell: Well balanced. It is not prone to breakouts, flakiness, feeling slick or tight. Pores are generally small, the skin's texture is smooth, and it is less likely to be prone to sensitivity or blemishes.

Treatment: Congrats, you are a lucky one!  You have a lot of options in terms of ingredients and generally have the freedom to explore what works best for you.  The recommendation is always to stick with clean ingredients. :)


How to tell: Generally refers to skin that is more prone to inflammation or adverse reactions. People with sensitive skin may have strong reactions to chemicals, dyes, and fragrances present in products that come into contact with the skin.

Treatment: “USE WITH CAUTION” should be your mantra.  Avoid products that have a lot of additives and stick with clean, hypo-allergenic products to avoid breakouts. Also, try products that are conducive to treating inflammation and redness such as chamomile oil.  


How to tell: Simply having oily skin in some areas of your face and dry skin in other areas. Typically, the t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) varies on the scale of slightly to very oily.

Treatment: Adopt a treatment plan avoiding similar applications for oily and dry skin.  However, you should incorporate a spot treatment to combat breakout areas.  In addition, use toners or balancing cream to even out the skin.

Dry/ Dehydrated

How to tell: Feels tight and rough and look dull. 'Dry' is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences.  Dry skin tends to show wrinkles more as the skin is not as supple. If your skin is dehydrated (which is different from dry), this is a result of not retaining enough moisture.

Treatment: For dry skin, use heavier creams and moisturizers that will help add oil back into your skin and seal moisture.  Depending on the dryness of the air, you may want to consider a humidifier.  Dehydrated skin requires a slightly different treatment- stick with water based products such as hyaluronic acid instead of oil based products.  Also, make sure you drink enough water every day for both dry and dehydrated skin!

Written by Allyson Welch
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