Much like how dressing according to your body type can transform your fashion game, tailoring your skincare according to your skin type will do wonders for your beauty routine as well. In fact, while you can adapt the ‘one-size-fits-all’ rule to some types of clothing, taking your skin type into consideration is essential at all times. This is because every skin type responds differently to products, environments, and even diet. And ignoring your skin type can lead to various skin issues, both immediately and in the long run. The key to maintaining healthy skin is using products that are formulated for your skin type, and not generic ones that cater to the masses. And choosing the right products depends largely on educating yourself first. So, here are five types of skin and how to take care of each - according to a dermatologist, Dr. Sadhana Deshmukh.
- Different types of skin
- 1. Normal skin
- 2. Dry skin
- 3. Oily skin
- 4. Combination skin
- 5. Sensitive skin
- FAQs about types of skin
Different types of skin
There are five basic types of skin and here is the best indicator to recognize them:
1. Normal skin:
Normal skin type is neither too oily or dry. It is generally less reactive to external aggressors and pretty easy to maintain.
2. Dry skin:
Dry skin type is often flaky, always has some sort of peeling and can even have a powdery look. It lacks hydration and feels tight on your face. Dry skin also leads to sensitivity to products. For instance, foaming face washes or exfoliating serums causing irritability on dry skin is quite common.
3. Oily skin:
Oily skin is characterised by its greasiness throughout the face. This happens because of the overactivity of sebaceous glands (sometimes they can even be more in number), leading to excessive sebum (oil) production on the skin.
4. Combination skin:
A combination of skin is identified as having an oily T-zone and dry cheeks. The oiliness and the dryness are a response to weather conditions - with summers causing extreme oiliness and winters causing dryness.
5. Sensitive skin:
Sensitive skin is characterised by its reactions to products, foods and environmental factors in a manner that is more persistent with constant triggers.
Now that you have a basic idea of what the different types of skin are, here are tips on how to take care of each:
1. Normal skin
When you are blessed with normal skin, it is very important to maintain it. Also referred to as eudermic, normal skin is well balanced when it comes to pH and oil production. Even though you don’t need a targeted routine, it does not mean you need not pay attention to it. Here are some basic tips for taking care of normal skin; these keep-fit tips should be adapted for other skin types as well:
- Use sunscreen both outdoors and indoors, since UV rays from open windows and gadgets can still damage your skin. A broad-spectrum formula with a minimum SPF of 30 can get the job done, with re-application needed if you are spending time outdoors.
- Make sure to moisturise your skin regularly, regardless of your skin type. Hydrated skin is healthy skin!
- Remove your makeup before going to bed every night. Makeup can clog pores and sleep with clean skin is important for letting it breathe.
- Incorporate potent ingredients in your skincare routine - like vitamin C for youthful skin, retinol (derm-approved) for mature skin and hyaluronic acid for dry, dull skin.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day to keep your skin in its best health.
2. Dry skin
Some of the major causes of dry skin have been attributed to genetics, seasonal changes, improper skincare habits and ageing. Some of the tips, in addition to what we saw above, that can help take care of dry skin are:
- It is very important to moisturise dry skin, with twice a day being the recommended amount.
- Avoid the habit of taking long showers or hot showers, they can strip your skin of natural oils, causing dryness. Let your skin air dry post a shower.
- Use a humidifier in your house in order to seep some hydration into your skin.
- Look for emollient ingredients in your products - namely, zinc oxide, mineral oil, squalene, glycerin, beeswax, olive oil, coconut oil, lanolin, cocoa butter, and synthetic compounds like butyl stearate and diglycol laurate.
3. Oily skin
Some of the major reasons for oily skin in people are hormonal changes, climate (heat and humidity can trigger it), genetics and large pore size. Oily skin also tends to be more prone to acne and breakouts. Some of the tips to take care of oily skin are:
- Wash your skin with oil-absorbing cleansers and always follow up with a moisturiser.
- Incorporate ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid to deal with acne caused by dirt and oil clogged pores.
- Use lightweight products - water-based, gel-based and silicone-based products can help maintain oily skin.
- Do not indulge in overwashing or skip the moisturiser as it can lead to more oil production. If you do feel like you need to wash your face more on a particular day, use plain water instead.
- Take a helping hand from blotting papers and rice papers to de-grease your face instantly.
4. Combination skin
In addition to being a response to changing weather, combination skin is also caused because of genetics or harsh ingredients disturbing your skin's natural balance. Here are some tips to care for combination skin:
- Use a gentle cleanser so as to avoid over-stimulating the larger pores present in your T-zone.
- Adapt two different skincare routines for your face. For instance, you can use some mattifying cleansers and toners on your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), just to treat the excessive oiliness. Similarly, reserve the use of heavy creams just for the dry areas on your face.
- Keep your overall skincare purchases relatively oil-free, as oil-infused products can be quite rich on the T-zone.
5. Sensitive skin
The major cause behind this skin type is the over-sensitivity of nerve endings present under your skin. Any stimulus, like products, sun exposure or even eating spicy food can trigger this sensitivity. As a result, you see a reddish or pinkish appearance of skin, sometimes leading to stubborn irritations that are painful. Some tips to care for sensitive skin are:
- Consult a dermat to help figure out the right products, with the right pH balance for use on your skin.
- Moisturisers should be very thin and lightweight i.
- Avoid products with fragrances, dyes and parabens in them (or any harsh ingredients for that matter).
- Alcoholic toners and astringents are a big no-no for sensitive skin.
- Taking vitamin supplements can help strengthen your skin against irritants. Sometimes, using cooled lotions that have been kept in the refrigerator can help reduce inflammation caused by hot climates.
FAQs about types of skin
1) How do I know if I am sensitive to a product?
A. To rule out any sensitivity to a new product, do a patch test on your skin before using it. Apply the product on the inside of your arm and wait for 24 hours to see if there are any adverse reactions to it.
2) How is a skin allergy different from skin sensitivity?
A. A skin allergy can just be related to a particular ingredient, and not the others. Whereas skin sensitivity stays constant with harsh products, sun exposure and certain foods.
Written by Sumona Bose on Nov 09, 2020
Sumona Bose is a writer, skincare junkie and a self-professed makeup connoisseur. Equipped with a Master's degree in Fashion Management and over 3 years of experience writing in the beauty and fashion space, her passion for learning new things has no bounds. Working closely with dermatologists, beauty excerpts, makeup artists and hairstylists, she brings you the best of all things beauty. From trending skincare ingredients to makeup looks that help you slay, she manages to bring something new (and vital!) to our readers every single time. Her hobbies include home workouts, watching foreign films and binge-watching makeover shows!