Skin types: What are skin types and how should you determine yours?

When choosing skincare products, we often get asked one main question: What is your skin type? Your skin type is determined by your sebum levels, moisture levels, and sensitivity of the skin. Usually, we distinguish 4 skin types: normal skin, dry skin, combination skin, and oily skin. Each of these types may have additional features – sensitivity, acne, maturity. Even though your skin type is usually a genetic factor, it doesn’t mean it won’t change in time since your skin type also depends on your age, lifestyle, health, etc. If your skin type changes, you need to rethink your entire skincare routine.

Skin types and their features:

1. Normal skin

Normal skin type is quite self-explanatory. Normal skin is balanced, its color and texture are even, the pores are not very noticeable. The skin has a general healthy glow. This skin type is rare and usually can only be seen in young people.

2. Combination skin/strong>

This is the most common skin type. It‘s a type of skin that is oily in the T zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and normal or dry elsewhere. The T zone of combination skin owners usually has enlarged pores, pimples, and is prone to being shiny.

3. Oily skin

Oily skin usually has enlarged pores, is shiny and has a certain general oiliness about it. This type of skin is often problematic and causes various issues such as pimples or blackheads.

4. Dry skin

Dry skin usually has noticeable pores, uneven and rough texture, red patches, and lacks elasticity. This type of skin is prone to irritation and inflammation. The dryness of the skin is usually the result of external factors.

How do you determine your skin type?

Wash your face with a gentle non-drying cleanser and wait for 15-30 minutes. Then take some time to examine your skin in front of a mirror and determine your skin type based on the features that were mentioned above. If you‘re not completely sure, consult your dermatologist/cosmetologist.

Skin type is just the first step

Even though finding out your skin type is a great first step towards creating your perfect skincare routine, when choosing the right products, you should also consider several more factors:

1. Sensitivity

Is your skin reactive and prone to redness? Maybe you notice intense reactions when using certain products? Sensitive skin requires extra attention and intensive protective barrier care. One of the best ingredients for sensitive skin is panthenol (vitamin B5). It soothes the skin, calms the irritations, and aids in restoring the skin barrier.

2. Skin issues

No matter what‘s your skin type, your skin can still be problematic. If you often deal with pimples and blackheads, or are battling acne, your skin qualifies as problematic. It needs ingredients that fight inflammation and bacteria, such as salicylic acid or its natural form – willow bark extract.

3. Maturity

Even though in time the skin usually becomes drier, dryness is not the only element that should be considered if you have mature skin. In order to take care of your skin‘s health, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and improve hyperpigmentation, consider supplementing your skincare routine with peptides and/or retinol.

4. Sun damage

Depending on your lifestyle, your skin can be more or less damaged by UV radiation. The sun is responsible for hyperpigmentation, moles, signs of photoaging (uneven skin tone, dryness, dark spots, skin barrier damage). Whatever your skin type is, make sure to use products that protect it from UV damage. We recommend using mineral creams/lotions with SPF50+ that will aid in protecting your skin from both, UV rays and blue light. Yet, it is important to remember that no product is going to protect your skin 100%, therefore you should avoid being in the sun during the daytime when the UV index is the highest.

Skin phototypes according to the Fitzpatrick scale

Speaking of sun damage… We should also mention the Fitzpatrick scale of skin phototypes that defines your skin‘s sensitivity to UV damage and ways to avoid it.

Type 1

Your skin is fair, ivory. Your eyes are light green, blue, or grey. Your hair is blonde or red. Your skin easily freckles, always burns and peels, and never tans.

Type 2

Your skin is fair, and your eyes are green, blue, or grey. Your hair is blonde. Your skin easily freckles, always burns and peels, and hardly ever tans.

Type 3

Your skin is fair with golden undertones. Your eyes are hazel or brown. Your hair is dark blonde to dark brown. Sometimes you freckle, sometimes you burn but you can also tan.

Type 4

Your skin is light brown, your eyes are dark brown, your hair is dark. You don‘t have freckles, rarely burn and tan easily.

Type 5

Your skin is dark brown and so are your eyes. Your hair is dark brown or black. You don‘t have freckles, you don‘t burn, and you always tan.

Type 6

Your skin is dark brown and so are your eyes, your hair is black. You don‘t have freckles, don‘t burn, and always get a dark tan.

Types 1 and 2 are the most common in Northern Europe. People with such skin are prone to sun damage and skin cancer. Type 1 and 2 skin must be protected with sunscreen. If you have this type of skin, you should avoid being in the sun, especially during the daytime. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Every month monitor your skin for new or changing moles and visit your dermatologist for a full check-up once a year.

Types 3-6 are also prone to sun damage, though less than the first two. Yet, even though types 3-6 have more melanin, the skin must still be protected from UV damage in the same ways that were mentioned above.

Take time to get to know your skin and remember to tailor your skincare routine to your specific needs. When it comes to skincare, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Usually, a minimal well-crafted skincare routine is all you need to enjoy healthy and glowing skin at any time of your life.