Have you ever wondered why your best friend's skin always looks so flawless, while yours is a never-ending battle against breakouts? The answer could lie in your skin type. Everyone's skin is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. That's why it's important to learn about the different types of skin and what each one means. Read on to learn everything you need to know about your skin type—and how to take care of it:
“Normal” skin type
If you have “normal” skin, congratulations! You won the skin type lottery. Dr. Rhea Souhleris Grous says, "Normal skin is in balance in terms of oil and water. As a result, it does not feel too dry or too oily and is generally low maintenance.”
People with “normal” skin have few to no blemishes, their pores are scarcely visible, and their complexion is even. If you have “normal skin”, you don't need to worry too much about your skincare routine—just make sure to wash your face every day and moisturize as needed.
People with “normal” skin should also wear sunscreen every day (at least 30 SPF) to protect their skin from damage caused by the sun's harmful UV rays. Every skin type has to follow a skincare regimen to maintain healthy skin!
Dry skin type
If you have dry skin, you might notice that you experience tightness, itchiness, and flakiness. Your pores are barely visible, and your complexion might be rough or patchy. People with dry skin are more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles because their skin doesn't retain moisture as well as other types. If you have dry skin, you'll need to be extra careful with your skincare routine. Avoid harsh cleansers that strip away natural oils, use a hydrating moisturizer morning and night, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out!
Oily skin type
If you have oily skin, your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) is probably shiny, and you might find yourself dealing with blackheads and breakouts. Oily skin is caused by overactive sebaceous glands that produce too much sebum (oil). People with oily skin usually have large pores that become clogged easily. If you have oily skin, avoid using heavy creams or oil-based products—they will only make your problem worse. Instead, use a light gel or lotion-based moisturizer morning and night, wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide (to help control breakout-causing bacteria), and always remove your makeup before going to bed at night.
Sensitive skin type
If you have sensitive skin, chances are you suffer from redness, dryness, itching, burning, and/or stinging sensations. Conditions like eczema or rosacea can cause sensitive skin, or it could be genetic. If your parents have sensitive skin, chances are you will too.
People with sensitive skin need to be extra careful when choosing products because even gentle cleansers can cause irritation. Look for products that are labeled "hypoallergenic" or "for sensitive skin" and avoid anything with fragrance (which can be irritating). You should also use a very gentle cleanser morning and night and apply a light moisturizer morning and night—avoid using any other products to prevent further irritation. You should speak with a dermatologist to find the best skincare products for you.
Combination skin type
If you have combination skin type, chances are your T-zone is oily while the rest of your face is dry or normal—it's the best of both worlds! Most people have combination skin type—in fact, it's the most common type there is.
If you fall into this category, pay attention to which areas of your face tend to be oilier than others and focus on those areas when choosing products. For example, if your forehead is oily, but your cheeks are dry/normal, use an oil-absorbing product on your forehead but nothing too harsh on the rest of your face. As always, be sure to wash your face every day (twice if necessary) and apply a light moisturizer morning and night.
What type of skin is best for laser hair removal?
If you're considering laser hair removal, you might be wondering which type of skin reacts best to the treatment. Here’s the quick answer: any type of skin!
Laser hair removal is effective—whether you have light skin, dark skin, coarse hair, or fine hair. So if you're looking for silky smooth legs, laser hair removal is a great option regardless of your skin type.
Now that you know all about different types of skin, it's time to put that knowledge into action! Start paying attention to which products work well for your particular type of skin and which ones don't to adjust accordingly. Don't forget the most important step of all: sunscreen! No matter what type of skin —sensitive, normal, dry, combination, or oily—wear sunscreen every day to protect your skin. This is an especially important part of your skincare routine if you’re considering laser hair removal; human hair acts as a natural sun protective agent.
Every person’s skin is slightly different and has unique needs, but there are three products everyone should use: a cleanser, moisturizer, and daytime sunscreen. You should start with the basics and build your skincare routine based on your skin type!