Types of skin

Types of skin

The condition of our skin is a true reflection of our inner health. It is often said that we are what we eat and though it is true to a very large extent, the condition and health of our skin is also determined by various other factors like our age, environmental conditions etc. Whenever we go to a dermatologist the first question he/ she is bound to ask is about the skin type that we have. Though we often hear a lot about various skin types that people have, many of us still may not know what type of skin we have. Determining your own skin type is not a very huge task and with some simple observations and methods you can conclusively determine your own skin type. Knowing your own skin type is vital because it will help you in choosing the right set of products for yourself and also it will help your dermatologist to understand your condition better.

The types of skin can be broadly divided into five categories; normal, oily, combination, dry and sensitive. To know more about these skin types and to gain some insight on rightly determining your own skin, keep reading.

  • Normal skin- This type of skin is considered to be the ideal skin type as it possesses very little or no imperfections. In most cases this type of skin is clear and the appearance of pores is minimal. The skin texture is smooth and there are no dry patches or accumulated dead cells on the skin. The production of sebum in this type of skin is normal and therefore normal skin does not have the problems of pimples or acne.
  • Dry skin- People with dry skin often complain of tight and flaky skin even in humid weather conditions. Dry skin is characterized by premature appearance of fine lines which occurs due to lack of hydration in the skin. In extreme cases, the skin may also inexplicably crack which is also accompanied with pain. Use of unsuitable cosmetics which are meant for oily skin or exposure to extremely dry weather may worsen the problem. Prolonged hot showers, temperature controlled environment and hereditary conditions may also cause problems in dry skin.
  • Combination skin: – As the name suggests, the combination skin is a combination of oily skin and normal or dry skin. Most people who have combination skin experience more greasy texture in their T- zone i.e. the forehead, the nose and the chin. This happens because sebaceous glands are the most active in these areas. Because of presence of two different types of skin on a face, the combination skin requires different skin care products and regimen for different areas.
  • Oily skin: – People with oily skin type often complain of greasy and shiny skin. The sebaceous glands on oily skin are very active and because of that more sebum is produced which causes a lot of problems. Oily skin has large pores and is often dull looking due to the presence of blemishes and pigmentation. When the oil secretion comes in contact with environment, it cause the sebum to get trapped in the pores along with dust and dirt and this causes the blackheads, whiteheads, acne and pimple etc. Though the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce may vary slightly depending upon the weather and other climatic conditions, the oily skin problems may get worsened due to puberty, medical treatments, hormonal changes etc. Too much stress may also cause the oil glands to produce more sebum which may heighten the problems of oily skin.
  • Sensitive skin: – Sensitive skin type can be considered to be more of a condition rather than a type of skin. This type of skin reacts to various ingredients in cosmetics and skin care products very quickly. People with sensitive skin complain about redness, minor rashes, eruptions on skin, redness etc on application of cosmetics or exposure to harsh environmental factors. The sensitivity of skin may be worsened due to some medical treatments, pregnancy, hormonal imbalance or climate changes.

A person may have various different skin types on his/ her body. For example a person may have oily facial skin and dry skin on the rest of the body. Therefore, it important to take care of the skin accordingly and choose the right set of products strictly according to the skin type. The skin type is determined by various things out of which the most important factor is the genetic makeup. However, in addition to the genes one is born with other factors like age, stress and lifestyle also equally affect the type of skin a person has. If you are unable to determine the skin type you have, it is best to seek a consultation from a dermatologist who can tell you conclusively about the skin type that you have.


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