5 Basic Types of Skin: Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination, and Sensitive

5 Basic Types of Skin: Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination, & Sensitive - There are several criteria used to classify skin types. One of the most frequently used is the Fitzpatrick classification which was introduced in 1975. This classification is determined based on skin color and its response to sun exposure. It is used to determine the right type of sun protection factor or to predict skin cancer risk.

Meanwhile, in terms of cosmetics, the skin is classified based on hydration, sensitivity level, and sebaceous secretions. Now, we can see that each skin type has its own characteristics and requires different treatment. Apart from genetics, skin type is influenced by other factors and can change over time.

What is important for you to know, every skin type reacts differently to each ingredient. Certain commercial products that are widely used by people may not be suitable for you. That is why knowing your skin type is so important for skin care.

Types of Skin and How To Identify and Treat Them


1. Normal Skin

Normal skin refers to skin that is balanced or scientifically known as eudermic. The T-zone covering the chin, forehead and nose may be a little oily but overall sebum and moisture are in balance. In other words, the skin is neither too oily nor too dry, rarely sensitive and less problematic.

This balanced healthy skin type has an even level of moisture and hydration as well as a uniform skin texture. However, normal skin can experience slight variations in dryness and oiliness when exposed to environmental stresses such as pollution and UV rays.

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How To Identify Normal Skin

  • Balanced oil production,
  • Minimal sensitivity,
  • Minor breakouts,
  • Fine pores,
  • Smooth texture,
  • No blemishes.

How To Treat Normal Skin

Even though you rarely have skin problems because you have normal skin, that doesn't mean you don't need to take care of it. You still need to do regular skin care to ensure your skin remains healthy and well hydrated.

Take care of your skin according to its current needs. You can make minor adjustments to your skin care routine to deal with the dryness or oiliness that can occur from time to time.

To keep your skin normal, you need to drink enough water throughout the day. This aims to keep the skin well hydrated. Use sunscreen whenever you go outside to prevent sun exposure. In addition, use a moisturizer, remove makeup before going to bed and wash your face before bed even if you don't wear makeup.

basic types of skin conditions treatments identify characteristics signs
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2. Dry Skin

Skin that looks dull and lifeless is the first sign that your skin is dry. Dry skin looks dull because it is often covered with a layer of dead skin cells. Many factors cause dry skin including sun exposure, hot showers, and exfoliation with products containing glycolic or salicylic acid.

Your skin will also naturally become drier due to hormonal changes as you age. If your skin is prone to dry skin the most important thing you can do is keep it hydrated. Hydration on the skin will make it younger and radiant.

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Skin types that produce less sebum than normal skin can be classified as dry skin. Due to a lack of sebum, dry skin loses the lipids it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield from external influences.

How To Identify Dry Skin

  • Red patches,
  • Roughness,
  • Calluses,
  • Dull, rough complexion,
  • Often itching,
  • Less elastic skin,
  • Scalling,
  • More visible lines.

How To Treat Dry Skin


If you have very dry and scaly skin, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter creams that contain lactic acid and urea. To keep skin hydrated, moisturize it regularly. When taking a shower, instead of deodorant soap, use a mild soap or gentle cleanser.

To prevent dry skin, you should avoid taking very hot baths. Also avoid products that contain detergents or sulfates, which can irritate the skin. Use a creamier moisturizer, instead of a lotion or gel. You also need to use a moisturizing morning and night cream in addition to sunscreen.

Read Also: 8 Skin Care Products for Face and The Correct Order To Apply Them

3. Oily Skin

The skin secretes natural oils to keep its own moisture. However, people with oily skin have bigger pores, so they run the risk of producing excess oil. As a result, your skin is more susceptible to whiteheads and blackheads and various forms of acne.

The excess oil on the face creates a lustrous appearance. If you don't take care of it properly, your pores can become clogged and enlarged, causing dead skin cells to build up.

How To Identify Oily Skin

  • Dull or shiny complexion,
  • Prone to blackheads and pimples,
  • Enlarged pores.

How To Treat Oily Skin

You can reduce the amount of oil on your skin by washing it regularly. Wash you face with mild soap and warm water. Avoid soaps with fragrances, added moisturizers or harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin. You can also use products that treat oily skin, such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and glycolic acid.


If you have oily skin, you should avoid using heavy creams and moisturizers. But that doesn't mean you ignore moisturizers altogether. Use a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid, which helps your skin retain water without leaving an oily layer on the top layer.

4. Combination Skin

If you have some parts of your face that are dry while others appear oily, it means you have combination skin. Usually, you tend to have oily T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and dry or normal cheeks. Your skin condition can change between seasons.

There are more sebaceous glands in the T-zone which are responsible for creating sebum. The glands in this area tend to be more active in those with combination skin types. The oilier parts of the combination skin are caused by excessive sebum production. While the dryness of combination skin is caused by a lack of sebum.

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How To Identify Combination Skin

  • Pores that look bigger than usual,
  • Shiny skin,
  • Oily T-zone,
  • Dry or normal cheeks,
  • Skin types that change between seasons,
  • Prone to blackheads.

How To Treat Combination Skin

Those with combination skin may have difficulty finding the right skin care and cosmetic products. Choose a product that offers extra moisture to dry areas without adding oil to other areas.

Avoid products that contain excessive fragrances. Your daily skin care routine should include cleansing, firming, and moisturizing. Use a gentle cleanser that will help maintain the pH level of your skin. Then, avoid using oil-based products because your T-zone is prone to breakouts.

5. Sensitive Skin


People with sensitive skin are at risk of developing inflammation, rosacea, acne or contact dermatitis. In addition, sensitive skin is very susceptible to stinging. Since people with sensitive skin tend to overreact to certain ingredients, they should avoid overly harsh ingredients in all their beauty products.

Sensitive skin is different from allergies. Allergies are more severe and can cause symptoms such as nausea and difficulty breathing. In certain skin treatments, you may be allergic to certain ingredients. However, that doesn't necessarily mean your skin is sensitive. In general, sensitive skin is divided into naturally sensitive skin, environmentally sensitive skin, reactive skin, and thin skin.

How To Identify Sensitive Skin

  • Reacting to skin care products,
  • Uneven skin texture,
  • Being dry in winter,
  • The skin feels itchy and tight,
  • Getting greasy in summer,
  • Skin flushes easily after eating spicy food.

How To Treat Sensitive Skin

To avoid irritation, people with sensitive skin should avoid friction, excessive heat and other triggers. Depending on the cause of sensitive skin and the accompanying symptoms, your doctor may prescribe some medications, such as steroid creams, antihistanines, analgesic creams, and protective sunscreens.

Some home remedies can also treat symptoms of sensitive skin. Use hypoallergenic moisturizers and lotions to reduce dryness without irritating your skin. You can also use simple oils such as coconut oil or shea butter. (Beauté Salon & Spa)

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