4 BASIC TYPE OF SKIN: normal, dry, oily and combination skin. Skin type is determined by genetics. The condition of our skin can, however, vary greatly according to the various internal and external factors it is subjected to.
If you need help with identifying your skin type the skin test may be a useful tool. If you need further advice on how best to care for it, lindabeauties recommend that you contact a dermatologist or pharmacist.
What is normal skin?
‘Normal’ is a term widely used to refer to well-balanced skin. The scientific term for well-balanced skin is eudermic. The T-zone (forehead, chin and nose) may be a bit oily, but overall sebum and moisture is balanced and the skin is neither too oily nor too dry.
How to identify normal skin
A velvety, soft and smooth texture is a sign for a healthy and radiant skin.
Normal skin has:
- fine pores
- good blood circulation
- a velvety, soft and smooth texture
- no blemishes
and is not prone to sensitivity.
What is dry skin?
‘Dry’ is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. This leads to an impaired barrier function. Dry skin (Xerosis) exists in varying degrees of severity and in different forms that are not always clearly distinguishable.
Significantly more women suffer from dry skin than men and all skin gets dryer as it ages. Problems related to dry skin are a common complaint and account for 40% of visits to dermatologists.
The causes of dry skin
Tightness and a rough skin feeling often indicates a dry skin.
Elderly women with dry skin have more pronounced wrinkles and lines. Skin moisture depends on supply of water in the deeper skin layers and on perspiration.
Skin is constantly loosing water via:
- Perspiration: active water loss from the glands caused by heat, stress and activity.
- Trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL): the natural, passive way in which skin diffuses about half a litre of water a day from the deeper skin layers.
Dry skin is caused by a lack of:
- Natural moisturising factors (NMFs) – especially urea, amino acids and lactic acid – that help to bind in water.
- Epidermal lipids such as ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol which are needed for a healthy skin barrier function.
What is oily skin?
‘Oily’ is used to describe a skin type with heightened sebum production. An over production is known as seborrhea.
The causes of oily skin
Oily skin tends to have blemishes.
How to identify the different types of oily skin?
Acne concerns often appear in the T-zone, especially during puberty.
Oily skin is characterised by:
- enlarged, clearly visible pores
- a glossy shine
- thicker, pale skin: blood vessels may not be visible
Oily skin is prone to comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and to the varying forms of acne.
With mild acne, a significant number of comedones appear on the face and frequently on the neck, shoulders, back and chest too.
In moderate and severe cases, papules (small bumps with no visible white or black head) and pustules (medium sized bumps with a noticeable white or yellow dot at the centre) appear and the skin becomes red and inflamed.
What is combination skin?
An oily T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin) and dryer cheeks indicate the so-called combination skin.
In combination skin the skin types vary in the T-zone and the cheeks. The so-called T-zone can differ substantially – from a very slim zone to an extended area.
Combination skin is characterised by:
- an oily T-zone (forehead, chin and nose)
- enlarged pores in this area perhaps with some impurities
- normal to dry cheeks
The causes of combination skin
The oilier parts of combination skin are caused by an over production of sebum. The drier parts of combination skin are caused by a lack of sebum and a corresponding lipid deficiency.