As we all know, the secret to a healthy and beautiful skin lies in the daily facial care. However, skin care must be targeted and able to meet the special needs, which are dictated by the skin type. In other words, knowing the type and the unique characteristics of our skin is decisive for choosing the appropriate daily care products. So, which are the main skin types?
Basic characteristics of skin types
Facial skin can be classified as oily, dry, normal, combination, mature, acne prone or dehydrated.
Oily skin: As implied by its name, oily skin has -as an identifying trait- an increased secretion of sebum (seborrhea) and open, dilated pores. Its external appearance is usually rough, while the skin is characterized by great thickness and durability, which slows down the appearance of aging signs. In addition, it often shows blemishes, mainly open and closed comedones, while, given that sebum feeds several microorganisms, oily skin is prone to acne.
Dry skin: Dry skin is characterized by the absence of sebum as well as barely visible or even non-existent pores. It has a smooth texture and a nice appearance, however it’s particularly delicate and sensitive, so it often faces certain “problems”, such as dehydration and loss of elasticity, due to the lack of sebum (absence of the oily, protective filter). Furthermore, this skin type cannot resist solar radiation adequately, resulting in faster and more intense sun damage, while it’s particularly prone to the appearance of varicose veins.
Normal skin: The so-called “normal” skin type is essentially an intermediate state of the previous two and is generally characterized by balance. It doesn’t show a complete absence of sebum, however it’s not distinguished by intense oiliness. In addition, it’s neither particularly thin nor quite thick, it doesn’t show particular sensitivities, while the pores are normal (neither large nor non-existent). Normal skin type rarely deals with “problems”, while, when they occur, it’s usually due to the existence of specific factors, such as menstruation, increased temperature, etc.
Combination skin: This skin type is defined as the one including at least two areas with characteristics of two different skin types. Most commonly, oiliness is manifested on the forehead, nose and chin, while the rest of the face is dry or normal. In other words, it may include both dry and normal areas, so it needs special and differing treatment and not a holistic care.
Mature skin: Over the time skin progressively changes appearance and becomes more mature. It exhibits slight thinning, color changes, reduced elasticity and moisture, wrinkles as well as sagging. These conditions are mainly related to the reduction of skin’s biological activity, since it’s estimated that it loses 1% of its biological strength every year.
Acne skin: This skin type, which is characterized by acne, mainly appears in young people. It’s usually greasy, while it holds dirt and traps sebum in the pores, creating the ideal conditions for the growth of microbes. Depending on the type of lesions, different types of acne are reported, so it must be treated according to the instructions of a dermatologist.
Dehydrated skin: It isn’t actually a distinct skin type, but a very common condition. Dehydration is defined as the drastic reduction of skin moisture below 10%, which can be accompanied by irritability, itching and even the appearance of cracks. There are many reasons behind dehydration: weather conditions, eating habits, soaps, water, etc. To sum up, deep nourishing treatments are just what this skin type needs.