There are five basic skin types, including:
1. Normal skin
This type of skin has a fine, even and smooth surface due to its ideal balance between oil and moisture content and is therefore neither greasy nor dry. People who have normal skin have small, barely-visible pores. Thus, their skin usually appears clear and does not frequently develop spots and blemishes. This type of skin needs minimal and gentle treatment, but does still require maintenance.
2. Dry skin
Dry skin has a parched appearance and tends to flake easily. It is prone to wrinkles and lines due to its inability to retain moisture, as well as an inadequate production of sebum by sebaceous glands. Dry skin often has problems in cold weather, which dries it out even further. Constant protection in the form of a moisturizer by day and a moisture-rich cream by night is essential. It is important not to over-exfoliate even in cases of extreme flaking, as this only dries out the skin further; gentle exfoliants using sugar, rice bran or mild acids are the most suitable, although they should not be used more frequently than once per week to avoid causing irritation and dryness.
3. Oily skin
As its name implies, this type of skin surface is slightly to moderately greasy, which is caused by the over secretion of sebum. The excess oil on the surface of the skin causes dirt and dust from the environment to adhere to it. Oily skin is usually prone to blackheads, whiteheads, spots and pimples. It needs to be cleansed thoroughly every day, especially in hot or humid weather. Moisturizing with an oil-free, water-based and non-comedogenic moisturizer is required in addition. Exfoliation is also necessary, but over-exfoliation can cause irritation and increase in oil production; exfoliants that contain fruit acids are particularly helpful, and fine-grained exfoliants may help to clear blocked pores, discouraging breakouts and improving the skin’s appearance.
4. Combination skin
This is the most common type of skin. As the name suggests, it is a combination of both oily and dry or normal skin where certain areas of the face are oily and the others dry. The oily parts are usually found on a central panel, called the T–Zone, consisting of the forehead, nose and chin. The dry areas usually consist of the cheeks and the areas around the eyes and mouth. In such cases, each part of the face should be treated according to its skin type. There are also skin care products made especially for those who have combination skin; these contain ingredients that cater to both skin types.
5. Sensitive skin
Sensitive skin has a tendency to react to many potential triggers with irritation, redness, stinging or burning, flaking, lumpiness and rashes. The most common causes of irritation are chemical dyes and fragrances, soaps, some flower and spice oils, shaving creams, tanning lotions or spray tans, changes in temperature, excessive cleansing or exfoliating, waxing, threading, shaving and bleaching. People with sensitive skin should try to avoid products with unnecessary fragrances or dyes, and generally avoid using products that cause irritation. Sensitive skin is typically dry, but can be oily, normal or combination as well.