What's your skin type?

By: Anna Sadra Dec 20, 2012

How can I figure out what kind of skin I have?

The five basic skin types.

Your skin is one of the single most important parts of your body. Not only is it your protective barrier, but it's also the side of you that people see. As hard as it may be to admit at times there's no way to deny that we live in an image-centric world, and looking your best does indeed play a part in how people perceive you. As a result, taking care of your skin is important. But in order to truly take care of your skin, you need to understand what type of skin you actually have. There are five main types of skin, and each one it a bit different in terms of appearance, feel, and the methods used to care for it.

Normal Skin – Normal skin is just what it sounds like – the most common type of skin and the easiest to manage. Those with normal skin have oil glands that produce a substance known as sebum, which is the main factor in determining your skin type. Normal skin is the perfect balance and isn't too oily or too dry. Despite that, it's still important that you take the time to care for it properly through the use of gentle skin care treatments and products, particularly those that are natural in composition.

Dry Skin – Dry skin occurs when the oil glands don't produce enough sebum. When this occurs, the skin loses its natural lubrication and can feel dry, sensitive, and itchy. It can lead to flaking, rough patches, and more. To take care of dry skin and improve its appearance and feel, a combination of moisturizing creams and plenty of internal hydration is needed. Use the best creams and lotions you can find and be sure to drink plenty of water throughout each day. This will help ensure that your skin doesn't dry out too much.

Oily Skin – On the opposite side of the spectrum is oily skin. This is just what it sounds like – a type of skin in which the glands produce more sebum that is needed. This causes skin to appear shiny, pores to enlarge, and to develop a slippery, almost greasy feeling. This is also the main cause of acne, a problem that occurs as a result of sebum becoming trapped within the skin and pores. Combating oily skin is best done with clay masks and oil removing cleansers. Surprisingly, oily skin actually retains a younger appearance as you ages since it resists wrinkles.

Sensitive Skin – Sensitive skin may fall into the three categories above, but has the added issue of being very sensitive to environmental conditions. Some actually categorize it as a skin condition, while most still put it into the grouping of skin types. Special treatment is usually needed to manage sensitive skin and breakouts, rashes, and other problems are often triggered by almost any kind of cosmetic or cleanser that contains fragrances, coloring, alcohol, and more. As a result, the best way to take care of sensitive skin is by ensuring that you use only gentle, all-natural skin care treatments, creams, and cleansers.

Combination Skin – Finally, combination skin is just what it sounds like and is a combination of two or more of the skin types listed above. The most common combination is oily/dry, with certain parts of the skin being oily while other parts are dry or normal. The face is one of the more common examples of where combination skin usually occurs, but it can happen elsewhere as well. The unique variances in this type of skin means that you'll need to take the time to determine where the different types of skin are located and how best to manage them.

Anna Sadra is a Registered Massage Therapist, Laser technician and Medical Esthetician with over 12 years of experience in the wellness industry. Anna enjoys being able to use her extensive knowledge to really help her clients achieve the results they are searching for. She enjoys spending time with family, friends and learning more about health, skin care & fitness. http://www.anna-spa.ca/