The Five Basic Skin Types

July 11, 2010

They say that beauty is only skin deep. Maybe they weren't wrong. If you have beautiful skin, this may be the very first thing people notice when they look at your face.

So, how do you get a glowing complexion? Start by learning what type of skin you have. Most everything you need to know about skin is based on skin type.

The basic skin care types number five: oily, combination, sensitive, dry, and sun-damaged. Skin type, in large measure, is determined by the amount of oil that is produced by your skin. But the amount of oil your skin produces is determined by a variety of factors including diet, medication, skincare regime, stress, and your unique genetic makeup.

Skin Test

In order to determine your skin type, you can do the following test:

Cleanse your face, and then pat dry. Take some pieces of rice paper or you use the tissues that are sold to clean eyeglasses and press them to various spots on the surface of your face. If you have oily skin, the paper will adhere to your skin, absorb some of the oil and turn translucent. If the paper neither sticks nor picks up spots of oil, you have dry skin.

Oily T-Zone

However, if the paper should stick only along what is known as the t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) you have combination or normal skin. This last skin type is very common and is found in 70% of all women.

The various skin types each have their own characteristics:

*Type 1: Oily skin is shiny and has large pores. This type of skin is susceptible to blemishes and blackheads. There may be a sensation of tightness.

*Type 2: Combination or normal skin has medium-sized pores, an even, smooth texture, and good color and circulation. There is a tendency toward dry skin along the cheeks while there will be oiliness in the t-zone.

*Type 3: Sensitive skin is thin and delicate and has fine pores. This type flushes with ease and is susceptible to broken capillaries. Sensitive skin is often beset by allergies and rashes.

*Type 4: Dry skin tends to feel tight and this is often the case after cleansing the skin. Dry skin is prone to fine wrinkles, flaking skin, and areas of redness. Women of color may develop a buildup of dead skin which can make the skin appear ashen or dull.

*Type 5: Sun-damaged or aging skin will feel tight and will have visible wrinkles and slackened skin tone. This is most noticeable around the jaw-line and cheeks. The skin may be leathery in texture and have many broken capillaries. 

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