There are many different skin types, and knowing what type you have can help you with finding the best skincare routine. Read on to find out the various skin types and how to determine yours.

Skin types

Several paradigms exist in the classification of skin. The Fitzpatrick system was introduced in 1975 based on color and skin response to UV exposure. The model determines sun protection factor and the relative risk of developing skin malignancy.

From a cosmetic standpoint, skin types are determined based on factors such as hydration, sensitivity, and sebum secretion. The different skin types exhibit distinct characteristics and are used to inform the kind of skincare.

According to Dr. Dayan, your skin type is determined by your genes. However, other factors influence skin types, such as age, hormones, and environmental conditions. With these characteristics in mind, there are five main skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination (both oily and dry), and sensitive skin.

Image of Skin Types

1. Normal Skin

Normal skin is neither excessively oily nor excessively dry. It has a balance between oiliness and dryness. A person with a normal skin type has vibrant skin, even skin tone, and no blemishes. I envy anyone with normal skin; doesn’t it sound lovely?

2. Dry Skin

The defining feature of dry skin is dry patches that are easily irritated and may exhibit flakiness or redness.  Dry skin might seem ashy, and dull, with hardly visible pores and a rough texture. After washing, the skin tends to feel tight. Dry skin is prone to fine lines and aging.

3. Oily Skin

People with oily skin have excessive secretion of sebum. Oily skin is usually characterized by enlarged pores, a shiny appearance, and frequent breakouts. With oily skin, makeup may not stay on and seem to “slide off.” Although oily skin may appear to be the short end of the stick, remember that people with oily skin age more gracefully.

4. Combination Skin

Due to the uneven distribution of sebaceous glands, combination skin has oily and dry skin features. The forehead, nose, and chin (T-zone) tend to be oily, while the cheeks exhibit flakiness and sometimes redness. The overproduction of sebum at the T-zone results in occasional breakouts and blackheads especially with hormonal changes.

5. Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin exhibits a high likelihood of being inflamed. It is easily irritated by factors generally well-tolerated by other skin types. As a result, people with sensitive skin should avoid using too harsh ingredients in their skincare, for example, retinol utilized in acne-prone skincare regimens. Often associated with rosacea and acne.

How to Know Your Skin Type

Below are two easy ways to determine your skin type:

Bare-faced method

Wash your face thoroughly with a cleanser and pat dry. No moisturizers or serums may be applied after the cleanser.

After 30 minutes, observe the skin to determine your type. You might have dry skin if the skin feels tight, flaky, and scaly. If the skin appears glossy in some areas of the face, it’s oily. You may have combination skin if the shine only appears on the T-zone. If your skin feels well hydrated and smooth to touch, you might have a normal skin type.

Use of Blotting Papers

A blotting paper is used to differentiate between oily and dry skin types. When using this method, you softly pat a piece of blotting paper or sheet on different parts of your face. Then, observe the blotting paper under the light. You may have dry skin if the blotting paper reveals little to no oil. You may have oily skin if an excess amount of oil is visible on the blotting paper. And if the blotting paper shows excess oil only at the T-zone, you may be having combination skin.


Identifying your skin type can go a long way in helping you determine the ideal skin care regimen. Moreover, taking care of your skin with treatments that work for it instead of against it can help in your journey for that cherished glow.