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Skin type is generally classified into one of five categories: normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive. Skin type can change as you age and factors such as genetics and outside exposures (sun, smoke, pollution) can play a big role in how your skin can change over the years.
Normal skin has a good balance of moisture, small pores, and overall even skin tone. Not too dry and not too oily, normal skin has no or few imperfections, no severe sensitivity, and barely visible pores. Majority of people have normal skin and are able to use most skin care regimens. Normal skin can occasionally be susceptible to acne (that time of the month) but can easily be cured and goes away within a few days. It is always important to wear SPF daily even if you have normal skin to prevent the formation of wrinkles and sun damage.
Oily skin can produce enlarged pores, dull or shiny complexion, and often blemishes. Oily skin has an excess of sebum which creates an oily or greasy feeling. Oil quickly builds up on the skin, especially on areas such as the “T-zone” (forehead, nose, and chin). A routine moisturizer (oil-free) with SPF should still be worn daily to prevent sun damage. Those who suffer from oily skin may also suffer from blackheads (dark acne lesion that contain oxidized melanin). A benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid spot treatment can be used to keep breakouts under control.
Dry skin suffers lack natural moisture- less oil on the skin’s surface barrier. People with dry skin often feel that their face feels tight, itchy, and easily irritated. Skin appears to be dull and rough with red patches and more visible lines. To care for dry skin, use a gentle cleanser and moisturize frequently. Look for skin care products that are fragrance free to help prevent irritation and possible breakouts.
Combination skin can be dry or normal in some areas, and oily in others. Usually affecting the T-zone area, you may have to treat specific parts of the face differently. For example, a mild cleanser may have to be used on cheeks and forehead and an acne product may have to be used on the nose and chin.
Sensitive skin suffers may experience red patches, areas of dryness, and blemishes. A sensitive skin reaction can flare up at anytime and is usually attributed to products that are being applied topically or environment factors such as the weather. Those with easily irritated skin should use caution when trying new products and stay away from ingredients such as alcohols, beta hydroxy acids, and retinals.