Why it's important to know your skin type

Everything that you need to know about your skin type

In case you needed a reminder - your skin matters. It is your body’s first line of defense against the junk and gook of this world. That junk and gook is also known as free radicals. Your skin not only protects your internal organs, but it protects your self-image. Or shape it, rather. If you have smooth and clear skin, you likely have high self-esteem. But, if you struggle with acne, uneven skin tone, and hyper-pigmentation, your self-esteem may be low. That is not to suggest that you should allow these things to affect how you see yourself, by the way. Keep up. 

Why would you not invest what you can into the one thing that your body and self-esteem needs? Even if you have picture-perfect skin like Beyoncé or Jennifer Lopez, you need to know what your skin type is. Many factors determine your skin type, and they have nothing to do with your ethnicity or skin tone. Shocking, right? 

What influences your skin type

Like most things with the body, your skin type is all a matter of biology. These three factors determine your skin type:

  1. Water content: your body's water retention and intake affect your skin’s elasticity. Less water means that your skin may be less elastic. Skin that lacks elasticity is prone to dryness and premature aging. You do not want that. 
  2. Lipid or oil content: how much oil your body produces. Our bodies do not all produce the same amounts of lipids. Oil production is the result of age, hormone levels, and external interference. Those things may cause your body to either under or overproduce oil. Your skin needs oil because it boosts its suppleness. The more your skin produces oil, the softer it is. 
  3. Sensitivity: if you have sensitive skin, then that is your skin type. Sensitive skin exists for many reasons. If you can afford it, there are tests you can take to measure your body's sensitivity levels. And for others, you rely on a series of unfortunate events to come to that conclusion. Either way, your skin’s sensitivity level determines how reactive or tolerant it is. 
  4. Genetics: sometimes, it is all in your genes! Like my mother, I never suffered from adolescent acne. Yet, as an adult, I deal with adult acne. It has been the bane of my existence! Knowing your genetics helps you to preempt many issues that you may encounter in life. Not only skin issues. 

Now, let’s talk about the different skin types and how to identify them. 

Normal skin

Calling anything related to the skin normal is a bit ableist, but I am not here for a debate! A normal skin type has these characteristics:

  • Small, tight pores that appear almost invisible
  • A balance of water and oil to keep the skin elastic and supple
  • No issues with excessive dryness, flaking, or oiliness
  • Little to no issue with sensitivity
  • Few breakouts, if any 

This is the ideal skin type to have for obvious reasons. I know people who hate water, sleep with makeup every day and eat like garbage disposals. Yet, they have normal skin. Could it be voodoo? Genetics? Or a problematic man? I do not know but I am not one of those people. So who cares?

Combination skin

If skin types were on a scale, this would be the skin type right before normal skin. It is the most common skin type because it has qualities of normal, dry, and oily skin. Meaning, you might be a grease monkey today, and the Wicked Witch of the North tomorrow. Pick your battle. Your hormone levels and genetics affect how the lipids and water in your skin behave with this skin type. Here are some other signs that you have combination skin: 

  • Regularly sized pores that are neither small and tight nor enlarged
  • An imbalance of water and oil may result in occasional breakouts or dryness
  • Oily t-zone area 

Dry skin

This sounds like what it is. If you have dry skin, your skin needs moisture more than any other skin type. Although you may feel like it does not appreciate your efforts to keep it moisturized!  People that have dry skin will tell you that their skin eats moisturizers! These are the characteristics of dry skin: 

  • Extreme tightness of the skin that is almost taut
  • Flaky or patchy skin
  • Tightest pores that do not allow moisture to get in
  • Cracking, itching, redness, peeling, and general skin irritation mark this skin type
  • Rough, uneven skin tone

People with skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and shifting clouds tend to have dry skin. 

Oily skin

As mentioned in a previous post, this is one of the most challenging skin types to manage. Oily skin is the result of having sebaceous (oil) glands that are overactive. Meaning, they secrete way more oil than your skin needs to function. Here are a few traits of oily skin:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Excessive shine or grease on the skin
  • Acne-prone

Sensitive skin

This is not so much a skin type as it is something to be mindful of. As you develop a skincare routine, pay attention to skincare ingredients. Sensitive skin is prone to skin irritation. Because anything can cause a reaction in your skin, you should know and avoid your triggers. Many of the common symptoms experienced by people with sensitive skin are:

  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Stinging
  • Rashes 

The best thing to do when managing sensitive skin is to use as few skincare products as possible. Seek skincare products that are gentle on the skin like any of the products that Masktini sells. Harsh skincare ingredients like alcohol (or ethanol) can be damaging to sensitive skin. Again, less is more! Opt for products that include more natural ingredients. 

So there you have it! Everything that you need to know when determining your skin type. If you learned something new, leave a comment below and let us know. We would love to hear from you!

Meet The Author

Otishka Ferguson

I am a women's fashion and beauty writer who survived 14 straight months of cystic breakouts and now has smooth, clear skin again. So obviously this makes me a skincare expert.

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