Skin Types 101: What Skin Type Do I Have?

Before you embark on any skincare regimen, it’s essential to know your skin type. Your skin’s natural state speaks volumes about the ingredients and formulations it needs, and whether your skin type is normal, dry, oily, combination, sensitive (or you experience other skin conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis), daily skincare should be a top priority.


Skin types explained

In order to assemble an effective skincare regimen that meets all of your skin’s needs, it’s imperative to know your skin type. Understanding whether you have normal, dry, oily, combination or sensitive skin can help guide you to the proper products—and keep your skin healthy and looking its best.

Normal skin

Normal skin acts exactly as its name implies… It doesn’t have too much oil; it doesn’t experience too much dryness—it feels balanced. Normal skin types are also generally free of visible pores, blemishes and sensitivity and have an overall healthy-looking, radiant complexion. If your skin type is normal, skincare can be relatively simple.

Dry skin

Dry skin lacks both water and oil, which can lead to rough and scaly texture, visible lines and wrinkles, dullness, loss of elasticity, increased likelihood of irritation and a tight, uncomfortable feeling. On the positive side, dry skin types are less prone to visible pores.1 To help manage dry skin, our Hydrating Facial Cleanser is formulated with hyaluronic acid to attract hydration to the skin’s surface and three essential ceramides to help replenish the skin barrier.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is characterized by excess sebum that is produced naturally by the skin. Although sebum does have skin-hydrating benefits, too much of this oil can lead to enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples and unwanted shine. Oily skin types may notice changes in sebum production in tandem with hormonal fluctuations, stress and humidity.1 Among the ideal products for this skin type can are a gentle cleanser formulated for oily skin (used morning and night as well as after sweating), a non-comedogenic moisturizer that won’t clog pores, and perhaps a gentle exfoliating ingredient such as salicylic acid, which can be found in our Renewing SA Cleanser.

Combination skin

A very common skin type, combination skin experiences dryness in some areas and excess oil in others (usually around the nose, chin and forehead). Although not always the case, combination skin may experience enlarged pores, blackheads and shine. As with other skin types, combination skin can fluctuate due to hormones, stress, climate and other environmental conditions.1 When considering skincare for combination skin, it’s important to choose products that meet the needs of both dryness and oily skin, without making either of these concerns worse. A formula with hyaluronic acid can help provide hydration for drier areas without clogging pores, and a cream-to-foam cleanser can address excess oil without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is characterized by redness, burning, itching and dryness. It is believed these symptoms are related to a weakened barrier that leaves the skin more vulnerable to external irritants. In many cases, those with sensitive skin can identify the triggers that cause sensitivity and avoiding them is an important part of managing this skin type.1 Skincare for sensitive skin types should be mild and gentle on the skin, and ingredients like soothing niacinamide and barrier-strengthening ceramides can be beneficial. Fortunately, many products are labelled as suitable for sensitive skin or fragrance-free, which makes it easier to narrow down the options.

Skincare rules that apply to all skin types1

1. Wash in the morning, in the evening and after exercising (or sweating)

2. Avoid washing with hot water and over-scrubbing

3. Apply moisturizer after cleansing while skin is still damp

4. Use sunscreen daily and be sure to reapply at least every two hours

5. Never go to sleep with makeup on