How to care for your skin type

No matter which type of skin you have, it is important to follow the proper regimen for your type.

by Linda Leibl — 

Do you know your skin type? Are you aware that your skin type determines how to care for it and what products to use?  If you don’t know your type, do the tissue test in the box, ask your aesthetician or dermatologist, or go online — there are many quick and easy online tests that can be found by simply googling “determine your skin type.”

There are many different types but, as a general rule, there are five different classifications of skin types, namely dry, normal, oily, combination and sensitive. In this article, we will look at each of the different types, basic maintenance for each and offer some helpful tips for overall better skincare.

Dry skin — Has a thin and papery texture that feels dry to the touch. Pores are very fine, and breakouts are rare. By midday, flaky patches appear. Dry skin should not be overwashed and needs a thick cream moisturizer, regularly applied.

Normal skin — Neither oily nor dry, with very few blemishes. It is firm and generally smooth, with medium to small pores. By midday, normal skin will still look clean and fresh, unlike oily skin which will have a shine to it. For normal skincare, follow a daily routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing.

Oily skin — If you dab your face more than twice a day, you have oily to acne-prone skin. If you have some level of acne, you should not use products like baby wipes to absorb the oil, as they are infused with harsh chemicals. The main focus with oily skin is to keep it clean by using gentle cleansers. See a dermatologist for severe acne problems.

Combination skin — Has an oily T-zone, which starts at the forehead and goes down the nose to the chin area. Your skin also may be oily along the chin line, jaw and temples but dry elsewhere, such as around your cheeks and throat. Combination skin requires flexibility in caring for it — which means treatments for both oily skin and dry skin, according to the relevant area.

Sensitive skin — Extremely delicate; you may have broken capillaries (little spider veins) around the nose and cheek areas, and the appearance of tiny red veins just under the surface. Skin gets red quickly and may appear older than it is. It is imperative to use products that build the immune system, as well as your hydration level. Sensitive skin should not be overstimulated, avoid sun, saunas and extreme cold or heat.

No matter which type of skin you have, it is important to follow the proper regimen for your type. Proper care will slow the aging process and give your skin a healthy, beautiful glow. In addition, your overall lifestyle has a significant impact on the condition of your skin. Important steps you can take include drinking enough water for your body weight, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, taking pure vitamins and eating healthy, organic food.

Also be aware that your skin will change over time due to factors such as aging, diet, illness, hormonal imbalances and exposure to environmental elements like the sun and wind. Therefore, what works for you at 20 or 30 may not work for you at 40 or 50.

An experienced aesthetician and/or dermatologist can help. A good aesthetician can not only identify the type of skin you have, but will also determine the optimal skincare regimen for your age and condition. This may involve everything from determining how effective your daily routine and products are, to how best to balance your hormones.

Furthermore, an aesthetician can perform many rejuvenating techniques that extend beyond everyday home skincare. These may include facials, hydrating masques, oxygen therapy and muscle lifting. All are excellent ways to slow the aging process and restore skin to its youthful nature.

Easy steps to determine your skin type

When you wake up, wipe your face with a clean tissue and note your observations.

  • Dry skin — After wiping, there is no oil on the tissue. The skin is tight or stretched, and there is a feeling of dryness.
  • Normal skin — There is no oil on the tissue; your face does not feel tight or flaky, and looks lively, vibrant and elastic.
  • Oily skin — Oil will be on the tissue which is seen as transparent spots from the nose, forehead and parts of the cheek.
  • Combination skin — There is oil only in the center part from the forehead and nose, but not from the cheeks.
  • Sensitive skin — Tends to be tight and blotchy, and reacts to new skincare products by becoming red, inflamed or itchy.


Linda L. Leibl, B.S., therapeutic aesthetician, founded Advanced Skin Technology in 1993. Visit to view before-and-after photos and information on Linda’s background, services and products. 480-443-3445 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 5, October/November 2008.


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