The Different Types of Skin. Know how to identify yours

Taking care of your skin properly is not always easy. While the right product can keep you looking healthy for years, the wrong choice can ruin it completely. However, before we treat the largest organ in the body, it is essential to know it and understand what type it is, observing its appearance and sensation after washing.

Skin types are categories used to describe how oily, dry, or sensitive your skin is. This category is determined by the amount of oil or sebum that a given person's skin produces.

Regardless of your skin type, it is essential to always keep it clean, adequately hydrated and protected from ultraviolet light. People with drier skin may need heavier moisturizers, while people with oily or combination skin may prefer to use lighter moisturizers and sunscreens that absorb excess sebum.

THE DIFFERENT SKIN TYPES

As we can read on the official page of the CUF hospital network, “the type of skin we want to have is neither too dry, nor too oily, without imperfections, radiant, with invisible pores and in which sensitivity is not a problem. However, unfortunately, we cannot choose.”

There are five skin types: dry, oily, combination, normal and sensitive. Skin type is determined by genetics and its condition can vary depending on the internal and external factors to which it is subject.

Dry skin

Dry skin produces less sebum than necessary. This type of skin lacks the lipids it needs to retain hydration and build a protective shield against external influences. As a rule, its appearance is rough and grayish.

Oily skin

Oily skin produces more sebum than necessary. Typically, its appearance is greasy and shiny (especially around the nose and forehead). It has larger pores, which clog easily and may be more prone to causing pimples.

Mixed skin

People with combination skin have some areas of their skin that are oily, while others have a drier appearance. Oil-prone areas include the forehead, nose and chin (the so-called T-zone).

Normal skin

This term is commonly used to describe skin that is not visibly oily, dry or sensitive. Normal skin produces enough sebum to remain evenly hydrated without becoming oily, making it considered balanced skin. It has fine pores and a velvety, uniform texture.

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin can easily become irritated or inflamed. A person with this skin type may feel itching or burning when applying some products, as well as notice visible reactions to certain substances (swellings, hives or peeling). Sensitive skin is not determined by the amount of sebum a person's skin produces. People with dry or oily skin can also have sensitive skin. In some cases, sensitivity is related to dermatological problems such as eczema or rosacea.

ATOPIC SKIN

The skin is atopic when the epidermis and dermis do not function as usual, suffering specific genetic mutations in its constituents and at the immunological level. If it is too dry, the skin no longer performs its role as a barrier against external aggressions. It is a chronic inflammatory disease, characterized by itching, dry skin and red patches. To combat it, hydration is essential. Bepanthen SensiControl emollient cream is an option specifically formulated for the daily care of atopic skin, helping to space out attacks of extreme skin dryness for at least three months. This cream contains prebiotics that stimulate the skin's protective microflora bacteria, strengthening the skin barrier and providing deep hydration for 24 hours.

HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR SKIN TYPE?

To determine skin type, Medical News Today recommends:

  • Wash your face with a mild product;
  • Dry with a clean towel;
  • Observe how the skin feels immediately after washing;
  • Observe how this changes in the following hours.

According to the aforementioned American health publication, dry skin will remain dry after washing and may also appear dull, rough or flaky; oily skin, on the other hand, may appear dull after washing, but will be shiny or oily in the following hours (the oil will be visible if you wipe your nose with a tissue); combination skin, after some time, will have a shiny or oily T-zone; normal skin will be clean, without changing much throughout the day; and sensitive skin may sting, burn or itch after washing.

According to SPDV – Portuguese Society of Dermatology and Venereology, you can easily understand your skin type “by running your finger along the bridge of your nose at different times of the day”. However, for a rigorous and flawless assessment, consult your dermatologist.

What is the best way to clean your skin?

"The skin needs regular hygiene care, although a full daily bath is not absolutely necessary, particularly in older people with drier skin", explains the SPDV – Portuguese Society of Dermatology and Venereology.

"When washing the skin, lukewarm water should be used, and hygiene products should be mild (with little detergent effect), so as not to deteriorate the outermost horny layer of the skin, responsible for the balance in terms of hydration and other defense functions of the skin. Prolonged baths, with very hot water and very active soaps can dissolve the fat between the cells, in other words, damage the “cement” that holds the “bricks” and facilitate the collapse of the “wall”.

People with drier skin benefit from "applying a moisturizing cream, right after bathing", which "can increase the retention of water in the skin and provide it with a supplement of fat that improves its texture", concludes the SPDV.

Sources: Medical News Today and Portuguese Society of Dermatology and Venereology

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