Your skin can make up to 15% of your body weight, and a lot of people forget that it’s the body’s largest organ. Not only does your skin kind of keep things like your muscles, bones, and other organs all held together, but it’s also the key factor in regulating your body’s temperature.
Your skin is also full of nerves, which is important for us humans to feel and touch things too.
Needless to say, your skin is a pretty important part of your body, but not all skin is the same.
There are actually five different skin types and the more you understand what type of skin you have, the better you can take care of it and keep it healthy.
Normal skin is what it sounds like. It’s not too dry, it’s not too oily, and it functions, looks, and feels the way it’s supposed to. People with normal skin do not tend to have dermatological issues, their skin is clear from blemishes and other irritations.
Normal skin is smooth and generally just needs a minor level of cleanliness, attention, and care.
People who have dry skin tend to be more susceptible to factors like climate, weather, elevation, and dehydration. Things like a dry environment, low air humidity, or high elevation can cause skin to dry out at an alarmingly fast rate, causing physical cracking and even bleeding if not addressed immediately.
People who are in certain jobs that expose them to chemicals, hot water, or constant washing of hands will also notice their skin becoming drier and drier if they are not careful. All of these factors strip away natural skin oil meant to protect the skin from drying out.
Dry skin is itchy as well and often feels tight and rough to the touch.
If you suffer from dry skin, physical hydration is key both in terms of water consumption and additional moisturizing throughout the day. If you deal with hot water or chemicals, wearing protective gloves might also help.
Oily skin is typically genetic, but it is also connected to age and puberty. Excessive skin oil is caused by sebaceous glands’ overproduction, and people with oily skin tend to battle acne more so than others.
Someone with oily skin can physically feel a sheen or layer of oil on areas like their face, for example, and their skin tends to be shinier. People with oily skin tend to need hygiene products that help dry their skin out and need to be more aware of washing away dirt and grime to avoid things becoming trapped in their pores which leads to breakouts.
A combination of oily/dry skin means that certain areas deal with the dry features discussed in #2 while others deal with the oily features in #3.
People with combination skin need to have a skincare routine that is different based on the area being addressed as the relief for dry skin is not the relief for oily skin and vice versa.
Typically, if you have a combination of oily/dry skin you will notice patches of dry areas and areas that are excessively oily. You might also notice that your skin pores vary in size based on the location on your body, in particular your face.
Sensitive skin is also genetic, but it can be caused by external factors such as medication.
This type of skin is extremely susceptible to irritation, redness, and other dermatological issues like blotchy skin, itchy sections, rashes, eczema, and even allergy-like symptoms.
People with sensitive skin often need specific body and hygiene products that are free of chemicals and certain ingredients. They also might need special detergents for fabric, clothes, and sheets.
While skin type is primarily determined by your genetics, there are other factors that affect how your skin looks, feels, and functions:
- Hygiene Habits
- Moisturizing Habits
- Exposure to Sun
- Exposure to Chemicals
It’s also recommended to schedule routine appointments with a licensed Dermatologist to ensure that you have the correct skin hygiene routine in place.