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What’s your skin type?

Skin types include normal, oily, dry and sensitive. Some people also have a combination of skin types in different areas of their skin. Your skin type can change over time. For example, younger people are more likely than older people to have a normal skin type.

Skin types vary depending upon a combination of factors. They include your skin's:

  • Water content, which affects your skin's comfort and elasticity.
  • Lipid (oil) content, which affects your skin's softness and nutrition.
  • Level of sensitivity, which affects your skin's tolerance to certain substances.

Here's what you need to know about what skin type you have and how to take better care of your skin.

Normal skin type

If you have a normal skin type, you're lucky to have skin that has a good balance and the right amounts of water and lipids. Normal skin has:

  • No or few imperfections
  • No severe sensitivity
  • Barely visible pores
  • A radiant complexion

Combination skin type

A combination skin type can be dry or normal in some areas, and oily in others, such as the T-zone. The T-zone is the nose, forehead, and chin area. A common skin type, combination skin may benefit from slightly different types of skin care in different areas.

Combination skin can produce:

  • Overly dilated pores
  • Blackheads
  • Shiny skin

This type of skin results from genetic or hormonal factors that cause an imbalance in how much and where lipids are produced. It can also vary, depending on the weather.

Dry skin type

Dry skin can produce:

  • Almost invisible pores
  • Dull, rough complexion
  • Red patches
  • Less elasticity
  • More visible lines

When exposed to drying factors, skin can flake, crack, peel or become itchy, irritated or inflamed. If your skin is very dry, it can become rough and scaly, especially on the backs of your hands, arms, and legs.

Dry skin may be caused or worsened by:

  • Genetics
  • Ageing or changes in hormones
  • Weather such as wind, sun, or cold or ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • Indoor heating
  • Long hot baths and showers
  • Ingredients in soaps, cosmetics or cleaning agents
  • Medicines

Here are some tips for taking better care of dry skin:

  • Take shorter showers and baths, no more than once daily.
  • Use mild, gentle soaps or cleansers. Avoid deodorant soaps.
  • Don't scrub while bathing or drying.
  • Apply a rich moisturiser right after bathing. Ointments and creams may work better than lotions for dry skin. Reapply as needed throughout the day.
  • Use a humidifier and don't let indoor temperatures get too hot.
  • Buy natural cleaning products.
  • Wear gloves when using cleaning agents, solvents or household detergents.
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