What are the skin types? Characteristics and how to care

The skin, the largest organ in our body, is characterized as this elastic structure, which, although flexible, is also very resistant, thus protecting the entire surface of our body.

In addition, its greatness is not only due to its extension, but also due to the numerous functions it accumulates, such as controlling and regulating body temperature and humidity, in addition to protecting us against infections and external agents.

This complex organ has variations that are determined by the genetics that each one of us carries, but both external and internal factors are capable of changing the state of our skin.

Thus, there are 4 major skin types.

Know more about each one and the necessary care!


What are the skin types and their characteristics?

There are four main types of skin: normal, mixed, oily and dry. These different types carry specific characteristics such as texture, opacity, pore size, among other features. Each of them requires specific care. Learn more about each type:

Normal Skin

Normal skin is characterized by being an extremely balanced skin. Its texture is usually fine, flexible, soft and velvety. Because it has the exact amount of hydration and oil, it ends up being the one that requires the least care.

Generally, it does not have many spots or the appearance of pimples. Because it is balanced, the pores of normal skin are small and imperceptible.

Like everything that is in perfect balance, normal skin is the least recurring type of skin in adulthood.

However, when we are children, that baby skin that everyone thinks is beautiful, is the famous normal skin, or scientifically known as eudermic.

Oily Skin (lipid skin)

Oily skin ( lipid skin) is characterized by high sebum production. This excess oil is accumulated inside the pores, making them more dilated and, therefore, more visible.

This high fat production can be caused by factors such as hormonal changes, stress , side effects of medications, etc.

In addition, the abundance of fat produced results in a brighter appearance of the skin and a more oily texture, while being pale and very thick.

Read more: Review Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel: is it good for oily skin?

Oily skin and acne

Because of these factors, oily skin is the one that has the greatest tendency to develop the famous and detested acne .

There are two types of acne: a retentional , which forms the comedones, those carnations both black and white, and inflammatory , which is the fact spine.

On oily skin, both types of acne are common. Therefore, treatments to control excess oil also tend to decrease the appearance of pimples and blackheads.

In this type of skin, acnes appear not only on the face, but also in the region of the back, neck and chest.

Dry skin

The most striking feature of dry skin is the inability to retain the necessary amount of water. This is because dry skin does not have the natural moisturizing factors (amino acids, urea and lactic acid) that help with water retention, skin elasticity and firmness, thus ending up becoming more dehydrated.

Water retention is also due to the presence of lipids, but dry skin produces little sebum and therefore has little lipids.

Thus, there is not enough water volume, resulting in a more rough and opaque texture. It is also common for pores to be small and barely visible.

In addition, it also has less elasticity, easier to peel and can sometimes have an appearance of “pulled” skin.

For all these characteristics, dry skin is the most prone to suffer from premature aging, such as wrinkles and expression lines, in addition to the appearance of micro cracks.

Of all skin types, dryness is the one that requires the most care.

It can still be divided into subcategories: dry, very dry and extremely dry. These subcategories only differ in terms of the intensity of the characteristics of dry skin.

Dry and Sensitive Skin

The absence of moisture and sebum on dry skin results in another very present characteristic: sensitivity.

This is because sebum has the function of controlling the skin barrier. With low production, dry skin is more exposed and therefore more vulnerable.

Sensitive skin is easily irritated, even with pollution, wind and exposure to the sun, leaving normally red marks that can cause itching and sometimes even allergies.

Read more: Homemade moisturizing recipes for different skin types

Mixed skin

In this type of skin, there is a sum of the characteristics of all the others. Mixed skin also has excess oil, but does not cover the entire length of the face. For this reason, there is greater oiliness in the “T zone”, which involves the forehead, nose and chin, with the other regions of the face being drier and opaque.

In these areas, as well as on oily skin, the pores are also very large and visible, precisely because they are swollen with large amounts of sebum, resulting in an oily appearance.

In other regions, such as on the cheeks and in the eye area, the skin can vary between dry and normal, the latter being more recurrent.

Mixed skin is certainly the most common skin type among people, precisely because it is in this intermediate zone, between oily skin and normal skin, or even dry skin.

Healthy skin: how to care for each type?

Just as there are different types of skin, when it comes to taking care of each one of these types, the attentions are different, as they respect the specifics of each skin.

So the importance of knowing your skin type and which dermocosmetics are appropriate and which ones should be avoided.

Normal skin care

Because it is the most balanced, normal skin requires less care. However, less does not mean that you do not need care.

If your skin is of the normal type, there are two activities that you need to incorporate into your routine: cleansing and moisturizing .

This way you will be able to maintain your balance, as cleansing will be responsible for removing oil and in return, hydration will keep your skin with the necessary amount of water.

However, when choosing products, always choose those that have a smoother action, otherwise your skin may be either too oily or dry.

Among cleaning and exfoliation products, it is recommended to use:

  • Nivea Facial Cleansing Mousse;
  • Nivea Refreshing Exfoliating Gel .

Toners and moisturizers are also needed:

  • Nivea Facial Tonic Protective Balance;
  • Galetem Daily Facial Moisturizer Cetaphil.

Although many people think that the only necessary care for oily skin is the use of products that promote a deep cleansing, this type of skin also needs hydration .

Did you not understand? Calm down, the logic is simple: over-cleaning will result in oil-free skin.

The body will then try to replenish oil and hydration, releasing the sebum that is already accumulated in the pores.

The result? The skin becomes even more oily.

That is why people who have oily skin often complain that their skin has not improved with a certain product.

However, in reality, what happens is not the inefficiency of the product, but this “rebound” effect.

This is where the importance of moisturizer comes in.

Cleaning, followed by hydration, leaves the skin balanced, so the production of sebum remains normal, since the body understands that it does not need to compensate for anything.

However, it is clear that, when choosing a moisturizer, it is important to choose one that has a smoother action.

Products with a mattifying effect to reduce glare are also great options.

It is important to avoid creams that are too nutritious or too oily, with elements such as honey, grape seed and propolis.

The ideal is to invest in cleaning and exfoliating products:

  • Effaclar La Roche-Posay Facial Cleansing Gel;
  • Facial Cleansing Gel RoC Purif-Ac.

Suggestions for tonics and moisturizers are:

  • Clean & Clear Anti-Blackhead Astringent Lotion;
  • Normaderm Vichy Astringent Tonic.
  • Effaclar Anti-Oil Moisturizing Mat La Roche-Posay;
  • Nivea Facial Moisturizing Protective Glow Control.

Dry skin care

Dry skin, like other skin, also needs cleansing. However, while normal, oily and mixed skin use cleaning products mainly to remove oil, dry skin requires the use of products to remove impurities accumulated by pollution and other daily agents, but which do not harm the skin. skin.

Especially because, as dry skin can be associated with a high sensitivity, pollution or remnants of makeup can further irritate the pores, causing redness and itching.

Hydration is essential for this type of skin so that water, not retained by the body, is always rewarded through other products.

Normally, dry skin is not restricted to the skin of the face, but affects the rest of the body. Therefore, care must also be extended.

It is good to avoid using products that contain salicylic acid can help to dry out your skin even more, as well as moisturizers with alcohol.

Therefore, the ideal is to invest in cleaning and hydration with items such as:

  • Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Gel de Limpeza Facial;
  • Nutrel Profuse Facial Cleansing Gel.

The tonics and moisturizing products can be:

  • Clean & Clear Sensitive Skin Astringent Lotion ;
  • Epidrat Calm;
  • Epidrat Ultra Moisturizing Lotion (for the body).

At bath time

The soap has the function of removing oil from the skin, so for people who have dry skin, the ideal is always to choose moisturizing soaps, instead of the common ones.

In addition, depending on the level of dryness of your skin, soaps with a lot of dye or very strong fragrances can irritate your skin, or even cause allergies.

Another villain at bath time is the water temperature. No hot bath for people with this type of skin.

This is because the high temperature of the water intensifies the removal of fat from the skin. So, always opt for warm or cold baths, the ideal temperature being 35 ºC.


The ideal time for hydration to come into play is right after the shower. This is because, after bathing, the transepidermal layer, existing on the skin, becomes more malleable, absorbing hydration better.

Mixed skin care

Mixed skin care resembles that of normal skin, always seeking a balance.

However, as mixed skin has certain regions that behave more like oily skin and others that are closer to dry skin, care needs to take these two characteristics into account.

Cleaning and hydration must occur in a balanced way for this type of skin. In addition, the search for products that do not contain much oil is important not to highlight the oiliness of the T zone.

A good option to have this effect is the use of the astringent, which removes oil without leaving that aspect of dry skin.

But even so, the use of moisturizer is essential, even if it is applied only in the most dry areas, such as cheeks and in the eye area.

Avoid products that have very extreme actions, that is, very moisturizing creams must be eliminated, as well as components that take away too much oil.

Invest in exfoliants and moisturizers, such as:

  • Nivea Refreshing Exfoliating Gel;
  • Nivea Facial Cleansing Mousse .;
  • Nivea Facial Tonic Protective Balance;
  • Hidratante Facial Neutrogena Oil-Free FPS 15.

The skin and the protective factor: tips and how to care

Each skin requires different care in the routine, but there is a common practice to all: the use of sunscreen. Everyone needs to be protected from the damage caused by UVA / UVB rays to prevent problems for our skin, from premature aging to, in more severe cases, skin cancer .

Oily and combination skin

Of course, the same protector cannot be used for all types. For oily and combination skin, it is important to choose a protector that is oil free and non-comedogenic , so your skin will be triple protected: against the sun’s rays, excess oil and the appearance of pimples.

Dry skin

In the case of dry skin, choosing protectors in the cream version, which have oil in their composition or simply mention the existence of a moisturizing action, is essential. In addition, the ideal is to choose protectors that do not have very strong fragrances so as not to irritate sensitive skin.

Normal skin

As always, normal skin is the one that has the least restrictions when choosing the product, and you can use whatever criteria you want.

What makeup for different skin types?

Are you upset that a certain beauty product does not work for you, but have you ever wondered what the reason would be?

Most makeups have several versions of presentation: liquid, powder, stick, matte, creamy and so on.

So if that product didn’t work, maybe you just got it wrong with the version type, which was not compatible with your skin type.

For oily and combination skin

In skins that produce a greater amount of sebum and, therefore, have a brighter appearance, products with a matte finish are the most suitable.

Another option is to choose makeup with powder versions and, if there is only the liquid version, check if the product is oil free , so you will not suffer from more oiliness.

Read more: What is the best foundation for oily skin?

In addition, the use of translucent powder is a great solution to remove any excess shine or signs of oil that remain on your skin after makeup.

Read more: Ruby Rose Studio Perfect Primer Review: is it good for oily skin?

For dry skin

If you have dry skin, you can use and abuse products with a creamy texture, which will help to give a glow and a healthier appearance to the face, whether they are liquid or stick.

If you want to use matte products, for those days when makeup needs to last for many hours, always use a good moisturizer before starting makeup.

The rule is the same when using matte lipstick: always use a lip balm before, because those who have dry skin also tend to have dry lips.

For normal skin

Once again, the lucky ones with normal skin can feel free to choose which products to buy.

What matters most in this case, is to test what works best on your skin, alternating between creamy textures and matte finishes.

Other classifications for skin types

There are some more detailed classifications when it comes to differentiating skin types, arriving in 16 different types. That’s right, 16! This is because there are mixtures and characteristics, resulting in several other types.

The system, created by dermatologist Leslie Baumann, stipulates 4 factors that must be taken into account when classifying skin types:

  • Skin hydration: oiliness X dryness;
  • Skin sensitivity: resistance vs. sensitivity;
  • Skin pigmentation : pigmentation X non-pigmentation;
  • Tendency to wrinkles: firmness X wrinkle.

Thus, these 4 aspects can be combined with the other characteristics (oily, mixed, dry and normal skin) already foreseen by Helena Rubinstein.

Shall we try to understand this classification?

  • OSPW – Oily, sensitive, pigmented and with a tendency to wrinkle: people who have this type of skin should use and abuse the sunscreen, as they have a tendency to tan easily and, therefore, they can also have blemished skin;
  • OSPT – Oily, sensitive, pigmented and firm with good tension: more prone to the appearance of blackheads and pimples, in addition to the blood vessels being more visible;
  • OSNW – Oily, sensitive, non-pigmented and with a tendency to wrinkle: rosettes are the main characteristic of this type of skin, which turns red with a few minutes of sun exposure;
  • OSNT – Oily, sensitive, non-pigmented and firm with good tension: this type of skin is a mixture of OSPT and OSNW, that is, it is marked by the presence of pimples, blackheads, rosacea, in addition to redness;
  • ORPW – Oily, resistant, pigmented and with a tendency to wrinkle: characterized by the presence of brown spots, pimples and very open pores;
  • ORPT – Oily, resistant, pigmented and firm with good tension: considered one of the types of skin with less “imperfections”, it is more recurrent in brown and black skins, with some showing only a few soft spots;
  • ORNW – Oily, resistant, non-pigmented and with a tendency to wrinkle: most people have this type of skin, which is characterized by the presence of a slight shine along with discreet acne;
  • ORNT – Oily, resistant, non-pigmented and firm with good tension: with few or no expression lines, it is known as the goddess skin, needing to be careful only with any oiliness;
  • DSPW – Dehydrated, sensitive, pigmented and with a tendency to wrinkle: prone to flaking, this type of skin also usually has some spots and wrinkles;
  • DSPT – Dehydrated, sensitive, pigmented and firm with good tension: like DSPW, this type of skin peels off easily, with the difference of being very sensitive to sun exposure. It also requires special attention when choosing products, as it can easily get irritated;
  • DSNW – Dehydrated, sensitive, non-pigmented and tendency to wrinkle: peeling is always present on this type of skin, along with lack of shine. In addition, it has a character of unpredictability, one day it is fine and the next day it may be terrible;
  • DSNT – Dehydrated, sensitive, non-pigmented, firm and good tension: dryness is part of the life of people who have this type of skin. Thus, desquamation always appears, in addition to the appearance of allergies, due to weak skin barrier;
  • DRPW – Dehydrated, resistant, pigmented and with a tendency to wrinkle: the main problem of this skin is the early appearance of wrinkles, however itching, peeling and irritability may also be present;
  • DRPT – Dehydrated, resistant, pigmented, firm and with good tension: as it does not present excess oil, this skin does not have problems with pimples or blackheads. Over the years, there is a tendency to get darker;
  • DRNW – Dehydrated, resistant, non-pigmented and with a tendency to wrinkle: with the aging of the skin, the appearance of freckles is common, in addition to greater fragility and some discolorations;
  • DRNT – Dehydrated, resistant, non-pigmented, firm and with good tension: considered the skin of dreams, this type has no problems with acne or freckles, especially in youth. Over the years, it becomes slightly dry.

So, can you identify your skin type?

Even with all this information, the exact classification of your own skin type can often be complicated, as well as the search for the most suitable skin care products.

Therefore, a visit to a dermatologist is essential. That way you will know what is the best way to deal with your skin type.