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The Different Skin Types

The Different Skin Types

Skin is generally classified into one of 5 different skin types - normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination.

These categories help you understand why your skin looks, feels and behaves as it does and most importantly, choose the right skincare routine for your skin type. If you’re wondering ‘What's my skin type?’ read on to find out.

Dry skin

Dry skin types produce less of the skin’s natural oil - sebum - than normal skin types.

Sebum contains important lipids that help the skin retain moisture and protect itself against outside influences. Because dry skin has less sebum, it also has less lipids so struggles to keep moisture locked into the cells.

If you have a dry skin type, you’ll likely find your face feeling tight and uncomfortable. Dry, flaky patches will also be noticeable - particularly around the nose and mouth area.

Itchy skin and dullness can be another sign of dry skin types and fine lines are usually more pronounced.


How to care for dry skin

Caring for dry skin is all about helping it retain natural oils and moisture.

Use a gentle cleanser that lifts away debris from the skin without compromising the natural oils it needs to stay moisturised. Always use lukewarm water (not hot) to wash your face.

You don’t want to feel the ‘tight’ feeling after you cleanse - this is a sign your cleanser is too harsh.

Apply a moisturiser or facial oil in the morning and evening - the best time to apply is straight after cleansing when your skin is still damp.

Exfoliate 2-3 times per week with a gentle exfoliator to keep skin fresh and boost hydration with a regular masking session.

esmi skincare routine for dry skin

Oily skin

People with oily skin have overactive sebaceous glands that produce too much oil.

If you have an oily skin type, you’re likely to experience a perpetually shiny appearance and are prone to acne, blackheads, and pimples. Makeup tends to ‘slide’ off your skin easily.

Other characteristics of an oily skin type are large pores, especially around your nose, chin, and forehead. Pores become clogged with dead skin and excess sebum which triggers pimples.

Oily skin is also prone to redness and irritation due to frequent breakouts.

How to care for oily skin

While you can’t change the size of your pores, you can focus on keeping them clean.

Gentle cleansers that contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients will keep skin clear, help regulate oil production and calm redness.

Don’t shy away from using facial oils if you have an oily skin type. The right facial oil can actually help balance sebum production - not make it worse.

Regular exfoliation will prevent dead cells and excess sebum building up in the pore keeping skin fresh and clear.

Oily skin types will also benefit from serums and mask treatments with ingredients to cool inflamed skin and add hydration - yes, even oily skin types become dehydrated!

esmi skincare routine for oily skin

Combination skin

Is your skin dry in some areas and oily in others? You have a combination skin type.

You’ll find your t-zone is shiny due to an overproduction of oil while your cheeks and outer areas of your face can be dry. It’s common for combination skin to have a mix of dry, flaky patches and breakouts at the same time.

Pores are enlarged in the t-zone but are smaller in the dry areas where less oil is found.

How to care for combination skin

It can be more of a challenge to create the right kind of skincare routine to treat both the oily and dry areas - it’s literally a balancing act.

Use a face wash for combination skin types, morning and night. Choose a gentle cleanser that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils but contains natural antibacterial and astringent properties to target breakouts and balance oil production.

Combination skin isn’t a reason to skip using a moisturiser or facial oil in your routine. All skin types need hydration to support a healthy functioning skin barrier.

Multi-masking is a great way to give your skin a deep treatment for both oily and dry areas at the same time.

Choose a face mask which targets oily skin to apply to your t-zone and a deeply hydrating face mask for the drier areas.

esmi skincare routine for combination skin

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is prone to redness, dry patches, flakiness, burns quickly in the sun and is easily irritated by fragrances and beauty products. Conditions like rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema are also common.

Sensitive skin has a thin epidermis which means the skin’s protective barrier isn’t as strong as it could be and irritants and bacteria can penetrate it more easily.

Thinner skin also means blood vessels are more visible which explains the appearance of redness in many sensitive skin types.

How to care for sensitive skin

Be gentle - in the products you use and the way to touch and handle your skin.

Avoiding synthetic fragrance is important to minimise the chance of irritation and don’t go overboard on skin treatments, like exfoliation and masking.

Once you find a product that works - stick with it. Sensitive skin loves routine as frequently changing products can cause more irritation.

esmi skincare routine for sensitive skin

Normal skin

Normal skin has a good balance of moisture, small pores and an even, blemish-free skin tone.

If you have a normal skin type - lucky you! However, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever experience a little dryness, oilliness or the occasional pimple.

Plus, normal skin types still experience sun damage and other skin concerns due to environmental aggressors or lifestyle choice.

esmi skincare routine for normal skin

If you have questions about the right skincare products for
skin types, our team of esmi skin specialists are here to help!