Different skin types

There are three major skin types: normal, oily and dry skin. During our lives, each of us moves between these different categories under the influence of various factors such as age, climate, hormones, diet, lifestyle, etc.

Submitted on 20/07/2012

 

Normal skin


Soft and silky to the touch, normal skin is neither too oily, nor too dry. Its pores are small and tight. Naturally well-hydrated, it does not secrete too much sebum or too much sweat and does not shine. Normal skin reflects a good hormone balance and optimum functioning of the different layers of the skin.


Oily or combination skin


Dull-looking, liverish and shiny, oily skin is uneven and its pores are dilated. It often has comedones and pimples. Thick and protected by an abundant hydrolipidic film, it is not particularly sensitive to external stress and is more resistant to the signs of ageing.

Oily skin is associated with a deregulation of the sebaceous glands that secrete excess sebum under the influence of testosterone (male hormone). It is thus seen more frequently in adolescents: at this time of life, the production of sex hormones - including testosterone - increase significantly in both boys and girls alike. In addition, growth hormones also stimulate the secretion of sebum and contribute to the thickening of the skin. Generally, the signs of oily skin decrease with age.

We speak of combination skin when these characteristics are found only on the T-zone of the face: the chin, side of the nose and forehead. In this case, the cheeks may be normal or dry.


Dry skin


Dull and rough to the touch, dry skin has very tight pores, almost invisible to the naked eye. It lacks elasticity and suppleness which can make wrinkles more noticeable, and it is often very uncomfortable: it feels tight, itchy and sometimes has red patches, scurf patches or squama (scaly patches). It is fragile and it reacts in a significant way to harsh eternal stresses (cold, heat, wind, scratches, etc.).

Dry skin can have three causes:
 
  • an impairment of the hydrolipidic film through a lack of lipids;
  • lack of water in the epidermis;
  • a desquamation disturbance: when dead cells of the stratum corneum are poorly eliminated, the skin takes on a dry and rough appearance.
     
Some skin types are predisposed to it: for example, fine and pale skin or mature skin because sebaceous gland activity slows down over time and the dermis retains water less effectively. However, all skin types may experience temporary dryness under the influence of external factors: cold, wind, dry air of indoor heating, hot baths or cosmetic products that are too harsh can cause skin dryness.

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