Get to know Skin Types (and how to identify them)


In this day and age, with the arrival of numerous skincare products, remedies, and treatments, it’s essential for one to identify and understand their Skin type.

In general, there are 4 different skin types

  • Normal: This type of skin is what most people desire. “Well-balanced” is a term used to describe normal skin and it is scientifically referred to as Eudermic skin. This is because it is neither too oily nor dry, but has a healthy balance that leaves the skin with closed pores and a smooth feel. It is also not prone to sensitivity related issues.
  • Oily: This type of skin, as the name denotes, has a more oily disposition. The oiliness is a result of the secretion of a substance known as sebum, produced by sebaceous glands in the skin.Oily skin type tends to have larger and more open pores. They have distinct complexion, which depends on the secretion of sebum. A significant drawback of oily skin type is its susceptibility to pimples and blackheads.
  • Dry: This type of skin is the result of insufficient sebum secretion, causing a lack of natural oils on your skin. This leads to skin flaking and feeling tight. Inadequate water intake and genetic predispositions are the main reasons for dry skin. Dry skin lacks necessary components known as lipids, which generally hold moisture, thus leaving the skin defenseless against many of the external effects.
  • Combination: This type of skin is most common among people since it sees a mix of both dry and oily skin. This skin type is considered healthy enough despite the occasional inconsistencies it may face when either of the two extremes acts up, causing either pimples, acne, flaking or reddening.

Also read: Skin Conditions by Skin Type: A guide

How to identify skin types?

Once you know different types of skin, it becomes a matter of connecting the dots to figure out what skin type you have. Prior to trying to identify skin types, we need to be aware of skin zones. There are two main zones on the face:

T-zone: this area includes the forehead and the nose, coming all the way down to the chin. Oiliness in this zone often indicates that the skin is of the oily type. When combined with Dry Skin in other zones it indicates a normal/combination skin type.

C-zone: this area is the C-shaped region starting from your ears, including the cheeks, and extending till the chin. Oiliness here combined with an oily T-zone indicates that the skin is an oily type.

A method to identify your skin type at home, which has often been recommended by skin care specialists and beauty experts, is the early morning check. This involves the person going to sleep without applying any external night creams or moisturizers on the face.

It is advisable to sleep in a room that isn’t air conditioned or influenced by any external factors to ensure that the skin is allowed to act as naturally as it possibly can. The next morning, a simple study of the skin and the different zones previously discussed will give a clear indication as to what type it is.

Combination/normal: has an oily T-zone and a dry C-zone.

Oily: has both an oily T-zone as well as an oily C-zone.

Dry: has an overall dryness across all zones in general

One of the frequently asked questions is the way to differentiate between normal and combination skin type since many of their indications are similar.

The differentiating factor is that while normal skin tone just happens to have the “right” mix of the two types showing up mildly, the combination skin often has both types acting in extremes.

The other common method to identify your skin type is by using blotting paper. The paper is dabbed on the face in different zones, allowing it to absorb the oils and secretions that may be on the skin. A cursory study of these blotting sheets will show the difference in the oiliness of the skin and the conclusions can be drawn to identify the skin type as discussed previously.

Neither of these methods is difficult or time-consuming, so be sure to give them a go and know your skin type.

Getting to know your skin type is just the first step towards attaining a healthy skin and starting a better skin care regimen. Being a better-informed patient when further consulting a dermatologist will always leave you with better chances of fully comprehending the information provided to you.

Little knowledge has never hurt anybody, so the next time someone discusses the latest skin care routine or regimen, be sure to use this information to your benefit!

Get Customised Skin Care Regimen for your Skin Type given by Dermatologist!



Picture of Dr Jisha Gomez

Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.