Skin Type Guide

Your skin type is typically what you’re born with. While your skin can go through different phases or react based on various circumstances, your skin’s natural tendencies are driven by your skin type. Very broadly speaking, there are Lipid Dry, Oily, Sensitive/Diffuse Redness, and Normal skin types. Having said that, there are many nuances of each skin type.

Lipid Dry

Lipid dry skin occurs when the skin’s sebaceous glands to not produce sufficient oil to properly hydrate and protect the epidermis. This lack of oil can be aggravated by a variety of factors, like harsh soaps, weather, sun exposure, conditions like eczema, or genetics. It’s important to focus on hydration, as allowing dry skin to go untreated can lead to premature aging and even infection.

When skin is dry, the barrier function is compromised. The barrier function of the skin is made up of lipids (fats) that protect the skin from moisture loss, free radical damage, and bacteria. When the skin is dry, this barrier function is weak, leaving the skin more vulnerable to harsh weather conditions, drying products, and other stressors.

Lipid dry skin is usually accompanied by a persistent, uncomfortable itchy, tight feeling that often leads to redness, irritation, and inflammation. Sensitive skin and dry skin are closely linked. Often, if your skin appears rosy and sensitized, this may be an indication that you have dry skin. However, you can have dry skin and not be sensitive as well.

Signs of lipid dry skin:

  • Dull and tired appearing skin that may have a greyish hue
  • Rough texture
  • Lack of elasticity and suppleness
  • Persistent uncomfortable, itchiness
  • Redness, irritation and inflammation
  • Flakes

How to nourish and care for lipid dry skin:


The skin begins producing more oil around puberty, when our hormone levels increase. If shiny skin has stuck around past puberty, then your skin type is oily.

Oily skin can also be caused by using stripping products, genetics, climate, and dehydration. When the skin is oily, the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, which can lead to issues like clogged pores, blackheads, and breakouts.

While oily skin is not always accompanied by blemishes, you may find that you are more breakout prone if you have oily skin. This is the result of excess oil, dead skin, and other debris building up in the pores. When this occurs, bacteria is also more likely to thrive, which worsens acne.

Sometimes oily skin is caused by dehydration. If your skin is oily yet feels rough or dry when you touch it, this is an indication that your skin lacks water. When the skin is dehydrated, the sebaceous glands mistake this deficiency in water for a shortage of oil. Since the sebaceous glands are meant to keep our skin hydrated and protected, they go into overdrive, producing more oil to alleviate the issue. Other indications that this could be the cause of excess oil are flakes, breakouts, and small fine lines on the forehead.

Signs of oily skin:

  • Shiny, slick skin
  • Large, visible pores (especially in the T-zone)
  • Tendency towards clogged, congested pores and acne
  • Makeup may not last long

How to nourish and care for oily skin:

Sensitive/Diffused Redness

If you find that your skin tends to become irritated and red or you experience itching or burning from new products there is a good chance your skin is sensitive. Those with sensitive skin have a thinner epidermal layer and nerve endings closer to the surface. They also tend to have less melanin (skin pigment) so their skin tone tends to be lighter, though people with darker skin tones may also experience sensitive skin.

In those with sensitive skin, the dermal barrier is weaker and has more trouble blocking allergens, irritants and bacteria from penetrating the skin and activating the immune system response. Those with sensitive skin are prone to atopy and may also struggle with asthma and allergies.

Signs of sensitive skin:

  • Itching and burning sensation
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Excessive dryness
  • Visible broken capillaries (telengectasia)
  • Redness and blushing
  • Tendency towards eczema and/or rosacea

How to nourish and care for sensitive/diffused red skin:


People spend a lot of time and money trying to achieve the sought after, elusive normal skin.

Signs of normal, well-balanced skin:

  • Plump and smooth
  • Hydrated
  • Bright and glowing appearance
  • No signs of excess oil, dryness or breakouts (if breakouts occur they are often associated with hormonal changes and heal within a few days)

How to nourish and care for normal skin: