Know Your Skin Type

Your skin type is determined by genetics, hormones and your age. The weather and products you have used impact on your skin greatly. Therefore the needs for your skin are different at different times. Your skin requirements as a teenager may be different than now that you are in your 30s. Your skin requirements during the dry, windy harmattan season will be different from when the weather is humid and hot. What your skin will need after using a Salicylic acid based cleansing wash that strips it of oil will be different from when you use a creamy rosehip oil based cleansing wash. Figuring out what your skin needs is not difficult. We have further tried to simplify and guide you to knowing what to use for your skin at different times and seasons. We are not only going to talk about skin type, we will also talk about skin conditions. Skin types are genetically programmed- that is what we inherit, while skin conditions can change at any time.

Keep in mind that most times, the requirements for your face are different from the requirements for your body.


Oily Skin:

This is simply skin that gets oily.

  • This is acne prone skin.
  • This type of skin doesn’t get dried out easily from products e.g. foaming cleansers.
  • This skin also gets oily soon after washing, an hour or so after.
  • The skin is typically shiny especially in the middle of the face.
  • These individuals have larger pores.

The good news is, individuals with oilier skins develop wrinkles much more slowly than the other skin types.


Dry Skin:

Dry skin is as a result of low production of oil.

  • Feels tight after washing and even tighter if not moisturized soon after washing.
  • If extremely dry can be very uncomfortable and even itchy.
  • Dry skin types lack oils/lipids within their skin and benefit from ingesting essential fatty acids like omega 3 oils. As we get older, we produce less oil since sebaceous gland activity decreases with age. So some individuals may not have naturally dry skin but will develop drier skin as they age.
  • People with dry skin require richer, intense moisturizers with gentle, non-oil stripping cleansing washes.

Dehydrated Skin:

There are subtle differences between dehydrated skin and dry skin. Dry skin is a result of lack of oil while dehydrated skin is as a result of lack of water. Dehydrated skin is typically considered a skin condition rather than a skin type, but with many people using the wrong products for their skin, we see a lot of this co-existing with other skin types. For this reason, we included it here.

  • Dehydrated skin feels a bit tight with an exaggeration of fine lines.
  • You can have oily, dry, combination, sensitive or normal skin and the skin will still be dehydrated.
  • Most times dehydrated skin is self-inflicted. It is commonly seen when we use products that are too harsh for us, these products will typically dry out oils and water from our skins. Our skin would overcompensate by producing oil which will moisturize, but won’t produce water to hydrate. The situation is normally remedied by stopping the harsh products. Environmental factors like being out in the sun a lot, air conditioning indoors and the dry weather increase the chances of your skin being dehydrated.

Combination skin:

  • Here, parts of the skin are oilier or drier than other parts.
  • Typically the T zone is oily while the cheeks are dry.
  • The ideal way to manage this is to use 2 moisturizers. A lighter one on the T-zone and a richer one on the cheeks.

Sensitive/ Intolerant/ Allergy prone skin:

  • skin1This type of skin doesn’t tolerate just anything, therefore people with type of skin have to be extra careful about things they put on their skin. They easily get irritated by fragrance, dyes, parabens (preservatives) and other skin product additives.
  • Their thin is thinner and easily gets red and sometimes itchy
  • One can have intolerant skin and still have acne prone skin, dry, normal, dehydrated or combination skin.

Normal Skin:

  • This is the most desired skin type.
  • Here the pores are unnoticeable and the overall skin condition is great.
  • Skin is not oily, dry or sensitive.


The skin types highlighted above, along with any specific conditions you may have will determine your choice of skin care product.

The specific skin conditions may be:

  • Acne
  • Features of aging (wrinkling, thinning skin, age spots, dark eye circles)
  • Dehydration
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Rosacea (Uncommon in skin of color)
  • Sensitized skin

Managing these skin conditions properly will require you visit a skin specialist.


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