What Is My Skin Type and How to Care for It

a woman holding a towel wondering what her skin type is.

Have you ever asked yourself: What is my skin type? This information is important to know so you can take care of your skin in the best way possible. Each skin type requires different kinds of skincare products to keep you with a healthy glow and prevent troubling skin conditions. While we don’t advise you to guess your skin type, we understand that not everyone can go to a dermatologist for help. We’ll share what we know about the different kinds of skin and the typical problems associated with each to help you narrow down your skin type. We also offer some skincare tips to help you on your journey.

What Are the Different Skin Types?

We categorise skin type into five different categories, which we will discuss briefly along with common conditions you may experience. This will give you a clue and a better understanding of what skin type you have so you can determine which products are best or how to keep your skin happy. 

Oily / Acne-prone

Oily skin is the most apparent because of the skin’s surface condition and large pores. If you have oily skin, you might be prone to acne, breakouts and bumps on the skin and you can tell if the skin is creating excess oil by touch (or a blot test) and appearance. Your skin could be naturally oily because of genetics, possibly reacting to a skincare/makeup product, you could be allergic to something, hormones could be contributing, or it could simply be poor diet and lifestyle. 

Skin Care Tips: You don’t want to use thick creams or over-moisturise. If you are having any skin conditions like acne and excess oil, we highly recommend seeing a dermatologist as this is one skin type that could use the help of a professional for a treatment plan that works. 

Dry / Dehydrated

Dry skin can be obvious if it’s dehydrated, scaly, flakey or cracking. Your skin may look dull and missing a healthy glow. Often dry skin is a reaction to a poor diet and lack of hydration or you may be reacting to environmental factors. Rather than trying to pile on more moisturiser, try to determine the underlying cause of the dry skin. Eating more hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables and removing some junk food from your diet may be just the trick you need to help your skin get back to its healthy glow.

Skin Care Tips: A gentle daily exfoliator can do wonders for dry skin, followed by moisturising multiple times a day. Also, be sure you aren’t using really hot water on your face. Try using products that contain hyaluronic acid or consider coming into our clinic for skin hydration therapy.

Normal / Combination

If you have a “normal” skin type this means that you don’t experience oiliness or breakouts, have small pores and don’t have to moisturise excessively. Your skin is happy and doesn’t react negatively to most skincare products. Congrats! 

In reality, few people have perfectly normal skin all the time, so many people will fall into the combination skin category. You may have areas of your face that are drier or oiler (often in the T-zone across your forehead, nose and chin). You may experience hormonal breakouts, your skin may be irritated when you change your lifestyle or skincare routine, but in general, your skin is non-reactive and healthy. 

Skin Care Tips: When you have normal or combination skin, you want to do whatever you can to maintain your healthy skin with a balanced approach. A healthy diet, plenty of water or non-reactive skincare products will go a long way. Less is more for normal/combo skin, so keep your routine simple.


To have sensitive skin means that your skin reacts easily to diet and lifestyle changes, skincare products and makeup and lotions and soaps. Skin can be easily inflamed, show redness or bumps, or have skin conditions like rosacea or acne. This could be caused by several factors like genetics, diet or the environment, or maybe it’s the beauty products and soap you are using. Go for more natural, fragrance-free and chemical-free products for sensitive skin. Nothing with parabens or phthalates, and look for products with fewer additives.

Skin Care Tips: Avoid overly harsh skin care products and trying a lot of products at one time. Then it’s hard to determine if any are causing your problems.


We added a category for mature skin since it needs special care and consideration. As we age, our skin changes. It loses collagen and elasticity, more wrinkles form and gravity takes a toll causing the face to fall and sag. Your skin type may also change due to hormonal changes, so you have to keep a watchful eye over your skin. 

Skin Care Tips: Certain ingredients can be helpful for ageing skin like hyaluronic acid, collagen, peptides, antioxidants, retinoids and always wear sunscreen. 

Are you thinking you need to up your skincare regime to improve your skin? Book a FREE no-obligation consultation with our aesthetic treatment experts. We offer the best facial treatments in London to meet all your needs. 

Founder at Harley St M.D.
Dr. Chia Tan is a UK trained medical doctor that specialises in cosmetic and aesthetic medicine and testosterone replacement therapy. He is qualified as a medical doctor since 2003 and has since trained extensively. He has been featured in several leading magazines as well as invited to appear on TV to discuss aesthetic medicine and the latest cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Chia Tan
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