Skin Types and Conditions

Skin types

There are three basic skin types dry, combination and oily. Each skin type will have characteristics/signs to help diagnose a skin type. Skin types can change so just because a client was once diagnosed as dry that may not always be the case.

Oily skin:

This skin type is most common in teenagers and young adults due to the hormonal changes that take place. Skin can also become oilier during hormonal changes such as pregnancy and menopause but is not limited to this.

Oily skin characteristics:

Oily skin looks shiny and skin tends to be coarse and thick. Pores are larger and more visible. Due to the excess oil, the skin is prone to shininess and there is more of a tendency towards congestion. Skin colour can be sallow/yellow in appearance due to the build-up of oil and dead skin cells that cannot flake off as they become stuck.

Dry skin:

This skin type is lacking in moisture, sebum or both. Often is found in ageing skin but is not exclusive to this age range so don’t get into the mind-set of assigning a skin type to a specific age. Sometimes this dryness can be brought on by not drinking enough water, certain types of heating in winter, and being exposed to certain weather conditions for prolonged periods of time, these environmental factors can therefore cause dehydration of the skin.

Dry skin characteristics:

The skin tends to have flaky skin patches, fine lines around the eyes and mouth. The skin texture tends to be coarse and thin. Appearance of broken capillaries can be seen due to the thin skin and pores will be tight. Milia (little white bumps) are often found around the eye and cheek area. More signs of premature ageing can occur due to the lack of moisture and protection.


Combination skin (the most common skin type):

The term ‘T-zone’ refers to combination skin types where the forehead, nose and chin are oily but the cheeks and the area around the eyes is either normal or dry.

Combination skin characteristics:

The ‘T zone’ is often accompanied with enlarged pores, coarse thick skin with possible sallow colouring, congestion may be seen but may have limited signs of aging.

Dry areas are often accompanied by poor moisture content, small to medium pores, sensitivity and redness, broken capillaries may be visible and visible signs of ageing may be seen.


Skin Analysis: Skin types

Normal skin: The rarest skin type there is.

This skin is generally found prior to puberty and often referred to as balanced, because it is not too dry or too oily. It is soft, plump and with small to medium sized pores. The moisture content is good, with an even texture neither too thin nor too thick.

Normal skin characteristics:

Normal skin has good elasticity, healthy colour, is usually free from blemishes and is smooth and firm to the touch.

Skin Analysis: Skin conditions

In addition to everyone having a skin type clients may also have a skin condition too. For example you can be a dry + sensitive skin.


This appears on dry skin types and is characterised by being thin, delicate with fine pores and having broken capillaries. Tendency to flush easily and may be prone to irritation.

Moist skin

This type of skin feels damp and appears moist due to the over secretion of sweat. This can be caused by a hormonal or metabolic imbalance in the body.

The client should:

  • Use a lightweight cleansing preparation
  • Avoid high alcohol skin toning products
  • Avoid spicy foods, alcohol or hot drinks as these will cause the skin capillaries to dilate and therefore increase the skin’s temperature.


Dehydrated skin

This type of skin is one that has lost water from the skin’s tissues. The condition can affect any skin type and can be caused by client’s general health: illness, fever (due to fluid loss caused by sweating), medication, drastic dieting, Environment: low humidity or air conditioning

The skin has the following characteristics:

  • The skin has a fine orange peel effect due to the lack of moisture, superficial flaking, fine, superficial lines and broken capillaries.

Skin Analysis: Skin conditions


The change in appearance of a woman’s skin during ageing is closely related to the slowing down of the production of hormones oestrogen, progesterone and androgen during menopause.

The skin has the following characteristics:

  • The skin becomes dry, as the sebaceous and sudoriferous glands become less active
  • Loss of elasticity due to the hardening of the elastin fibres, wrinkles appear due to the cross linking and hardening of collagen fibres
  • Epidermis grows more slowly and the skin appears thinner
  • Small veins and capillaries show through the skin
  • Broken capillaries around the nose and cheek area
  • Facial contours become slack as the muscle tone becomes reduced
  • Patches of irregular pigmentation appear on the skin’s surface
  • Waste products are not removed quickly resulting in puffiness of the skin
  • Blood circulation becomes poor which affects the skin nutrition giving it a sallow appearance
  • In some instances dermal naevi may enlarge
  • Verruca filiforms may increase
  • Hair growth on the chin and upper lip may become darker and coarser due the hormonal imbalance of the body
  • Dark circles and puffiness may also occur under the eyes


Oedematous skin

This type of skin appears puffy and swollen because of the excess water being retained in the tissues.


  • Medical condition
  • Side effect of medication
  • Hot weather
  • Local injury
  • Poor lymphatic and blood circulation
  • Incorrect diet
  • Too much salt
  • Drinking too much coffee, tea or alcohol

The client should seek permission from the doctor before treatment is carried out.

Skin Analysis: Other factors

The sex of the client

Males tend to have a more acidic skin surface and their stratum corneum/horny layer is thicker than that of females. Males also have coarse facial hair and shaving regularly removes the stratum corneum cells before they are ready to desquamate naturally. This can cause skin dryness and sensitivity, especially with males using after shave lotions which are very high in alcohol and are applied directly to the skin. It is important that moisturiser is applied to protect the skin

Also the male collagen structure is different from that of females. Sebum and collagen production slows down in menopausal females causing the skin to age. Skin in the male does not seem to age as quickly because their sebum and collagen production remains constant.

Males tend to have a facial to induce relaxation as well as improving their skin condition.