Skin Types and Conditions


The Skin is classified in to four groups based on their characteristics:
1 balanced (normal)
2 oily
3 dry
4 combination (a mixture of oily and dry).

Skin can also be described by its condition which might be:
■ mature
■ dehydrated
■ sensitive.
Any skin type can have one or more of these conditions.

The skin types are detailed further in the table below. As a skin specialist it is so important that you know your skin types. This is because you need to plan the correct treatment to meet the client’s needs and encourage an improvement in their skin, based upon their reason for seeking treatment from you.

Skin type Characteristics


  • Lacking in either moisture or sebum.
  • Pores are small and tight, texture fine and thin with flaky patches.
  • Wrinkles present around eyes, mouth, and neck.
  • Broken capillaries, pigmentation may be uneven. Milia around the eyes and cheek area.
  • Fine capillaries on cheek area.




There is an oily T panel across forehead and down nose and chin areas.

Shiny on T panel with open pores.

Blackheads, pustules and papules.

Cheek area dry and finer in texture.





  • Has an oily film, is moist to the touch, shiny in appearance, large open pores. Blackheads/comedones, pustules and milia present. Boils may also be present.
  • Tissues thickened, colour tone sallow, yellow.
Normal balanced


Healthy normal skin, creamy pinkish colour. Even thicknesses, soft, supple with fine-grained pores. Good elasticity.

Rarely develops spots, is not dry, moist, dull or shiny.


  • A high colour, usually with broken capillaries on the cheek area, superficial flaking, can be warm to the touch.
  • A person with sensitive skin has a lot more trouble with environmental factors than the average person. Their skin burns more easily in the sun; they have more sensitivity to cosmetics (particularly if perfumed) and may experience rashes or a burning sensation due to overexposure to wind, sun, and extreme shifts in temperature. The epidermis is normally thinner and the blood capillaries are very close to the skin’s surface.


Dehydrated This type of skin is one that has lost water from the skin’s tissues.

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


  • The skin becomes dry as the 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.

It is important to have knowledge of the following characteristics and what they mean in relation to skin. It is helpful to know what causes them and how treatment should be adapted to meet these needs.

Research the following terms to identify what they are, what they look like and how they are caused. 

Broken capillaries, pustules, papules, milia, comedones, open pores, fine lines and wrinkles.