June 30, 2022

skin type

Do You Know Your Skin Type?

Knowing your skin type is the first step in learning how to care for your skin and finding which products or treatments work best for you. It may seem obvious to the blind eye which skin type you are, but there could be some defining factors underneath the surface. There are four main skin types: normal, dry, oily, and combination. At Blue Ridge Dermatology, we want to help you achieve the healthiest skin possible. Keep reading to learn which skin type you are. 

Normal Skin

Having normal skin is simply as it sounds for the most part – just normal. It’s not too dry nor too oily. Normal skin is commonly referred to as “well-balanced skin.” This skin type lacks many issues. Normal skin rarely has blemishes; they have small pores, a smooth texture, and are not sensitive prone. You likely have beautiful, radiant skin if you fall under this category. 

Dry Skin

In medical terms, dry skin is defined as skin lacking sebum production. Sebum is “an oily substance produced by your sebaceous glands to coat, moisturize and protect your skin.” People can experience dry skin from time to time due to weather, bathing habits, or other similar factors without having naturally dry skin. However, if this is naturally your skin type, your skin will frequently feel uncomfortable or itchy and may even flake or crack. There are different levels of dry skin depending on the severity. The medical term for extremely dehydrated skin is dermatitis. A form of dermatitis frequently seen in patients is known as eczema. Eczema occurs when the skin is inflamed and results in red, scaly patches on the skin. 

When it comes to treating dry skin, there are many routes you can take. You’ll want to avoid any skincare products containing ingredients that may strip your skin, like alcohol. Most importantly, you’ll want to be indulgent with your moisturizer. Products like Vaseline, or Aquaphor, with a petrolatum base, are also a great alternative. If your dry skin results from an underlying medical condition, be sure to consult with your doctor or dermatologist. 

Oily Skin

Oily skin is caused by an overproduction of sebum within the skin. Some defining factors of this skin type are a glossy shine, larger pores, and likely to be blemish-prone. Managing oily skin starts with developing a daily skincare routine. You’ll want to start with a cleanser, both morning and night, to wash away any excess oil and dirt in your skin glands. Next, an exfoliating toner can help combat acne while managing your skin’s oil production. Ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid are great for oily skin. There is a common misconception with oily skin that you do not need to moisturize because your skin is over-producing oil. However, this is certainly not the case. Many moisturizers on the market for oily skin are lightweight, formulated free of oils, and usually water-based. 


Many people fall under the category of combination skin because they experience both dry and oily areas on their faces. A strong sign of this skin type is having an oily T-zone and dryer cheeks. Finding your T-zone is simple; it covers your forehead, nose, and chin as if you were to draw a large “T” on your face. When treating combination skin, you’ll want to use certain products only in certain areas. For example, don’t swipe your exfoliating toner over your entire face – only in the areas you are oily. On the contrary, use your thicker oil-based moisturizer only on dry patches and water-based moisturizer everywhere else. It may take some trial and error, but you should approach combination skin just like any other skin type when designing your skincare regimen. 

Curating a skincare routine that’s best for you can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Talk with your dermatologist for product and skincare recommendations. At Blue Ridge Dermatology, we are here to help determine which skin type you are and recommend products that will best treat and manage your skin. Contact us at (919) 781-1050 to discuss your skin regimen further.