Several criteria are used to classify the different types of skin. From a cosmetic point of view, skin is classified according to several factors related to its balance: sebaceous secretion, hydration and sensitivity level. Thus, each type of skin will have its own characteristics and require different cares. The type of skin is determined by genetics, although it will also be affected by other factors and can change with time.

Based on these characteristics, there are five types of healthy skin: normal, dry, oily, combination (both oily and dry skin) and sensitive. Below, we describe the main characteristics of each type of skin.


This skin is neither too dry nor too oily. It has regular texture, no imperfections and a clean, soft appearance, and does not need special care.


Sensitive skin is more prone to react to stimuli to which normal skin has no reaction. It is a fragile skin, usually accompanied by feelings of discomfort, such as heat, tightness, redness or itching. This type of skin loses its barrier (or protective) function, making it easy for microorganisms and irritant substances to enter it, and increasing the possibility of having an infection and allergic reactions. It is a delicate skin that needs more care to fight dryness, roughness and its usual appearance.


In many cases, dry skin is caused by external factors such as the weather, low air humidity and immersion in hot water, and it is usually temporary. However, for some people it may occur more often and even be a lifelong condition. Since dry skin can crack leaving it more exposed to bacteria, although in general this is not serious, it may cause other skin disorders, such as eczema if not properly managed.

Dry skin signs and symptoms may vary depending on different factors such as age, health status or their cause. It is generally characterized by a feeling of tightness and roughness. It may also acquire an ashy gray color, with occurrence of desquamation, itching, redness and small cracks. Cracked skin is usually observed in very dry skin and presents small cracks, which, in more serious cases, may be deeper and even bleed.


Oily skin has a porous, humid and bright appearance. It is caused by excessive fat production by sebaceous glands, and usually determined by genetic and/or hormonal causes. It is frequent in adolescents and young people under 30 years old, and usually related with the occurrence of acne.


Based on its location, it presents characteristics of both dry and oily skin since the distribution of sebaceous and sweat glands is not homogeneous. The area with more oil is usually the T- zone (forehead, nose, and chin), while the skin on the cheeks is normal or dry.


Repeated skin irritation due to environmental factors, such as the sun, the wind, dryness or excessive humidity, may cause skin desquamation, that is the detachment of big scales from the epidermis, which sometimes look like fine dust.

However, desquamation may also be the result of some condition, such as an allergic reaction, a fungal or staphylococcus infection, an immune system disorder or cancer, and of oncological treatments. In these cases, desquamation is usually accompanied by itching.


There is a large number of dermatological causes and diseases for the appearance of red spots or rash, including infections, heat, allergens, immune system disorders and medications.


Moles are dark dots or spots on the skin that usually appear during childhood and adolescence. They are caused by groups of pigmented cells. In general they are harmless, but it is best to check them with a dermatologist if they change size, shape or color, or if itching or bleeding occurs, since some may become cancerous.