What determines my skin type?

The term skin type describes the condition of the skin and is also referred to as skin condition in dermacomsmetics. The skin condition can change over time and depends on many internal and external factors. Everyone inherits a basic skin condition through their genes, but this condition can develop differently from that of their parents due to various factors.

With age, the skin usually becomes drier, impurities subside and pigmentation spots form. Exposure to sunlight, extreme climatic conditions, dry air, hormonal influences, diseases, medication and many other factors affect the skin and its behavior. Therefore, cosmetic skin care must always be adapted to the current skin needs.

List of skin types: normal skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, combination skin, oily skin, impure skin, aging skin

Internal Factors


  • Inheritance
  • Age
  • Hormones (e.g. puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy)
  • Illnesses (allergies, diabetes, mental health)
  • Stress

External Factors


  • Climate (UV-rays, cold, wind)
  • Humidity
  • Season
  • Room air
  • Skin care
  • Lifestyle
  • Nutrition
  • Medications

Picture with the word: Impure skin

What determines aging skin?

Most skin aging processes begin in the 3rd and 4th decade of life and develop very slowly. The speed is determined by internal and external factors. The internal causes are genetically determined:


  • slowed cell growth
  • false genetic codes are passed on
  • reduced quality of the cell material
  • slower metabolism and synthesis
  • slower growth of the epidermis
  • lower elasticity of the elastic collagen fibres
  • flat interlocking and smaller contact surface of epidermis and corium
  • poorer circulation
  • lower synthesis of hyaluronic acid, which reduces the water-binding capacity of the connective tissue


As a result of these processes, the elasticity of the skin decreases, it becomes thinner and wrinkles appear. This aging process is accelerated by external factors. The main factor is UV light. However, frequent contact with detergents or water, smoking, alcohol, a stressful lifestyle, a diet low in vitamins and incorrect/inadequate skin care also accelerate the process. In order to maintain a well-cared for skin in old age, adequate skin care should be started at a young age. Cosmetic products can protect the skin from light and from physical-chemical substances and supply a small amount of missing substances. Beyond that, however, a healthy diet and the renunciation of nicotine and alcohol is also recommended.

How to care for aging skin?


Aim: It is important to incorporate the care of the dry skin condition with certain supplements and to avoid irritating influences.

Cleansing: Due to habits and traditions, many elderly people use wrong cleansing products. Soaps (in the worst case curd soap) are used, although gentle cleaning lotions should be used. Hard brushes to stimulate blood circulation should also be avoided, as they strain the cornea and damage the skin. Much more suitable are gentle peelings and creams to stimulate blood circulation.

Care: Skincare should be carried out in the morning and evening, but also after each contact with water. W/O creams and water-free preparations should be used more frequently as their occlusive effect reduces the leakage of fluid from the skin. As active agents, glycerin, urea, panthenol and vitamin A are very suitable. Moisturizing masks or special concentrates should be used as frequently as possible. The common practice among elderly people of rubbing alcoholic products such as ‘rubbing alcohol’ and arnica tinctures should be avoided at all costs in order not to dry out and irritate the skin. An ointment or cream should be used for the superficial treatment of muscle pain or poor circulation.

Sources: Elsässer, S. (2008). Körperpflegekunde und Kosmetik: Ein Lehrbuch für die PTA-Ausbildung und die Beratung in der Apothekenpraxis (1. Aufl.). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. | Herrmann, K. & Trinkkeller, U. (2006). Dermatologie und medizinische Kosmetik: Leitfaden für die kosmetische. Würzburg, Heidelberg:Springer Medizin Verlag Heidelberg.