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: Combination skin

What is combination skin?

Combination skin usually has oily areas on the forehead, nose and chin (T-zone), which make the skin shine in these areas. The T-zone tends to an increased sebum production and blackhead formation. In combination skin, however, there are also dry/normal areas on the cheeks, neck and hairline. The older the skin, the drier these areas are. Thus, the correct care of combination skin has to counteract the problems of oily and dry skin at the same time.

How to care for combination skin?


Aim: Appropriate care of the individual parts of the face according to their condition and balancing the different skin conditions towards the normal skin type.

Cleansing: For facial cleansing, mild tensides are suitable, which have a non-comedogenic effect and a slightly acidic pH value. Anti-inflammatory and soothing active ingredients such as allantoin, hamamelis extract and panthenol can be used. Re-fattening agents are less suitable. Peeling or matting masks can be applied 1-3 times a week in the area of the oily skin condition. The side areas are treated with a moisturizing mask.

Toning: Also when toning, the different skin conditions should be taken into account. Therefore, it is recommended to use two facial tonics and not a combined preparation. One facial toner should be suitable for the oily condition, the other one for the drier side areas.


Care: Especially if the skin areas differ greatly in their condition, it is important to use two different care products. The respective skin area should be cared for according to its condition (see care of oily, normal or dry skin). Combined preparations for combina

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.