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: Dry skin

What is dry skin?

In dry skin, sebum production is greatly reduced and the water-binding properties of sebum are missing. Dry skin is mostly fine pored, brittle and tends to flake. For everyone a low-fat, dry skin condition develops at about 60 years of age. Dry skin is subject to a faster aging process than normal skin. This skin type needs careful care to avoid cracks and inflammation. The skin needs lipids and moisturizing substances.

How to care for dry skin?


Aim: Increased supply of lipids and moisturizing factors and protection against harmful environmental influences.

Cleansing: Gentle cleansing milks or creams are suitable for cleaning the face. A gentle cream peeling should not be performed more than once a week. It should only be showered briefly once a day, not too hot, and bathed once a week at most. Generally the following applies to dry skin:

  • Spare use of water and cleaning products
  • Avoidance of soaps as surfactants (vegetable soaps)
  • Use of mild surfactants (betaines, collagen surfactants)
  • Additions of fats in cleaning products
  • Thorough rinsing of cleaning products to avoid residues
  • slightly acidic pH value (5.9-5.5) of cleansing products (skin neutral)
  • Avoidance of perfume and if possible of preservatives

Toning: Alcohol-free water with a neutral pH value and moisturizing, soothing and anti-inflammatory active ingredients is recommended as a facial toner.

Care: As facial care, a W/O cream or a fat-rich O/W cream without perfume and if possible without preservatives is recommended. If the shiny film of a W/O cream is not desired for the day, a more greasy cream should at least be used for night care. Important ingredients are glycerin, fatty oils, hyaluronic acid, linolenic acid, panthenol, aloe vera etc. As a supplement, moisturizing concentrates can be applied under the cream. The use of moisturizing masks 1-3 times a week is also helpful.

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.