Determine Your Skin Type and Care For It

Taking care of the skin on your face is definitely important, but it can also be overwhelming due to the thousands of beauty products available. With so many options, it’s difficult to pick the best products for your particular skin type. That’s why, before you even begin to think about where and how to spend your hard-earned cash, you must determine what type of skin you have.

normal skin typeThe five skin types are classified as “normal,” “dry,” “oily,” “combination,” or “mature” skin.

Check out the descriptions below to decide what skin type you may have.


Normal skin is often found in younger individuals with a smooth texture, clear surface, and small pores. There are no dry or oily patches of skin. Moisture and sebum—an oily fluid responsible for keeping skin and hair moisturized—production is balanced and “normal.”

Recommended care: Wash skin daily with a simple hydrating cleanser like Gentle Daily Cleanser, exfoliate 2-3 times a week and finish with a light soothing moisturizer. Adding toners and serums can also benefit this skin type.


Dry skin lacks moisture and is often characterized by visible fine lines, scaling, and itching. It may appear dehydrated, stiff and even dull. To the touch, it may feel rough, flakey, or cracked. People with this skin type often have pores that are nearly invisible to the naked eye.

dry skin typeRecommended care: Wash skin with a heavy cleanser daily, exfoliate 2-3 times a week and finish with a heavy moisturizer.


Oily skin is caused by an increased amount of oils on the surface brought on by overactive sebaceous glands. Pores on the skin often look enlarged and the skin looks shiny. Blackheads and other blemishes are common with this type of skin.

Recommended care: Wash skin daily with a cleanser formulated for oily skin; perhaps one with salicylic acid. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week* and use an oil free moisturizer. If you’re prone to breakouts, using an astringent may help keep those at bay.

*Rice Bran Polisher is an effective and gentle exfoliator.

combination skin typeCombination Dry/Oily

Combination skin is just what it sounds like. You have dry patches, usually around the cheeks and eyes, and oily patches which target your “T-zone”—on the nose, forehead and chin area. Unfortunately this type of skin care requires different treatments for each of those unique patches, which can make for a challenging routine.

Recommended care: Different care will be needed to treat your T-zone area. Wash skin daily with a light gel based cleanser and exfoliate 2-3 times a week. Spot treat your T-zone with an astringent, and apply a heavier moisturizer for your dry spots and a lighter moisturizer for your oily spots.


As we age, the skin begins to crack and flake, losing its elasticity, and causing fine lines and wrinkles. In some cases, women who have experienced menopause may notice an increase in the sensitivity of their skin. This is caused by a decrease in sebum production. Another problem with mature skin is hyperpigmentation. This becomes even more problematic with people who have had a long history of sun exposure (wear sunscreen!). Because not all aging people will have this issue, different skin care regimens may be essential.

mature skin typeRecommended care: Wash skin daily using a heavy cleanser, exfoliate 2-3 times a week, and finish with a heavy cream to help with visibly aging skin. Adding a serum or gel to help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles may also be beneficial. Perfecting Essence helps with skin tone and elasticity.

Determining your skin type can help take the overwhelming edge off of buying beauty products, applying makeup, and can even help build your self confidence.

Help yourself by helping your skin find some balance!

*Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly recommended Serum Intensive for dry skin. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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10 replies
  1. Shay Stockdill
    Shay Stockdill says:

    My goodness, I’m certainly more than a little surprised by some of the recommendations in this article. In my experience with my own skin and those of my customers, regardless of skin type, seldom has anything ever been needed besides products that are offered in the Sensé line. You just use the Sensé products and techniques appropriate for the skin type and the individual’s challenges. And as stated by others in their comments, a heavy moisturizer or astringent would not be in my list of recommendations.

  2. Angelina
    Angelina says:

    I also feel this article to be contradictory to all we have been taught about the Sense difference. It appears to me that the author is speaking in relation to other common brand products and not about Sense or the Sense difference. I also echo Kathleen’s comments & promote Sense as food for the cells of the skin & when our skin cells are nourished, our skin’s pH has the natural ability to normalize. The beauty with Sense is that we only have 1 cleanser, 1 toner, 1 daytime moisturiser etc… Again no need for heavy cleanser or moisturiser. This is what makes Sense Different. It’s easy, it works & it’s suitable for all skin types.

  3. Bea Kinnear
    Bea Kinnear says:

    Regarding the above article “Determine Your Skin Type”, yes this is how we
    have been taught for years on how you buy, treat and deal with your skin.
    To some degree that is still correct especially when we are dealing only
    with the results on the face.

    But skin care has come a long way over the past few years. We now know
    that just treating the visible “reaction” does not correct the skin cells
    below that are still producing the same problems. Ex: Just because zits
    go away from some topical application that dries them up, does not prevent
    their return. Treating skin problems all starts from the inside, AND with
    proper topical assistance that never damages the skin. Hence, Sense
    focuses on cell repair and cell protection. Not “quick fixes”.

    Let’s just talk about one point in this post. This article suggests
    exfoliating and using our Serum Intensive that also contains AHAs on dry
    skin. No! Applying those products to skin in such distress, would only add to their problem. We also would not add heavy or greasy moisturizers
    to cloak dry skin. It is obvious the skin cells below lack the nutrition
    they require to produce healthy cells.

    The number one suggestion to help someone with dry skin is to start where
    help is required below the surface, and only treat the surface with the
    most gentle ingredients to prevent further damage. So, I would suggest:
    Gentle Daily Cleanser, our very gentle Eye Cream, Hydrating Toner initially while
    also starting them on our Essentials and BiOmega. Then, as the skin
    rehydrates, you could add our other great moisturizers one at a time.

    Sense is an extraordinary product line about skin cell protection, backed up with cell health development. And, by the way, sunscreen is the number one Anti-aging
    Ingredient, for all skin types and never should be left out of a daily skin
    care routine.
    Bea Kinnear, Author
    Your Skin & You, 5th Edition

  4. Janet Bernstein
    Janet Bernstein says:

    This blog post missed a number of points completely. Yes, we need to know our surface skin issues before deciding what to use on our skin. But, the whole point of USANA’s skin care line is to address the underlying cause. Not try to sell “normal to oily” and “normal to dry” cloaks of products that never, never fix the problem and really only make it worse! That’s our selling point! We feed the cells, and the cells take care of the rest. Yes, within the Sense line, we’ll initially use some products and avoid other products, depending on the current skin condition. But, the final goal is to get a person’s skin to a healthy point where it can handle all of our very gentle, but strongly effective, product line. PLEASE consider revising this post and remove all the harmful “advice”! In the dry skin example, we would never allow a dry skin client to exfoliate 2-3 times a week. Yikes! But, thank you for this forum so we can continue to learn and share!

  5. Tim Haran
    Tim Haran says:

    Thank you to all who shared comments on today’s Inside Beauty blog post. Social media is the perfect place to engage in conversations about a wide range of topics and I encourage everyone to become part of the conversation on posts that resonate with you (positively or negatively). We take pride in our open forum and invite everyone to participate.

    Regarding the above blog post, I privately messaged a few individuals who emailed me about it but I wanted to post here as well to help explain factors that went into publishing the blog post: Determine Your Skin Type and Care For It.

    First, we made a mistake. We routinely send all blog posts through our Compliance office before publication. We also send health- and product-focused blog posts to our Regulatory and/or Science Information teams for review, depending on topics discussed and claims made. Today’s post received Compliance approval but we neglected to send it through for the secondary approvals prior to publication. I apologize for that and have worked with my team to ensure posts are routed appropriately in the future.

    Once we realized our error, we requested and received necessary approvals and we have decided to maintain the post as-is (with a minor correction noted at the bottom of the post).

    We strive to make the What’s Up, USANA? blog a valuable resource for USANA Associates, while also creating content designed to attract a non-USANA readership — individuals who are interested in learning more about health, nutrition and entrepreneurship, among other topics. We don’t view the blog as a traditional marketing platform, though we do promote USANA products and the USANA lifestyle regularly. We also sometimes share blog posts that tie only loosely to USANA, or offer suggestions outside the product line.

    Thank you for your continued readership and please feel free to email me with additional questions or concerns (tim (dot)haran(at) us(dot)usana(dot) com.

    Tim Haran
    Director of Social Media
    USANA Health Sciences

    • Kathleen Rockney
      Kathleen Rockney says:

      Tim, thank you for your honesty and transparency.

      I am disappointed that this post wasn’t further edited once it went through a second review, as it still holds inaccuracies that wouldn’t serve anyone. It has a 1980’s view of skin care, from back when we thought that dry skin needed heavy moisturizers and oily skin needed astringents.

      Regardless of skin care line used, that just isn’t the case. Dry skin will never normalize if it is laden with artificial heavy “oils”. Oily skin will never normalize if it is constantly stripped with astringents.

      But, thank you for acting quickly! And, we now invite you to recruit from any of our wonderful skin care experts to become the next guest author!

      • Lisa Godin
        Lisa Godin says:

        I agree with Kathleen. Although I don’t have problem with “blog posts that tie only loosely to USANA”, I would not be in favor of articles promoting competing products and I do think USANA should not be supporting or approving articles which contain outdated, even bad advice and misinformation.

  6. Nuria García
    Nuria García says:

    Hi, I am Nuria, beauty expert from BeautyTheShop, a cosmetics online store. I totally recommend the ones having a dry skin to try out the following products: Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator 50ml and Clinique Superbalanced Makeup 03 Ivory 30ml. They are amazing, all my customers are very satisfied with them and they really noticed the effect! Cheers

  7. Enrique Pasion
    Enrique Pasion says:

    Obviously, because of my age I am on the mature range. Thank you for this as I do need to know how to care for my skin and knowing what skin type you have is important.


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