baby skin

What is My Skin Type, and How Do I Take Care of It?

baby skin

Have you ever wondered what your skin type is?

You may have shied away from finding out because it seems all too complicated or you feel bad about the state of your skin. 

Your skin type is determined largely by your genetics, but is also affected by factors including age, climate and the use of products and treatments. 

So … it’s not so much about judging your skin type, and categorising it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (though some of us are more blessed than others when it comes to the skin-type lottery). 

Knowing your skin type is about empowering yourself with the right information, so you can bring what’s out of balance, back into balance.

This involves educating ourselves, so we can give our skin exactly what it needs to thrive at any particular moment in time. 

How to Determine Your Skin Type

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, your skin type may be: sensitive, normal (we prefer the word balanced!), dry, oily or combination1. .


You can likely determine your skin type by spending some time observing your skin, including how it feels and behaves under various conditions. It is not a particularly complicated process, but it does take some mindful observation.

If you are still unsure after a period of observation, a certified dermatologist can help you to determine your skin type.

Skin Type #1: Balanced / Normal Skin

Balanced / Normal Skin (the scientific term being eudermic) refers to generally healthy skin, where pH and sebum production is in equilibrium. 

Individuals with balanced skin tend to have little or no blemishes, fine, small pores, even skin tone, and a strong skin barrier that handles irritants well.

In terms of care, those with balanced/ normal skin can stick to a relatively simple cleansing and moisturising routine. They can make use of products such as our Face Care Essentials bundle.

Skin Type #2: Dry Skin

Dry Skin describes a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result, dry skin lacks the lipids it needs to retain moisture which helps to build a protective shield against external triggers.

Individuals with dry skin tend to experience flaking, have skin which appears rough and feel tight, itchy and uncomfortable at times. All skin becomes drier as we age. 

How to Tell Dry Skin Type from Dehydrated Skin?

Dehydrated skin is different from dry skin.

Dehydrated skin lacks water, whereas dry skin lacks sebum. Because dehydration is caused by external factors such as sun exposure, harsh product usage or treatments, hot showers and/or seasonal changes, all skin types can become dehydrated. 

Individuals with dehydrated skin tend to have dull/dark looking skin, dark circles and shadows around the eyes, itchiness, fine lines/wrinkles, dry mouth, puffy eyes and increased sensitivity. 

Caring for Dry Skin & Dehydrated Skin

Individuals with dry skin type have difficulties retaining moisture. Application of a thick moisturiser or cream will help to create a protective seal on the surface of the skin to lock in moisture. The right formulation will also help to provide additional nutrients and nourishments that your complexion needs to thrive. 

Individuals with dehydrated skin need to add moisture back into the skin. They will benefit from hydrating skincare products. This can be done in combination with lifestyle adjustments that help with hydration, such as drinking plenty of water, avoiding overly long-hot showers, extensive sun exposure or an overconsumption of alcohol. 

Our Cleopatra Beauty set is well suited for Dry Skin.

Skin Type #3: Oily Skin

Oily Skin describes a skin type with heightened sebum production. An over production is known as seborrhea. Individuals with oily skin tend to have enlarged, clearly visible pores and a glossy shine.

A diligent cleansing routine (taking care to avoid over-cleansing!)  with effective hydration will help those with oily skin to counter excess sebum and re-balance the skin. 

Our oily skin set contains four amazing products for oil control and to help reduce breaouts.

A Quick Note on Skin Types and Acne

A common misconception is that people with dry skin do not get acne, or that people with oily skin are doomed to a lifetime of acne; neither is necessarily true!

Acne & Dry Skin

Acne is formed when oil, dirt and bacteria clog the hair follicles on our bodies (including our face) forming bumps on our skin. 

Dry skin can lead to an excess build up of dead skin cells (from flaking), and this in turn can clog your pores. Dry skin can also trigger the production of more sebum or oil in your skin, with the oil buildup contributing to clogged hair follicles. 

While people with oily skin are more prone to acne, people with dry skin can still develop acne if they use harsh products that strip the skin of its natural oils or if they have a buildup of dead skin cells that clogs the pores. Treating Acne for someone with dry skin type can be challenging because many acne medications and treatments actually further dry out your skin and may exacerbate the problem.  

Acne and Oily Skin

Breakouts aren’t a given for individuals with oily skin. It is entirely possible to have a clear complexion with oily skin, if the skin’s pores are able to lubricate the surface of the skin without becoming clogged.

It is only when sebum becomes trapped within the pores, and becomes inflamed and irritated, that Acne forms. 

So the takeaway is that all skin types - from dry to oily - can develop Acne.

Skin Type #4: Combination Skin

Combination Skin refers to the skin type that is characterised by an oily T-zone (forehead, chin and nose) or O-zone (around the mouth) together with normal to dry cheeks.

This skin type has a greater tendency to reactivity, rosacea, and breakouts, and is particularly sensitive to hormonal and climatic changes.

Caring for Combination Skin

When caring for combination skin, individuals should look to remove excess sebum without stripping the drier parts of the face of its natural oils. 

This may involve using different products on different parts of your face, and knowing whether you have combination skin with a tendency towards oiliness or dryness, and tailoring your skincare products as such.

Our combination skin set is specially put together for people who have dry patches on some parts of their faces, but can also get oily skin that leads to breakouts. All 4 products work together to balance oil control, hydrating the parts that are dry, while feeding with skin with Vitamin C and Probiotic to reduce redness and breakouts.

Skin Type #5: Sensitive Skin

Individuals with sensitive skin have particularly thin skin, and often less pigment thus leading to an easily broken skin barrier. Blood vessels are closer to the surface, and are therefore easily stimulated by outside irritants. 

Signs that you may be of the sensitive skin type are if you are prone to blushing and/or allergies (ie. your skin flares up because of certain foods, pollen and ingredients). 

Those with sensitised skin are not to be confused with those of the sensitive skin type. 

Sensitised skin is effectively skin which is injured, namely the skin barrier is impaired. 

Factors including pollution, stress, medication, hormones, diet, climate, skincare products, treatments and smoking can all contribute to an impaired skin barrier. 

It is usually caused by environment or lifestyle choices, rather than an indication of the physiology of the skin itself. 

healthy and damaged skin barrier

Caring for Sensitive or Sensitised Skin

Individuals with sensitive or sensitised skin should stay away from treatments and products that may thin the skin further, including acids and peels. 

They should also avoid skincare products with perfumes, harsh surfactants like SLS, and strong preservatives.

Instead, they should seek gentle, hydrating and calming products that improve and do not damage the skin barrier.

When trialling new products it is best to introduce one product at a time - watching carefully for uncomfortable sensations or irritations.

Always do a patch test first2. .

-Apply the product to a test spot twice daily for 7 - 10 days. 

-Choose a spot on your skin where the product won’t be easily rubbed away. 

-Use the normal amount and thickness you would use if you were applying the product (do note that skin on the face is more sensitive than the rest of the body).

-Leave the product on your skin for as long as you would normally.

-If after 7 - 10 days you don’t have a skin reaction, then you can likely go ahead with the use of the product.

Don’t give up on finding the right products that support your sensitive skin. 

We acknowledge it can be tricky to find the right products for your skin, particularly if you are on a tight budget and not ready to commit to full sized bottles …

This is why at Melvory we have a range of trial kits tailored to your specific skin type for you to try.

Each product in the trial kit, when used twice a day, should give you a week’s worth - so you can properly try it out and see if your skin loves them.

The entire Melvory range does not contain perfume, SLS, parabens or any nasty chemicals, which is why we are proud to say that all our products are developed with sensitive skin in mind.

It is also pregnancy and breastfeeding friendly - for extra peace of mind.