What is My Skin Type?

woman looking at skin care products who want to know what her skin type is

What type of skin do I have?

Over 80% of people are wrong about their skin type (1), so if you want to know your skin type, simple observation is not enough. 

You need the reliable and scientific method of skin typing used by dermatologists.

There are several different skin typing systems, but the skin typing system used by dermatologists is the Baumann Skin Typing System with 16 Skin Types. (2-23)

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5 Primary Types of Skin

For many years the American Academy of Dermatology divided skin types into:

  • normal
  • dry
  • oily
  • combination 
  • sensitive

However, this skin typing system is outdated. 

We now know this is not enough information to prescribe a custom skin care routine to improve your skin type.

With the advances in skin care, the skin typing system needs to look at all 4 barriers to skin health that your skin care routine should address.

Normal Skin Type

Normal skin has:

  • a strong skin barrier
  • adequate sebum production
  • resistance to inflammation
  • properly functioning melanocytes
  • age under 30
  • no aging risk factors

Dry Skin Type

Dry skin has:

  • a defect in the skin barrier
  • rough texture
  • increased risk of sensitivity
  • less natural protection
  • dullness
  • ashy tone in dark skin

Oily Skin

Oily skin is better to have than dry skin because it has more natural protection.

Oily skin has:

  • increased sebum production
  • clogged pores
  • difficulty finding a sunscreen
  • more protection from aging
  • higher antioxidant levels

Combination Skin

Combination skin has:

  • dryness in cold weather
  • oiliness in hot humid climates
  • increased sebum in T zone
  • different skin care routine needs each season

6 Fitzpatrick Skin Types

Another skin typing system that divides skin into 6 types is the Fitzpatrick Skin Typing System.

This skin typing system divides skin into 6 types depending upon how it reacts to sun exposure.

The Fitzpatrick Skin Type System is not good for choosing a skin care routine or skin care products, however it can be used to choose makeup or tinted sunscreen colors.

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What are the 7 Types of Skin?

  • acne prone
  • dry
  • combination
  • mature
  • normal
  • oily
  • sensitive

However, dividing skin into these 7 types is still not accurate enough to match skin care to skin type.

16 Baumann Skin Types

The Baumann Skin Typing System used by dermatologists divides skin into 16 face skin types based on the presence or absence of 4 skin issues.

4 main issues determine your face skin type:

  • Dehydration
  • Inflammation
  • Uneven pigmentation
  • Aging

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The presence or absence of these skin issues determines which skin type you are.

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How can I identify my skin type?

The best way to know what type of skin you have is to take the scientific skin type quiz used by dermatologists to diagnose skin type.

This system divides skin into 16 distinct skin type which can then be matched to a skin care routine.

Find your skin type here.

What Type of Skin Do I Have?

Most people guess wrong about whether they have oily or dry skin.

We ask questions about how your face feels after washing, how often you moisturizer, and do you prefer heavy moisturizers. 

These questions have been shown to accurately predict your sebum secretion levels (3) and tell us if you have oily skin or an impaired skin barrier.

Our skin type quiz also looks for signs of  skin inflammation and asks you about habits that lead to skin aging.

Did you know you can be in your 20s and have an aging skin type? Our data from over 100,000 people shows that over 80% of people in their 20s need an antiaging skin care routine.

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How Do You Know What Kind of Skin You Have?

The only way to be certain about your face skin type is to take the skin type quiz that doctors use in their medical practice to prescribe skin care routines.

Different Types of Skin

You may have been told you have one of these types of skin, however, it is not accurate enough to divide skin into these skin type categories:

You can click the above skin type links to learn more about how to tell if your skin type is one of the basic skin types- however-these are skin concerns- not true skin types.

This above nomenclature is outdated.

Labeling your skin with only one skin concern does not take into account all of your skin's issues. 

You will have untreated issues keeping your skin from looking it's best if you do not treat  all 4 barriers to skin health .

This is why you need to know what your real skin type is.  You need to know all of the underlying factors affecting your skin health- not just one.

So make sure you are correct about what skin type you have before you buy any products.

Why it is important to know your skin type:

Once you know your skin type you can:

  • Learn about your skin
  • Read product reviews from others 
  • Receive educational material for your skin type
  • Share advice with others that have same skin type as you

When you take the quiz a buy a custom regimen, you will receive personalized information on what to expect and how to know if your skin care routine is working.

Our advice and your results will vary greatly by skin type.

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Skin types need skin care advice customized by skin type

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Once you take the quiz to find your face skin type- you will receive

The most important things that you should know about the different skin types are:

  • Shop by your skin type!
  • Stop wasting time and money on products that are not right for you.
  • Different skin types need different skin care ingredients and different skin care routine steps.

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Can your skin type type change?

Yes! Your skin type can change. 

Your skin type can change with any changes in:

  • skin care products 
  • seasons and climate
  • hormones 
  • stress levels
  • vitamins and supplements
  • diet
  • consistency of using skin care routine

The goal of getting on the right skin care routine for your skin type is to change your skin to a healthier skin type.

Once you know what your skin type is, you can:

  • Discover what brands and products are right for you
  • Build a skin care routine
  • Shop for products
  • Learn from our library
  • Receive relevant and personalized emails about your skin type
  • Review products for others with same skin type as you
  • Give better advice to others about skin care
  • Refer friends and earn money
  • Earn points with purchases

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What is My Skin Type? References and Medical Publications:

Best Books About Skin Type:

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  1. Data on file with Dr. Leslie Baumann MD based o over 200,000 quizzes
  2. Baumann, Leslie. “Validation of a Questionnaire to Diagnose the Baumann Skin Type in All Ethnicities and in Various Geographic Locations” Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications 6 (2016): 34-40.
  3. Baumann, Leslie S., et al. “A Validated Questionnaire for Quantifying Skin Oiliness” Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications 4 (2014): 78-84.
  4. Lee, Y. B., Park, S. M., Bae, J. M., Yu, D. S., Kim, H. J., & Kim, J. W. (2017). Which Skin Type Is Prevalent in Korean Post-Adolescent Acne Patients?: A Pilot Study Using the Baumann Skin Type Indicator. Annals of Dermatology29(6), 817.
  5. Choi, J. Y., Choi, Y. J., Nam, J. H., Jung, H. J., Lee, G. Y., & Kim, W. S. (2016). Identifying skin type using the Baumann skin type questionnaire in Korean women who visited a dermatologic clinic. Korean Journal of Dermatology54(6), 422-437.
  6. Lee, Young Bin, Sung Ku Ahn, Gun Young Ahn, Hana Bak, Seung Phil Hong, Eun Jung Go, Chang Ook Park et al. "Baumann Skin Type in the Korean Male Population." Annals of Dermatology 31, no. 6 (2019): 621-630.
  7. Ahn, S. K., Jun, M., Bak, H., Park, B. D., Hong, S. P., Lee, S. H., ... & Goo, J. W. (2017). Baumann skin type in the Korean female population. Annals of dermatology29(5), 586-596.
  8. Baumann, L. (2006). The skin type solution: a revolutionary guide to your best skin ever. Bantam.
  9. Baumann, L. (2008, 2012, 2019). Cosmetics and Skin Care in Dermatology. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 7t, 8th and 9th eds. New York: McGraw Hill.
  10. Baumann, L. (2020). 14 A Scientific Approach to Cosmeceuticals. The Art of Aesthetic Surgery, Three Volume Set: Principles and Techniques.
  11. Baumann, Leslie S. “The Baumann Skin Typing System” in Farage MA, et al. Textbook of Aging Skin Skin. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (2017): 1579-1594.
  12. Baumann, L. (2009). The Baumann skin-type indicator: a novel approach to understanding skin type. Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology, 3rd Edition, Informa Healthcare, New York, 29-40.
  13. Baumann, L. (2008). Understanding and treating various skin types: the Baumann Skin Type Indicator. Dermatologic clinics26(3), 359-373.
  14. Hong, J. Y., Park, S. J., Seo, S. J., & Park, K. Y. (2020). Oily sensitive skin: A review of management options. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology19(5), 1016-1020.
  15. Shin, Y. B., Kwon, C. I., Jo, J. W., Jeong, H. B., Moon, Y. S., Jung, E. C., ... & Yoon, T. J. (2018). P199: Baumann skin type in outpatient. 프로그램북 ( 초록집)70(2), 457-457.
  16. Park, J. W., Park, S. J., Park, K. Y., Ahn, G. Y., Seo, S. J., & Kim, M. N. (2019). P062: A study on the correlation of skin types with genetic factors and environmental factors in Koreans. 프로그램북 ( 초록집)71(2), 354-354.
  17. Lee, Y. B., Ahn, S. K., Ahn, G. Y., Bak, H., Hong, S. P., Go, E. J., ... & Goo, J. W. (2019). Baumann Skin Type in the Korean Male Population. Annals of Dermatology31(6), 621-630.
  18. Ahn, S. K., Jun, M., Bak, H., Park, B. D., Hong, S. P., Lee, S. H., ... & Park, K. (2017). Baumann skin type in the Korean female population. Annals of dermatology29(5), 586-596.
  19. Choi, J. Y., Lim, J. Y., Kim, H. S., Min, J., Kim, J. I., Seo, H. M., ... & Kim, W. S. (2015). P241: A study on Korean womens skin types by baumann skin type questionnaire. 프로그램북 ( 초록집)67(2), 501-502.
  20. Kim, B. K., Choe, S. J., Lee, S. H., Min, P. K., & Hana, B. (2014). P110: Analysis of Baumann skin type in Korean women. 프로그램북 ( 초록집)66(2), 355-355.
  21. Roberts, W. E. (2009). Skin type classification systems old and new. Dermatologic clinics27(4), 529-533.
  22. Choi, J. Y., Choi, Y. J., Nam, J. H., Jung, H. J., Lee, G. Y., & Kim, W. S. (2016). Identifying skin type using the Baumann skin type questionnaire in Korean women who visited a dermatologic clinic. Korean Journal of Dermatology54(6), 422-437.
  23. Lee, Y. B., Park, S. M., Bae, J. M., Yu, D. S., Kim, H. J., & Kim, J. W. (2017). Which Skin Type Is Prevalent in Korean Post-Adolescent Acne Patients?: A Pilot Study Using the Baumann Skin Type Indicator. Annals of dermatology29(6), 817-819.

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