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Skin School Class 2: Skin Types Vs. Skin Conditions

Written by Kerry Benjamin

Skin School Class 2: Skin Types Vs. Skin Conditions

Skin types and skin conditions: one is likely to go away, while the other is here to stay. But how can you tell which is which, and how do you choose the right ingredients to treat them? Let’s take a look at the differences between skin types and skin conditions, and how you can navigate both to reveal your best skin ever.

Skin Types

Simply put, your skin type is what you’re born with. There are two different ways to talk about skin type-- one has to do with how your skin balances oil and moisture, and the other with how your skin reacts to UV rays. All of these factors are determined by your genes. Although your skin will change with age, many people have the same skin type for most of their lives.

Basic Skin Types

Although everyone’s skin is unique, there are four basic categories to keep in mind: normal, oily, dry, and combination. When it comes to skincare routines, each skin type needs something a little different to function at its best: understanding yours is the first step to learning how to effectively take care of your skin.

Skin Type
What It Is
Looks Like
Skincare Routine
Normal Not too dry and not too oily, normal skin maintains a healthy balance of sebum and moisture, making it less likely to deal with breakouts and sensitivity. • Small pores
• Velvety, soft texture
• Rarely experiences redness or blemishes
Stick to a simple routine that supports a balanced complexion. Cleanse with a gentle, non-stripping cleanser like our PREBIOTIC GEL CLEANSER and follow with our MICROBIOME RESCUE DAILY MOISTURIZER to maintain a healthy lipid barrier.
Oily Oily skin creates too much sebum, which can block pores and cause breakouts. • Large, visible pores
• Glossy texture
• Prone to blackheads
Balance oil and prevent pore congestion with our TCA LACTIC & GLYCOLIC FACE PEEL. Use a serum with growth factors like our EGF ACTIVATING SERUM to keep pores clear.
Dry Dry skin doesn’t produce enough sebum, which can impair the skin’s lipid barrier and cause flakiness, sensitivity and dullness. • Nearly invisible pores
• Delicate, thin skin
• Can feel rough or tight
Remove a layer of dry, dead skin build-up with our DERMAPLANING EXFOLIATION TOOL, then feed the skin with moisture with our HA HYDRATING SERUM. Lock in hydration with our SHIUNKO BLUSH FACIAL OIL.
Combination This skin type is a little trickier than the others, because different parts of the skin deal with different issues. Usually, the T-zone will be oily, with dryer cheeks. • Large pores near the T-zone
• Dry cheeks
Treat oily pores in the T-zone with our DUAL ENZYME CLAY MASK. Follow all over with our MICROBIOME RESCUE DAILY MOISTURIZER to re-balance the complexion.
The Fitzpatrick Scale

The Fitzpatrick scale is a way to identify your skin type based on the amount of melanin or pigment in your skin. Assessing skin type through this lens helps dermatologists distinguish harmless dark spots from cancer-causing ones. Learning about your skin type through the Fitzpatrick scale also helps you know how to protect your skin from UV rays, as well as choose skin treatments best suited to your skin type, especially laser treatments.

Skin Type
Reactions to UV Rays
1 • Ivory skin
• Red or blonde hair
• Blue, grey or light green eyes
• Always burns and peels
• Never tans
• Always freckles
2 • Fair or beige skin
• Blonde hair
• Blue, grey or green eyes
• Usually burns and peels
• Rarely tans
• Skin may freckle
3 • Fair to beige skin
• Dark blonde or light brown hair
• Hazel or light brown eyes
• Gradually tans
• Sometimes burns
• Skin may freckle
4 • Light brown skin
• Dark brown hair
• Dark brown eyes
• Tans easily
• Rarely burns
• Skin rarely freckles
5 • Dark brown skin
• Dark brown or black hair
• Dark brown or black eyes
• Tans easily
• Very rarely burns
• Very rarely freckles
6 • Deeply pigmented skin
• Dark brown hair
• Dark brown eyes
• Tans easily
• Never burns
• Skin doesn't freckle

Skin Conditions

Unlike skin type, a skin condition is how your skin responds to different things like your environment, diet, stress, and hormonal changes. Genes can also play a role in how likely you are to develop a skin condition. Skin conditions can range from a compromised lipid barrier that causes sensitivity and irritation to inflammatory responses like acne, psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea. The main thing to remember is that unlike a skin type, a skin condition is often a temporary response that can be treated with the right mix of lifestyle changes and active ingredients.

Skin Concern
Acne Acne occurs when bacteria, oil and dirt get trapped in the pore, and can be caused by stress, hormones and changes in the environment. Acne comes in many forms:
• Blackheads
• Whiteheads
• Red, painful pustules or cysts
Treat acne with exfoliating and turnover-boosting products like our TCA LACTIC & GLYCOLIC FACE PEEL and EGF ACTIVATING SERUM. Add our HIGH FREQUENCY DEVICE to shorten the lifespan of active blemishes.
Inflammatory skin conditions like Psoriasis, Eczema or Rosacea Inflammatory skin conditions are thought to be caused by an autoimmune response that can be exacerbated by stress and weather changes. Psoriasis: Patches of flaky red skin on the knees, elbow and scalp
Eczema: Itchy red, dry patches of skin that can occur anywhere on the body.
Rosacea: Redness and/or bumps on the nose, cheeks and forehead
Product recommendations will vary based on your condition. Soothing itchy or painful skin with our CRYO ICE ROLLER can help, no matter what you’re dealing with.
Sensitivity/irritation Sensitivity and irritation occur when the skin’s lipid barrier is compromised, allowing environmental stressors to penetrate the surface of the skin. • Dry, flaky skin
• Very small red bumps
• Redness and stinging sensation
• Breakouts and inflammation
Focus on barrier- strengthening products like our MICROBIOME RESCUE DAILY MOISTURIZER and SHIUNKO BLUSH FACIAL OIL.

Download our chart to identify your skin type

About the Author


Kerry Benjamin, a licensed aesthetician, has over 12 years of experience. Kerry is the driving force behind StackedSkincare. As the company's CEO, Kerry has dedicated her career to revolutionizing skincare. Her innovative approach combines peels, serums, and specialized tools toeffectively address a wide range of skin concerns. CA LE license number Z98459.