Understanding the Five Basic Skin Types For Beginners

woman moisturizer

If you’re new to the world of skincare, you’ve probably noticed that most of the advice out there tells you to keep your skin type in mind when choosing new products. However, what exactly are skin types and why do they matter so much?

Well, skin types help to classify the skin based on how balanced it is. It’s initially determined by genetics, although various factors over the years can influence and change your skin type, meaning that this isn’t something that’s set in stone.

There are five main skin types out there. Each one has its own set of characteristics, requiring different types of care. Understanding your skin type, along with its needs, is key to putting together an effective skincare routine. 

If you’ve been struggling to get to grips with this, keep reading as Vivo Per Lei explains how to identify and care for your skin type.

What’s Your Skin Type?

First things first – determining your skin type. The good news is that this is easy to do. Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser. Then, use a clean towel to pat it dry before leaving it bare for 30 minutes. After this, examine it closely in the mirror, under natural light, to see which of the following characteristics it displays:

  • If your skin looks shiny and feels greasy, your skin type is oily
  • Skin that feels tight and uncomfortable while looking flaky and rough is dry
  • If some areas of your face are oily while other parts are dry, your skin type is combination
  • If your skin feels irritated and looks red in some places, this indicates sensitive skin
  • When none of the above characteristics can be seen and your skin feels comfortable and hydrated, this means that your skin type is normal

If, after doing this test, you’re still unsure about what your skin type is, reach for some blotting paper. Gently press this against various parts of your face and then hold it up to the light:

  • Oily skin will leave the blotting paper looking very oily
  • If there is very little oil on the paper or none at all, this signifies dry skin
  • Combination skin will cause the blotting paper to turn oily after touching certain areas of your face, but not others
  • If your skin type is normal, your blotting paper will contain small amounts of oil

The downside to the blotting paper method is that it doesn’t help to identify sensitive skin. However, if your skin usually reacts easily to skincare products and environmental changes, with redness and inflammation being the norm, sensitive skin is very likely.

Caring For Oily Skin

Collagen Foaming Cleanser

Everyone’s skin produces sebum – the natural oil that keeps the skin lubricated and protected. However, oily skin produces more sebum than necessary, resulting in its greasy appearance. All of this extra sebum soon starts delving into pores, where it then causes blockages and triggers acne breakouts.

This is why regularly cleansing and exfoliating is so important when you have oily skin. This is the best way to clear away the excess sebum that’s coating your skin’s surface, preventing the appearance of clogged pores and breakouts.

Choosing the right cleanser is vital. While foaming cleansers are often too powerful for other skin types, they’re great for oily skin. Ideally, look for one that contains hydrating ingredients too, such as the Vivo Per Lei Collagen Foaming Cleanser. Not only will it remove the excess oil from your skin’s surface, but its hydrating ingredients combined with the lack of sulfates in this formula will ensure that your skin doesn’t end up completely stripped.

Of course, a cleanser won’t do much about the sebum that’s already made its way into your pores. This makes exfoliation necessary a few times a week. A weekly charcoal mask, such as the Vivo Per Lei Activated Charcoal Facial Mask, can be extremely helpful too. Charcoal is fantastic for absorbing excess oil. It will clear away any sebum residue left behind by your cleanser and exfoliator, leaving your skin looking matte, balanced, and acne-free.

Caring For Dry Skin

Hyaluronic Acid Daily Facial Wash

Unlike oily skin, which produces too much sebum, dry skin doesn’t produce enough. This leaves the skin’s surface lacking in natural lubrication and protection. The result of this is skin that presents with flaking, cracking, and itching. Dry skin also tends to feel quite rough and tight, and is more prone to skin disorders and infections.

So, what can you do about this? For starters, make sure that you aren’t unintentionally making your skin even drier. Your skincare products shouldn’t be too harsh, particularly when it comes to your cleanser. Avoid foaming cleansers and products containing sulfates. Instead, opt for gentle cleansers that won’t strip away what little sebum your skin has, just like the Vivo Per Lei Hyaluronic Acid Daily Facial Wash. Not only does it provide a gentle cleanse, but it’s also brimming with hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. Your skin will look fresh and dewy as soon as you’ve rinsed this cleanser off.

Speaking of moisturizing, this is something that people with dry skin need to prioritize. While other skin types can get away with moisturizing twice a day, severely dry skin may need an extra top-up or two during the day. The Vivo Per Lei Pumpkin and Collagen Day Cream is perfect for this. With a blend of pumpkin seed oil, sodium hyaluronate, polyglutamic acid, collagen, and a selection of complexion-soothing botanicals, it will immediately leave dry skin looking softer, smoother, and brighter. Use it regularly and you could put a stop to the feeling of dryness for good!

Caring For Combination Skin

Fresh Eucalyptus Facial Mask

Combination skin is usually caused when sebaceous glands haven’t been evenly distributed throughout the skin. Some parts of the skin contain more of these sebum-producing glands than others. This means that some areas end up oily while others are dry. The location of these areas varies between individuals but, most commonly, the t-zone is the oily part while the cheeks tend to be dry.

This can be limiting when it comes to shopping for skincare products. You’ll need to look for formulas that can be safely used on all skin types, so that both your dry and oily areas benefit from them without having to deal with any unwanted side effects. The Vivo Per Lei Anti-Aging Face Cream is a good example. This hydrating moisturizer is packed with ingredients that will leave your skin feeling better balanced, without weighing down and clogging up your oily areas.

Another good product to add to your skincare routine would be the Fresh Eucalyptus Facial Mask. The kaolin clay and sea mud in this formula will leave your oily areas feeling detoxified and rejuvenated. Meanwhile, argan oil, jojoba oil, and aloe vera will moisturize dry patches, and eucalyptus oil will leave your skin barrier feeling fortified.

Caring For Sensitive Skin

Aloe Soothing Facial Serum

On the outer layer of your skin sits your skin’s natural protective barrier, which shields the skin from irritants and environmental toxins. If your skin type is sensitive, then this means that barrier function has been compromised, which can occur for a number of reasons. Whatever the cause may be, the fact that irritants are now able to enter your skin with ease is why your skin is so sensitive. It will react to many of the ingredients that other skin types happily tolerate, making it important to choose your skincare carefully. 

Your first priority should be to seek out products that can soothe your complexion, calming the feeling of irritation. Aloe vera is an ingredient that’s revered for doing this, which is why we created the Aloe Soothing Facial Serum. In this formula, it’s combined with sodium hyaluronate, purslane extract, amino acids, and allantoin. All of these ingredients will leave your skin feeling relaxed and less irritated, giving it a brighter and more even finish.

Your next aim should be to work on giving your skin barrier a stronger and more resilient finish. There are quite a few ingredients that can help with this, with the Vivo Per Lei Marine Revitalize Leave On Hydrating Mask containing several of them. This mask, which has been designed to be used once or twice a week, doesn’t need to be rinsed off. Instead, massage it into your face and it will leave your skin barrier feeling supported and able to function much more efficiently.

Caring For Normal Skin

24K Caviar Gold Serum

Normal skin is the easiest of the five skin types to care for. Due to the fact that it keeps itself hydrated and well-balanced, it doesn’t require any special care. All you need to do is help your skin maintain its fantastic balance so that you can continue sporting a clear and healthy complexion.

This means following a relatively basic skincare routine. Don’t go overboard with a long line of products or overly potent actives that could throw your skin off balance. 

Start with a gentle cleanser and then apply a serum that gives your skin a selection of vitamins and antioxidants. The 24K Gold Caviar Serum from Vivo Per Lei would be a great choice. Its vitamin content includes retinol and vitamin E, while sodium hyaluronate and beta-glucan hydrate the skin. At the same time, it’s brimming with antioxidants thanks to extracts from mushroom, fig, seaweed, chrysanthemum, and caviar.

Keeping your skin moisturized is also important. Sure, normal skin does a great job of hydrating itself, but give it some extra moisture and it will glow like never before! The Vivo Per Lei Marine All Skin Cream excels at this. Its fatty acids, which come from shea butter and squalane, keep the skin feeling soft and supple. Meanwhile, vitamins, humectants, and botanical extracts in this moisturizer will have your skin looking brighter and more radiant.


As you can see, each of the five skin types has very different requirements. This is why it’s so important to understand what your own skin type is. Once you do, you’ll be able to tailor the care that you give your skin to your skin type’s needs. Not only will this result in a skincare routine that’s so much more effective, but your skin will also start looking better than it ever has!

Click here to treat your skin to more Vivo Per Lei bestsellers.

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