Know Your Skin Type

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Angela C. Strother PhD.

Weekly Column: Skin Sense

Your skin type is determined by genetics and it may be oily, normal, dry, or combination. As you progress through adolescence, adulthood, and senior years, your changing hormones will affect your skin.  As an example, you may have had oily skin at 15, combination skin at 30 and dry skin at 50. Let’s explore the different skin types and some popular contraindications.

Oily skin is characterized by large follicles (pores) that produce excess sebum (oil). When follicles become clogged with a build-up of dead cells and oil, this can lead to acne, irritation, whiteheads, blackheads, and eventually blemishes.  Oily skin requires more exfoliation than other skin types, however it is wise to avoid excessive abrasives because this can lead to over-cleansing which strips the skin and causes the pH to be off balance.

Normal skin is characterized by follicles that are typically not visible.  The skin is clear of acne, flakes, patches, and oiliness in the T-zone (forehead to chin, in the shape of a triangle).  Goals for this skin type are to maintain balance.

Dry skin is characterized by very small follicles and it may feel tight.  This skin type does not produce enough oil and it can easily become inflamed and irritated. When applying cleansers or moisturizers, dry skin immediately absorbs the product – like a sponge to water. Dry skin can also be dehydrated (lack of water) and prone to sensitivities. This skin type needs moisture, and consistent hydration.  A toner may improve hydration and help to balance the skin’s pH.

Combination skin can be oily and dry, oily and normal, etc.  More commonly, the T-zone is an oily area while other parts of the face are a different skin type.  This skin type requires balance and in a spa treatment, this is adequately addressed with a mask for each skin type and water based products.  If your current skin care routine does not show progressive improvements, please seek the advice of a licensed skin care therapist.

Angela Strother, PhD is co-owner of Jon’Ric International Massage & Wellness Spa in Matthews, offering custom salt rooms, Botox and fillers, massage, facials, threading, Henna tatoos, body treatments, private yoga room, and a gift shop.  She is certified in aesthetics and oncology skin care.  You can reach the Jon’Ric team at 704-708-4165 or email at  At Jon’Ric Matthews, come join us for a cup of tea and a chat about your skin!

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