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We talk often  of "skin types" and we do it by defining the 

following 4 specificities: normal skin,  dry,  oily or mixed.

But what does this mean? What are the differences?

How to understand what kind of skin we have?

Generally speaking, every skin type satisfies  a check list of

distinct characteristics, even very obvious ones, that we can

independently use to define our status, 

or rather, the status of our skin: normal, dry,

oily or mixed.

Understanding which of these types represents us is important 

because  allows us to identify the  4 types of leather

most popular  and, at the same time, the specifications  needs

basic cosmetics to define home self-care.

Not only that, knowing your skin is important to define

their own lifestyle, their own eating habits, etc., 

which have a fundamental role in health management

of your own skin.

What is the ideal state of the skin?

It is that situation that sees some well-balanced characteristics:

structure, functionality and responsiveness and that allows to maintain its integrity at every level and to appear  beautiful,  smooth,  regular,  soft and supple. All characteristics, the latter, which refer to an aesthetic ideal of the function entrusted to the skin. But this is not the case, the skin is the largest organ in our body and it  it serves to defend us from external factors, from the external environment. It is therefore important  cure  the skin also to maintain it  in efficiency the defense and protection function of the same.

Epidermis: the superficial layer of the skin

The epidermis is the most superficial layer of the skin, a multi-layered structure  covering the underlying dermis and hypodermis, formed by cells ranging  from the deepest basal layer to the stratum corneum on the surface. These cells are born as  stem cells, highly viable and turn into  keratinocytes with the passage of time, cells increasingly rich in keratin, to become dead cells, with the appearance of scales, which will then exfoliate independently.  The life cycle of the epidermal cells is about one month and is continuous, that is, the turnover is constant and this ensures integrity and thickness to the stratum corneum.

The keratinocytes, the cells that come closer and closer to the surface thanks to the turnover cycle,  they are not very vital but they form one  resistant structure, capable of defending itself from any type of external attack, an essential element therefore, to make the skin strong enough to resist the aggressions of external environmental factors.


What are ceramides?

They are lipids, fats, which serve to compact the keratinocytes making the superficial skin more resistant and above all impermeable to water. We have seen that the surface stratum corneum is made up of dead cells awaiting exfoliation. The layer on which the stratum corneum rests is instead made up of keratinocytes and its homogeneity 

And  integrity  is guaranteed by their ability to synthesize  ceramides.


Hydrolipid film or NEVER

The  hydrolipidic film  o NEVER (Hydrolipidic Acid Mantle) is characterized as one  waterproof barrier to the outside and acid pH, consisting mainly of sebum (95%) and sweat.

It is just a  thin mantle that covers our skin  giving it softness as it ensures both the water content, i.e. hydration, and the exchanges of water with the environment, in particular the  insensitive water leaks  or  TEWL  (Trans Epidermal Water Loss), as well as the passage of other substances from the inside to the outside.

Alterations in the composition of MAI therefore affect the ideal properties and functionality of the skin making it  dry,  oily or mixed  but also by weakening his defense capabilities towards the outside world and his own  sensitivity.


Natural Hydration Factor or NMF

It is one of the most important components of the EVER, a factor  decisive in regulating normal skin hydration.

The NMF  (Natural Moisturizing Factor) consists mainly of amino acids mixed with sugary substances and  it stands out for its ability to retain water, especially that present in the environment.

In this way the NMF maintains a very light humidity on the surface of the MAI and slows down the dehydration of the skin, avoiding the evaporation of water on its surface.

If one or more of these factors are altered, the ideal skin can become dry, oily or mixed.

Type of detergent, environment, genetics, functionality, reactivity and hormonal alterations are among the factors most involved in skin alterations.

From the definition of ideal skin we then move on to identify the various types of skin between characteristics, potential causes and suitable cosmetics from a perspective of  maintenance,  prevention  or  rebalancing  towards ideal conditions.

Normal skin: the most similar  to the ideal

Normal skin represents the type that  it is better adapted to external attacks and unhealthy habits  reacting in an almost optimal way to return as close as possible to the ideal characteristics.

In principle, we can say that the ideal skin is  closer to the concept of utopia than of reality  and in this sense it is the one that comes closest to the concept of perfection.


Children's skin could better represent the ideal one, but if we analyze in depth once again we have to limit ourselves to the concept of normality because they will be  always present even minimal skin alterations  which require some attention, especially in its care and hygiene.

Normal skin has a good cell turnover in the epidermis, a uniform and functional hydrolipidic film, with an adequate concentration of NMF and an adequate production of ceramides.

All these aspects could be summarized in one word:  equilibrium.

The concept of balance, in fact, explains how normal skin is able to  maintain its normal structure,  functionality and resistance  despite the environment and habits.

In practice, it is a type of skin that not only adapts and resists external or internal stimuli that could alter it, but  it reacts with a view to restoring its physiological balance, or rather its normality.

In this sense  normal skin can be:

  • the consequence of a good genetic heritage

  • the result of careful care in choosing the most suitable cosmetics to keep the skin healthy and to prevent alterations that develop dryness or greasiness

  • a mix of genetics and healthy eating, lifestyle and beauty habits

In all these cases, we are often faced with  people who know  "to listen"  your own skin  and respond at the right time with the solution it needs.

Those with normal skin, in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle, must also take care of  do not choose aggressive detergents  which could alter the hydrolipidic film.

body oil  or a high internal phase O / A emulsion  (i.e. with an O, or oily phase, very concentrated and in a higher percentage than the A, or external aqueous phase) they can be allies to always keep at hand for  prevent possible alterations of the hydrolipidic film, as well as of the structure of the most superficial layer of the skin.


At the same time, however, it is important  choose the most suitable cosmetic to withstand the external environment  according to the seasons. For example, in winter, with the cold, the hands are always exposed to wind and frost, as well as in summer, after exposure to the sun, the skin must always be nourished and protected.

Dry skin: the most thirsty and in need of lipids

Dry skin is  rough,  fragile  and easily  irritable.  It pulls and turns red in contact with water, it can  flake  little or too much e  it is never shiny, not even in the T-zone, i.e. forehead, nose and chin which generally produce more sebum.

Dry skin  he is thirsty but he is also hungry  since it is not only lacking in water or dehydrated, but also of essential nutrients useful for maintaining its softness, brightness, elasticity and natural hydration.

Dry skin, in fact,  it needs water but also lipids, nourishment or "raw material" to preserve the hydrolipidic film and also guarantee a temporary cementing action of the surface cells in the absence of ceramides.

Water and lipids or fats are  elements characterized by a low chemical affinity  and therefore they do not mix. If we put water and oil in a glass we have practical proof, observing the clear separation between the two phases, aqueous and oily.

But when it comes to skin, we can see how the "complex human machine" was able to exploit these differences to preserve the physiology and anatomical structure of the skin.

The hydration of the skin and its concentration of free or bound water is related to the integrity of the surface horny layer, to the  protective functionality of the hydrolipidic film  and his  NMF concentration, factors which are interconnected by a subtle balance.

The lack of one of these factors activates free water losses, especially in the presence of unfavorable environmental conditions, dietary and lifestyle habits. Practically,  dry skin not only needs to be hydrated but well nourished.

Dry skin, in fact,  And  mainly  the direct consequence of:

  • deficiency of ceramides

  • alterations in the cell turnover of the epidermis

  • alterations of the hydrolipidic film

  • deficiency of the Natural Hydration Factor

To these, they are added  factors  favors  internal and external  that activate these alterations:

  • genetics  → a certain familiarity has been highlighted in people with dry skin

  • age  → the elderly naturally tend to have drier skin than the young

  • stages of life  → for example, menopause and aging, but also pregnancy

  • environmental pollution

  • hormonal changes  → in particular, menopause or pregnancy are characterized by hormonal alterations that could favor alterations of the skin and favor its dryness

  • humidity of the environment  → a dry environment favors the evaporation of surface water

  • conditions of general dehydration  → drinking water is a healthy habit that also applies to preventing dry skin

  • Power supply  healthy, varied and rich in fruit and vegetables → we are what we eat even when it comes to skin

  • exposure to the sun

  • use of too aggressive detergents  → in particular, the presence of surfactants or other degreasing agents promotes dryness of the skin by washing away the hydrolipidic film

  • use of unsuitable cosmetics  → dry skin must be nourished and hydrated, so depending on the degree of dryness of the skin, you must choose products that are not only moisturizing. The choice of cosmetics must respond to the needs of the skin and change depending on whether it is  dry, very dry or even peeling skin , varying degrees of what is identified as Xerosis Cutanea.

Oily skin: the sebum exceeds

Oily skin is characterized by excessive sebum production  by the hair follicles  which manifests itself with a shiny and oily appearance, not only in the T-zone of the face.

Oily skin is also characterized by  more or less dilated pores  which tend to develop  black dots, the result of the concentration of sebum and foreign bodies that accumulate, spread over the face and other parts of the body.

Oily skin tends to evolve into  oily or impure acne-prone skin, both expressions of a skin particularly rich in sebum due to excessive reactivity to internal or external stimuli. Generally,  oily skin is a particularly reactive and sensitive skin  to internal and external stimuli.

In particular, the deficiency of ceramides and / or an altered hydrolipidic film are often highlighted, to which  the skin reacts  excessively  producing sebum in abundance in order to fill its lipid deficiencies  and return to a state of structural integrity.

Our body always tends to respond to any alteration, adapting and solving the problem.

When it comes to the skin, then, the body focuses on promoting the rebalancing of the elements that guarantee its natural protective barrier function of the human body, as the first line of defense from the outside to the inside.

Oily skin, therefore,  And  often  the result of an excessive response to skin lipid deficiency.

This explains why people with oily skin  they must not use degreasing detergents: removing excess sebum further nourishes its production, entering an unhealthy circle reminiscent of the classic "snake eating its own tail".

But what are the  main causes  of oily skin?

  • Genetic inheritance: Familiarity has been shown in some people with oily skin

  • Hormonal alterations: puberty is a phase of life in which oily skin problems can occur up to acne in relation to evident hormonal alterations and fluctuations. In some women, even cycle-related hormonal fluctuations can affect sebum production and so in other situations characterized by changes in hormone levels

  • Cleaning with aggressive detergents and degreasers

  • Use of cosmetic products not suitable for the type of skin

In particular, oily skin needs careful daily cleaning, at least morning and evening, with delicate detergents that do not wash away the hydrolipidic film and astrigent products, such as tonics, which limit the dilation of the pores and keep the skin properly "disinfected" its surface, limiting the attack of microorganisms that favor the development of blackheads and acne.

In addition, you must choose a cosmetic that rebalances the production of sebum by nourishing the skin with the lipids it needs and with sebum-balancing active ingredients such as Burdock, Rosemary, Lemon and many others.

These products generally have a fat component and prefer O / A creams or gels with a sebum-normalizing, moisturizing-normalizing and astringent action.

Combination skin: the balance that is missing

Mixed skin is probably that  more widespread, also because it is often  bound to  "Bad"  beauty habits or poor skin care  - daily exposed to the external environment, its pollution and its seasonal variability.

Combination skin tends to be  particularly oily in the T-zone, nose, forehead and chin, e  dry  let's hope  on cheeks,  eye contour,  hands,  elbows and legs.

On the face, moreover,  2 situations can be highlighted:

  1. combination skin tending to dry, if the dry areas are more extensive

  2. combination skin tending to oily, otherwise

In both cases, areas of normal skin can be seen where tendencies to extremes balance out.

Combination skin is the consequence of:

  • poor skin protection in summer or winter, in the sun or in contact with frost and wind

  • use of unsuitable or too aggressive cosmetics  that wash away the hydrolipidic film or alter the acid pH of the skin that reacts trying to re-balance the normal conditions in the affected areas

  • zonal alterations of the skin structure, the composition of the hydrolipidic film and the concentration of ceramides

  • unbalanced eating and lifestyle habits

Combination skin needs  cosmetics that re-balance its normal structure and functionality  in addition to the adoption of a varied, balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables and a healthier life.

In particular, it will have to be done  pay attention to the choice of detergent  suitable for cleaning face and body and at the same time it will be necessary  choose tonics,  masks  and other cosmetic products  with targeted action in the area of interest.

As for creams, oils and gels, you will have to  choose  also in this case  the most suitable normalizing product for areas that are too dry or too oily on the face and body.

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