While I believe that “skin types” aren’t as cut-and-dry as we make them out to be, the classifications can be useful tools to help sift through the saturated skin care market. For example, you probably know where you fall on the “dry to oily” spectrum—or if you’re blemish-prone, easily irritated, or are naturally sensitive.
While these categories can all overlap a bit (you can be both acne-prone and sensitive, for example), they can at least help you eliminate options that you know won’t work for you. So if you’re dry, you know that you probably shouldn’t find a night cream with a high concentration of physical exfoliants. Or if you’re sensitive, you may want to avoid irritating ingredients, such as essential oils, salicylic acid, and even strong retinols.
Knowing your skin’s baseline is a vital first step in finding a formula for you.