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  • Share your skin goals and snap selfies

  • Your dermatology provider prescribes your formula

  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

Determining your skin type: Normal skin

Normal skin may be the most low-maintenance skin type, but it still needs plenty of TLC.

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Curology Team
Jan 13, 2023 · 6 min read

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We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.
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  3. > Determining your skin type: Normal skin

When it comes to skincare, normal is the exception, not the rule. But what is “normal” skin, anyway? Here we’ll explain what it means to have a “normal skin” type, how to take care of this type of skin, and which products our experts recommend for normal skin.

What is normal skin?

We spoke to one of our dermatology providers to let you in on what a normal skin type actually is: “Normal skin is often described as having no signs of dry flakes or shiny oil. [It] tends to feel smooth and is not overly reactive,” according to Julie Akiko Gladsjo, a board-certified dermatologist at Curology. That said, she adds that “skin type tends to vary depending on the location on your face, and skin type often changes throughout one’s lifetime.”

Filaggrin, a protein that plays an essential role in the skin’s barrier function, is seen in higher concentrations in normal skin than in dry skin. This may be one of the key differences between “normal” skin and dry skin, as dry skin is less able to cope with factors that decrease barrier function.¹

What are the characteristics of normal skin?

Skin is typically considered normal if it’s not too dry, too oily, or too sensitive. It’s well-balanced and hydrated, with minimal “problem areas,” although normal skin can still experience breakouts, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging. The characteristics of normal skin include the following: 

  • It’s smooth: If you have a normal skin type, the texture of your skin is more likely to be smooth and not rough or bumpy.

  • It’s not dry or flaky: Normal skin maintains its moisture levels and is not noticeably dry or flaky.

  • It’s not shiny with oil: Normal skin is unlikely to overproduce sebum (oil) due to balanced oil production, so it does not appear shiny.

  • It’s minimally sensitive: Normal skin is less likely to react to potential irritants, such as environmental stressors and new skincare products, makeup, or ingredients.

How to take care of normal skin

If you have a normal skin type, you’re in luck. It’s often lower maintenance than dry skin, combination skin, or oily skin. That said, having a low-maintenance skin type doesn’t mean you can slack off on skincare! A consistent skincare routine is key to avoiding and treating any skin concerns. Here are a few tips for taking care of normal skin: 

  • Always use sunscreen: Using broad-spectrum sunscreen daily is a must for every skin type. Reach for an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even if it’s overcast or rainy. Protecting your skin from sun exposure is a great way to help prevent and reduce signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.²

  • Cleanse and moisturize your skin daily: When you have a normal skin type, there’s more room for variety in your skincare products. Try a gel, cream, or oil cleanser and follow it up with your favorite moisturizer, morning and night. 

  • Don’t overdo it: If you have normal skin, your complexion is likely already smooth without significant issues. If this is the case, our dermatology providers recommend keeping your skincare routine simple. Using too many products might end up harming, rather than helping, your skin!

12 product recommendations for normal skin

If you have normal skin, you might wonder which products will best suit you. At Curology, we think that simple is best. We advise against following an overly complicated skincare routine, regardless of your skin type. Here are some cleansers, moisturizers, serums, and sunscreens for normal skin:

Cleansers

Serums

  • Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster: This concentrated vitamin C serum contains 15% pure vitamin C to brighten your skin while improving the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

  • Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum: This vitamin C serum is fragrance and paraben-free, antioxidant-enriched, and designed to give you a more even and luminous complexion.

Moisturizers

  • Curology Gel Moisturizer: This may be the best moisturizer for normal skin! Designed and developed by our team of dermatologists, Curology’s gel moisturizer is lightweight, absorbs quickly, and locks in hydration.

  • Curology Rich Moisturizer: Our ultra-creamy rich moisturizer reduces the appearance of signs of aging with ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

  • EltaMD AM Therapy: EltaMD’s AM Therapy facial moisturizer stimulates the skin’s natural water system to moisturize without oil or heavy emollients. It contains hyaluronic acid to help increase moisture absorption. It’s oil-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic.

  • Tula 24-7 Hydrating Day & Night Cream: Popular with many dermatology providers, Tula’s formula provides the long-lasting moisturizing power of a cream. It’s formulated with squalene and peptides to help nourish skin and even the look of skin tone.

Sunscreens

What products should you avoid for normal skin?

While there aren’t many “forbidden” ingredients for normal skin, you don’t need to use more products than necessary. Focus on maintaining your skin’s health and preventing dryness, signs of aging, and hyperpigmentation with a simple skincare routine.

Even if you have normal skin, you can still experience adverse reactions to products and ingredients. When in doubt, patch-test new products on a small area of your skin (on your arm, for instance) before applying them to your face.

You can trust Curology’s experts

Curology Skincare Products Custom Formula Cleanser Moisturizer

When it comes to determining the best care for your skin type, we recommend seeking professional advice. Founded in 2014, Curology was created by a board-certified dermatologist, and our licensed dermatology providers believe everyone’s skin is unique. We’re a full-service skincare membership offering products made with proven effective ingredients to treat acne, fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and rosacea.

Our experts can help take the guesswork out of your skincare routine by providing a custom treatment plan and personalized prescription formula to help you meet your skincare goals. We’ll determine the products you need to help you tackle your skin concerns. Our personalized prescription formulas can include ingredients such as tretinoin, a topical vitamin A derivative.

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Signing up is easy. Just answer a few questions and snap some selfies to help us get to know your skin better. If Curology is right for you, we’ll pair you with one of our in-house licensed dermatology providers. 

FAQs

What is normal skin?

“Normal skin is often described as having no signs of dry flakes or shiny oil. [It] tends to feel smooth and is not overly reactive,” according to Julie Akiko Gladsjo, a board-certified dermatologist at Curology. She adds that “skin type tends to vary depending on the location on your face, and skin type often changes throughout one’s lifetime.”

What are the characteristics of normal skin?

The characteristics of normal skin include the following: 

  • It’s smooth. 

  • It’s not dry or flaky.

  • It’s not shiny with oil.

  • It’s minimally sensitive.

What products should you avoid for normal skin?

While there aren’t many “forbidden” ingredients for normal skin, you don’t need to use more products than necessary. Focus on maintaining your skin’s health and preventing dryness, signs of aging, and hyperpigmentation with a simple skincare routine.

• • •

P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1.  Barrier disruption revealed physiologic differences in dry and normal skin. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (2011).

  2. Scott, I., et al. Method to determine UVA protection for normal skin. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (1991).

Kristen Jokela is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner at Curology. She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Our policy on product links:Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Kristen Jokela, NP-C

Kristen Jokela, NP-C

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