Macroscopic Properties



Depending on its hydration, the feeling and macroscopic appearance of the skin can vary.

Skin Care IQ Oily Skin Icon

OILY SKIN appears shiny and has a tendency to develop acne.

Skin Care IQ Dry Skin Icon

DRY SKIN feels tight, rough, and itchy and appears flaky (ashy for dark skin tones).

Skin Care IQ Combination Skin Icon

COMBINATION SKIN has areas that are oily (typically in the T-zone: forehead, nose, chin) and dry (cheeks, jawbone)

How oily or dry your skin appears depends on (1) the outer layer of skin that helps the skin retain moisture and (2) oil production of the skin. These two factors can depend on your genetics but are also affected by environmental factors. You can learn more by taking our Skin Type Test.

Learn how to balance your skin for your skin type.


Some people are inherently more resistant to external factors like the weather or chemicals than others.

Skin Care IQ Resistant Skin Icon

RESISTANT SKIN is resistant to the external factors

Skin Care IQ Sensitive Skin Icon

SENSITIVE SKIN is reactive and can become sensitized, acne-prone, or inflamed when the skin barrier is impaired

Resistance of your skin to allergens and other factors will affect your response to skin care products. Skin Care IQ will help you find products that work and benefit your skin.

Macroscopically, resistant skin appears normal, but sensitive skin is prone to inflammation, initially appearing pink or red or purplish for darker skin tones. Sensitive skin can feel hot or sting. There are four sensitive skin subtypes, each with unique skin care needs.

Find out how to handle sensitive skin.


Pigmentation refers to developing unwanted pigmented spots or patches, independent of racial/ethnic skin color.

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PIGMENTED SKIN develops unwanted pigmented spots or patches usually due to a trigger

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NON-PIGMENTED SKIN does not develop pigmented spots or patches

Sun exposure can affect the appearance of your skin. Skin Care IQ can help you protect your skin.

Dark spots may be in the form of brown or gray patches, sun spots, freckles, birthmarks, moles, or keratoses (a brown, black or light tan growth on the face, chest, shoulders or back). These are usually a result of sun exposure and a lack of sun protection.

Find tools to minimize spots and prevent new ones.


Firmness refers to the propensity of skin to be wrinkled or smooth.

Skin Care IQ Wrinkly Skin Icon

WRINKLY SKIN is when the skin is less tight and more prone to wrinkles

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SMOOTH SKIN is when the skin is more tight and less prone to wrinkles

Skin may be smooth or wrinkled. Skin Care IQ will help you understand how your skin will respond to skin care products depending on these factors.

While it is age-related, it is affected by intrinsic factors such as genetics or by extrinsic factors such as smoking, pollution, poor nutrition, and sun exposure.

Skin Care IQ can help you find beneficial skin care products for wrinkled or smooth skin.


The combination of these four macroscopic features of the skin are interactively associated with development of other skin features (e.g. acne, sun spots, etc.) and associated with responses to skin care products and ingredients. Understanding your skin type can help with knowing what aspects of skin care you should focus on and why your skin may react to a certain product.