Determining Your Skin Type: Why It Matters

Prior to the creation of the 16 Baumann Skin Types®, skincare consumers and professionals alike primarily discussed skin typing in terms of normal, dry, oily, or sensitive. While these characteristics might be part of your skin type, the truth is that your skin is much more complex than simply fitting into one of four different categories. Knowing more about the specific qualities of your unique skin type can be a tremendous help when choosing the right skincare products and treatment options. Think of skin typing as a guideline for custom-tailoring your entire skincare routine to fit your individual needs.

How Is the Baumann Skin Type® Determined?

Professional skincare specialists can now use the Baumann Skin Type Indicator (BSTI), a scientifically validated questionnaire, to determine which of the 16 Baumann Skin Types is appropriate for you. These categories take into account four key skin attributes: Dry/Oily, Sensitive/Resistant, Pigmented/Non-pigmented, and Wrinkle-Prone/Tight. Thus, each Baumann Skin Type is much more than mere skin attributes. Instead, each highlights the various dermatologic problems that typically arise within that skin type, which can determine the appropriate preventative measures and treatment options unique to your specific skin concerns.

Why Is Skin Type So Important?

So why isn’t it a good idea to simply head to your local drugstore or skincare boutique and pick up a few products to try until you find the “right” ones? First, you’re going to waste a lot of money doing this, especially if you’re springing for professional-grade products that tend to be more expensive.

Secondly, you could actually be causing your skin some serious damage and irritation by using the wrong products. For example, someone with the skin type DSPW (Dry, Sensitive, Pigmented, and Wrinkled) should stay away from skincare products that may contain harsh ingredients that could lead to irritation and further skin damage. But even if you’re using a product that’s meant for dry skin, it likely won’t also take into consideration that your skin is also sensitive and prone to wrinkles and discoloration.

Any ingredients that you use on your skin can either have a positive or negative effect. Knowing your Baumann Skin Type® is truly the best way to avoid causing unnecessary damage with products that don’t suit all aspects of your specific skin type.

Will My Skin Type Change?

Knowing your skin type does require a small amount of annual maintenance, because your Baumann Skin Type can change with age, pregnancy, menopause, climate conditions, diet, and lifestyle habits. Products that may have worked very well for you prior to pregnancy, for instance, may not be suitable to use afterwards, as your body and skin undergo a variety of changes throughout the process.

The goal of getting on the proper skin care regimen for your skin type is to try and change your skin to be as close as possible to the ideal skin type ORNT (Oily, resistant, nonpigmented and tight).  This skin type enjoys adequate protective sebum production with a low tendency towards inflammatory, dyspigmentation and aging. Using the right products for your skin type is the first step on the path to the ideal skin type.

Checking in with your dermatologist about possible changes in your Baumann Skin Type® can help to keep your skin health on the right track.

The Bottom Line

Find a dermatologist that offers the Skin Type Solutions questionnaire to diagnose your Baumann Skin Type. (Only doctors that are specifically chosen and trained offer this system). The sooner you get on the proper skincare regimen the faster you will have healthy skin. Taking a little extra time to discover your Baumann Skin Type and matching the right products to your specific needs, can save you a whole lot of time, money, and skincare headaches in the long run. Just as you might custom-tailor an exercise plan to fit your body type and fitness goals, your skincare routine should be unique to you and your individual skin type.


Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D. and her team at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology believe in proof, not promises. World-recognized for both cosmetic and general dermatology, our treatment strategies rely exclusively on evidence-based, scientifically verified products and procedures that promote skin health and a natural appearance. We combine effective medical procedures with individualized instruction on proper skincare, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle in order to maximize the health of the skin and body as a whole while minimizing the effects of aging. For more, visit Dr. Baumann’s blog for daily updates Monday through Friday, or inquire about an appointment through

September 6, 2016 Skin Type