How To Analyze Skin Types

As an esthetician, the first step in any professional treatment is analyzing and determining your client’s skin type.  While there are four basic skin types –  dry, oily, sensitive, and combination  – most people can have other characteristics different from their skin type. For example, an oily skin client may have surface dehydration. Many people will misdiagnosis dehydration for dry skin and switch to a heavier, creamier moisturizer that is too rich for their skin. Therefore, it is important for skin care professionals to properly analyze the skin to insure proper diagnosis and recommendation.

Dry skin has no oil, no comedones and has a taut, patchy surface.  Dry skin requires moisture. Choose a soap-free face wash and a toner that balances the skin and restores the skins natural pH. Dry skin is often red and irritated so ingredients that calm and soothe skin like willowherb are ideal for this skin type.  Lastly, a nighttime moisturizer like Repêchage Hydra Dew Nourishing GelCream restores moisture with essential fatty acids from seeds and nuts as well as hyaluronic acid and moisture boosting seaweed.  In addition to proper moisturization, a client with dry skin should hydrate from within and drink plenty of water daily.

Oily skin is characterized by shiny, enlarged pores and comedones. This skin type may be prone to pustules and milia and may be prone to acne. It is true that there has been a rise in adult acne in the last few years. This is evident by the number of product launches by manufacturers geared for acne clients. This epidemic of adult acne in women directly corresponds with increased stress and surging hormones.  However, oily skin types often suffer from dehydration. It is important to help control oil and minimize shine without stripping the skin of natural oils.  A face wash and astringent that refines pores and fights blemish-causing bacteria is essential.  A deep pore cleansing mask like Repêchage Hydra Medic Sea Mud Perfecting Mask is recommended 3 times a week.  Lastly, an oil-free moisturizer provides hydration without a greasy residue.

Combination skin is characteristic of over seventy percent of the population. Of that 70%, 98.9% suffer from an oily T-zone.  An exfoliating scrub like Repêchage Honey and Almond Scrub with oil absorbing oatmeal, humectant honey and almond meal cleanses the skin and eliminates blackheads and oily shine in the T-zone area.

Sensitive Skin is characterized by redness and irritation to environmental aggressors such as sun, smoke and pollution.  A gentle cream cleanser, and soothing toner are recommended.  Daily sun protection and an anti-oxidant rich mask three-times a week like Repêchage Hydra 4 Mask calms and hydrates skin while reducing skin reactivity.

The Milady esthetics textbook by Dr. Joel Gerson is an excellent source on treating different skin types and conditions. It is available online at

I also suggest investing in a Woods Lamp. This instrument is essentially a black light that allows you to visibly see oil, dehydration, hyper pigmentation, black heads, and even sun damage that is invisible to the naked eye.  It will help you easily recognize different skin types and help you effectively diagnosis your client.

8 Responses

  1. Marilyn says:

    How and when should I use the steamer with the Repechage facial? Should I use during the cleansing and exfoliation or use while my Client is masking? Also, is the steamer used during the Four-Layer Facial Service? Thank-you.

    • Lydia Sarfati says:

      Dear Marilyn,

      Thank you for writing!

      Steam is recommended for the following Repêchage Signature Facials:

      – Repêchage Four Layer Facial: Steam during cleansing toning and granular exfoliation. Turn steam off and continue with extractions.

      – Classic European Facial: Steam may be used during cleansing, toning, massage and exfoliation processes.

      – Hydra Medic for Problem Skin: Steam is used during step 1 (cleansing) and step 2 (prep serum). Turn off before application of step 3 (desincrustation mask).

      – Hydra Refine Facial for Oily Skin: Steam may be used during cleansing, toning, massage and exfoliation processes.

      Remember, steam is not recommended with any facial where your client’s skin shows signs of irritation or inflammation. Steam on this skin type can cause more damage. For sensitive/ rosacea skin, I recommend the Dr. Lucas Pulverized Machine instead of steam.

      For aid with removal of blackheads and pimples, remember to use the Repêchage Desincrustation Solution for the best results.

      I hope this answers your questions, if you have additional questions about our treatment protocols, please feel free to call 1.800.248.SKIN (7546) and one of our sales representatives would be happy to sign you up for one of my Post Graduate Skin Care Academy Classes or provide you with our step-by-step instructional DVDs.



  2. Sadia says:

    Hi Lydia, I am so impressed by the idea of a facial bar and the information on this site and most of all your own videos. Beautiful. I am introducing Repechage products in my salon but do not have any posters that describe what it really is and people somehow believe in written stuff. Can you please guide me where to go for Repechage posters for my salon?
    Thank you. you are doing a great job.

    • Lydia Sarfati says:

      Dear Sadia,

      I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying my blog!

      You can purchase marketing materials by calling one of our Repechage Sales Representatives at 1.800.248.SKIN(7546). You can also purchase and view our marketing materials on by selecting “Pros Only” and creating a username and password.

      Please feel free to contact me again if you have any further questions.



  3. navdeep kaur says:

    hi Lydia Sarfati i want to know how i can make that mask which you used on client and after how days one should take faceil massage.

    • brady says:

      Dear Navdeep,

      Thank you for reading! Which facial are you referring to? We have specific treatment for each skin condition. To see all of our treatments, please visit or call 1.800.248.SKIN to speak with one of our Sales Executives. I hope this answer was helpful.



  4. Irma Donovan says:

    Hi Lydia it nice to hear from you,I have been looking for some refreshing advise of the different types of skin and i am happy that you are some body that I must have come into contact with in Puerto Rico some years ago I am an Esthetician I have tried your product in the pass and I know i meet atone of the comfrences once again that for your advise ,because I have been out of buisness for some years I am looking for work with a company so I do my home work I have an auditon coming up do you have any advise that you think help me
    THanks Irma Donovan

    • admin says:


      Thank you for contacting me! I have passed along your message, and someone from Repechage will be contacting you soon. Please look out for an email.


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