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What's the Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Skin?


Updated July 03, 2014

Woman rubbing neck

Consistent color is a sign of youthful, healthy skin.

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Question: What's the Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Skin?

Whether you know it or not, the health of your skin is being judged everyday. You do it yourself when you look in the mirror for blotches and bumps. Other people are also looking at your skin to determine how attractive you are.

Is your skin healthy or unhealthy? How do you know the difference? What are the components of healthy skin? Knowing the answers to these questions is the first step in determining how you should be taking care of your skin. The following are components of healthy skin.



Even Color

Consistent color is a sign of youthful, healthy skin. Studies have shown that consistent, even skin tone is a main element of attractiveness. As a matter of fact, the consistency of skin color is considered more attractive than having a certain skin color. Examples of uneven color include:
  • Blotchiness
  • Spots that are dark, light or red
  • Dark circles under eyes

Smooth Texture

Healthy skin looks smooth and feels smooth. If you look at healthy skin close-up, the surface is "regularly irregular." This means that the skin is not smooth like glass but has tiny peaks around hair follicles and pores, and tiny valleys in between the peaks. These peaks and valleys are consistent throughout the skin giving it a uniform appearance. On the other hand, unhealthy skin does not have a uniform texture. Examples of texture skin problems include:
  • Bumps
  • Acne
  • Blackheads, whiteheads
  • Wrinkles
  • Scars


Healthy skin is well hydrated. The skin cells slough off but this sloughing is not noticeable. If too many skin cells slough at the same time, this creates problems that we blame on dry skin, like:
  • Flaking skin
  • Scaly skin

Normal Sensations

If your skin is healthy, you shouldn't notice it or feel it unless you're looking in the mirror. Healthy skin doesn't have any unusual sensations. Signs of unhealthy skin sensations include:
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Pulling


  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Dermatology
  4. Skin Care
  5. Skin Care FAQ
  6. What's the Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Skin?

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