DSPW Skin Type: What You Need to Know

DSPW Skin Type: What You Need to Know


DSPW skin is one of the most challenging and complex of the Baumann Skin Types® because your skin can be affected by a number of varying factors.  Your skin type needs medical advice on skincare® more than any other skin type.  Without your doctor’s advice, it is too difficult for you to find the right products and daily regimen to keep your skin in check. The good news is that maintaining healthy, beautiful skin is possible, provided you carefully follow your recommended skin care guidelines.

What Is DSPW Skin Type?


A Baumann Skin Type of DSPW, or number 3, is Dry, Sensitive, Pigmented, and Wrinkle-Prone. Your skin is susceptible to dehydration, inflammation, overactive melanocytes (pigment cells), and at an increased risk of aging and skin cancer. Your skin does not produce an adequate amount of sebum (oil) to protect it from dehydration and allergens and irritants.  It is difficult to treat all of the factors at once.  For example, anti-aging and skin lightening ingredients can worsen your dryness or skin inflammation.  For this reason, a stepwise approach is critical.  Your doctor will prescribe a regimen that will hydrate and reduce inflammation first and then slowly as anti-aging and skin brightening ingredient as you can tolerate them.  The choice of ingredients and the order in which they are applied is very important for your skin type.

Another challenge that DSPW skin types face is the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all skincare regimen that will work 100 percent of the time for everyone with this skin type. Your doctor should evaluate your skin’s particular needs and design a regimen that solves your underlying issues. Your skincare treatment regimen will be adjusted monthly by your doctor as your skin improves.  Expect to give your skin about 16 weeks until it reaches the point that it is on a stable maintenance regimen. Your skin will likely react in changing seasons and humidity levels so your skincare regimen may need to be adjusted seasonally.

The Most Common Problems for DSPW Skin

Not all DSPW skin types experience the following problems but you are at a higher risk for the following issues:

  • Rough, tight skin
  • Lack of skin radiance due to poor light reflection
  • Eczema caused by the skin’s impaired barrier and decreased ability to hold onto water.
  • Acne
  • Rosacea– facial redness and flushing
  • Stinging, burning or itching skin
  • Rashes and skin allergies or irritation
  • Uneven Pigmentation such as sun spots, melasma, and post- inflammatory hyperpigmentation (skin darkening after inflammation)
  • Broken blood vessels on the face
  • Wrinkles
  • Thin fragile skin with easy bruising
  • Sagging skin
  • Skin cancer

How to Care for DSPW Skin

Before you write off your DSPW skin as impossible to deal with, understand that with the right daily regimen, you should be able to see improvements in your skin’s condition. In fact, the goal is to change your skin’s condition so that it acts like an easier to manage skin type such as ORNW or ORNT (the ideal skin type). Just keep in mind that your skin will always require daily consistent and correct skincare to keep it healthy and manageable.  You cannot change your genetics, but the proper skincare regimen can make up for your genetic deficiencies and allow your skin to function, feel and look better.

Here is some general advice for your skin type that will be tailored by your doctor for your individual needs:

Generally speaking, here are the products to include and avoid in any skincare routine for DSPW skin:

  • Cleanse with oil, cream, lotion or milk based cleansers. Avoid cleansers with detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate that foam.  Non-foaming or minimally foaming cleansers are better for your dry skin.
  • Use anti-inflammatory ingredients such as argan oil, green tea, niacinamide, macadamia nut oil, resveratrol, safflower oil, caffeine, feverfew, aloe, colloidal oatmeal and chamomile.
  • Avoid toners and products that contain alcohol
  • Use a barrier repair moisturizer at least twice a day.
  • Avoid mechanical exfoliation such as scrubs, facial brushes and microdermabrasion.  These can impair the skin barrier and spark inflammation.
  • Discuss with your doctor which skin brighteners and anti-aging products are best for your skin type.
  • For sun protection, use moisturizing sunscreens every day. Keep in mind that sun exposure contributes to skin inflammation, dryness, uneven pigmentation and increases the risk of skin aging and skin cancer.
  • Adopt healthy lifestyle habits such as stress reduction activities, sleep at least 7 hours a night and do not smoke.

The Bottom Line

DSPW is the most difficult skin type because it suffers from many different issues including dehydration, inflammation, uneven skin pigmentation and an increased risk of skin aging and skin cancer. Your skin type more than any other needs to be treated by a doctor.  Click here to find a STS approved physician in your area who can confirm your skin type and prescribe an effective treatment plan for your difficult skin.  The sooner you get started, the faster your skin will begin to behave like a healthier skin type.


Developed by world-renowned dermatologist, Leslie Baumann, MD, the Skin Type Solutions® Franchise System is an educational, science-based skincare store that implements a simple and reliable system to maximize skincare product sales and improve patient compliance and results.

Based on Dr. Baumann’s patent-pending Baumann Skin Typing System, this first-of-its-kind retail model provides dermatologists with the scientific methodology, training, and education necessary to prescribe effective, customized skincare regimens utilizing multiple brands of products that have been independently tested and approved by Dr. Baumann. To learn more about what Skin Type Solutions can do for your dermatology practice, visit the STS site here.

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