How to Determine Your Skin Type

No matter how expensive your skincare products are, the most important thing is knowing your skin type. It is the crucial step in taking care of your skin and making sure that every product you buy will suit you. 

Skin is the largest organ in our body, and believe it or not, it is as intelligent and important as the heart or lungs. That is why taking good care of it is not something you want or don’t. It is definitely something you must include as a part of your routine. 

You need to know that every skin is unique. However, there are five primary skin types:

  • Oily 
  • Normal
  • Dry 
  • Combination 
  • Sensitive

Understanding and determining your skin condition will lead you to make your skincare goals and finding those products that fit you perfectly. 


Short Guide to Skin Types

  • Oily skin refers to skin that shows off excess oil, most commonly around T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). Oily skin looks shiny, you can have a feeling of a greasy film on it, and it is prone to acne and breakouts. 
  • Normal skin is balanced. Meaning, it is not too dry nor too oily. If you have it - you are the lucky one, since it is not prone to breakouts and acne. This type should also have a well-balanced T-zone. 
  • Dry skin is itchy, flaky, and irritated. It feels dry on the touch and can look a bit dull, without glow, and overall appear dehydrated. 
  • Combination skin is exactly that - a combination of oily and dry patches. It appears you can have both of these types in one. Skin usually appears shiny and oily in T-zone, while cheeks are dry or normal. 
  • Sensitive skin may vary from person to person. In general, it shows signs of redness, eczema, and rosacea. On the other hand, sometimes signs are not visible, but it still feels itchy and dry. 

Trying to determine which skin type you are can be a bit confusing, but we have some tips and tricks for making everything easy for you. 

The Bare-Face Method

One of the most popular ways of determining your skin type is simply by observing your bare skin. You should try this experiment in the morning, after washing your face with a mild cleanser. Then use a towel to dry your face and don’t apply any other product on your skin for at least 25-30 minutes. Observe and study your skin. How does it feel? Do you notice anything new on your face? Redness, or maybe shine on the forehead. 

If it appears shiny you might have oily skin. On the other hand, if notice that your skin feels tight and has unpleasant red patches then your skin is likely dry or sensitive. 

Photo by Curology on Unsplash


The Blotting Sheet Method

Another way of determining your skin type is by using blotting sheet paper. All you need to do is to press clean blotting sheet paper on different parts of your face. Then, hold the paper towards the light and see how much oil it soaked. 

More oil on paper means you are likely to have oily skin. If there is no oil visible, your skin is probably dry. However, if the paper shows minimal oil from your forehead or nose, your skin is a combination or normal. 

Take a Photo

Your dermatologist might suggest you take a photo of your skin daily. That is how you can see if there are any changes, vascular filters, or blood vessels, that can indicate sensitive skin prone to rosacea and eczema. 

Your Skin Can Change Over the Years

Don’t take your skin type for granted. It can change over the years due to many different factors. For instance, pregnancy, hormonal dis-balance, location, or your diet can affect your skin type and the health of your skin in general. 

Always touch your skin and make sure to check the signs of dry or sensitive skin. Make sure to really feel the texture, temperature, and buoyancy. 

Every Skin is Unique

Think of your skin as your own personality. Every skin is unique, meaning that sometimes it can be a combination of those basic types even if you thought otherwise. Those skin types are classified by the skincare industry, but these are not medical terms. 

What works on your best friends’ dry skin, might not work on yours. Be aware of that and find your personal favorite products. Always be prepared for changes and make sure to check your skin every now and then. 

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