How To Determine What Type Of Skin You Have

Elsa Garcia 6 years ago 0 10

How Well Do You Really Know Your Skin?

Your skin care regime is built around the concerns of needs of your skin; but, if you don't know your type, where do you even begin? Everything from cleansers to makeup are designed around the properties that each skin type carries. Using the wrong products can spell trouble for skin if you're not careful. However products designed for your skin type yield the highest results and keep skin happy!

Generally there are 5 common skin types, you may fall under more than one; however, most people typically gravitate toward one.  Once identifying the type you have using a series of simple tests, , you can easily build a customized skin care regime to serve your needs.

The 5 Skin Types

Normal Skin

If you have this skin type, consider yourself incredibly lucky! Your skin type is the envy within the skin care community and what everyone is striving to achieve.  Those with this skin type have a supple texture throughout, little imperfections and barely visible pores. Your skin does not have dry patches or patches of sheen; rather it has a smooth and even toned texture. After cleansing, skin feels clear and not excessively dry. Skin care regime for this skin type is relatively low-maintenance due to the fact that the circulation for this skin type is well regulated.

Oily Skin

This skin type is notorious for having the perfect conditions for acne to thrive. If you have this type it is fairly obvious; due, to the constant blotting or touch ups throughout the day. It almost feels that no matter how much you cleanse, the oil tends to creep up not too soon after to give a shiny appearance.  This is due to overactive sebaceous glands producing more oil than your skin can compensate for. This skin type also carries the qualities of enlarged visible pores, acne, blackheads and a thick film like texture. Although this skin type is hereditary, it can be aggregated with a high fat diet that cause more frequent breakouts.

Oily skin creates an all over sheen

Dry Skin

This skin type carries a tightening feeling all over no matter how moisturizer you apply throughout the day. Due to a less supple or glowing appearance, lines around the mouth and eye area are also more visible. Appearance of pores are nearly invisible and have a tight feeling around (especially after cleansing). Those with this type can also experience flaking around the mouth area especially during dry winter months. Breakouts are minimal and the appearance of skin can take on a dull complexion.

Combination Skin

Surprisingly this skin type is exactly what its name implies. It carries the qualities of oily and dry skin simultaneously; however, the regions are split making it easy to notice.  One standout to determine if you have this skin type is looking at the T-Zone area (nose, forehead and chin area). If this area appears oily yet the cheeks appear normal, flushed or dry, then you more than likely have combination skin.  Combination skin typically has larger than normal sized pores, blackheads and shiny skin along the T-Zone area. For this type, if you're only using one type of cleanser, the T-Zone will feel refreshed; however, cheeks can feel tight due to shrinkage of pores.  It is best to use a myriad of products to tackle each region properly, rather than depending on one cleanser to carry out the job.

Where to Find the T-Zone Area


Sensitive Skin

This type is unique in the fact that you can fall under the above categories and still have sensitive skin.  It is made obvious whenever using skin care products or cosmetics due to the flushing and redness that occurs soon after. This is due to skin reacting to fragrances and harsh chemicals that most people experience little reaction to.  Not only does the color of skin change; but, itching, burning and cracking of skin can also be a symptom. Those with this skin type benefit greatly from soothing agents and using fragrance free products to eliminate allergic reactions.

Tea Tree Oil is one of nature's best soothing agents

Skin Tests To Determine Your Type

Now these tests do not substitute whatever tests your dermatologist may conduct; but rather act as a general reference point. These easy to do tests can be done in as little as a few minutes in the comfort of your own home!

Blot Sheet Test

This test literally takes 30 seconds and the results are pretty clear cut to determine if you have oily or dry skin. Take a blotting sheet (not a tissue paper) because these sheets are designed to absorb oil without irritating skin. Gently blot the T-Zone to see how much oil appears, then blot the cheek area. If you have oil on the T-Zone, then you have oily skin for sure, that is why you need to also blot the cheek area to rule out combination skin as a possibility. It is best to do this test first thing in the morning before you've cleansed, then repeat mid-day to verify findings.

Clear Face Test

This test is pretty fool proof as well, all you simply need to do is cleanse face with a gentle cleanser (should be water based). Removing all traces of oil, makeup and grime leaves skin in its most natural state possible. Pat down skin and leave alone for about 1 hour (skip the moisturizer, serums and sunscreen). It is important to not touch skin during this time as well because your finger tips transfer oil and dirt. After the time has passed, observe your skin. Look for signs of oil, dewy or tightness of pores.


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