How to determine
your skin type

what is my skin type?

When you understanding what your skin type is, we can then determine what products and treatments will offer us the most benefits. Regardless what your skin type is, everyone can benefit from daily cleansing and moisturising.

Your skin is the body’s largest organ, so taking time in understanding how it functions will help you to determine what products and treatments to use.

Everyone’s skin is unique. There are a few common skin types to help you identify where your skin fits in the most. Mainly there are five skin types:

      • Normal
      • Dry Skin
      • Oily Skin
      • Combination Skin
      • Sensitive Skin

So how do you know what type of skin you have? The answer can be found through simple observation.

2 simple at home methods to try

1. The bare face method

With a mild cleanser, thoroughly wash your face and gently pat dry. Do not apply any moisturiser, serum or treatments. Wait 30 minutes, evaluate how your skin feels. Examine your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead for any shine. After a further 30 minutes evaluate if your skin feel parched when you smile. If your skin feels tight, your skin is likely to be dry. If there is noticeable shine on your forehead, nose and chin, you have likely have a normal/combination skin. Shine on your cheeks, forehead nose and chin you likely have a oily skin.

2. The blotting sheet method

This is a faster method and often an excellent way to differentiate between oily and dry skin. After cleansing your face, wait 30 minutes before gently patting on different area of the face with a piece of blotting paper. Blotting paper will absorb oil. Examine the sheet up in the light to reveal the visible oil. If the sheet shows oil from the forehead and nose, you likely have a normal/combination skin. If the blotting paper is saturated with oil, you likely have oily skin. The less oil is present or the lack thereof, you might have a dry skin.

Now that you know how to determine your skin type, lets look into the different skin types.

Normal Skin

A pretty even-keeled skin. you really don’t experience any reactions to products and your complexion appears balances.

Thanks to good genes you have a pretty easy skin.

Normal skin is one of the easiest types to take care of. However, it is also the quickest to show signs of ageing. It is good to add hydrating and anti-aging products to your skincare routine.

Dry Skin

Tight, itchy skin year round, especially after cleansing, might be a good indication that your skin is dry. Some flakiness or scaling might also be present. There is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dry skin is caused by the lack of oil and dehydrated skin is caused by the lack of water.

The skin produces less oil. A hormone imbalance, dry climate, cold weather, too hot showers/baths, medication and age can all be contributing factors to your dry skin.

Products that have alcohol and sulfate- bases should be avoided. This can dry out and strip your skin from the little natural oils that are present.

Oily Skin

If your skin is shiny or you notice excess oil on your face you have an oily skin type. You will have the urge to want to wash your face in the afternoon as this is when the oil production is at its peak. You are likely to have enlarged pores and struggle with clogged pores that cause breakouts like acne and blackheads. Don’t get discouraged, the good news is research suggests that oily skins have less wrinkles.

Oily skin is caused when the skin’s sebaceous gland overproduce sebum (oil). Factors can include genetic makeup, hormones, humidity or the incorrect use of skincare products.

The skin can only absorb a certain amount of moisture. Thus it is best advised to avoid oil based cleansers, moisturisers and makeup. Products that contain alcohol or sulphates should also be avoided. It might seem counter intuitive but this is where it become interesting, many skincare products that have been formulated to treat oily skins are actually stripping your skin of its natural oils which are needed to moisturise and protect your skin. When your skin senses that it is dry, it will produce even more oil as a defence mechanism.

Combination Skin

Your forehead, nose and chin, known as your T-zone, will tend to be oily, have enlarged pores with the occasional breakouts. Your cheeks and jawline will be dry, or normal. The goal is to balance the skin. treating two different issues can be tricky.

Most of the times the type of products that you use can be the cause in the imbalance. However, genes and a overproduction of sebum in your T-zone can also be a factor.

It is best to avoid products that are alcohol-based to prevent drying. Oil control products should be used as a target towards the oily T-zone and not the entire face. A product that can restore balance is a good choice.

Sensitive Skin

When your skin becomes easily irritated or inflamed, itchy, dry or gets red easily, congratulations you have sensitive skin. Your skin might react to new products, heat or easily get razor bumps when shaving. You might want to be careful of the sun as you will probably get sunburned easily.

Sensitive skin might be hard to pin down to one single cause. Genetics, hormones, weather and hard water can all be contributing factors. Every single product that you use, makeup, lotion, soap, laundry detergents etc that might include fragrances or harsh chemicals can all aggravate your already sensitive skin.

Any products that contain possible harsh ingredients like fragrance, dyes or chemicals should be avoided as it might possibly cause irritation. Natural ingredients and a simple skincare routine is the way to go.

Final thoughts

As we age, move to different locations and experience different seasons and lifestyles, our skins will change. It is good to have a understanding the different skin types and how to treat them. This will allow us to treat our skin correctly to gain optimal healthy glowing skin.

A good rule to follow is to do a 24 hour test patch on your skin before applying a new product to your entire face. Especially if you have sensitive skin. Sample products are a great way to test a product before spending money on a full range.

There is no good or bad skin type. Every skin type just behaves differently. Regardless of the skin type that you have, be sure to use products that will offer benefits to your and allow you to achieve healthy glowing skin.