How to determine your skin type
Basic skincare

How to determine your skin type | The best guide

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There is a misconception about skin types in general and this post is to help you determine your skin type and to find skincare products suited for you.

The first time you try to figure this out can be a little overwhelming or it might be super easy. It mainly depends on you skin type. It is not only that there are certain categories of skin types (the four down below). But just because two people has an oily skin type they might not need the same products. Think of it as a scale. If every skin type has its inner scale from 1-10. You might be a 2 and another a 8 but still have the same skin type.

The only one that can determine the exact level of how oily or dry your skin is, is you! And I will guide you through how you can determine your own skin type and finding the products you need to get better looking skin.

How to test is further down. But I recommend you to read the basics first so you know and understand what to do.

What skin types are there?

Basically there are 4 different skin types.

Oily skin
Combination
Normal
Dry

Sensitive
Sensitive skin is not a skin type, but a condition and can be added to the others, ex oily and sensitive, dry and sensitive etc.

Oily skin type

This is when your skin produces a lot of oil on its own. Often a person with oily skin also have larger pores but just looking at your pores is not the easy way since I believe that everyone experience their own pores to be huge.

Combination skin type

Is were you have both oily parts and dry parts. The most common areas of oily skin is the T-zone. That is forehead, nose and chin. This is one of the most difficult skin types since you might need to use different products on your oily zones and your dry zones. But it will all become clear.

Normal skin type

This is when your skin doesn’t feel oily or dry. This is a very uncommon skin type and the one I think everyone would love to have. Having a normal skin type doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t dehydrated (which is a skin condition and not a skin type. More about this further down).

Dry skin type

This is when you lack moisturize in you skin, your skin feels dry and itchy and you can even have small wounds on your skin. Dry patches are common. Your skin just don’t produce enough sebum.

This is my skin type which differs between dry and super dry.

Skin conditions

Skin conditions is a whole different think and should not be confused with skin type.

A skin condition can effect any skin type and can be things like dehydration, sensitive skin and acne. This is most often something that is temporary. For example you can have a lot of acne due to menstrual cycle or medication. Sensitive skin can be a reaction of certain ingredients etc.

Seasonal changes

I live in Sweden and my skin types condition differs between seasons. I don’t have super bad luck here but my skin differs from being dry in the summer and spring and super desert dry during winter and fall. It is most common to experience some changes in your skin and sometimes it is easy to figure out and sometimes not so easy. For me I just need to add more hydrating product during winter. And you might need something else, this depends on your skin type.

This is quite easy if you know what to add.

Oilier skin types might experience a huge production in oil during summer and a little less during winter.

Seasons can make a huge difference to what products you are using as well so bare that in mind when you are determining your skin type. I find it to be easier to first establish skin type then add or remove product with the seasonal changes.

How to determine your skin type

Can my skin type change?

Well, this is a yes and no question. For dry and oily skin types you skin seldom completely changes unless you are getting older. The older you get the drier your skin gets and a person who has been oily in their younger days might experience a more normal to dry skin when they get older.

An oily skin type might experience much less oil during winter, but still has an oily skin type.

But if you have normal or combination skin you might experience a huge difference in season and you might change your routine a lot between seasons. If you feel that it is difficult to determine your skin type because it feels like it changes. Just do the test below once during colder season and then during warmer seasons. Your skin type can also change when you go through hormonal treatments or the use of birth control.

Why is it important to know your skin type?

If you want the best skincare products for your skin it is absolutely important to know what your skin type is. This doesn’t mean that you will never have acne or any other skincare issues if you just follow the recommendations for your skin type. It simply means that you get the best looking skin you can possibly get.

For example; My own skin type is really dry and dehydrated (being dehydrated is something oily skin types can be as well so don’t mix it up with skin having a dry skin type). If I use products for oily skin types my skin is not acting nicely. I will have a lot of dry patches, my makeup will look dry and cracked and the feeling of my skin will just be painful. So getting the right skincare products for you can make a huge different on how your skin both feels and look.

This of course also true for example oily skin types using products for dry skin. By using products for dry skin you will add more moisture than your skin can handle since your pores already produces a lot of oil. This will make your face look oily and makeup will not last on your skin.

What effects your skin?

There are so many external as well as internal factors that determines how your skin is feeling.

Food, environment, genetics, hormones, skin type and skincare products are just a few.

What problems do people experience based on skin type?

Dehydration, acne, sensitive skin, hyper pigmentation, uneven skin tone, whiteheads and blackheads, wrinkles etc. These are not specific skin types and doesn’t determine what skin type you have. This is were serums and treatments to your skin comes in. But that is a whole different post. This post is the first step in just knowing what type you are.

Is it possible to always have nice looking skin?

No it really isn’t. Sometimes it is simply impossible to do something about a certain situation. One can only use the correct products and then treat the issue the correct way and it might help with getting the situation under control a little faster. Or heal quicker.

How to determine your skin type

How to determine your skin type

One solution is to actually go to a dermatologist and have them do an analysis on your skin. They can then give you all the information you need to take care of your skin. But if you are looking for information on how you can determine your own skin type, just keep on reading.

Step 1

Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I will give you tips on products further down.

Do not use a regular soap or anything like that because soap can strip your skin from all moisture and that can make a really oily and hydrated skin type feel dry.

Step 2

After cleansing, just leave your skin without adding any products to it. Wait about 30-60 min. If you have super dry skin like me you will feel really uncomfortable as soon as your skin is dry. If you are not sure within 30 min, just wait until an hour is up.

Step 3

This last step is to look and feel your skin. Look in the mirror and see just how it looks.

You have Oily skin type

If your skin looks shiny in the mirror or if you can take a blotting paper and your skin already produces a lot of oil (not only on the T-zone). Your skin has an overall feeling of being soft.

You have Combination skin type

If you have areas of your face where you are oily and areas where you are more or less dry you have a combination skin. This the most common skin type but is also a difficult skin type since you need different products for different areas. You can test by blotting your face and if there is a huge difference in oil production in you T-zone and your cheeks.

You have Normal skin type

If your skin feels fine without anything actually feel oily or dry, you have normal skin. This skin type is not very common and if you are one of the lucky few, be happy.

You have Dry skin type

If your skin feels uncomfortable or tight, you might even see dry patches. Or just the overall feeling of wanting to add moisture.

How to determine your skin type
How to determine your skin type

The makeup test

This is another way you can test your skin type. But I do find that the other one is better and gives a more certain way due to that no products that effects your skin is involved. But is is generally to look at how your makeup holds and feels.

Oily skin type

If you feel like you need to add powder throughout the day and the oil shines through your makeup or it actually slides off.

Combination skin

Some parts looks oily and some dry. You might experience that you need to powder your T zone but not the cheeks. You have combination skin type.

Normal skin type

If you really don’t notice any of the above, you have normal skin type.

Dry skin

Your foundation might look cakey and powders makes everything worse. You might even notice that your makeup looks better after a few hours.

So is it just that easy?

Well yes and no. One of the biggest misconceptions is that if you are oily you cant use moisturizing products but that is not the case. If you are oily you need hydration as well. But you need a moisturizer for oily skin and not for normal or dry skin. There is a post coming up on the difference between dry and dehydrated skin as well.

Product recommendations for different skin types

For more product tips I recommend you to go the Yesstyle and then filter the products for your skin concerns and read the reviews. This way you find more great tips. But down below are a few.

Oily skin types

Cleanser

COSRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

Anua – Heartleaf Pore Control Cleansing Oil

Toner

SOME BY MI – AHA, BHA, PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner

Serums

This step is look at your skin and see what you need to add to your skin. It might be a serum that targets wrinkles, or uneven skin tones, acne or other conditions.

Moisturizer

SOME BY MI – AHA, BHA, PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream 

Combination skin types

Combination skin can choose either from the dry, normal or oily product recommendations depending on if your skin feels mostly oily or dry. And if you really want to step it up you can use two different moisturizers. One for dry skin on your dry areas and one with sebum control (for oily skin) on areas you are more oily.

Normal skin type

Cleanser

COSRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

SKIN 1004 – Madagascar Centella Light Cleansing Oil

Toner

Anua – Heartleaf 77% Soothing Toner

Serums

This step is look at your skin and see what you need to add to your skin. It might be a serum that targets wrinkles, or uneven skin tones, acne or other conditions.

Moisturizer

Pyunkang Yul – Calming Moisture Barrier Cream

Dry skin type

Since this is my skin type there is a lot of product tips on this blog already. And if you go to categories Favorites you will find many product that matches this skin type.

Cleanser

ROVECTIN – Aqua Hydration Gentle Cleansing Gel

B.LAB – Matcha Hydrating Foam Cleanser

Toner

Pyunkang Yul – Essence Toner

Serums

This step is look at your skin and see what you need to add to your skin. It might be a serum that targets wrinkles, or uneven skin tones, acne or other conditions.

Moisturizer

iUNIK – Beta-Glucan Daily Moisture Cream


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