Do You Really Know Your Skin Type?

how to find your skin type

Knowing how to find your skin type – and analyzing your skin – is one of those beauty “things” I believe every woman should know.

Determining your skin type will help you know how to take care of your skin, how to choose the right skincare products and even the right makeup – all that will help you look your personal best. Choosing products at random can actually make your skin concerns worse, cause more problems, and even make your makeup look “off”.

How to Find Your Skin Type

Unfortunately though, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about skin types, and a lot of them are to sell you certain products. But the simple truth is that your skin type is determined by how much oil your face produces. That’s it! This can come from stress, genes, environment and your diet. Below are my tips on how to find your skin type, what your skincare goals and what products your skin will actually need (it may actually surprise you).

Normal skin.

You may have normal skin if…

  • Your skin feels well balanced and even. In other words – your skin is neither oily or dry, just kinda in the middle.
  • Your skin feels comfortable as well; meaning it never feels tight, itchy, oily, or dry.
  • Your pores are not that visible, they seem to be normal sized.
  • Your skin has very few lines or wrinkles and is generally pretty smooth.

Normal skin can be categorized as just being very well balanced with no particular skin concern standing out – whether too oily, too dry, etc. It’s just… normal, really. Lucky you!

Normal skin goals: Again – so lucky. This skin type is the easies to treat, and your goals are just to maintain your skin condition and protect. A simple cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen is all you really need.

Oily skin.

You may have oily skin if…

  • You have all-over shine; there’s not one concentrated area that is oilier than the rest of your face.
  • You tend to get “shiny” after just a few hours (or less) after cleansing your face.
  • Your pores are on the large side.
  • Your skin is acne-prone with regular blemishes, whiteheads, blackheads, pimples.

Oily skin can be tricky to treat. But the main goals for your skin type is to minimize shine, control breakouts, moisturize and protect. I know it sounds like a lot, and there are many complaints from those with oily skin. Here’s one thing to be happy about – those with oily skin will hardly have any signs of aging, ’cause your skin is so “lubricated” that frowning and laugh lines won’t settle into your skin. Wrinkles and fine lines will practically be nonexistent with you!

Oily skin goals: the main goals for your skin type is to minimize shine, control breakouts, moisturize and protect. You’ll need a deep cleansing cleanser, an oil-free moisturizer (no exceptions!) and an oil-free sunscreen.

The first thing you may want to check out is How to: Reduce Large Pores, but I will also be writing many posts on treating oily and acne-prone skin since this is most common skin type for Asian women, keep a lookout for that.

Combination skin.

You may have combination skin if…

  • Your skin is oily in the T-zone, and has several areas that are also dry, such as your cheeks – in other words, your skin is a combination of dry/oily in different places.
  • Pores tend to be larger around the nose, forehead and cheeks.
  • You are prone to acne and pimples, especially during that time of the month.

Combination skin goals: Most people at some point in their lives have combination skin. Your goal: Control shine, normalize skin, treat and protect. An acne-fighting cleanser, oil-free moisturizer (and a slightly heavier one for the night) and oil-free sunscreen is all you’ll need.

Sensitive skin.

You may have sensitive skin if…

  • Your skin is thin and delicate.
  • Your skin flushes and blushes easily.
  • Your skin is prone to broken capillaries.
  • Your skin is frequently allergic, which may include rashes/peeling skin, dryness, itchiness.

Sensitive skin goals: Your goal is very simple – treat your skin gently (and know which ingredients your skin can’t handle), moisturize and protect. A gentle cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen is all you’ll need.

By the way – people tend to overuse the term “sensitive skin” and think they have it when they really don’t. Check out my post Do You Really Have Sensitive Skin? for more info.

Dry & Dehydrated Skin.

You may have dry and dehydrated skin if…

  • You have fine, almost invisible pores.
  • Your skin feels dry and tight, with cheeks that tend to get very flaky and dry.
  • You have visible lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.
  • Your skin feels tight after cleansing.
  • Your lips tend to be very dry as well.

Dry skin goals: Your goal for dry skin is simple – hydrate! But not just moisturizing and hydrating, but treating and protecting as well. A hydrating cleanser (I adore this cleanser for dry skin), moisturizer and a light, hydrating sunscreen is what you’ll need.

But wait – there’s the catch.

… You’re probably a mix of a few skin types.

(Also, your skin type can change over the years.)

For example, in my teen years I definitely had oily and acne prone skin. Today, my skin is quite dry and very sensitive, and I only get a zit once in a blue moon (especially if my diet is bad, which I talked about in Does Junk Food Cause Acne?).

Product-wise, I use a mix of them for all my skin concerns. I use an intensive acne cleanser 1-2 times a month (I feel like the “shock” of its harsh acne-fighting sulfur ingredient makes my skin behave for the rest of the month!), and a cleanser for dry and sensitive skin every other time. For moisturizers I use an oil-free moisturizer in the day, and a heavier one in the night. And for sunscreen I use an oil-free one too.

It’s all about finding the right routine and what works for your skin, but I hope this post will give you a guideline or a starting point in taking care of your skin! I’ll be writing much more on skincare, so stay tuned for that.

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