Determining your Skin Type
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Something that I have acknowledge is I know very, very, little. But I do know sometimes where to find people who know more. So this blog post is brought to you from Reddit, where I spend entirely too much time.
Most people don't know what kind of skin type they have, but what kind of skin you have should be the first and the most important step on your skincare journey. Determining and understanding your skin type is essential to properly treating and maintaining your skincare regimen. Commonly, people will even misdiagnose themselves with a different skin type than what they actually have. Here are the different types of skin types and how to recognize and test yourself.
Skin types vary depending upon factors such as:
Water content, which affects your skin's comfort and elasticity
Oil (lipid) content, which affects your skin's softness
Weather or season
To determine your skin type at home, the best method is to wash your face at night of all make-up and dirt, do not use any skin care products (that's including moisturizer!) and sleep in a air condition free environment. When you wake up, before doing anything to your face, wipe a clean oil blotting tissue (or thin piece of paper) around your face.
How to test your skin:
Before going to bed, wash your face of all make-up and debris you've picked up during the day and pat dry. Do not apply any skincare products or moisturizers. Turn off your A/C, tie your hair in a braid away from your face and go to sleep. Get an appropriate amount of beauty sleep. Test your skin with a fresh, clean facial tissue or oil blotting paper right when you wake up before you wash or apply anything to your face. Also, observe the look and feel of your skin in the mirror.
There are five main categories:
Here are the zones that are the most effective in determining your skin type. These are the areas you should wipe with your fresh, clean facial tissue.
Imagine writing a T in the middle of your face. The T-Zone consists of the forehead, nose, sides of the nose and chin.
The C-Zone is a lesser known term. Draw a C on the outside of your face from your temples to your jaw. The C-Zone is usually dry and blemish free, but can help identify combination, acne prone and oily skin types.
Normal (slightly oily T-Zone but dry C-Zone)
Normal skin is not too dry or not too oily. It has a radiant complexion, few problems or imperfections, barely visible pores and a sturdy disposition. You might see slight oil on your facial tissue around your t-zone, but the rest of your skin will appear and feel hydrated and smooth.
Oily (oily t-zone and c-zone)
Oily skin is oily on the cheeks, nose, and forehead. It can also cause oil on the outer areas like the chin and hairline.
Oily skin tends to look greasy, thick, dull, coarse, and shiny. It also can have enlarged pores, and tends to break into acne like blackheads and pimples.
Dry (dry t-zone and c-zone)
There will be no visible oil on the facial tissue, your face skin will feel flaky, dry, and tight after you have wiped it.
Dry skin can easily develop a sallow tone, wrinkles, and fine pores, and it is very prone to aging and irritation. Dry skin has almost invisible pores, a dull or rough appearance, red patches, less elasticity and more visible lines.
Combination (dry in some areas oily in others)
Combination skin can suffer from both oil and dryness, but from differing locations. You can have a dry T-Zone and an Oily C-Zone, or you can have an oily forehead and chin but dry cheeks and nose. Combination skin has patches of both dry and oily skin, and it requires different types of care in relation to particular facial areas. Combination skin can produce overly dilated pores, blackheads and shiny slightly wet looking skin.
Sensitive (red and flaky)
Oil will not usually appear on a facial tissue from sensitive skin, as it usually is very dry and flaky. You might experience burning or itching on the face. Sensitive skin is usually very dry, tends to feel tight, and becomes inflamed and irritated very easily.
Another term used to describe skin is Dehydrated Skin. This is actually a condition of the skin, not a skin type. (You can have sensitive skin that's dehydrated, for example.) It's caused by a lack of hydration in the skin and produces a dull, sallow, sagging complexion. Skin losses it's bounce and elasticity.
Once you correctly identify with skin type you have you can start making informed decisions about what products you should use and what problems you need to work and focus on.