Let’s face it, skincare can be confusing at times. Skincare experts recommend daily skincare routines for glowing skin, but with the constant influx of new products and ingredients, knowing which products are best for your personal skincare routine isn’t always easy. One way to simplify the skincare regimen-building process is to know your skin type.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are 5 main skin types:
Skin type relates to how much sebum your skin produces. Sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. While it can clog pores at times, sebum actually protects your skin from infections and helps retain moisture. The better you understand your skin type, the easier it is to protect your skin and keep it balanced. Although it's always best to consult your esthetician or dermatologist regarding your skin, we want to share two easy ways to figure out your skin type from the comfort of your own home.
The Bare-face Test
Begin by washing your face with a gentle, non-foaming cleanser to remove all impurities. Pat your face dry with a soft, clean towel. Don’t apply any product at all, this is the most important step. Wait 30 minutes and take note of how your skin looks and feels. Is it dry? Does it look and feel oily?
Normal skin - Your face feels smooth and you don’t feel any resistance when you smile or move your eyes and mouth. You don’t see or feel any dry patches, redness, or irritation.
Dry skin - Your face feels taught when you smile or squint your eyes. You may experience light flaking, redness, or patches of dry skin.
Oily skin - Your face feels slick and greasy. You may be able to see oil on your cheeks, nose, and forehead.
Combination skin - Your face feels slick and slightly greasy on your nose and forehead, but your cheeks feel dry and you may feel some tightness when you smile. You may see oil on your nose and forehead and/or dry patches or redness on your cheeks.
Sensitive skin - Your skin feels irritated, inflamed and itchy. You may see some redness and dry patches.
The Blot Test
Gently press a blotting sheet on different parts of your face. Hold the bottling paper up to light so you can see the amount of oil left on each sheet. This test does not reveal sensitive skin.
Normal skin - You’ll see small amounts of oil on the sheet after blotting.
Dry skin - You will see almost no oil on the sheet after blotting your forehead and nose.
Oil skin - You will see a lot of oil on the blotting sheet.
Combination skin - You’ll see a good amount of oil after blotting your forehead and nose, but not much from your cheeks.
So you know your skin type, now what?
How to Care for Your Skin Type
Normal skin is relatively balanced, usually not prone to breakouts or irritation and is clear with an even complexion. For this skin type, it’s best to stick to a daily routine that changes with the seasons. During the colder months of winter, try using heavier moisturizers to keep skin hydrated. During warmer months, use a lighter moisturizer and opt for serums with antioxidants to help reduce sun damage from spending more time outdoors. Always end your daytime routine with SPF no matter what time of year it is.
Dry skin is itchy, prone to irritation and breakouts, and rough texture with a dull complexion. Stick to gentle, non-foaming cleansers and moisturizing creams with hydrating ingredients and botanicals. Water-based serums and essences are great for this skin type. Stay away from harsh chemicals and instead look for products that contain moisture-retaining ingredients like hyaluronic acid or peptides. Always end your daytime routine with SPF.
Oily skin usually looks greasy or shiny and may also be prone to breakouts. For this skin type, gentle cleansers that contain ingredients like salicylic acid or glycolic acid are great. Light moisturizers with SPF are great and necessary for keeping this type of skin balanced. If you let your skin get too dry, you may begin to produce excess oil.
Combination skin may look shiny in some areas, usually the T-zone, and dry in others, and the complexion may be uneven. Use products that are free of parabens and stay away from products containing a lot of alcohol. Using different types of products to treat different areas of your face may be helpful. Finish your routine with a light SPF.
Sensitive skin becomes irritated easily and can only tolerate mild cleansers and formulations. Try to use products that are designed for sensitive skin. Don’t forget to patch test products first. Always use a lightweight SPF.