How To Determine Your Skin Type

How to determine your skin type is a simple but important step in building your skincare routine. It tells you not only the skin conditions you need to address but also the skin care products that are right for you.

How To Determine Your Skin Type

We all know the different skin types: 

  • Normal skin means you’re blessed with well-balanced, healthy skin. You have small pores and you don’t normally deal with a lot of major skin issues.
  • You have dry skin when your face often feels tight and parched. You’re more susceptible to flakiness and fine lines.
  • Oily skin means you’re less susceptible to wrinkles but tend be more acne-prone.
  • Combination skin is when you have dry or normal cheeks but an oily t-zone (forehead, nose and chin).
Different Skin Types

Most people already have an idea of what their skin type is. 

But for those who are not sure, or for those who want to be 100% certain, how to tell your skin type is very simple using these two skin type tests.

The Bare Face Method

Bare Faced Woman

As the name suggests, this method allows you to get a feel for what your skin is like when left bare of skin care products.

STEP 1: Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser.

STEP 2: Dry and leave your skin bare — don’t apply anything at all.

STEP 3: Wait 30 minutes then examine your skin. Are you starting to feel a slight tightness, especially when you smile or make other facial expressions? Or is your T-zone starting to show some shine?

STEP 4: Wait another 30 minutes and examine your skin again. Tightness means you have dry skin. If your T-zone has noticeable shine but the rest of your face is okay, you have combination skin. If you’re shiny all over and not just in your T-zone, you have oily skin.

The Blotting Sheet Method

Woman Using Blotting Paper to Determine Skin Type

This method takes way faster than an hour and you simply need a blotting sheet to do it.

STEP 1: Take a blotting sheet and gently pat it on different areas of your face. Make sure you gently pat/dab and not swipe.

STEP 2: Hold the sheet up to the light.

STEP 3: If you can see little to no oil, you most likely have dry skin. If you picked up oil from the T-zone and almost none from everywhere else, you have combination skin. And if your blotting sheet is packed with oil, you know what that means!

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Other things to consider when determining your skin type

There are also a lot of skin type quizzes you can take online but these two are reliable and easy to do.

However, you need to consider other factors which can affect your skin as well:

  • Do you have sensitive skin? Do you react negatively (e.g. you break out or you experience redness) to certain active ingredients?
  • Do you notice changes in your skin as the season or the weather changes? Some people get dry skin in the winter and normal skin in the summer.
  • Dehydrated skin is also often misconstrued as dry skin when in fact it’s a skin condition and is treated differently.
  • Speaking of skin conditions, remember that’s it’s always best to consult with your dermatologist if you have specific concerns.

Once you’ve determined your skin type though, then you can start building your skin care routine. You can also start hunting for the right kind of make up, which is lots of fun too.

Happy skin experimenting!

How To Determine Your Skin Type

Did you try these skin type tests? Were you surprised by the results? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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15 thoughts on “How To Determine Your Skin Type”

  1. Seasonal changes definitely affect my skin. I get very dry in the winter but feel much better in the summer. I love the warm, humid weather, and my skin does, too!

  2. I am dry dry dry. It’s a huge frustration for me and I have to be so careful with what I use. But there are definitely great products out there.

  3. I most definitely have combination skin and it’s always fun trying to find the right products. Add that sensitivity to certain ingredients and rosacea and it’s fun, fun, fun!

  4. These are great ways to determine your skin type. Also having combination skin sometimes can be tricky to figure out what the best products are.


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