How to Determine Your Skin Type
In finding skincare products, have you accumulated dozens of partial bottles, vials, and tubes over the years? You’re not the only one; the pursuit of the perfect skincare regimen requires plenty of trial and error. But if your bathroom shelves are overrun with cleansers and serums that just aren’t right, you may want to take a step back.
The key to properly caring for your skin is knowing your skin. There may still be guess work, but you can narrow your options by looking for products made to address your specific needs. Read on if you want help in determining your skin type.
Everyone’s skin is unique to them and may be impacted by factors such as hormone cycles, weather conditions, or stages of life. Keeping in mind that these are general categories and subject to change, here are the common skin types:
1. Normal Skin
If your skin feels soft and hydrated on an average day, and you typically have a clear, blemish-free complexion, you are likely one of the lucky ones with a normal skin type. Rather than being characterized by the problems you’ll need to target, normal skin is something you’ll want to protect and maintain. Regularly cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and applying SPF will keep normal skin looking and feeling healthy. If you’re looking for a gentle everyday face wash, we recommend the PÜR Forever Clean Gentle Cleanser, which offers the additional benefit of blue light protection.
2. Sensitive Skin
You likely have sensitive skin if your skin frequently becomes itchy, tight, or red — especially after applying a skincare or makeup product. Sensitive skin is often triggered by harsh ingredients such as fragrances, dyes, sulfates, parabens, alcohols, acids, and other irritants. People with sensitive skin have to be particularly cautious about the ingredients found in the products that come into contact with their skin. Keep skin calm by skipping the harsh cleansers and scrubs, and also by doing a small patch test with a product before applying it to your full face. We recommend products with soothing ingredients like aloe, found in this Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser.
3. Dry Skin
Anyone who has dry skin knows it can be uncomfortable, especially as we enter the cooler and dryer months. In addition to the intense itchiness or the feeling of tightness brought on by dry skin, there is also the unsightly skin flaking that makes smooth makeup application impossible. Rough or scaly patches on the skin should be treated with non-drying cleansers and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin, without any of the irritants listed above. For an overnight cream that is both ultra moisturizing and fragrance free, try the Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Moisturizer.
4. Oily Skin
On the opposite end of the skin type spectrum, we have oily skin. An oily complexion can appear shiny or even greasy, with a tendency to break out. Pores may be visibly enlarged due to an overproduction of sebum, your skin’s natural oils. While your sebaceous glands provide your skin with needed moisture, too much sebum contributes to clogged pores, blackheads, and acne. Skincare routines for people with an oily skin type will include cleansers, moisturizers, and ointments that are acne-fighting, mattifying, or meant for oil control, such as the dermatologist approved Fragrance-Free Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin from CeraVe.
5. Combination Skin
In case having dry or oily skin isn’t enough work, you may find you have a combination skin type. With combination skin, you typically have dry patches of skin in some areas while others, like your t-zone, are oily and prone to breakouts. In order to effectively treat combination skin, you will almost certainly need to apply different products to different target areas, like applying a clay mask only to trouble spots while the rest of your skin is covered with something hydrating. For treatment specifically designed for the t-zone, we suggest this REN T-Zone Gel Cream for Oily Skin.