It’s important to know your skin type; Here’s how to figure it out
Oily, dry, normal, combination – these are all skin types with different needs. Determining your skin type is an important first step in choosing the products and skin care regimen that will provide the best results.
Determine your skin type: step by step
The best way to get a precise determination of your skin type is to consult your dermatologist, who will not only help you find your skin type, but can also guide you to the proper regimen to address any skin concerns and keep your skin its healthiest.
But it is possible to figure out your skin type on your own:
Step 1: Wash your face. Remove makeup and use a gentle cleanser. Make sure to remove all dirt and makeup, but avoid over-washing or scrubbing. Gently pat dry.
Step 2: Wait. Wait at least one hour (preferable two hours) – this will give your skin time to “normalize” or return to its natural state.
Step 3: Observe your skin closely. Determining your skin type can be done mostly by what you see and feel. However, using a tissue to dab at your T-zone (your forehead and nose) can indicate if there is excess oil in that area.
What do you see?
If your skin feels smooth, with few to no imperfections, and no greasy or dry patches – congratulations, you have normal skin!
Some other indicators of normal skin:
- small, barely visible pores
- breakouts are rare, if ever
- little to no sensitivity
If your skin feels rough, flaky, or tight, you have dry skin.
Some other indicators of dry skin:
- pores are almost invisible
- dry or red patches
- more visible fine lines
If your skin looks and feels shiny, greasy, and/or slippery, you have oily skin.
Some other indicators of oily skin:
- pores are large and noticeable, and get clogged easily
- blemishes are common
The best and worst of both worlds. Combination skin is typically characterized by an oily T-Zone (your forehead and nose), and either dry or normal skin on the rest of your face.
Some other indicators of Combination Skin:
- pores are enlarged on your nose, and possibly your forehead, but are smaller on the rest of your face
- skin can be shiny, especially around the T-zone
- combination skin seems to be more affected by climate/weather, becoming dry and flaky sometimes, but greasy and prone to breakouts at other times.
Now that you know your skin type, what can you do to make it look and feel its best?
It’s important to build a skin care regimen that will maintain skin’s proper oil and moisture balance, while also addressing any specific skin concerns (sensitive skin, acne-prone skin.) Now that you know your skin type, you can use the products that will most benefit your skin.
You’re lucky – as long as your skin is not sensitive, you can use most anything. It’s recommended that you stick with products that are gentle and not too heavy or oily. Since you can try almost anything, you can test our plenty of products until you find what you like and what makes your skin look and feel its best.
While dry skin is not necessarily sensitive, it’s more prone to being irritated by harsh ingredients. You’ll want to moisturize consistently with lotions and creams. A rich, nourishing moisturizer may do wonders, but give it a break if you notice your skin getting too oily or becoming even more dry. You may also want to try an oil cleanser, which will clean your skin without stripping away its natural oils.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t want to use “drying” ingredients and formulation on oily skin. Doing so can actually prompt the skin to produce MORE oil. Instead, you’ll want to simply use lighter formulations – like gels and liquids – that will keep your skin hydrated and moisturized without producing extra oils. Avoid heavy, rich creams.
A common habit of those with oily skin is to exfoliate or scrub the skin more often, or to use a harsher cleanser to get rid of the oil. Again, your skin is pretty adaptable, and over-washing, over-exfoliating, and other harsh treatments may cause the skin to produce more oil. Gentle is always the best way to go.
Finding a regimen for your combination skin may be a bit more tricky, but not impossible. Many skin care companies – like Mellisa B Naturally – formulate their products to be safe and effective for all skin types. You will want to use lotions, serums, and creams on dry areas of your skin to provide extra moisture, while sticking with light gels and gentle formulations on the oily T-Zone.
Some skin care tips no matter what your skin type
There are some things we all need to do to keep our skin healthy and beautiful, regardless of our skin type:
- Always, always, always use sunscreen. And avoid direct sun exposure when/if you can.
- No smoking. Smoking isn’t good for your body, and it is particularly bad for your skin.
- Always remove makeup before bed.
- Stay hydrated. A good diet and lots of water will help your body – and your skin – stay properly hydrated.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. While the type of moisturizer will vary based on your skin type, moisturizing is important for every skin type.