How To Determine Your Skin Type Correctly

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I get asked to recommend products all the time. Every day I get an email that goes something like this:

“I want to start taking care of my skin. I’m 30 and I don’t have a skincare routine. What products should I buy?”

What is my skin type?

I don’t mind the question, in fact, I love helping people find skincare products that will work for them.

But here’s what gets me about this email, I always have to follow up with a few questions before I can actually start recommending products.

Are you like this lady that reached out to me? I am guessing that finding the perfect skincare routine is #goals for you. But finding the perfect routine requires more than buying the latest or most expensive products. Instead, the key is to understand your skin and how it behaves.

So I have to ask you, just as I asked the lady that emailed me, “What is your skin type?”

If you know the answer, that’s awesome. You are already ahead of the pack.

For those of you that are not sure about your skin type, don’t worry. By the end of this post, you will know your skin type once and for all.

Related reading: 10 Skincare Mistakes You Are Making

Your Skin Type Test

Figuring out your skin type isn’t complicated.

First, cleanse your face with a mild cleanser and then gently pat dry. 

Second, do nothing.

The goal here is to see how your skin behaves naturally.

At about the mid-day point, you’ll want to evaluate your skin.

Does your skin feel tight? Does your face have a slight sheen in places? Or does your skin feel completely fine?

If the skin on your face feels tight and uncomfortable, you have dry skin.

Is your nose or forehead looking shiny while your cheeks feel a little bit tight? You have combination skin.

No dry or tight areas at all? Is most of your face shiny? That’s a sign you have oily skin.

Does your skin feel clean and comfortable with minimal shine? Your skin falls into the normal category.

Your Skin Type Can Change

Now that you know your skin type, you should also know that it can change over time.

Your skin might change due to pregnancy, medications, health issues/medical problems, menopause, and seasonal changes. Things like stress, sleep cycles, and major life changes also affect your skin type.

Find Your Perfect Routine

This is where the fun part comes in. Once you’ve determined the type of skin you have, you can start putting together a skincare routine.

Dry Skin

To care for dry skin, you’ll want to lock in moisture by applying a rich moisturizer, especially after washing your face or showering. To keep your skin happy, avoid using harsh soaps or products containing a lot of fragrance. Look for moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and marine actives like algae that will help draw water to the skin.

To help you, we’ve put together a super simple skincare routine just for dry skin.

Oily Skin

With oily skin, shine control is a top concern. In your routine, you should avoid ingredients like mineral oil and petroleum. Products labeled “non-comedogenic” work great because they won’t clog up your pores. Even though your skin is oily, you still need to moisturize. Oil-free moisturizers, chemical exfoliants, and clay masks are great for oily skin. Be sure not to over-wash your face, because that can actually cause your skin to produce more oil!

Taking care of oily skin can be a lot of work, but using the right products helps. Check out the super simple skincare routine featuring products perfect for oily skin.

Related reading: The Correct Order To Apply Your Skincare Products

Combination Skin

Those with combination skin have to find a routine that is balanced. You’ll want to avoid ingredients that will dry out the skin or that will cause your skin to produce more oil. That means avoiding overly harsh cleansers and steering clear of mineral oil, petroleum, and alcohol.

Putting together a routine for combination skin can be confusing and to be completely honest, a bit frustrating. But don’t fret. Our editor, who has combination skin, put together a frustration-free skincare routine for combination skin.

Normal Skin

If you have normal skin, you have won the skin type lottery! Seriously, we are all a little jealous of you. With normal skin, you don’t have to worry about sensitivity, dryness or oiliness. Plus your skin can tolerate most ingredients. That means you can play with all of the fun skincare goodies or just keep things simple.

If you need help deciding what products to try, check out the super simple skincare routine we put together for normal skin.

Now That You Know Your Skin Type

Now that you know what type of skin you have, you can be on your way to building the perfect skincare routine. And as always, we are here to help you out. So don’t forget to check out the skincare routines that we put together for each skin type.


I'm Holly, the creator of Feisty Life Media.

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