How to determine your skin type

How to determine your skin type

How to determine your skin type

When it comes to skincare it's important to understand your specific skin type and how it adapts to certain circumstances, but also how it changes seasonally. Your skin can be very complex as it is your largest organ. Using products that are not supporting your skin's needs can actually have the opposite effect, no matter what the product marketing intends.

For example, using cleansers or treatments that are too harsh for your skin, even if they "formulated for oily skin" can actually send signals to your skin to produce more oil for protection. Using moisturizers that are too thick can result in a decrease in your skin's natural oil production, resulting in dry skin. Taking the time to check in with your skin and be able to determine what it really needs will help for healthier more radiant skin.

Go bare faced!
This is an easy method to determine your skin type at home:
-Cleanse your face with a gentle gel cleanser and pat to dry.
-Leave your skin bare, meaning do not apply any products after you cleanse.
-Wait 30 minutes and give your skin a look in the mirror, examine your cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead for any shine or oil production.
-After another 30 minutes evaluate how your skin feels, does it feel tight when you smile? Parched? Or dry?
-If your skin feels tight, it is likely dry.
-If there is noticeable oil on your nose and forehead, your skin is most likely normal/combination.
-If there is shine on your cheeks in addition to oil on your nose and forehead, you most likely have oily skin.

Dry Skin

Dry skin can feel tight during the day and you might notice some flaking of the skin. Dry skin can be due largely to genetics, lifestyle factors like diet, hormone changes, and weather. Dehydration is also the number one cause of dry skin, so drinking plenty of water throughout the day and limiting diuretics like caffeine and alcohol can make a significant improvement to how your skin looks and feels.

Use a gentle exfoliator daily to help promote cell turnover without removing the skin's natural oils. Exfoliating will help to remove the dead skin which will allow serums and treatment products to be absorbed more easily.


Oily Skin

Here's the good news, oily skin looks younger and more plump because it has natural moisture, which is less prone to early sign of aging such as wrinkles. Excess oil however can leave the pores clogged. Enzyme exfoliation, or a gentle physical exfoliator can help to prevent sebum buildup in pores and promote cell turnover which is useful for balancing the tone and texture of the skin.

Hyperpigmentation can occur with oily skin, especially after a breakout has healed. Exfoliation and targeted products can help to lighten dark spots and help speed up healing to reveal new skin cells.


Normal/Combination Skin 

People with normal to combination skin usually have dryness on the cheeks, which is why finding a great moisturizer that is not too heavy but substantial enough to retain moisture and lock in hydration is key. Normal/combination skin for the most part is not prone to breakouts on the cheeks, but oil does accumulate in the t-zone area. A gentle gel or cream cleanser is important to balance these areas, followed by a toner and light moisturizer that is easily absorbed.


Sensitive Skin 

It should be noted that sensitive skin can be a bit more challenging to identify. If you are experiencing skin sensitivities take note about the products you are using to make sure it is not an allergic reaction. Make note of any redness and inflammation. Also patch test products before applying to a larger area. Look for products without a high concentration of essential oils (labels that have essential oils listed as the last ingredient).


If you have any questions about determining your skin type or product recommendations feel free to chat with a skincare expert in our online chat, or email us at and we would be more than happy to help you with a healthy skin routine.