The first step to caring for your skin is by knowing your skin type. This can be tricky and complicated as there are over 16 skin types, but once you have an idea of the five basic types, that’s okay. If you understand your skin type, it will be easier to know the right products to use on it. You do not necessarily have to visit a dermatologist to figure your skin type. There are do-it-yourself home methods which you can do to determine your skin type. You should know the five basic skin types: oily, normal, combination, dry/dehydrated, and acne-prone. This is how to differentiate between them and determine what skin type you have.
NORMAL SKIN: If you have normal skin, it means you hardly ever have breakouts. If there should be any zit or breakout, it does not happen on the cheek. It is mostly on the forehead, but the chances of having a breakout are low. When you try a new skincare product, there is almost no sensitivity, oiliness, or dryness as your body does not react negatively to it. With normal skin, you will barely feel the need to moisturize. The normal skin type is firm, wrinkle-free, and has minimal to no fine lines. Since your skin can tolerate most ingredients found in products, you have tons of experimenting until you find what you love the most.
OILY SKIN: Just as the name implies, you will notice how often your skin oils up. It is a struggle for makeup or skincare products to last long on an oily skin type. Your face is always shiny/glowing even after washing it in an attempt to get rid of the oil. The skin is considered oily when the pores are more extensive and produce more sebum than normal. Oily skin is mostly acne-prone because the excess oil leaves the pores congested and clogged. You might have to worry less about staying moisturized with oily skin as the skin does that already for you. If you notice dark spots after a breakout, you probably have oily skin. Whatever option of exfoliator you choose to use should contain anti-bacterial ingredients as this helps with future blemishes. Exfoliating is essential for your oily skin.
DRY SKIN: Here is a quick-dry skin test, wash your face, let it dry out on its own. Do not moisturize and let your face sit for about two hours. If it turns out white, ashy, or flaky, then you have the dry skin type. The dry skin has tightened pores and can be caused by the weather, diet, or lifestyle; other times, it is genetic and hormonal. It would be best if you stayed hydrated as this is also a significant cause of dry skin. When the skin does do not retain a lot of moisture, it appears flaky and dry. Always use water-based products to keep the skin dehydrated. Dry skin type develops wrinkles earlier than the other skin types due to the lack of elasticity.
COMBINATION SKIN: Most people have a mix of two skin types. If you notice that your skin is dry in some areas and oily in others, this means you are one of those people. You can tell you have a combination of skin through the condition of the t-zone. The t-zone is the strip across the forehead and the line down the nose. When your skin type is a combination, the t-zone is oily while the rest of the skin (around the cheeks and jaw area) is dry or normal. It is best to stay away from alcohol-based products; you will need products that give balance for combination skin. Due to the lack of sebaceous glands in the body, you might experience a general body dryness.
ACNE-PRONE: When you have acne or breakouts that won’t go away, that means you have acne-prone skin. For people with acne-prone skin, the pores get clogged easily. Clogged skin leads to the production of whiteheads and blackheads. This happens in other skin types, but it’s more with acne-prone skin types.
Now that you have understood the different skin types, it’s time to run a home test to determine yours. These methods will provide clarity as you won’t need to visit a dermatologist.
- THE BARE-FACE METHOD
Use a mild cleanser to wash your face, with a soft towel, pat your face dry. Adding a moisturizer or serum will only ruin the procedure; it’s best to leave your skin bare. Thirty minutes after you have dried your face, it’s time to determine your skin type. With a mirror, check cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead for any shine.
For oily skin: there is shine on the cheeks, forehead, and nose (the t-zone)
For dry skin: the skin feels tight when you smile; flaky skin
For normal and combination skin: there is shine on the nose and forehead and an unbalanced mix of oiliness and dryness.
- THE BLOTTING SHEET METHOD
This method never fails, especially for people with oily and dry skin. Place a blotting sheet on different parts of the face (t-zone and cheeks). When you pull it off your face, hold the sheet under light to check how much oil is absorbed. The different parts of the skin that appear oily the most or less, will help you determine your kind of skin. For oily skin, the sheets will be oily (saturated in oil) all over. If there is minimal oil from the forehead and nose, your skin type is normal or a combination. If there is no visible oil when put under the light, it means you have dry skin. You can buy a blotting sheet at a beauty store.
Taking these home tests will help you figure out your skin type. This will also guide you when making choices on skin products to use. Over time, your skin type can change due to environmental factors and the products you use. In the same way, the needs for your skin changes. What skin type do you have?
image source – alqimmah