In an ideal world, we would all have perfect, flawless-looking skin with zero skin issues all the time. Unfortunately, that is not the reality we live in. Today, there are so many different skincare products on the market targeting different skin types and conditions that it can be overwhelming.
Your skin is a very unique organ. Finding your skin type is the key to understanding what your skin needs to stay healthy and looking its best, as well as what products you should incorporate into your skincare routine.
Figuring out your skin type can be a challenge. This is especially true because, while you may have figured out your skin type, your skin may not always be that type forever. It is important to keep in mind that your skin type can change over time. Factors such as diet, location, pregnancy, UV exposure, and many others can play a role in how your skin behaves.
So, we’re here to help guide you to figuring out your skin type!
5 Primary Skin Types
We all produce natural oils called sebum. This helps keep skin hydrated and healthy. While we may all produce these oils, not all sebum is created equal. Everyone produces oil in various types in varying amounts.
If you have skin that appears more oily, that means you produce an excess of sebum that causes the skin to appear shiny and feel greasy. These oils especially appear throughout the T-Zone — forehead, nose, and chin.
If you have oily skin, you may experience enlarged pores, develop acne blemishes, and be more prone to acne breakouts. This is because the sebum mixes with dead skin cells and can get stuck in your skin’s pores.
There are various underlying reasons you may experience oily skin. Some causes of oily skin are out of your control, such as genetics, age, environmental factors, and pesky enlarged pores. There are some other causes that you can control. Make sure you are using the correct skin care products and are not overdoing them.
Finally, skipping out on moisturizer can even cause oily skin. While many people with oily skin try to steer clear of moisturizers, using the correct moisturizer can actually be extremely beneficial for oily skin.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, dry skin occurs when your skin is not replenishing or producing enough sebum and lacks moisture. Unfortunately, dry skin can pop up on anyone at any time. Some people only have dry skin during dry, cold weather months or when the humidity lowers, while others have it year-round.
Dry skin can appear dull and may become flaky, scaly, or rough. Your skin may feel tight and can become itchy or irritated. Also, if you have dry skin, your skin may be more prone to showing more visible lines.
Many things can cause your skin to be dry, and like oily skin, some of these causes can be out of your control. Environmental factors, such as cold weather, dry air, or too much exposure to direct sunlight, can cause skin to dry out due to lack of moisture. Traveling can play a role as well.
Dry skin can also be a result of the products you are using and how often. If you are exposing your skin to soaps and other products that contain harsh chemicals and are washing your face excessively, you are stripping the moisture from your skin, resulting in your skin being dry.
So, if you have dry skin try to keep that moisture in! (Oh, and here’s a friendly reminder to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!)
Combination skin is just that — a combination of dry or normal and oily skin. When it comes to combination skin, typically the T-Zone is oily while cheeks are dry or normal.
There are a few symptoms of combination skin that you may notice. You may experience breakouts and dryness at the same time. Since the T-Zone is typically the oily area, you may notice larger pores on your nose, chin, and forehead. Additionally, makeup may cling to your cheeks, but slip off your T-Zone making it look patchy.
Out of the 5 skin types, combination skin is the most common and can come and go. Genetics, weather, and stress can play a large role, but there are other causes that are more controllable. You may experience combination skin from using the wrong products, too harsh of products, or you’re not using proper skin protection when out in the sun.
Since combination skin involves both oily and dry skin, it can be difficult to treat as both areas may require different routines. Think of it as a balancing act. Use hydrating products for the dry zones, and drying products and lotions for the oily zones.
Normal skin means you have balanced skin — it feels neither dry nor oily. Normal skin has even levels of moisture and hydration.
If you have normal skin, your skin probably has a smooth texture and isn’t typically prone to breakouts or flakiness, and doesn’t feel slick or tight. Generally, pores are small which means normal skin can be less likely to be susceptible to blemishes or sensitivity.
Normal skin sounds like a dream, right? If you have normal skin, you basically hit the genetic lottery. However, don’t stress too much if you don’t have normal skin because it isn’t exactly common.
Remember though, normal skin is not synonymous with perfect skin. Those with normal skin can still deal with occasional blemishes and other skin issues.
Sensitive skin is typically referred to as a skin condition, but it can also play a big role in figuring out your skin type. You can have sensitive skin alongside the other four skin types.
Has your skin appeared red or ever felt itchy, dry, or even like it was burning? That may mean that your skin is more vulnerable to irritants and may be triggered by particular ingredients like dyes, fragrances, or even environmental factors.
People with sensitive skin are often prone to breakouts, sunburns, and rashes. Additional signs include redness and itchy, dry patches.
One way to conquer sensitive skin is unfortunately through trial and error. If you can determine what triggers your skin’s sensitivity, whether it’s a product or exposure to certain environmental elements (cold, windy days, or prolonged exposure to UV rays), it makes it easier to know what to avoid or alter.
Only introduce one new formula or product at a time and do so as a patch test. Look for products that identify their formulas as non-sensitizing and non-irritating. Additionally, products that contain parabens, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, and phthalates are best to stay away from because they typically cause redness and itchiness.
While you may have figured out your skin type, your skin may not always be that type forever. It is important to keep in mind that your skin type can change over time. Factors such as diet, location, pregnancy, UV exposure, and many others can play a role in how your skin behaves.
Conduct a Skin Test
If you’re not sure what skin type you may be, there are two simple skin tests you can conduct at home to get somewhat of an idea.
The first is the “Watching & Waiting” test. With this test, you simply observe your skin and how it behaves after cleansing. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face. Once you’re done cleaning, pat dry and wait 30 minutes. Here’s how to determine your results.
- Oily: Skin appears shiny throughout
- Dry: Skin feels tight, flaky, and scaly
- Combination: Skin shines only in the T-Zone area
- Normal: Skin feels hydrated and comfortable, but not oily
The second test is the “Blotting Sheets” test. Blotting sheets are used to absorb oils for your face and can be beneficial in determining your skin type.
Same as the previous test, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, pat dry, and wait 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, press blotting sheets to various areas of your face and then hold them to the light to see the markings left behind.
- Oily: Sheets reveal an abundance of oil in all areas
- Dry: Sheets absorb little to no oil
- Combination: Sheets only show a small amount of oil from the T-Zone
- Normal: Sheets reveal very minimal oil for every area
While these tests are a good way to get some indication of what skin type you are, it is important to remember that when in doubt, consult a dermatologist.
Something all skin types require for healthy, glowing skin: Moisturizer. Regardless of what skin type you may have, moisturizer is key to hydrated, softer, youthful-looking skin. Additionally, aloe vera is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Not sure what moisturizer to pick? We’ve got you covered!
Our Face and Body Cream is a natural moisturizer packed with powerful, yet gentle ingredients. With a non-greasy formula and no fillers, harsh chemicals, or skin irritating fragrances, those with sensitive skin can experience the benefits without worry. The soothing and healing properties of aloe in conjunction with the moisture power of shea butter leave your skin feeling its best. So go ahead and give your skin the love and care it needs!
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