How to Identify Your Skin Type
In the beauty world, you'll see experts talk about skin types and skin conditions. It might sound confusing or overwhelming, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be!
Here's the cheat sheet: Skin types are usually lifelong traits. Skin conditions can be changed - it's something that comes and goes.
There are four main skin types:
Normal (or balanced)
Normal skin produces just the right amount of natural oil to keep your face healthy and comfortable.
Dry skin doesn't produce enough natural oil, which leads to tightness, flaking, itching and sometimes skin conditions like eczema.
As you've likely guessed, oily skin produces too much natural oil, which can be responsible for clogged pores and breakouts.
Combination skin simply means different areas of your face may be dry, oily or balanced all at the same time. For example, your forehead might be naturally oily while your cheeks are naturally dry.
What About Skin Concerns?
Skin concerns can change through different phases of your life, or they might stick around long-term. They depend on a lot of personal factors like diet, genetics, stress and the environment.
Skin concerns are things like rosacea, eczema, acne and dehydration. They can be treated with the right products, but you must first know your overall skin type.
How Do I Find My Skin Type?
There are lots of quizzes (you can try our AI-powered SkinQuiz to help you identify your skin type and get personalized product recommendations!) and at-home methods you can search to determine your skin type, but the easiest test is just to wash your face.
Wash your face as you usually would, but don't put any other product on it. Wait about 30-45 minutes. Then, use a thin tissue or single-ply square of toilet paper to gently blot your forehead, nose, chin and each cheek.
Examine the tissue to see how much oil has been blotted from each part of your face. If there's no residue, your skin is likely dry in that area. A small amount of oil indicates normal or balanced skin. A noticeable oil spot means that area is oily.
Your entire face may be a single skin type, but it's completely normal to have multiple skin types in different "zones" of your face! Knowing this can help you use products that target each zone effectively.
How Do I Tailor My Routine to My Skin Type?
A basic skincare routine should have a cleanser, serum, and moisturizer tailored to your skin type.
Since cleansers spend the least time on your face, you can experiment with ones that are gentler than you might usually reach for. A good example would be the mi&ko Ginger Hydrophilic Cleansing Oil. Dry, normal and combination skin types can benefit from the combo of cleansing plus nourishing power.
Adding at least one serum that targets your skin type can boost your overall skin health. If you have combination skin, it's smart to use separate serums for each different zone so that your entire face gets the care it needs. Some brands make it easy to find the perfect serum for your skin type, such as Innature. They clearly label serums for dry, oily and normal skin.
The same goes for moisturizers. Some people can use the same moisturizer for their entire face. Others benefit more from using different creams with formulas that suit different skin types. For instance, some people can use the lightweight mi&ko Aqua Balance Overnight Mask on their entire face and wake up with bright, hydrated skin. Others might need to add a more decadent cream like the Botavikos Moisturizing Cream that targets dry skin.
Learning Your Skin Type Makes All the Difference
Some beauty sites make skin type discussions confusing. The truth is that it's easy to find your skin type! Once you're armed with that knowledge, you can shop confidently for products that are perfect for your skin.