Knowing your skin type and how to care for it can make all the difference!
BY LOUISA AHLQVIST
What is a “skin type”? A “skin type” is another way of categorizing the hydration level of your skin. By learning which skin type you have you’ll be prepared to help your skin be the best and glowiest it can be!
Everyone’s skin is unique. There’s no one-method-fits-all approach, so understanding your skin means you can find the right products that will offer the most effective solutions.
Although nobody’s skin is the same, there are four primary skin types: Oily, Normal, Combination, and Dry. Keep reading to find out how to determine your skin type, and then find out which types of products are best for you!
First things first:
- Wash your face
- Remove your makeup and wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove oils and dirt so your skin can be completely bare. Don’t apply any moisturizers, serums or treatments, because you want your skin to be clear for the next step. Pat dry.
- Wait one hour so that your bare skin returns to its natural state.
- Get up-close-and-personal with your face in a mirror and examine your cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead. What do you see?
Skin Types and How to Treat Them
NORMAL SKIN TYPE
You have no signs of flakiness or oiliness. You don’t get breakouts often, and your skin doesn’t have negative reactions to new products or even changes in the weather. Your pores are on the small side.
How to treat it
Lucky you! Your skin can accept most ingredients, meaning you can play around with beauty and skincare products freely before finding exactly what works best for you. Because your skin concerns are pretty minimal, your routine can be much simpler. For maintaining your natural balance, we recommend you prep your skin with a gentle cleanser, hydrate with a daily moisturizer, and during the day protect your skin with broad-spectrum sunscreen. At night you should replenish your skin with a hydrating face oil and cream.
Product Recommendations: Cerave foaming cleanser ($11), Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 ($19), and Overlooked Beauty Unforgettable Facial and Body Oil ($18) and More Than Skin Deep Facial and Body Shea Moisturizer ($25)
DRY SKIN TYPE
Your skin feels tight, taut, and stripped you can literally feel a lack of hydration. You notice some flakiness or tiny lines on the surface (different from wrinkles) when you make a facial expression.
How to treat it
Dehydration is the leading cause of dry skin, so start by drinking more water (64oz+ a day!) and avoiding diuretics like alcohol and caffeine. To exfoliate without removing your skin’s natural oils, which would just encourage more dry skin, use exfoliating products with gentle, non-abrasive ingredients (no scrubs!). Once the dead skin cells have been removed, moisturizing serums and treatments can be absorbed easier.
Product Recommendations: Cerave hydrating cleanser ($11), The Inkey List PHA Toner ($10), The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid ($6), Overlooked Beauty Unforgettable Facial and Body Oil ($18) and More Than Skin Deep Facial and Body Shea Moisturizer ($25)
OILY SKIN TYPE
Your skin looks shiny, almost like you’ve sweat a little. It appears kind of reflective, as if you applied highlighter to your forehead, nose, etc. Your pores are larger. When you do wear makeup and skincare products you find that they don’t stay put the way you’d like. On the plus side, though: since oily skin has more natural moisture, it’s less prone to wrinkling!
How to treat it
Most importantly: don’t over-wash your face! Drying out your pores can cause them to create even more oil to compensate from what was stripped by washing too much. You should seek out products labeled “non-comedogenic” and oil-free, as these won’t clog up your pores. Moisturizing is still essential, so make sure to use oil-free moisturizers. Your skin would also benefit from chemical exfoliants (like salicylic acid) and clay masks.
COMBINATION SKIN TYPE
You see that some areas on your face feel or look shiny, like the oily skin type, but other areas feel or look dry, like the dry skin type. Typically combination skin is most easily identified by an oily forehead and nose (T-zone) and dry-to-normal skin around the rest of your face. In the past, you may have had trouble figuring out what skin type you have.
How to treat it
Keeping your skin balanced is key! The simplest way to care for combination skin is to look for products that are formulated for all skin types. These kinds of products are meant to balance skin without over-drying or causing excess oil. Moisturizers with a gel-like texture are ideal because they’re absorbed faster and are less likely to cause breakouts to combination skin.