How to determine your skin type

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To correctly determine your skin type is one of the most crucial steps for setting up your perfect skin care routine. There are 5 main skin types: oily, combination, normal, dry and sensitive. However, it is not always easy to know your type, as skin conditions can vary depending on various circumstances such as weather, change of seasons, pollution, diet and stress levels. There are also a number of skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea etc that could make it even more difficult to find out one’s exact skin type. Usually the skin types are determined by genetics and there is not much you can do about it. The best way is to find the skin care routine that makes your skin happy and helps to maintain a healthy glowing complexion.

Normal skin. The lucky owners of normal skin type have a smooth, clean and radiant complexion. If you have normal skin type, your pores are not enlarged, your skin rarely gets oily or dry and you don’t experience significant skin issues. Usually it is one of the easiest skin types to look after. Still, only a very small number of people have perfect skin and even normal skin type requires some attention. The main concerns for people with normal skin are sun-damage, aging, occasional blemishes and irritations.

Recommended products for normal skin: Skin Blossom Gentle Face Wash, Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner, Green People Day Solution SPF15

Oily skin. Your skin gets shiny and oily soon after cleansing and skin can look rough and thick. Oily skin type is usually accompanied with enlarged, visible pores, blackheads and blemishes. However, this skin type does not show the signs of aging easily and does not usually get sun burned. There is a significant difference of opinions how to look after oily skin. One of them is to wash your face at least twice per day and use products specially formulated “dry” skin out. Though such an approach can work for some, it can also lead to irritations, blemishes and more oil production. Another method is to use gentle cleansers, mattifying products and blotting paper to remove oil rather than to dehydrate the skin with oil-stripping products.

Recommended products for oily skin: Antipodes Juliet Skin Brightening Gel Cleanser, Madara Clarifying Toner, Alba Botanica Acnedote Oil Control Lotion, Laidbare For Richer For Porer - Pore Minimiser Facial Masque

Combination skin.  Combination skin is one of the most common skin types. If you have combination skin, your t-zone gets oily soon after cleansing while skin around cheeks, face contour and eye area is normal or even dry. Normal or dry skin can often behave like combination skin during hot weather. It is also easy to confuse combination and oily skin types. There is one simple test to see how oily your skin is. Shortly after cleansing, press a piece of blotting paper against the different parts of your face. If the skin all over the face leaves greasy marks – you have oily skin; marks only from the t-zone imply combination skin type.

Combination skin can also sometimes be the result of dehydrating oily skin. This skin type can be quite tricky to look after; sometimes you might need to use products for dry and oily skin types on different parts of the face. Additionally combination skin is also prone to enlarged pores and blackheads and blemishes, especially on the forehead, nose and chin area.

Recommended products for combination skin: Evolve Organic Beauty Fresh Face Facial Wash, Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner, Madara Deep Moisture Fluid

Dry skin. It is very important to distinguish between dry and dehydrated skin types. Dehydrated skin results from an improper skin care routine whilst dry skin feels tight and parchment-like even if well moisturised. Dry skin also often looks flaky and shows the appearance of wrinkles even on young skin while the pores are virtually invisible. The main concerns for dry skin are premature aging and sun-burn. Additionally, dry skin can be easily irritated and it is often found that people have dry/sensitive skin.

With a dry skin type it is always a good idea to use only gentle cleansers and rich moisturisers or balms with an addition of nourishing serums/oils. Additionally be careful with exfoliation and don’t forget to use sun-protection.

Recommended products for dry skin: A’kin Rose and Geranium Pure Creamy Cleanser & Toner, Antipodes Hosanna Intense Hydrating SerumLavera Basis Sensitive Moisturising Cream, Trilogy Everything Balm

Sensitive skin. Dry skin is often the one considered being sensitive as well but this is not always true. Any skin type can become sensitive under certain conditions and therefore sensitive skin can be regarded as a skin condition rather than skin type. Sensitive skin can be itchy, flaky and covered with red spots and rashes. However these issues mainly appear because of some external factors. These factors could be stress, pollution, medications, allergy reactions caused by certain foods and skin care ingredients. Sensitive skin can often lead to skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema.

Recommended products for sensitive skin: Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser, CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture, Lyonsleaf Calendula Cream

The best solution for dealing with sensitive skin is to find out what is the exact cause of sensitivity and either eliminate it or avoid as much as possible. There are also many products available that have soothing ingredients and do not contain the most common irritants.   

Last update: Jan 29, 2017

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