Understanding Your Skin: Determining Your Skin Type

Everyone’s skin is unique like a fingerprint and differes by various factors such as oiliness, sensitivity, elasticity and so on, but generally all varieties can be categorized into four main skin types: normal, oily, dry and combination. Determining your skin type can be crucial in making the right skincare choices which impact your overall skin health. Knowing your skin well, you’ll be able to choose products which are more suitable for you and work best on your skin type.

Fotka 3 - Sensitive skin

However, when you live in a big city, it’s hard to find time to visit a dermatologist. Though you should certainly do it, if right now it’s a hassle for you to book to see a London dermatologist, for example, we can give you some tips on how to determine your skin type.
So, let’s dig into it:

Normal skin

If you have this type of skin, you’re among the lucky ones. Your skin has no or few imperfections, it’s not to sensitive and has barely visible pores. Your skin is radiant and has even complexion, with no signs of redness or discoloration. It is smooth, elastic and not very problematic.

Oily skin

If your skin is shiny over the top and you suffer from clogged pores during the warmer months, your is skin is probably oily. Being prone to blackheads, pimples or blemishes is also a proof of having an oily skin type. Oiliness can change due to some factors such as hormones and stress, as well as humidity and heat but if your skin appears to be shinier and your pores clog more easily you can classify your skin as oily.

Dry skin

If you notice your skin flaking and/or peeling at any time, your skin could be dry. Dry skin usually feels tight and is associated with very small and almost invisible pores. Your skin is probably dull, less elastic and it has more visible lines. It can crack, peel or become itchy easily. Moisturizing is crucial for this type.

Combination skin

Typically, combination skin is when some parts of your face are dry or flaky, but you have an oiler T-zone (the center part and the forehead). This is the trickiest type, since you need to choose products which don’t make things worse for each part of the face. Blackheads, enlarged pores and shiny skin are all characteristics of this skin type.

Sensitive skin

Alternatively, you can have sensitive skin which is prone to itching, burning, redness and dryness. There can be many triggers for sensitive skin, so try to determine and avoid them. One of the most common sensitive skin causes are particular skin care products.

How to determine your skin type?

  1. Wash your face – wash with a gentle cleanser and pat dry. Remove your make-up if you have any. This will also remove any excess oil or dirt your skin might have accumulated during the day, but be careful not to overwash since your skin may appear dry.
  2. Wait for an hour – during this time, your skin should return to its natural state making it easier to determine your type. Don’t touch your face in the meantime!
  3. Dab your face with a tissue – If you see traces of oil on the tissue, your skin might be oily or combination type. If you can see it flaking, your skin could be dry. If your skin is showing none of those two, your type is normal and you should consider yourself lucky. Additionally, if your skin shows any signs of redness, it could be considered as sensitive.
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