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This Easy Guide Will Show You How To Figure Out Your Skin Type

How to figure out your skin type

How to figure out your skin type

You’ve probably noticed that most skin care and beauty companies have products that are specified according to skin type. Would you be surprised to find out that most people don’t actually understand how to figure out their skin type? It’s not hard to figure out what your skin type is, and taking the first step in understanding what your needs are means that you’re already on your way to soft, glowing skin.

Most beauty products are created with specific problems in mind that they’re meant to tackle. Retinol cremes are meant to target signs of aging and combat wrinkles, while hyaluronic acid serums are used to boost hydration in dry skin. For this reason, knowing what your needs are is key to making sure that you’re using the right products. We’ve rounded up seven skin types that most people fall under.

To find out your skin type, cleanse your skin like you normally would and pat it dry gently. Leave it bare, and after 30 minutes spend some time in the mirror examining your skin’s texture, feeling, and look. These features will indicate what type of skin you have, and you can examine the descriptions below to determine your skin type.

Normal, oily, dry, combination, sensitive skin types

Normal, oily, dry, combination, sensitive skin types


Normal skin is easy to figure out (as you would expect). People with normal skin tend to rarely breakout unless they’re experiencing high stress or hormonal changes. Normal skin may also have some frequent dryness around the cheeks, but no breakouts in that area. People with normal skin may notice most of their breakouts, if they do occur, tend to happen around the T-zone where the skin is more oily. The good news is, normal skin generally doesn’t react badly to new skin care products, so your options are fairly wide.

Caring for normal skin often means regular exfoliation in order to slough off dead skin cells. Regularly massaging the face and exfoliating—particularly around your T-zone—will almost guarantee soft, supple skin. Play around with new products to find what works best for you, and enjoy your normal skin!


Skin types are pretty self explanatory, and as you can guess, dry skin is exactly that—chronically dry. People with dry skin may experience skin conditions like eczema and notice that their skin is chronically itchy, sensitive, and prone to cracks. Dry skin is caused by a lack of oil in the skin. It shouldn’t be confused with dehydrated skin, which is caused by your skin not retaining enough moisture.

Symptoms of dehydration include papery, tight feeling skin with fine lines. Dry skin, on the other hand, is a more chronic condition. Curb dehydrated skin by drinking lots of water. Treating dry skin may require applying rich moisturizers, skin oils, and lotions throughout the day. People with dry skin may find that their skin feels particularly dry after exposure to water or using soaps that have a lot of fragrances.


Those with oily skin will notice that their face is often shiny and oily all over, not just around their T-zone. People with oily skin often break out more often, and their healed breakouts leave noticeable marks called PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Oily skin types don’t have to worry about signs of aging as much as dry skin types, but they have their own problems at the same time.

Curb your oily skin by avoiding products that will clog your pores. People with oily skin will notice that makeup often has a hard time staying where it’s supposed to be. This is easily treatable with the right products, and avoiding skin care and cosmetics that contain alcohol, petroleum or mineral oil should do the trick. Exfoliation is also a major key to cleaning oily skin, and using a gentle, physical exfoliator will clear up any clogged pores or blackheads that appear.


In theory, combination skin should be easy to spot. However, it can be a little bit tricky to figure out whether or not your skin is combination or if you’re simply going through a phase. If your skin is particularly oily around your T-zone but also particularly dry around your cheeks, you may have combination skin.

Caring for combination skin doesn’t have to be complicated, it just means that you’re going to have to pay closer attention to what you use and where. Avoid the same types of ingredients as oily and dry skin such as alcohols, mineral oil, and petroleum. Treating specific areas of your face with specific products will help a lot—or simply find a product that will work well with combination skin.


Acne prone skin can often be some of the most frustrating skin to treat. The problem with finding something that will help acne prone skin is finding a product that will treat the type of acne you most often deal with. Cystic acne will be treated differently than blackheads, but oily skin is usually associated with acne prone skin simultaneously.

Treating acne prone skin doesn’t have to be complicated. The first thing you should do to figure out how to treat your acne is make sure that it is, in fact, acne. Adults that think they have acne often have what’s called Rosacea instead. Rosacea looks like acne, but is treated differently. Treating acne, however, means that using acne fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol will help the most. Avoid heavy moisturizers that increase oil production in the skin, and make sure that you’re cleaning your face often.


Those with sensitive skin will find that they feel a burning sensation with strong skin care and cosmetic products. Skin that is often flush, prone to rashes as a reaction to certain products or fragrances, and often has patches of dry, flaky skin is probably sensitive.

Using beauty products that don’t have harsh ingredients like alcohols and fragrances will soothe sensitive skin while treating it properly. Sensitive skin can be the hardest to treat, because your product choices are limited to what you can handle without having a reaction.


The signs of maturing skin are fairly obvious. Fine lines and wrinkles appear at different times for everyone, but not everyone’s skin can be treated with the same products. For most people, sagging, dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines and dehydration are all signs that your skin may be aging.

Creating an anti-aging routine at a young age is always a good idea, but be wary of products with strong ingredients like retinol that can cause burning and negative reactions if started too young. To combat signs of aging, look for products that boost collagen production and circulation in the skin. Restorative ingredients and gentle exfoliants can also help increase the production of new cells, combating the signs of aging.