How to determine your skin type

How to determine your skin type

Caring for your skin correctly begins with being able to determine your skin type. Once you are aware of this then the rest is easy. Taking a little time to treat your skin to some TLC should not feel like a chore.  The skin as you all know, is your largest organ, so why is it so neglected? My thoughts are that it is highly misunderstood. As much as we all complain about breakouts or dry flaky skin, it is only your skin shouting out for help.  After reading this, you will be able to know what your skin is trying to tell you and treat it accordingly. Pop the kettle on, sit back, click a few buttons and enjoy the read.


The basics

All skin is unique but we all fall into a few basic skin type categories. Treating the skin with products that are not aimed towards your personal skins needs can in fact cause adverse effects. Prime example would be oily skin, harsh products aimed towards targeting oil could strip the skin of all essential oils causing dryness leading you to believe you have both skin types. Take the time to get to know your skin with these simple and fast tests.


The Bare Face test

After cleansing the face and gently patting it dry, hold off on the rest of your skin care routine. After around 30 minutes, evaluate the T zone (fore head, nose, chin) look for any shine. If you do in fact see a build-up of shine in your T zone then you are more likely to have normal/combination skin. If you find that your cheeks are also showing signs of oil, then you have an oily skin type. After another half an hour, check for any areas of dehydrated areas, create funny facial expression to see if your skin feels tight in any areas. If you feel any tightness then your skin is likely dry.

READ  Gift Ideas for Every Occassion


The Blotting Method

This is the fast of the two tests but you will need to invest in some blotting papers if you do not own them already.
All you need to do is pat a sheet over your T zone and examine the amount of oil the sheet collects off your face. Repeat with the rest of the face.  If it is very minimal oil from the face in general then you have a normal skin type. If you have oil visible from around the T zone then you fall under normal/ combination. Finally, if your blotting paper finds traces of oil from the whole face then it is extremely likely that you have oily skin. Carry out the silly faces to feel for dryness if not dry skin is visible.


Skin types & treatments

not got time for the above tests?, well click away my friends. Thanks to the fabulous people at you can now figure it out in 7 quick questions. 

Now you have a good idea of the category your skin falls under, let’s look at how to support your skin during its time of need.

Dry Skin

You may feel tightness throughout the day and experience dry flaky skin. This can be down to genetics, environmental factors and diet. Dehydration is the leading cause of dry skin, drinking plenty of water is key to fighting the flakes. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol is also recommended as they are a diuretic, let’s be honest with ourselves this is easier said than done! So here are a few other handy tips to help soften and soothe the dry skin. Exfoliate daily with a gentle, none abrasive ingredients as this removes old skin cells and helps to regenerate cells. With the old skin gone, serums and creams will absorb better and penetrate deeper into the skin.

READ  New Year Health Kick Starting To Wane? Try These Fun Ways To Get Fit!

The best moisturizers for dry skin are those containing hyaluronic acid (often listed as sodium hyaluronate in ingredients). Also, you’re your eyes peeled for ingredients such as glycerin, and marine actives like algae. These properties attract water and deliver it directly to skin cells. Emollients, including squalane and camellia oil, help smooth and hydrate your skin evenly and effectively. 

If you identify as having normal/combination skin you may often experience dryness on the cheeks, making it important to find a moisturizer that retains moisture where needed most but does not over power the rest of your face. Moisturizers with a gel-like texture are absorbed more quickly and less likely to cause breakouts. 


Oily skin

Excess oil can oftentimes leave pores congested and clogged. Weekly enzymatic exfoliation is essential to promote cell turnover and prevent sebum buildup in pores. A gentle physical exfoliator (that does not use abrasives such as crushed nuts or seeds that can cause tiny tears in the dermis) is also useful for balancing the tone and texture of your skin.


Find out more  about  cleansing the face

Oilier skin is also prone to PIH (post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation), this is when spots/pimples leave dark spots on the skin after a breakout has healed. Exfoliation will also help lighten these dark spots by gently removing the uppermost layers of skin and revealing new cells.  People with an oily skin type are more prone to acne breakouts if excess oil is not managed. Antibacterial exfoliators are a fantastic alternative that will aid healing and combat breakouts

READ  Makeup storage - budget friendly hacks

There is good news for oil skin types oily skin looks younger and more supple because it has more natural moisture and is less prone to wrinkle!

Special tips for sensitive skin

Sensitive skin can be challenging, as it takes considerable time and effort to determine which ingredients cause irritation. Introduce only one new formula or product at a time.  This rule applies to both skincare and cosmetics. Patch testing a new formula on your inner forearm is an excellent way to minimize potential reactions on the face. If your skin shows no sign of flaring up, apply the formula to the area behind one of your ears before using it on your face.

Look for labels that identify formulas as non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Search for products that are free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, sulphate detergents, phthalates, urea, DEA or TEA. These are known ingredients that can cause redness and irritation.

In conclusion

Our skin’s needs can change over time, and taking steps to best identify its needs is essential for it to function and look its best. Keeping the health of your skin in mind and “checking in” regularly to determine whether any adjustments to your current ritual are needed will keep it balanced and beautiful.

If you suffer with mild/ moderate acne then check out Cold weather and its problem causing ways!  for further advice and product recommendations. 


Let me know how your test goes in the comments down below and subscribe for more tips and products reviews.


Lots of Love xx




  1. 21/05/2017 / 6:45 PM

    This was a really informative post, I have always thought I had combination skin but later in the day my chicks are also only not just the t-zone now I am thinking I am oily than combination.

    • 21/05/2017 / 6:47 PM

      That maybe the case, so glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  2. 21/05/2017 / 7:40 PM

    I used to have oily skin but now I have combination skin. Thanks for the tips to take care.

  3. 21/05/2017 / 8:03 PM

    I had oily skin all my teens and mid twenties, but right now lets just say i have pathetic skin with breakouts!

    • 21/05/2017 / 8:09 PM

      Oh Tina I know how you feel! My skin is giving me serious trouble as of late.

  4. 21/05/2017 / 8:08 PM

    Skin type determines the kind of skin care product to be used. Thanks for sharing this info.

    • 21/05/2017 / 8:10 PM

      You are very welcome Chemady

  5. 21/05/2017 / 9:57 PM

    Very informative post! Figuring out the skin type can be confusing at first. Thanks for sharing!

    Ioanna |

  6. 21/05/2017 / 10:09 PM

    I always use any skin care product for my skin now I know I’m supposed to use a particular one for my skin thanks for the tips

  7. 22/05/2017 / 4:53 AM

    Really informative. I have been very dicy of my changing skin types & unable to tap on creams & face wash due to it. Will follow your tips for sure.

    • 22/05/2017 / 5:07 AM

      So glad this may have helped you, keep me posted on your progress 🙂

  8. 22/05/2017 / 8:31 AM

    Great post with some wonderful information!

  9. Amrita
    23/05/2017 / 4:07 AM

    Great tips to make your skin look good.What I love best about my skin is as long as I eat and sleep right, it doesn’t cause me major distress.I avoid all harsh chemicals.

    • 24/05/2017 / 9:42 PM

      you sound like you have a good routine there Amrita x

  10. Anamika
    23/05/2017 / 7:25 AM

    I have a dry skin … I try to drink a lot of water to maintain skin moisture. This is really very helpful post. I try to keep all the points in my mind. Thanks again for the post 😊😊😊