How to Know Which Skin Type You Have and How to Care For It

Building a skincare routine can often be trickier than we anticipate. With so many products on the market claiming to tackle a multitude of different skin issues, things can be a bit more complicated than picking a product off the shelf and rolling with it. However, there’s no cause for alarm. Armed with the right information, you can curate the right regime that works for your skin. Something that can help you make educated choice is knowing your skin type, but where to start? Today we’ll give you the guidance you need to determine what your skin type is and how to care for it…




How do I know what my skin type is?

According to dermatologist Dr Jamuna Pai, the main different skin types are normal, dry, oily, sensitive and combination skin, each of which having different skincare needs; when it comes to skincare, one size does not fit all. However, our skin types may not always be the same. Factors such as weather, seasons, the products we use, and ageing can influence changes to our skin type. As a result, it is important to test your skin periodically so you’re aware of what skin type you have. To test your skin type, Dr Jamuna recommends washing and cleaning your face, then patting it dry with a towel. Wait for approximately 20 minutes and then stick three pieces of tape to your face; one across your forehead, one down the length of your nose, and one across your cheek by your jawline. After three to five minutes has passed, remove the tape and observe each piece. If you don’t see anything on the tape, you have normal skin. If you see flakes on the tape, you have dry skin. If you see tiny oil droplets, you have oily skin. If you are noticing a combination of both, you guessed it, you have combination skin. And if you notice redness, you likely have sensitive skin.


How do I care for my skin type?

Now that you know what skin type you have, you are much more equipped to start considering which products will best help to care for your skin. Let’s take a look at what could be suitable for you based on your skin type… 


Normal Skin

Normal skin tends to be well balanced and can handle a wide range of products. However, it is usually best to keep things simple by following the basics that each skin type requires. Using a cleanser, non-irritating AHA or BHA exfoliant, a good moisturizer with skin restoring ingredients and an SPF sunscreen should do the trick.


Oily Skin

Oily skin can often be shiny in appearance to the excess oil production that is taking place. This can also cause the pores to look larger and more prominent. A big faux pas that many make when formulating a skincare routine for their oily skin is that it doesn’t require a moisturizer; it certainly does. However, it is best to opt for an oil free moisturizer to combat the oil production that is already occurring in your skin. Cleansing is also important to prevent a buildup of oil or sebum in the pores, that can lead to blemishes and acne. If you have oily skin, foaming cleansers are your best friend as they are most effective at removing excess oil.


Dry Skin

Dry skin can often present as dull, flakey and can feel tight and uncomfortable. To combat this dryness, use a ceramide rich moisturizer, and keep an eye out for products containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid which can boost the production of the natural hyaluronic acid in our skin, which keeps our skin plump and helps to combat ageing. It’s also wise to avoid soap-based products, as these strip our skin of natural oils leaving it even drier. 


Combination Skin

Combination skin is arguably the trickiest to hack when it comes to building a skincare routine. Dermatologists recommend opting for a mild, gentle cleanser, and then use products of different formulas on different areas of the face. For instance, if you have an oily T-zone, use a light oil free moisturizer in those areas, but if you also have dry cheeks, use a heavier ceramide rich moisturizer there.


Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is another difficult skin type to navigate. A good rule of thumb is to follow the same premise as the requirements for dry skin, as these categories tend to overlap. It is also important to focus on repairing and protecting your skin barrier to keep your skin more robust. Also check the ingredients list of your skincare products… simple is best. Fragrance free formulas are also essential as fragrance can often be the culprit behind redness, itchiness, and irritation.


Knowing your skin type certainly helps to devise the ultimate skincare routine for you and your skin’s needs. Remember to test your skin every now and again, and check the ingredients list of your products to ensure you’re giving your skin the love and care that it needs!