If you’ve ever gone into a skincare store, or spoken with an expert on skincare, their first question is probably this: what is your skin type? If you’re not sure what type of skin you have (oily, dry, combination), don’t worry: we’ve got 5 ways to determine your skin type that will help you get started on using an effective skin care regimen.
THE CLEANSING METHOD
Wash your face with a mild cleanser and then wait 30 minutes without adding serums, moisturizers or other products. After a half an hour, examine your skin for oily areas and dry patches. A tight feeling when you move your face indicates dry skin, while shine on your cheeks means your complexion is on the oily side. Shine just in the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) signifies combination skin.
THE BLOTTING PAPER METHOD
Blotting paper, those wafer-thin sheets that you can pick up at any drugstore, are a great way to see what type of skin you have. Here’s what you need to do: dab blotting paper on your skin before cleansing it in the morning. If little to no oil is visible when you hold the sheet up to the light, you probably have dry skin. If you notice oil, you might either have oily or combination skin. A way to check is to see whether the oil appears on the cheeks as well, or just along the T-zone (the forehead and along the bridge of the nose).
THE EXAMINATION METHOD
Think of this one as conducting an experiment on your skin! Wash your face first thing in the morning, and then go about your normal day-to-day activities without applying any other products or cosmetics. Halfway through the day, look closely in the mirror. You'll be able to tell if your face is oily all over or just in the T-zone. If you find your skin is peeling, patchy or see increased redness, this indicates you have dry or sensitive skin.
THE FINGER METHOD
Similar to the visual examination, with this method wash your face and then leave it alone until after lunchtime. After this, gently feel your entire face with your (clean!) fingertips to see if your skin is dry, normal or oily (or a combination).
CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL
If none of these methods are effective, a final option is to go visit a dermatologist. Your dermatologist can analyze your skin type and recommend effective products that you can use.
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★ Platinum Level Expert Author
Chloe Glynne is a skin care consultant with 12 years of personal experience in the industry. She is recognized for her skin care advice in the treatment of skin disorders such as acne and rosacea, unwanted wrinkles, fine lines, puffy eyes, damaged skin, with emphasis on anti-aging.