How To

How to Find Your Skin Type

by Jana K. Hoffman
April 8, 2023

How well do you know your skin? Like, really know it? One of the first steps in figuring out the right skincare products for your routine is to know your skin type. That’s because everything from cleansers and serums to moisturizers and sunscreens have different formulations and ingredients for different skin types.

Plus, your skin may change with the seasons. This could mean that you’ll need to mix up your routine so you’re nourishing skin with the right products and ingredients.

7 Questions to Identify Find Your Skin Type

Here’s a quick look at the spectrum of gorgeous different skin types and the questions to ask yourself to figure out which is yours.

1. Does your skin break out?

A telltale sign of acne-prone skin is clogged pores that can lead to breakouts. Or, if you’re breaking out more often than not. Acne-prone skin tends to lean oily though dry skin can break out, too. You might see whiteheads, blackheads, and/or red bumps with white pus (pustules).

If this sounds like your skin type, pick products that are formulated with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to treat acne.

2. Does your skin feel tight and also look oily?

You could have combination skin. Combo skin is when certain areas on your face are dry and others — like the T-zone (your forehead and nose) — are oily.

If this sounds like your skin type, look for skin balancing polyhydroxy acid (PHA) products that respect your natural pH levels.

3. Does your skin flake or feel dehydrated?

When your skin is lacking oil, it could be dry. When your skin isn’t retaining moisture, it could be dehydrated. They’re pretty similar and could cause your skin to feel dry, tight, and irritated or look rough and flaky.

If this sounds like your skin type, be sure to lock in moisture after washing your face. You can do this by applying a facial moisturizer on slightly damp skin. Hint: Dehydrated skin will benefit from products with hyaluronic acid.

4. Does your skin look like it’s shiny?

We love a good glow. Sometimes, the oily glow isn’t it for us. Oily skin might feel greasy, and makeup might not stay put. You probably carry around blotting papers or mattifying powder to soak up extra oil during the day.

If this sounds like your skin type, choose non-comedogenic skincare that won’t clog pores. Use skincare products for oily skin, you can easily find them by looking for labels that say “oil-free” — you can’t go wrong.

5. Does your skin have fine lines and wrinkles?

Everyone’s skin ages. It happens every day. When you reach a certain age, mature skin becomes your beautiful new reality. In addition to fine lines and wrinkles, signs of mature skin include dark spots, dehydration, dullness, and sagginess. It might feel thinner, too.

If this sounds like your skin type, incorporate a retinol product like Rapid Wrinkle Repair® , into your nightly skincare routine. It’ll help to visibly smooth fine lines and reduce the look of deep wrinkles.

6. Does your skin just feel…normal?

That’s probably because it doesn’t fall into any other category. Normal skin doesn’t get a bunch of breakouts or feel dry or look oily. It should feel firm (not tight) and smooth to the touch.

If this sounds like your skin type, you can pretty much use whatever skincare you’d like. Let the experimentation begin!

7. Does your skin get irritated?

And we don’t mean in the annoyed way. Sensitive skin is prone to rashes, bumps, flushing, stinging, burning, and allergic reactions. You might also see dry and flaky patches.

If this sounds like your skin type, be sure to use gentle skincare products made especially for sensitive skin. Skip the fragrances, harsh chemicals, and irritants. Test out new products on a small, discreet area before covering your whole face.

Know your skin type now? Shop a selection of skincare products just for you.

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I’m a writer, rescue dog owner, tattoo collector and traveler who shamelessly has an 8-step skincare routine.

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