How to Determine Your Skin Type

How to Determine Your Skin Type

What is Your Skin Type?

Your skin is like a complex puzzle, with its own unique pieces and patterns. Understanding your skin type is the key to unlocking the secret to radiant, healthy skin.

But how do you determine your skin type? The answer lies in observing and analysing the characteristics of your skin. By paying attention to the signs and signals your skin gives you, you can embark on a journey of self-discovery and find the perfect skin care routine tailored to your skin’s needs.

So, are you ready to uncover the truth about your skin?

Key Takeaways

  • Skin type refers to the natural condition of the skin and can be categorized into normal, oily, dry, and combination.
  • Knowing your skin type is important for developing an effective skincare routine tailored to your specific needs.
  • The blotting sheet method and bare-faced method are two ways to determine your skin type.
  • Once you know your skin type, you can care for it properly by using appropriate cleansers, moisturisers, and sunscreen.

Definition of Skin Type

To understand your type of skin, you need to know the specific characteristics and qualities that define it. Skin type refers to the natural condition of your skin and can be categorised into different types based on its characteristics. The four main skin types are normal, oily, dry, and combination.

Normal skin is balanced, neither too oily nor too dry. It has a smooth texture, small pores, and a healthy complexion. Oily skin, on the other hand, produces excess sebum, making it prone to shine, larger pores, and acne breakouts. Dry skin lacks natural moisture, often feels tight or itchy, and may have flaky patches.

Combination skin is a mix of oily and dry areas. Typically, the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) is oily, while the cheeks are dry. It requires a skincare routine that addresses both concerns.

Importance of Knowing your Skin Type for Skincare Routine

Knowing your skin type is crucial for developing an effective skincare routine and achieving optimal skin health. By understanding your skin type, you can tailor your skincare products and treatments to address specific concerns and avoid potential irritants that may worsen your skin condition.

Here are three reasons why knowing your skin type is important for your skincare routine:

  1. Targeted Treatment: Different skin types have different needs. For example, if you have oily skin, you may want to focus on products that control excess sebum production. On the other hand, if you have dry skin, you may need to prioritize moisturising products to combat dehydration. Understanding your skin type allows you to choose the right ingredients and treatments that effectively address your specific concerns.

  2. Prevention of Skin Issues: By knowing your skin type, you can identify potential issues before they become major problems. For instance, if you have sensitive skin, you can avoid harsh or irritating ingredients that may trigger allergic reactions or inflammation. This knowledge empowers you to make informed choices and prevent unnecessary damage to your skin.

  3. Optimal Results: Developing a skincare routine tailored to your skin type ensures that you’re providing your skin with the right balance of care. This targeted approach can lead to improved skin texture, reduced breakouts, and a more balanced complexion. By understanding your skin’s unique characteristics, you can optimise your skincare routine to achieve the best possible results.

How can you Determine Your Skin Type?

To determine your skin type, you can try the blotting sheet method and the bare-faced method.

With the blotting sheet method, you simply press a blotting sheet against different areas of your face to see how much oil is absorbed.

The bare-faced method involves washing your face and not applying any products for a few hours to observe how your skin behaves naturally.

The Blotting Sheet Method

Use the blotting sheet method to determine your skin type by observing how much oil is absorbed from different areas of your face. This simple yet effective technique can help you understand your skin better and tailor your skincare routine accordingly.

Here’s how you can perform the blotting sheet method:

  1. Start by washing your face with a mild cleanser and patting it dry.
  2. Take a blotting sheet and gently press it against different areas of your face, such as the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin.
  3. Observe how much oil is absorbed by the blotting sheet. Pay attention to whether it’s dry, slightly oily, or saturated with oil.

Based on the results, you can determine your skin type:

  • If the blotting sheet is dry, you likely have dry skin.
  • If it picks up a small amount of oil, you may have normal or combination skin.
  • If the sheet becomes saturated with oil, you probably have oily skin.

The Bare-Faced Method

After determining your skin type using the blotting sheet method, you can now move on to the next method called the Bare-Faced Method to further understand your skin type.

This method requires you to thoroughly cleanse your face and refrain from applying any skincare products or makeup. Leave your skin bare and observe it closely for about an hour. Look for any signs of oiliness, dryness, or tightness.

If your skin appears shiny and feels greasy, you likely have oily skin. On the other hand, if your skin feels tight and looks flaky, you may have dry skin. Combination skin will show both oily and dry areas, while normal skin will appear balanced and neither oily nor dry.

How To Care For Your Skin Type

Taking care of your skin type starts with understanding its unique needs and finding the right products for you. Whether you have dry, oily, combination, or sensitive skin, following a skincare routine tailored to your specific needs can help you achieve a healthy and radiant complexion. Here are some tips to help you care for your skin type:

  1. Cleanse: Choose a gentle cleanser that’s suitable for your skin type. For dry skin, opt for a creamy cleanser that hydrates and nourishes. If you have oily skin, look for a foaming cleanser that helps remove excess oil. Combination skin benefits from a cleanser that balances oil production without stripping the skin. Sensitive skin types should opt for a fragrance-free and hypoallergenic cleanser.

  2. Moisturise: Hydration is essential for all skin types. Dry skin needs a rich moisturiser that locks in moisture and restores the skin’s barrier. Oily skin types should use a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser that hydrates without clogging pores. Combination skin can benefit from a moisturiser that’s lightweight yet hydrating. Sensitive skin types should look for gentle, fragrance-free moisturisers that soothe and protect.

  3. Protect: Regardless of your skin type, sunscreen is a must. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and apply it every day, even on cloudy days. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays, preventing premature aging and reducing the risk of skin cancer.

Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, managing excess oil production is key to maintaining a healthy complexion. Oily skin is characterized by an overproduction of sebum, the natural oil that is produced and secreted from your sebaceous glands which helps keep your skin moisturised. While sebum is essential for protecting your skin, too much of it can lead to clogged pores, acne breakouts, and a shiny appearance.

To manage oily skin, start by cleansing your face twice a day with a gentle, oil-free cleanser. Avoid using harsh cleansers or scrubbing your face too vigorously, as this can strip away the natural oils and cause your skin to produce even more oil.

After cleansing, use an oil-free moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated without adding extra oil. When choosing makeup products, opt for oil-free or non-comedogenic formulas that won’t clog your pores. Throughout the day, you can also use oil-absorbing sheets or blotting papers to remove excess oil without disturbing your makeup.

Dry Skin

To effectively manage dry skin, it’s important to understand the specific characteristics and needs of this skin type. Dry skin lacks moisture and can often feel tight, itchy, and flaky. It may also appear dull and rough. Taking proper care of dry skin can help alleviate these symptoms and improve its overall health and appearance.

Here are three key points to remember when dealing with dry skin:

  1. Hydration is key: Moisturising regularly is crucial for dry skin. Look for hydrating products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides to lock in moisture and strengthen the skin barrier. Apply moisturiser immediately after showering or washing your face to seal in the moisture.

  2. Gentle cleansing: Avoid harsh cleansers that can strip away natural oils from your skin. Choose mild, fragrance-free cleansers that are specifically formulated for dry skin. Limit your showers to lukewarm water and avoid hot water, as it can further dry out your skin.

  3. Protect and nourish: Shield your dry skin from harsh weather conditions by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Additionally, incorporate a nourishing serum or facial oil into your skincare routine to provide extra hydration and nourishment.

Normal Skin

Normal skin types are characterized by a balanced level of moisture and oil production. If you have normal skin, consider yourself lucky! Your skin isn’t too oily or too dry, but just right. Normal skin has a smooth and even texture, with small pores that are barely visible. You don’t have to worry about excessive oiliness or dryness, as your skin produces just the right amount of sebum to keep it hydrated and supple.

One of the key characteristics of normal skin is its ability to maintain a healthy moisture barrier. This means that your skin retains moisture effectively, preventing it from becoming too dry or too oily. Normal skin also tends to have a natural glow and is less prone to blemishes and breakouts.

To take care of your normal skin, it’s important to stick to a simple skincare routine. Cleansing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser will help remove any dirt or impurities without stripping away the natural oils. Follow up with a lightweight moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated and protected throughout the day.

Comination Skin

Moving on from normal skin, let’s now talk about combination skin types. If you have combination skin, you’re not alone. This type of skin is characterized by having both oily and dry areas on your face. It can be a bit tricky to manage, but with the right skincare routine, you can keep your skin balanced and healthy.

Here are three key characteristics of combination skin:

  1. Oily T-zone: The T-zone, which includes your forehead, nose, and chin, tends to be oilier than the rest of your face. You may notice that these areas are prone to shine and have enlarged pores.

  2. Dry or normal cheeks: On the other hand, your cheeks may feel dry or have a normal skin texture. They may even feel a bit tight after cleansing.

  3. Breakouts and blackheads: Combination skin is often prone to breakouts and blackheads, especially in the oily areas. It’s important to use products that can help control excess oil without drying out the rest of your face.

To take care of combination skin, look for products that are specifically designed for this skin type. Cleanse your face twice a day, use a gentle exfoliator to to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, and moisturise with a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, it’s important to be mindful of the products and ingredients you use to avoid irritation and discomfort. Sensitive skin is characterized by a heightened reaction to certain substances, such as fragrances, dyes, and harsh chemicals. It can also be prone to redness, itching, and dryness.

To take care of your sensitive skin, opt for gentle and hypoallergenic products that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Look for labels that mention ‘fragrance-free,’ ‘alcohol-free,’ and ‘non-comedogenic.’ Avoid harsh exfoliants, abrasive scrubs, and products with strong fragrances or alcohol, as these can cause irritation.

When it comes to cleansing, choose a mild, non-foaming cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Always perform a patch test before trying a new product to check for any adverse reactions. And remember, less is more when it comes to skincare. Stick to a simple routine and avoid using too many products at once.


Determining your skin type is crucial for creating an effective skincare routine. By understanding your skin’s unique needs, you can provide it with the right care and products.

Whether you have oily, dry, normal, combination, or sensitive skin, tailoring your skincare routine accordingly will help maintain a healthy and radiant complexion.

Remember, knowing your skin type is the first step towards achieving your desired skincare goals.

Team Tolède

Image via @ausventuretravel

Recent Editorials

Skincare Hacks to Improve Dark Circles

Skincare Hacks to Improve Dark Circles

Are you tired of constantly battling with dark circles under your eyes? Do you wish there was...

How to Maintain Healthy Nails

How to Maintain Healthy Nails

Maintaining beautiful nails goes beyond the surface appeal; it’s a reflection of your internal health and...

Premature Aging: The Importance of Sunscreen

Premature Aging: The Importance of Sunscreen

You’ve likely been cautioned about the sun’s potential to harm, but have you truly grasped...