Oily. Dry. Combination. Sensitive. Normal. Skin types can often be confusing. You have oil in your T-zone, but not on your cheeks, so does that mean you have oily skin? Your skin only feels dry in the winter, so do you have dry skin? You notice a bit of both, so what does that mean? And how should you take care of your skin? Understanding your skin type is important because it determines what types of products you should be using and how you should be caring for your skin. Read on to learn how to determine your skin type.
Determine Your Skin Type: Method 1
An easy way to determine your skin type is to leave your face alone for an hour. First, wash your face with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Don’t apply your usual moisturizers, toners, or serums. Just let your skin sit for 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is up, take a look at your face. Do you notice any shine on your cheeks, nose, or forehead? At this point, shine on your cheeks indicates you likely have oily skin. Wait another 30 minutes. How is the shine? Again, shine on your cheeks at this point (even if it wasn’t there after the first 30 minutes) means you probably have oily skin.
Now how does your skin feel? Is it parched? When you smile, does your skin feel tight? This indicates you have dry skin.
If you don’t have dry skin, but you have a bit of shine on your nose and forehead (but not cheeks), you probably have normal/combination skin.
Determine Your Skin Type: Method 2
Grab a blotting sheet and pat different areas of your skin. You’re looking for oil, or the absence of oil, to determine your skin type. As in the first method, if you notice oil in only the forehead and nose areas, you likely have normal/combination skin. If the blotting sheet picks up oil everywhere, you have oily skin. If very little to no oil is picked up by the blotting sheet, you probably have dry skin.
Determine Your Skin Type: Method 3
Time to examine your pores. Normal skin will have visible, but not large, pores. How do you know if they’re considered large or not? Take a step back from the mirror. If you can still see your pores, you have large pores — and oily skin. If you can’t see your pores from a step or two back from the mirror, you probably have normal skin. If you can hardly see your pores at all, you probably have dry skin.
If your skin becomes irritated easily, or through any of these three methods, you probably are dealing with sensitive skin.
What to Do with Your New Knowledge
Now that you know your skin type, what should you do? Make sure you’re treating your skin appropriately for your skin type.
Normal/Combination Skin: Use a gentle facial oil cleanser to wash your face twice a day. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. You can use a face mask regularly.
Dry Skin: Choose a gentle cleanser that doesn’t contain alcohol. Gently wash and rinse your face with warm (never hot) water. Pat dry. You can exfoliate one to three times each week to help promote cell turnover without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
Oily Skin: Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face twice a day. Pat dry. Use a small amount of moisturizer. Exfoliate gently each day.to prevent blemishes.
Sensitive Skin: Test new products on small areas of your skin first. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face twice a day. Pat dry. Exfoliation might be too much for your skin.
Remember that your skin type can change throughout your life, depending on hormones, stress, environment, and more. Stay in tune with your skin so you can understand changes as they arise.
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