HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR SKIN TYPE
Everyone’s skin is unique, and the support needed to keep complexions healthy is too. To get the most out of a skincare routine, each step and product should respond to your specific skin type.
Knowing how to tell what skin type you have may be simple for some, but many experience skin issues across multiple categories. There are five umbrella skin types – combination, normal, dry, oily and sensitive – which each have their own features. For those asking, ‘what skin type do I have?’, this guide is here to help. We’ll walk through different ways to identity your skin type and the essential skincare products to include in your regime.
THE FIVE BASIC TYPES OF SKIN
Skin types refer to the natural and reactive behaviours of the skin. A big clue in how to know what skin type you are is simply by observation. Different types of skin show stress and stability in their own way – and knowing your skin type can help with understanding what your skin is telling you.
Oily skin: Oily types of skin (including acne-prone skin) are characterised by an excessive production of sebum – skin’s natural oil. This overflow of oil can give the appearance of shiny or greasy complexions and can clog pores, giving the feeling of bumpiness across skin.
Dry skin: On the opposite end of the spectrum, dry skin types produce a reduced amount of oil. Dulled complexions or a tight feeling can result – and severe dryness can cause skin to peel, flake or crack. Don’t confuse this skin type with dehydrated skin. The latter indicates a lack of moisture and can happen to any skin type.
Combination skin: As the name suggests, combination skin refers to people who experience issues across multiple categories. This means that skin can feel dry and oily at the same time. Combination skin types often have an oily T-zone – meaning forehead, nose and chin, while cheeks remain dry.
Sensitive skin: The most reactive of the skin types, those with sensitive skin can experience a range of skin issues (both visible and sensations). Features such as tingling sensations and redness in skin occur due to a heightened sensitivity to external and internal stressors. What those stressors are will be unique to you but can include weather changes, fragrance-based products and even some skincare formulas.
Normal skin: A better way to describe this skin type is to term it ‘balanced’. People who sit in this category won’t experience dryness or excessive oil-flow but instead sit somewhere in the middle.
What is my skin type?
While the features of each skin type can usually be spotted through observation alone, the degree to which you experience those skin issues can take longer to figure out. If the above definitions alone don’t confirm yours, a couple of methods can help you pinpoint where your skin sits on the spectrum.
- The bare faced method
A reliable way to understand your skin is to see it in its natural state. To do this, remove any impurities (such as sweat or debris) and monitor your complexion for around 30 minutes. You can start by using a gentle cleanser like Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash. Once skin is purified and dry, wait 30 minutes and see how it feels. Tightness or dryness indicates a dry skin type, while shininess will indicate an oily skin type – a combination of the two highlights (you guessed it!) combination skin type.
- The blotting sheet method
This method uses the level of oil present on skin to indicate where your skin type sits. Around midday or evening (not too close to cleansing), press blotting paper across different areas on your skin. Any oil it picks up will show how excessive or reduced your sebum production is.
Caring for your skin type
All routines will share some essential steps (such as cleansers, moisturisers and sunscreen), but certain formulas can be included to assist your specific skin type. Now that you’ve learned ‘what skin type do I have?’, explore how to enhance your routine accordingly below.
Oily skin types
For refreshed and purified complexions, skincare routines for oily skin help to rebalance oil-flow. To do that, we recommend including detoxifying cleansers and toners as the starting point of your skincare routine. You can also add an oil-absorbing mask like Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask when skin feels especially affected. Remember to keep lightweight hydration up! Moisturisers like Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream are an important step in hydrating oily skin.
Dry skin types
Those with dry types of skin benefit from an uptick in nourishing hydration. To help reimplement moisture and achieve a brightened complexion, opt for moisturising formulas across each step of your dry skin routine. Hydrating Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser won’t strip skin of moisture while you cleanse – and facial oils can be used to lock it in.
Sensitive skin types
To support and protect skin against stress, sensitive skin routines should be gentle, fragrance free and alcohol free. Because what causes sensitivity can change from person to person, we recommend monitoring for any skin changes and sticking to non-abrasive and specially designed formulas.
Combination skin types
Combination skincare routines require a balanced and dual approach that won’t overwhelm. To combat enlarged pores and oiliness in some areas and dullness and dryness in others, we recommend using formulas that both nourish and protect. A gentle cleanser and toner can help to establish balance in skin, and a light-textured moisture like Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream provides uniform hydration.
Normal skin types
While you might avoid skin stress like discomfort, dryness or breakouts, all skin needs help to maintain bounce and brightness. Normal skin routines should work to purify and achieve optimal hydration levels. We recommend opting for naturally derived ingredients like squalane and avocado oil (found in the Ultra Facial range) which work to support skin’s natural components.
Now that you’ve answered ‘what skin type am I?’, Keep reading to discover the best anti-ageing ingredients in skincare.