Determining your skin type is essential to taking care of it properly. Every skin type needs different care, and if you don't know what type of skin you have, you're likely not giving yourself the best care possible. In this guide, we will discuss the five skin types and how to take care of them during the winter months.

By the end of this guide, you will know your skin type and how to properly take care of it.

Skin type is determined  by two main factors: oil production and sensitivity. There are five skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive.

Normal Skin Type

Let's start with Normal skin type. It is well-balanced and not too oily or dry. The pores are barely visible and the skin has a healthy glow. If you have normal skin, you're lucky! This skin type is the easiest to take care of. But not to worry, this skin type is actually rare to have or as experts would put it,  it doesn't technically exist.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is due to a lack of oil production. It is often tight, flaky, and can be itchy. Usually the pores are barely visible due to the follicles doesn't dilate and stretch pores because there isn’t as much oil production. If you have dry skin, you need to be extra careful not to over-wash or over-exfoliate, as this can strip the skin of its natural oils. Often the skin will:

  • Feels tight or dry, especially after bathing or swimming
  • Flakes, itches, or cracks
  • Looks dull, rough, or ashy

It's recommended when looking after this skin type, to use humectants, which draw moisture to the skin and help retain moisture, such as glycerine or hyaluronic acid. As well as oils and butters that seal in moisture, including jojoba, lanolin, or shea butter!

woman oiling her skin

Having dry skin you should look at ingredients and avoid:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), which are common foaming agents that can dry out skin.
  • Alcohols, such as ethanol, denatured alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, and benzyl alcohol. These ingredients are often used in toners and can be very drying.
  • Retinoids, such as retinol and tretinoin which these ingredients can cause skin irritation.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is caused by an overproduction of oil. The pores are visible and the skin often has a shiny appearance. Your skin may visibly look:

  • Feels greasy
  • Looks shiny, especially around the nose and forehead
  • Has large pores that clog easily
  • Is prone to pimples or blackheads

If you have oily skin, you need to be careful not to strip the skin of its natural oils with harsh cleansers as it will encourage the skin to produce more oil after it been stripped and looks mattified temporarily. 

It is advised to use non-comedogenic products for oily skin. This means the product simply won’t clog your pores and you will less likely to breakout. People with oily skin tend to use lighter moisturisers instead of heavy oils on their skin. To help absorb the oils find products that include ingredients such as:

  • Corn or rice starch
  • Clays, such as kaolin or bentonite
  • Silicones, such as dimethicone

Oil-free sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide can also help reduce oil and the risk of breakouts.

Combination Skin

Combination skin is a mix of both dry and oily skin. The skin may be oily in some areas, like the forehead and nose otherwise known as the T-zone, and dry in others, like the cheeks. If you have combination skin, you need to find a cleanser that will work for both your oily and dry areas. You also need to be sure to use a separate moisturizer for your dry areas.

Like people with oil skin types, Combination skin types should use a gentle cleanser and a light moisturiser or oil free to reduce the oiliness in T-zone areas. those areas that are dryer you are able to use a heavier moisturiser but only in those areas.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is skin that is easily irritated. It may feel tight, itchy, or dry. The skin may also be red or blotchy. If you have sensitive skin, you need to find products that are labelled "for sensitive skin." You should also avoid using harsh cleansers or exfoliants. Many symptoms of sensitive skin types include

  • Skin that burns, stings, or itches when applying products
  • Visible reactions to substances, with bumps, hives, or peeling

Unlike the other skin types, sensitive skin isn't determined by how much oil your skin produces. In some cases , people with sensitive skin may have oily skin. Most sensitivity to the skin can be related to skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. 

Things to look out for when you have sensitive skin that can help with the sensitivity:

  • Using hypoallergenic, fragrance-free products with simple ingredients
  • Using mineral sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, rather than chemical sunscreens such as oxybenzone
  • Trying out new products on a small area of skin to test for tolerance before using them anywhere else

If you persistently have irritation on the skin, this is something that should be discussed with your doctor as they are able to help and give you medical advice. 

How To Find Out Your Skin Type?

There are a few ways you can determine your skin type.

The first way is to simply look at your skin. Do you have large pores? Is your skin oily or dry? Does your skin feel tight or itchy? Does your skin react badly to products? Now that you've answered the questions, which answers align with the skin types above? 

The second way you can find you skin type is by taking a skin type quiz. There are many of these available online, and they can be a great way to determine your skin type. Alternatively try our 4 step test if you not 100% sure on your answers for the quiz.

  1. Wash the face with a gentle cleanser
  2. Pat dry with a clean towel
  3. Observe how the skin looks and feels immediately after washing
  4. Take note of how this changes over the next few hours

Dry skin will become feel dry or tight shortly after washing. It may also look dull, rough, or flaky.

Oily skin may look matte after washing, but will become shiny or greasy over the next few hours. The oil will be visible if a person blots their nose with tissue.

Combination skin typically involves an oily T-zone and normal or dry cheeks. Usually after some time, the t-zone will start to become greasy and cheeks will be normal to dry.

Sensitive skin may sting, burn, or itch after a wash.

Finally, another way to determine your skin type is to consult with a dermatologist or skin care specialist. They will be able to help you determine your skin type and recommend products that will work best for you. 

Bottom Line

Now that you know the different types of skin type, it is determined by oil production and the sensitivity to how the skin can respond to the products you put on it.

To find your skin type, you can take a skin type quiz, look at your skin, or consult with a skin care specialist. Once you know your skin type, you can start looking for products that will work best for you. Be sure to consult with a skin care specialist or dermatologist if you have any questions. And remember, the best way to keep your skin healthy is to practice good hygiene and use gentle products which contains fewer ingredients that are less likely to cause a skin reaction. We hope this was helpful in determining your skin type. 

Winter is the perfect time to start taking care of your skin! Get ahead of the game and start today.

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