Know Your Skin Type

Know Your Skin Type

Know Your Skin

Let’s face it, when it comes to skincare products, we’re absolutely spoiled for choice. Be it social media, advertising or just walking to your local drugstore, we are constantly bombarded by the hottest, newest, holy grail product that will absolutely transform your life!

But, before we open up that wallet and ride the hype wave, you gotta know just because something is hyped up doesn’t mean that it’s going to work 100%. Using the wrong products for our type could often lead to disastrous results that might take weeks to fully rectify. Before we make the next impulse buy, we need to first figure out what our skin type is and cater to its wants/needs.

Determining our skin type isn’t always the easiest thing to do. A simple google search shows us anything from 3 – 9 different skin types and might end up making us more confused than before. But when it boils down to the basics, there’s really only 4 skin types.

Without any further ado, here’s our handy dandy guide to finding out your skin type and what products will work best for you!

How to find out what skin type

Blotting Sheet Test (For dehydrated skin, see visual test)

This is the simplest skin type test to do and can be done at least 30 minutes after you cleanse your face and before applying any facial products.

Take a sheet of blotting paper and gently pat different areas of your face. Examine the sheet after each area by holding it up to the light.

Little to no oil absorbed = dry skin

Oil absorbed from the T-zone/chin area = normal/combination skin

Saturated with oil = oily skin

Visual Test

Wash your face in the morning with a gentle cleanser and don’t apply any other products. Check in the mirror and note the shinyness and how your skin feels.

Dry/tight = dry skin

Oily in t-zone = normal/combination skin

Entire face is shiny/greasy = oily skin

Face is greasy but feels tight = dehydrated skin

Different types of skin

Dry skin

One of the more telling factors of people with dry skin is that their skin feels tight throughout the day. Those with very dry skin even experience patches of flaky skin especially around the cheeks and eyes. The skin does not produce oil, lacks elasticity and fine lines or wrinkles are more deeply etched into the skin.

The main area of concern would be to maintain hydration to keep the skin looking plump and supple.

 Ingredients your skin will love:

  1. Emollients: ceramides, linoleic acid, oleic acid, jojoba oil
  2. Occlusive Agents: Shea Butter, Silicones (not recommended for sensitive skin)
  3. Humectants: Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Glycolic acids, Urea, Aloe

Avoid these ingredients:

  1. Denatured alcohol (ethanol)
  2. benzoyl peroxide
  3. salicylic acid
  4. sulphates



Normal skin/combination skin

Normal skin is smooth, has fine pores and an even texture. It will be slightly oilier in the T-zone, but otherwise no blemishes.

Combination skin tends to have an oily t-zone area, enlarged pores but normal – dry cheeks.

This is the most fuss-free skintype to care for. All you have to do is choose a gentle, sulphate-free cleanser and pair it with a light moisturiser with glycerin.

Avoid ethanol in your toner and incorporate vitamin C for the brightening effects.

Oily skin

Oily skin is a result of excessive sebum production. People with oily skin type tend to have enlarged pores, and be prone to acne on the cheeks, chin and the T-zone area. The excessive oil on your face tends to breed bacteria that will lead to breakouts.

The main area of concern would be to focus on cutting down on oil production and reducing inflammation.

Ingredients your skin will love:

  1. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
  2. Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) /Salicylic Acid (note: this will not help cystic acne as that is deeper than surface inflammation)
  3. Glycerin
  4. Sulphur
  5. Benzoyl peroxide
  6. Oils high in Linoleic acids: Rosehip oil, evening primrose, grapeseed


Avoid these ingredients that will clog your pores, and worsen your skin inflammation.

  1. Comodegenic oils / Oils with high level of oleic acids: coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil
  2. Sulphates
  3. Occlusive agents: Mineral oils, Beeswax, Paraffin

Dehydrated Skin ≠ Dry skin

People with dehydrated skin or a damaged moisture barrier will experience tight skin that is also shiny at the same time. This happens because when the skin incapable of retaining moisture and the oil glands end up over-producing to compensate for the dryness.

The fastest way to check this, according to Renee Rouleau, is to put a firm finger on your cheek/forehead and shift it around. If you see triangular cross-hatching fine lines appear across your skin, that means you have a damaged moisture barrier.

When this happens, the top priority is to repair your moisture barrier first before moving on to tackling your true skin type problem.

Ingredients your skin will love:

  1. Humectants: Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Glycolic acids, Urea, Aloe
  2. Emollients: ceramides
  3. Alcohol-free toners
  4. Azelaic Acid ( if you have both acne and dehydrated skin at the same time)


Avoid over-exfoliation and these following ingredients which will further dry out your skin:

  1. AHAs and BHAs
  2. Clay  
  3. Sulphates
  4. Denatured alcohol:  Ethanol


Knowing your skin condition is the first step in caring for your skin. Treat your skin gently and go slow. Once you know what products to incorporate in your daily routine, healthy glowing skin is just a touch away.

Keep glowing ladies!

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