Knowing Your Skin Type

(Last Updated On: April 14, 2019)

Skin Type : What Is Yours?

skin types

Most, if not all of us want great looking skin and a flawless complexion, but buying expensive products or undergoing the latest, state of the art beauty treatments isn’t going to do our skin much good if we don’t know what sort of skin type we have and its particular needs.

This article looks at the various skin types and their rather different requirements.

Just as in fashion, one size does not fit all, you need to know exactly what your skin type is and what it needs to get the best from it. 

There are five main types of skin types, but the variations do not stop there; for instance you could have oily and sensitive skin, or you might have dry skin, but not severe enough for it to be flaky and rough.

Some of us experience changes in our skin types during certain times of the month, our hormones playing a crucial role, alongside the environment and even the weather.

“We would all love ‘normal skin, but what is normal?”

There is aways potential for acne and other skin problems whatever your skin type.

As with most things in life, there are downsides and benefits to most types of skin – Those with oily skin for example, might be more likely to develop spots and acne, but will not see as many lines and wrinkles as those with dry skin.

You cannot really change your skin type, but you can try and bring it back to equilibrium or as close to it as possible.

skin types

Recognising Your Skin Type

The tissue test

If you have got through life with no real problems, the chances are that you have normal skin (lucky you!), its relatively easy to check:

The tissue test is a simple way to determine your skin type, simply run a clean tissue across your skin, applying a slight pressure while you do it and then look at the tissue.

If there is  a slight dampness or oil on the tissue, its pretty much certain that you have oily skin.

Skin flakes on the tissue ( or nothing at all, and your skin feels tight) you probably have dry skin.

If you get oil spots from some parts of the skin but not others, you almost certainly have combination skin.

If the tissue is dry, clean and you feel no irritation, you have normal skin.

Those with sensitive skin kind of know it from past experiences, as you will have no doubt experienced sensitivity and its associated reactions along the way. 

“A point to note is that those with sensitive skin do tend to also have drier skin too.”

tissue test skin type

Sit and Wait

Remove your makeup and wash your face. dry it and then do nothing, do not use any creams or other products at all.

Curl up in front of the TV, watch a film or read a book, simply leave your face alone for 2 hours.

After the 2 hours look at your face, how does it feel? does it look all dewy and glowy? does it feel tight and dry?

Make a note of your findings and compare it to the chart below:

various skin types

Caring For Each Skin Type


While you are lucky to not have some of those irritating problems, this doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t immune to damage from the sun or environment. Take care of your skin and make sure that its kept moisturised.

I recommend that you were a good lightweight moisturiser with SPF of at least 15, preferably 30.

A good cleanser is essential as is a decent make up remover.

You probably have your favourites, but if not, now you have a better idea of your skin type, its easier to find the that suit you and your skin.

One product that I would recommend is a good eye cream, use your ring finger, and gently dab it around your eyes every night before you go to bed.

Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, or live in hot country, then moisturiser is going to be your very best friend.

Ignore the scaremongers who say that too much moisturiser can cause acne, dryness can too!

Its quite common for someone two move to a warmer country or even the other side of the country ( New York to LA as an example) to find that their skin started breaking out until it got used to the higher temperatures, and of course regular moisturising.

“Facial sprays, hydrating masks are all beneficial to dryer skin.”

Whats more pay attention to the products you buy, some arena site for dry skin, a classic example  is salicylic acid, its  an effective anti acne treatment, bit it can be very drying.

Naturally if you do have acne, then you will need to use an acne product, try to maintain a balance of good moisturising alongside the acne treatment, applying the product sparingly and keeping it to the problem areas only.

caring for ageing skin

Oily Skin

“Embrace it!”

Thats what I say, many of us have to use highlighters to achieve the look that you have naturally.

Getting serious for a minute, oily skin can make you slightly more prone to breakouts, and leave you a little shiny on occasion, but there are products that can help that.

Oil blotting wipes are a godsend for those oily days, and are especially useful before taking a photo.

Contrary to popular belief, oily products can actually be good for oily skin.

If you try to dry your skin out by withholding products, you cab actually make it more oily as your body naturally produces more and more oil.

Its no different to how your body retains weight for a while if you stop eating.

Exfoliating is a prefect way of reducing pore size and controlling oil production. Eating less oily foods can help too.

Combination Skin

This is kind of easy really – just follow the tips above for the various areas of your face.

On your oily parts ( most likely the T Zone – across the forehead and down the centre of the face) just apply products suitable for oily skin in those areas, in dryer areas follow the tips for drier skin.

As an example your cheeks might need a double application of moisturiser, where your chin and  forehead needs only one.

Masks are great for combination skin, use a pulling mask on only parts and a moisturising mask on the drier areas.

Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you will have probably done your homework already and know what products suit you. 

But if you havent, I  suggest that you avoid anything with fragrances, as these can trigger sensitive reactions.

If you really suffer from irritation and redness, then stop using anything on your face except water for a few days, once your skin has settled back down, gradually start using your products again using just one at a time, that way its easy to identify one that could be causing your sensitivity.

It goes without saying, always choose products that are designed for sensitive skin.

sensitive skin older woman

My Final Thoughts

Once you know your skin type, its far easier to start building your skincare routine. Sure its still going to be a trial and error process and you won’t get it right all the time.

That said, using the right products alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle will ensure that your skin is clear, glowing and the envy of all around you.

“Do You Know Your Skin Type?

What products do you use?, Please get in touch using the form below. I would love to hear from you.”

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The information in this website is for advice and guidance only. It is based on my own intensive research and personal experiences, and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, or to diagnose or treat any health conditions. All rights reserved.