Posted 01/03/2024

How to Determine Your Skin Type?

How to Determine Your Skin Type?

Understanding your skin type is the cornerstone of crafting an effective skin care regimen, including essential sun protection measures. With four primary skin types—normal, dry, oily, and combination—identified by assessing your skin's water and lipid balance, this knowledge serves as the compass for tailored skincare. It's crucial to distinguish between skin types and conditions; the treatments you choose should align with both your skin type and its current condition. To unravel the mysteries of your skin and make informed decisions about your skincare regimen, delve into the details below. Acknowledging your unique skin characteristics empowers you to select products and practices that promote optimal skin health and radiance.

How is a skin type determined?

The structure of the skin is very particular. It is made up of 3 layers:

  • The epidermis is the outermost layer.
  • The dermis is the middle layer.
  • The hypodermis is the deepest layer.

On the surface of your skin, therefore at the level of the epidermis, is the hydrolipidic film. It is a mixture of water and sebum. Sebum creates a protective film so that the water in your skin does not evaporate. It also helps protect your skin from external aggressions.

Water, partly from perspiration, regulates your body heat and hydrates your skin.

The balance of the hydrolipidic film in water and sebum is important. It influences its proper functioning. This balance may vary depending on:

  • Your age
  • Your general health condition
  • Your lifestyle
  • Climate and pollution

The different skin types: What are the 4 skin types?

The four main skin types are normal, dry, oily, and combination skin:

  1. Normal skin: corresponds to balanced skin, not too oily or too dry. No significant issues.
  2. Oily skin: overproduces sebum. Shiny complexion, enlarged pores, prone to acne and blackheads.
  3. Dry skin: produces less sebum than normal skin. Tightness, flakiness, rough texture. May be prone to fine lines.
  4. Combination skin: Different areas of the face exhibit characteristics of different skin types. For example, an oily T-zone and dry cheeks.


1. Normal skin

This is balanced skin. When you have normal skin, it is neither too dry nor too oily.

Your T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) can sometimes be slightly oily. But the balance between sebum and hydration is not disturbed.

How to Tell if You Have Normal Skin:

  • Good blood circulation
  • A soft and smooth texture
  • A translucent appearance
  • A consistent pink color
  • The absence of imperfections

However, normal skin remains subject to external aggression (pollution, wind, sun, etc.).

2. Oily skin

Unlike dry skin, oily skin produces excess sebum. With oily skin, your skin is more prone to blackheads, whiteheads, and sometimes acne. Imperfections that clog the pores of your skin more than other skin types.

How to Tell if You Have Oily Skin?

  • Enlarged and visible pores
  • Shininess in skin
  • Pale, thick skin
  • Imperfections

Several factors can be responsible for oily skin:

  • Genetic
  • Hormonal changes (puberty for example)
  • Certain medications

3. Dry skin

With dry skin, you produce less sebum than normal skin, which causes a lack of lipids.

Your skin barrier (hydrolipid film) is therefore weakened and the water in your skin evaporates more easily.

How to Tell if You Have Dry Skin:

  • You feel tightness.
  • Your skin feels rough to the touch.
  • Your complexion is dull.
  • Your pores are barely visible.
  • Your skin tends to peel.

There are also several levels of severity in dry skin:

  • Dry skin feels tight, rough, and dull.
  • Very dry skin is peeling, itchy, rough and blotchy.
  • Dehydrated skin has redness, cracking, etc.

4. Combination skin

This last skin type is a bit of a mixture of the previous 3. With combination skin, your skin is both oily and dry (or even normal) in certain areas.

Your skin tends to vary depending on the areas of your face. 

How to Tell if You Have Combination Skin

  • An oily T-zone is prone to imperfections with enlarged pores.
  • The cheeks and the rest of the face are dry or normal.

This type of skin is therefore explained by an excess of sebum in the T zone and a lack of sebum on the rest of the face.

All these skin types have their own specificities. Your skin type does not change. But your skin can go through different states, which are temporary.

How Can I Identify My Skin Type at Home?

Identifying your skin type at home involves observing how your skin behaves in different conditions and considering certain characteristics. Here are some steps to help you determine your skin type:

  1. Start with a Clean Face:

    • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any makeup, dirt, or excess oils.

  2. Observe Your Skin's Reaction:

    • Leave your skin bare without applying any products and observe how it feels over the next few hours.

  3. Note Any Tightness or Dryness:

    • If your skin feels tight, dry, or rough, you may have dry skin. Dry skin can sometimes appear flaky.

  4. Check for Oiliness:

    • If your skin looks shiny, especially in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), you may have oily skin.

  5. Examine Pores:

    • Enlarged pores, particularly in the T-zone, are often associated with oily skin.

  6. Assess for Redness or Irritation:

    • If your skin is prone to redness, and irritation, or reacts negatively to certain products, you may have sensitive skin.

  7. Observe a Combination of Characteristics:

    • Many people have a combination of skin types. For example, you may have an oily T-zone but dry cheeks.

  8. Consider Age and Environmental Factors:

    • Skin type can change over time, so consider factors such as age and changes in climate or environment.

What are the different types of skin Conditions?

The condition of your skin can easily vary. These different conditions can affect all skin types. But some more than others.

Knowing your skin condition is just as important as your skin type.

Several internal and external factors will influence the health of your skin:

  • Climate and pollution
  • Taking certain medications
  • The stress
  • Heredity
  • Perspiration
  • Cosmetics used

Among the different skin conditions, there are:

  1. Acne-prone skin
  2. Sensitive skin
  3. Mature skin
  4. Dehydrated skin
  5. Grainy skin

1. Acne-prone skin

This skin condition does not only affect adolescents! Acne-prone skin is caused by excess sebum which clogs the pores of your skin.

Your pores are blocked, and your skin no longer breathes. Imperfections and spots then begin to appear.

It generally affects oily skin that overproduces sebum. But be careful, that doesn't mean that all oily skin tends to have acne!

Certain causes can be at the origin of this skin condition:

  • Your genetics
  • Certain medications
  • Hormone variations
  • Poor lifestyle

Acne-prone skin can be a real burden. It is important to identify the cause to be able to treat the problem.

2. Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is reactive skin. In other words, it overreacts to different factors that come into contact with it.

It is easily irritated and can be sensitive in the short term as well as in the long term.

Your skin is sensitive for one main reason: its tolerance threshold is low.

How to Tell if You Have Sensitive Skin 

  • Burning impressions
  • Itches
  • The appearance of redness
  • Irritation and tightness

Several factors cause these reactions:

  • The use of unsuitable cosmetics.
  • The alteration of your skin’s protective barrier.
  • The stress.

3. Mature skin

Mature skin refers to skin that is experiencing or has experienced the natural aging process, which typically becomes more evident as individuals reach their 40s, 50s, and beyond, although signs can start earlier depending on various factors including genetics, lifestyle, and sun exposure. 

Characteristics and signs of mature skin include age spots (dark spots), dull skin tone, loss of firmness, wrinkles, and fine lines. 

How to Tell if You Have Mature Skin:

  • The appearance of wrinkles and spots.
  • Your skin slackens.
  • Your skin texture is irregular.

Certain factors can have an impact on the aging of your skin:

  • Tobacco and alcohol
  • Your genetics
  • Your skin type
  • Exposure to the sun

4. Dehydrated skin

Unlike dry skin, which is a type of skin lacking lipids, dehydrated skin is a skin condition that lacks water.

It is a condition that can be temporary or if it is not well treated, it can persist.

How to Tell if You Have Dehydrated Skin:

  • tingling
  • A lack of suppleness in your skin
  • Skin that feels tight
  • Feelings of discomfort
  • Fine lines
  • Peeling skin

Dehydrated skin is linked to certain factors such as:

  • The stress
  • The use of unsuitable products and/or strippers
  • The weather (UV, cold, wind)

5. Grainy skin

This is a skin condition that has a rough and irregular appearance to the touch. With grainy skin, your skin tends to peel and crack.

This skin condition affects several areas of the body: the face, legs, and arms. It is mainly oily and combination skin that is affected.

How to know if you have a grainy skin texture?

  • Excess sebum
  • A weakening of the hydrolipidic film
  • Excessive makeup
  • A skin condition (photodermatosis, keratosis pilaris, etc.)

Knowing your skin condition and skin type is important. For what? Because this allows you to choose appropriate care. So, to determine your skin type and condition, there are several ways.

Skin Care Tips for Each Skin Type

Skincare Tips for Normal Skin: 

Opt for a gentle cleanser, a lightweight moisturizer, and regular sunscreen application to prevent premature aging. Incorporate an antioxidant serum for preventive care.

Skincare Tips for Oily Skin:

Use a gel-based or foaming cleanser, oil-free moisturizers, and products containing AHAs/BHAs or benzoyl peroxide. Exfoliate regularly but gently to prevent clogged pores. Clay masks can help manage oil production. Opt for non-comedogenic, lightweight sunscreens suitable for oily skin. 

Skincare Tips for Dry Skin:

Hydrate with a cream-based mild cleanser and a richer moisturizer. Look for skin care products with glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. Avoid hot showers and harsh cleansers. Weekly hydrating masks can boost moisture levels.

Skincare Tips for Combination Skin: 

Use a balanced approach with a gentle cleanser, a moisturizer that's hydrating but not heavy, and target areas as needed (e.g., a mattifying primer on the T-zone). Multi-masking can address different needs in one go.

Skincare Tips for the Most Common Skin Conditions

Skincare Tips for Sensitive Skin: 

Reacts easily to products or environmental factors, and may experience redness or irritation.

Focus on soothing ingredients like colloidal oat and zinc. Avoid irritants like alcohol, fragrances, and essential oils. Perform patch tests before using new products and introduce them one at a time. Avoid scrubbing with any kind of physical scrubs.

Skincare Tips for Mature Skin :

Shows signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of elasticity.

Look for products with vitamin A derivatives, peptides, and antioxidants. Hydration is key, so incorporate richer creams. Sunscreen is essential to protect against further sun damage. Gentle exfoliation can help promote cell turnover.

Skincare Tips for Dehydrated Skin Skincare: 

Focus on hydrating products that contain hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or aloe vera to attract and retain moisture. Use gentle, non-stripping cleansers and avoid overheating and over-exfoliating. Incorporate a hydrating serum under your moisturizer, and don't forget to drink plenty of water to hydrate from the inside out.

Skincare Tips for Grainy Skin Texture:

Grainy skin texture refers to skin that feels rough or bumpy to the touch, often due to congested pores or a buildup of dead skin cells.

Regular exfoliation is key to improving skin texture. Use a chemical exfoliant with AHAs (like glycolic acid) or BHAs (like salicylic acid) to gently remove dead skin cells. Retinol products can also help by promoting cell turnover. Ensure you moisturize adequately to prevent over-drying and protect with sunscreen, as exfoliating products can make skin more sensitive to the sun.

Skincare Tips for Acne-Prone Skin:

Acne-prone skin is susceptible to breakouts and may have a combination of pimples, blackheads, and cysts. Use non-comedogenic products that won't clog pores. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are effective ingredients for treating and preventing acne. Gentle cleansing and exfoliation can help prevent buildup, but avoid over-washing and harsh scrubbing, which can aggravate acne. Consider incorporating a niacinamide serum to regulate oil production and reduce inflammation. It's also important to maintain a consistent skincare routine and consult a dermatologist for persistent acne issues.

What is The Blotting Sheet Method?

The blotting sheet method refers to a skincare technique used to control excess oil on the skin, particularly in the context of managing oily or combination skin types. Blotting sheets are thin, absorbent sheets made of materials like rice paper or other similar materials. The method involves gently pressing a blotting sheet onto the skin, especially areas prone to oiliness, to absorb excess oil without disturbing makeup.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use blotting sheets:

  1. Identify Oily Areas: Determine the areas of your face that tend to get oily, such as the forehead, nose, and chin (often referred to as the T-zone).

  2. Select a Blotting Sheet: Choose a blotting sheet suitable for your skin type. These sheets are typically inexpensive and come in compact, portable packaging.

  3. Blot Gently: Press the blotting sheet onto the oily areas of your face, holding it there for a few seconds. Do not rub or drag the sheet across your skin.

  4. Absorption: Allow the blotting sheet to absorb the excess oil. You may notice the sheet becoming translucent or saturated with oil.

  5. Dispose of the Sheet: Discard the used blotting sheet in a trash bin. Avoid flushing it down the toilet.

  6. Repeat as Needed: Use blotting sheets throughout the day as needed to control oil and shine.

The blotting sheet method is a quick and convenient way to manage oiliness without disrupting your makeup or skincare routine. It helps maintain a matte finish and can be especially useful for those with oily or combination skin, especially in warmer weather or during physical activities that may lead to increased oil production.


While it is possible to determine your skin type by observing yourself regularly, only a dermatologist can establish a true skin diagnosis. It will accurately measure your hydration level, and your skin's sensitivity and determine your skin type while giving you the right steps to take care of it.

How To Know Your Skin Type: Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding your skin type is a pivotal step in crafting a personalized and effective skincare routine. By keenly observing your skin's behavior, and noting characteristics such as dryness, oiliness, or sensitivity, you can tailor your skincare regimen to address specific needs. Whether you have dry, oily, combination, or sensitive skin, acknowledging these traits allows you to choose products and practices that promote optimal skin health. Recognizing changes in your skin over time and considering external factors such as age and environment further enhance your ability to adapt and refine your skincare routine. Seeking professional advice when in doubt ensures a well-informed approach to skincare. Ultimately, the journey to knowing your skin type empowers you to make informed choices, fostering a healthier and more radiant complexion.

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