How to Determine Your Skin Type and Ways to Take Care of It
Who doesn’t love beautiful skin? The secret to great skin starts with first understanding your skin type. You can then build the perfect skincare routine that works for you!
Even if you’ve got your skin type all figured out, it may not always stay the same. Hormonal, diet or lifestyle changes can cause your skin to do a 180 degree turn. Dry skin can become oily overnight. Flawless skin may break out in acne. Or your skin may become super sensitive out of nowhere.
So make it a daily habit to observe changes in your skin condition. That way, you can adjust your skincare regime or switch up your skincare products to give your skin the best TLC.
Keep scrolling to know all about the different skin types, as well as how to determine and care for your skin type. We’ll also fill you in on what can cause your skin type to change.
What are the Different Skin Types?
If you’re lucky enough to have normal skin, taking care of your skin becomes much easier. Well-balanced and not overly oily or dry, normal skin is the least problematic among all the skin types. You’ll hardly face breakouts, flakiness or skin sensitivity. With no persistent skin concerns, you have more room to experiment with products to build your skincare routine.
Did you know that the skin secretes natural oils called sebum to keep itself moisturised? But you’ll end up with oily skin if your sebum production goes into overdrive. The downside: enlarged pores and shiny-looking skin will appear, especially around the T-zone area. All that excess oil could also cause clogged pores, blackheads and acne breakouts.
The opposite of oily skin, dry skin produces below-normal levels of sebum. Due to the lack of moisture, dry skin often has a rough texture, is prone to flaking and feels tight. Not only does dry skin leave you with a dull appearance, it also makes fine lines more visible.
Skin that’s dry in some areas and oilier in others is known as combination skin. This is due to the uneven sebum production in different areas. The tell-tale signs? Oil, shine and clogged pores concentrated on the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and dry skin in other areas such as the cheeks.
Is your skin easily affected by external irritants? Then you probably have sensitive skin. Exposure to certain ingredients in skincare products or to environmental factors may trigger a reaction like itchiness, dryness, redness or a burning sensation. Sensitive skin may also present itself together with oily, dry or combination skin.
How to Determine Your Skin Type
The Blotting Sheet Method
An easy way to figure out your skin type is by pressing a blotting sheet against your skin to check for oil. First, you’ll need to wash your face. We suggest choosing a gentle cleanser that’s suitable for all skin types. Pat your skin dry and skip any skincare products as you’ll need to keep your face bare.
After 30 minutes, take a piece of blotting paper and press it against different areas of your skin. Hold the paper against the light to check the amount of oil that’s been absorbed. If some oil shows up, you probably have normal skin. An oily sheet equals to oily skin while one with hardly any oil indicates you have dry skin. If the sheet has picked up different amounts of oil from different areas, you’re likely to have a combination skin profile.
The Bare-Faced Method
The bare-faced method requires you to put your powers of observation to good use. Like the blotting method, wash your face with a gentle cleansing foam that works for all skin types, gently pat your skin dry and leave it bare.
Observe how your skin looks and feels after 30 minutes. If your skin has a texture that’s neither too dry or oily, you’re blessed with normal skin! A shiny face means you have oily skin while skin that feels tight points to dry skin. Spot a shiny T-zone and dry cheeks? Those are signs of combination skin. Meanwhile, irritated or red skin suggests skin sensitivity.
Tips on Caring For Your Skin Type
Now that you know your skin type, you can start building a skincare regimen that gives your skin exactly what it needs. Follow these skincare tips to keep your skin in optimal condition.
How to Care for Normal Skin
People with normal skin have no apparent skincare concerns. Just because you have close-to-perfection skin doesn’t mean you should ditch that skincare routine.
With normal skin, maintaining balance is key. You’ll still need to cleanse, tone and moisturise. Go for products with gentle formulas that will not disrupt your skin’s natural moisture barrier.
- Look out for skin-soothing, non-irritating ingredients that can remove dirt effectively while maintaining that moisture balance.
How to Care for Oily Skin
People with oily skin may have a compromised skin barrier which is unable to retain moisture. It’s no surprise your skin may ramp up oil production to make up for it. That’s also all the more reason you need to moisturise your skin. Sounds contradicting? Yes, we know.
To give your skin that infusion of water, reach out for a lightweight moisturising product that won’t clog your pores. Opt for ingredients that will hydrate and tone at the same time, such as green tea extract.
- Avoid over washing your face. This could strip away moisture and cause your skin to produce even more oil.
- Cleanse your face and thoroughly eliminate oil, dirt and other impurities with micellar cleansing water. For skin that feels oily throughout the day, we recommend cleansing with a micellar water formulated for oily skin.
- After cleansing, hydrate and moisturise your skin well with a toner or essence.
- Don’t forget to gently exfoliate regularly to prevent clogged pores.
How to Care for Dry Skin
The lack of sebum makes it difficult for dry skin to retain water. To overcome this, use skincare products that can protect the skin’s moisture barrier. To quench your skin’s thirst, opt for hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acids and amino acids.
- Wash your face with lukewarm water. Avoid hot water which can cause even more dryness.
- Ditch those strong exfoliants. Use gentle ones like AHAs and BHAs which can get rid of dead skin in a non-abrasive manner. Don’t over-exfoliate - once or twice a week is good enough.
- In the mornings, use a micellar water with a hydrating formula as a general cleanser to boost skin hydration. A gentle micellar water with a no rinse formula does the trick when you’re not wearing any makeup.
- Moisturising provides hydration for dry skin so don’t skip this important step after cleansing. Besides toner and essence, you can also reach out for a facial milk or cream to lock in moisture.
How to Care for Combination Skin
It can be a little tricky trying to treat that mix of dry and oily that is combination skin. Due to the various skincare concerns, you need to maintain a balanced skincare routine. Dehydration can not only trigger an overproduction of oil, but is also a common culprit for dry skin. So keep all skin areas well hydrated with products that are gentle and lightweight.
- Mix and match is the way to go. Use sebum control products for oily skin areas such as your T-zone. Keep oily skin hydrated with a lightweight moisturising product (but avoid those that are oil-infused). For drier areas, go with an oil-infused moisturiser to nourish your skin.
- To cleanse your face, it’s best to choose a gentle, oil-free cleanser.
How to Care for Sensitive Skin
Your skin barrier acts as a front-line defence, protecting your skin from external irritants. People with sensitive skin usually have a weakened skin barrier. This makes it easier for irritants to penetrate your skin, triggering various reactions. So which products should you choose? Say no to harsh products and yes to only mild products. Our suggestion? Pick skin-friendly products with gentle and hypoallergenic formulas.
- Do a patch test whenever you are trying out new products.
- Introduce one product at a time whenever you change your skincare routine. This can help you pinpoint which products are irritating your skin.
- Wash your face with lukewarm instead of hot water.
- Use specially-formulated cleansers for sensitive skin to protect your moisture barrier.
What Can Cause My Skin Type to Change
Just because you have a certain skin type now doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it forever. You still need to be alert to changes in your skin.
Hormonal changes or imbalances due to your menstrual cycle or even pregnancy could transform your skin. For instance, pesky zits could disappear and you may enjoy glowing skin while you’re pregnant – all because of a change in your hormones.
Your lifestyle, the foods you eat and the medications you consume can influence your skin condition. Have your stress levels been hitting the roof lately? Have you been sleeping late or eating too much junk food? Don’t be surprised if the effects of these habits manifest in your skin. Acne, clogged pores, redness or swelling could appear.
Environmental factors such as the climate, pollution levels and even air-conditioning can affect your skin too. Going for a winter holiday from a tropical climate? That harsh, cold weather could dry out your normally-oily skin.
Lastly, as you age, be prepared for your skin type to change. Genetics can also influence how your skin condition evolves over time.
Remember: even though your skin may fall on a certain skin type spectrum now, your skin condition can still change due to various factors. Want better skin? Then make it a daily habit to monitor how your skin looks and feels. With this, you can switch up products and adjust your skincare routine to cater to your skincare concerns.
Your skin thrives when it receives the right nourishment. Craving beautiful, healthy skin? Know your skin type so you can build an effective skincare routine that can keep your skin looking its best. Here’s to happier skin days ahead!