There is so much information out there about skin care. You have probably read many tips about keeping your skin clear and healthy: wash your face twice a day, use a face mask once a week, get a hydrafacial, and the list goes on and on. However, not every face is the same. Everyone has a different skin type, and this determines how to properly care for your skin. There are five categories of skin type that are used to determine the right way to care for it. Of course, your skin won’t necessarily fall into one category, and different factors can change which category in which you fit. However, having a general idea of where your skin falls on the spectrum will set you up for success with your skin care routine. Read on for a guide on how to determine your skin type.

How Does Your Skin Feel?

First, consider the texture of your skin on most days. The texture of your skin will tell you a lot about what type it is.

  • Combination skin: When you have combination skin, your skin is only oil in the T-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin) and is otherwise dry. While it could be oily in a different place and dry in another, the hallmark of combination skin is that it feels like your face has two or more textures.
  • Sensitive skin: People with sensitive skin have issues with skin that feels dry, patchy, itchy, and sometimes stingy.
  • Normal skin: The texture of normal skin feels balanced and even. It doesn’t feel excessively oily, dry, or patchy.
  • Oily skin: People with oily skin often feel greasy, like they need to blot their face.
  • Dry skin: When you have dry skin, it feels tight and dry all over your face. In colder weather, it tends to flake and crack.

What Do Your Pores Look Like?

Another way to determine your skin type is by looking at your pores. How clogged your pores get and how large they are indicate a lot about the oil production of your skin.

  • Combination skin: One indication of combination skin is that your pores are clogged and noticeably large on your nose, but cannot be seen on the cheeks or other parts of your face.
  • Sensitive skin: The size of the pores on sensitive skin is often dependent on the day. They may have normal or large pores, but this may change due to a reaction to products or just vary daily.
  • Normal skin: Pores are unnoticeable on people with normal skin.
  • Oily skin: If you have oily skin, you have large pores that are often clogged due to the oil and sweat from your body.
  • Dry skin: When you have dry skin, pores are often small and feel tight.

How Does Your Skin Feel After You Wash It?

You can also discern your skin type based on the way it feels post-cleansing.

  • Combination skin: If you have combination skin, after you wash your face, your T-zone will feel oil-free while the rest of your skin will feel dry and tight.
  • Sensitive skin: After cleansing, sensitive skin will feel clean and maybe a little dry, and sometimes, the cleanser may cause irritation and itching. If this happens regardless of what cleanser you use, it indicates sensitive skin.
  • Normal skin: People with normal skin feel clean after cleansing, and while they may need to moisturize afterwards, their skin feels mostly fine.
  • Oily skin: For people with oily skin, cleansing makes their skin feel clean and feel of oil. However, shortly afterwards, the oil will return.
  • Dry skin: Washing dry skin often dries it out further, leaving it feel tight.

How Often Do You Use Moisturizer?

Moisturizer is a requirement for most people in order to have hydrated skin. However, how often you need to use moisturizer is an indication of your skin type because it reveals how well your skin does hydrating itself.

  • Combination skin: If you have combination skin, you need to apply moisturizer on parts of your face (like the cheeks), but not others (like an oily T-zone).
  • Sensitive skin: Sensitive skin often needs moisturizing, but it can be difficult for people with sensitive skin to find products that don’t irritate their face.
  • Normal skin: If you have normal skin, you don’t need to apply facial moisturizer throughout the day because the skin keeps itself hydrated.
  • Oily skin: People with oily skin do not need to use moisturizer much because it only makes their faces oilier.
  • Dry skin: People with dry skin need to apply moisturizer frequently, particularly after washing their face and when they wake up in the morning.

Caring For Your Skin Type

Now that you have reflected on these four questions, you probably know what your skin type is based on which was closest to your experience with your skin. With that in mind, here are some tips for caring for each type of skin.

Combination Skin

Most people experience combination skin at some point because there are more oil glands in the nose than anywhere else on the face. However, people with combination skin experience this effect much more consistently. The T-zone is consistently oily, while other parts of the face are very dry. To care for your combination skin, consider investing in different types of products for different parts of the face. If your T-zone is oily, it is wise to acquire a product that will cut down on the oil just to use on your forehead, nose, and chin, as well as a gentle cleaner and moisturizer for the rest of your face.

Sensitive Skin

Some people are under the impression that they have sensitive skin just because they have had a couple of bad reactions to one product. You don’t necessarily have sensitive skin just because you become irritated after using a product; it may be the product is just not right for your skin. People with sensitive skin consistently have discomfort from using most skin care products, and their skin feels irritated most of the time. To care for your sensitive skin, it’s important to avoid products that have fragrance, alcohol, or menthol. Additionally, scrubs should be avoided. When cleansing, the water should not be too hot or too cold. Finding the right product may require testing many different ones on your skin to determine what does not irritate you.

Normal Skin

People with normal skin have the most desirable skin type. It is not dry and it is not oily; it falls somewhere in between. While skin may become flakey in the winter and more oily when it is hot, in general, normal skin is balanced. The key to caring for normal skin is to not use products like moisturizers or serums that are too heavy in order to maintain this balance.

Oily Skin

With oily skin, people usually have large pores and a shiny complexion. You don’t have to worry about hydration when it comes to your oily skin; rather, it is more common for you to be fighting blackheads and pimples. If you blot your face and see oil on the tissue, you likely have oily skin. It care for your oily skin, it’s best to wash your face often and avoid heavy moisturizers. When choosing skin care products, look for “oil-free” on the label.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is defined by tight-feeling skin and small pores. People with dry skin often have a duller complexion paired with more visible wrinkles. They may also have flakey skin, though not always. To care for dry skin, moisturizer is your best friend. Moisturize a couple of times a day to keep your skin hydrated. If you also breakout sometimes, it is likely that your skin is not completely dry; instead, it is more likely that the products you are using are drying out your face. See if your skin improves if you skip these products for a couple of days.

Regardless of your skin type, we can help you at Skinworx. Our facials in San Francisco are exactly what you need to give your skin what it needs. Contact us today to learn more about our facial memberships!