Illustrated Skin Types in order: Normal, Oily, Dry, Sensitive
Before going into the methods of determining your skin type, it is important to familiarize yourself with the different skin types. Understanding your skin type could spell the difference in choosing the right products for you and in the end, giving you the results you want.
Every person’s skin is unique; however, you may find your skin type falls in any of the following four common skin types – Normal, Oily, Combination and Dry.
Normal skin refers to a well-balanced skin – not too dry and not too oily or otherwise, the perfect in-between. There is no tightness in the skin, it is not greasy and prone to redness. You will see that your complexion is more or less even and your skin’s texture is smooth and lucky you, it does not display any signs of imperfections and with pores barely visible.
If you have normal skin, gentle, bi-weekly exfoliation will keep the T-zone and cheeks in check. For this, you may like to try Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off. Also, choose a moisturizer that is not too heavy but adds enough moisture to keep your skin balanced such as the COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream.
Dry skin produces less sebum than normal skin. And, as a result of this, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture in the skin and build a protective skin barrier. Dry skin feels tight and dehydrated throughout the day and is often accompanied with flaking and redness. To prevent dehydration, make sure you keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine.
If you have dry skin, make sure you incorporate a good, gentle exfoliant such as the Huxley Scrub Mask Sweet Therapy to get rid of dead skin cells and flakes. The buildup of dead skin cells will prevent serums and treatments to penetrate your skin effectively. Choose a moisturizer that contains Hyaluronic acid or Glycerin to attract moisture and preferably has a rich emollient texture to help smooth out your skin and lock in moisture. A good product to try is Huxley Cream Fresh and More.
Oily skin has heightened sebum production which may be caused by overactive oil glands that produce excessive amounts of oil. Having oily skin is mostly genetic, although climate, pollution, and hormones may also play a role. Having oily skin is not necessarily a bad thing as those with oily skin are less prone to getting wrinkles because the oil helps in keeping the moisture locked in. The downside, however, is that those with oily skin are most likely susceptible to having clogged pores, blackheads, buildup of dead skin cells and acne. Oily skin can be rough in texture, tends to have very large and visible pores and more prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
To prevent getting clogged pores, use chemical exfoliants such as the COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid and COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid to promote cell turnover rates. This also helps lighten dark spots by sloughing off the upper layer of skin cells. Another popular choice among oily-skinned gals is a clay mask such as the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask which is great for absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities. It is a misnomer that those with oily skin don’t need hydration. If you have oily skin, you will find that lightweight moisturizers such as the Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream suit your skin better as richer creams tend to clog up your pores even more and make your skin even shinier.
Combination skin, as the name suggests, is characterized by having both dry and oily areas on different parts of the face. This skin type usually has an oily T-zone (forehead/nose/chin) and is normal to dry everywhere else.
If you have combination skin, you can treat the oily parts of your face as being oily skin and dry parts of your face can be treated like dry skin. Both oily and dry parts of your skin will benefit from mild exfoliation twice or thrice a week. In choosing a moisturizer, if you feel like the products you use work fine for your T-zone but are too light for your cheeks, you can apply richer, more nourishing products on your cheeks.
Sensitive skin is not a skin type by itself. You can have oily sensitive skin, but you can also have dry sensitive skin. The term is generally used to describe skin that easily breaks out in rashes or gets blotchy or itchy in response to products or weather. Sensitive skin is not a skin disorder in itself, but skin disorders (like rosacea or eczema) can make skin sensitive. Taking care of sensitive skin can be challenging as it takes a lot of time to figure out which ingredients cause your skin to flare up. To make this easier, try to introduce new products into your routine gradually or one at a time. This doesn’t only apply to skincare, but also to cosmetics.
Here are two easy ways to determine your skin type.
The Bare-Faced Method
- Thoroughly cleanse your face with a mild cleanser such as the COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser and gently pat dry;
- Leave skin bare (hold out on applying the rest of your skincare routine);
- After 30 minutes, evaluate your whole face for any shine;
- After another 30 minutes, examine whether your skin feels dehydrated especially when you make facial expressions;
- If your skin feels tight, you most likely have dry skin;
- If there is noticeable shine on your nose and forehead, your skin is most likely a combination;
- If there is shine on your cheeks in addition to your forehead and nose, you most likely have oily skin;
- If there is neither shine nor dryness, your skin is most likely normal.
The Blotting Sheet Method
- Gently pat a blotting paper on the different areas of your face;
- Hold the sheet up to the light to determine how much oil is visible;
- If the sheet picked up no oil, you most likely have dry skin;
- If the blotting sheet picked up a little oil, most likely, your skin type is normal;
- If the blotting sheet reveals oil from the forehead and nose areas, your skin is combination;
- Finally, if the blotting paper is saturated with oil, it is most likely that you have oily skin.