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Your Definitive Guide to Easily Figuring Out Your Skin Type

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Knowing your skin type is the first step in a successful beauty and skincare routine. When you understand your skin type, it allows you to make more informed purchases and can help ensure you’re on the path to beautiful, healthy-looking skin versus a complexion that’s irritated, inflamed, prone to breakouts, or flaky. So, today we’re going to help you figure out how to know your skin type once and for all. 

What Is My Skin Type?

There are four primary skin types: oily, dry, combination, and normal. Within these categories are additional subcategories, including blemish-prone skin, sensitive skin, and mature skin. Though these subcategories are often associated with a certain skin type (e.g. mature and dry, oily and blemish-prone), they can technically fall under any type.

Dry Skin 

Dry skin types can range from mildly dry to extremely dry. Generally, very little oil is produced and skin can feel tight or rough and look flaky and dull. In extreme cases, you might experience redness, peeling, or sensitivity. Anyone can have dry skin, but it becomes more common as we age. 

How to Care for Dry Skin

Dry skin types require extra hydration to make up for the lack of oil. We recommend using a hydrating cleanser such as Bye Bye Makeup Cleansing Balm and applying moisturizer to damp skin both morning and evening. Try Confidence in a Cream Hydrating Moisturizer in the mornings and Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream in the evenings. Also, steer clear of excessive use of hot water since this can strip the skin of the oil you do have.

Oily Skin 

People with oily skin tend to have a thin veil of oil across their entire face, which can cause their face to look shiny or wet. They might also have larger-looking pores and be more likely to experience breakouts. 

How to Care for Oily Skin

Though your first instinct might be to strip away all the oil, a less aggressive approach suits oily skin types best. Use a gentle cleanser such as Confidence in a Cleanser and stick to oil-free hydrators like Confidence in a Gel Lotion Moisturizer, which delivers 72 hours of hydration for a supple, health-looking complexion. To combat excess oil throughout the day, apply Bye Bye Pores Leave-On Solution Pore-Refining Toner before applying makeup, and use a mattifying foundation such as CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40.

Combination Skin 

As you might have guessed, combination skin types deal with both patches of dry skin and oily skin. Typically, these oily sections occur on the t-zone, which consists of your forehead and nose.

How to Care for Combination Skin

Combination skin types can often follow an oily skincare routine, especially if they’re not experiencing any pronounced dryness. Focus on hydrating your skin with gentle, oil-free cleansers and moisturizers. If your skin requires a more nuanced approach, you can use mattifying skincare and makeup products in the t-zone and oil-based products for dry skin in drier areas. 

Normal Skin

The phrase “normal skin type” is a bit misleading because there’s no true “normal” when it comes to skin. Balanced is perhaps a better way to describe this complexion category since the skin is neither excessively oily nor dry.

How to Care for Normal Skin

If your skin is balanced, focus on nourishing your skin and replenishing moisture as needed. Wash your face with a gentle product like Confidence in a Cleanser, and follow up with a light moisturizer. You may need to pay attention to the ebb and flow of your skin, using a more lightweight option when skin feels slicker and reaching for a heavier moisturizer when skin is on the dry side. 

Helping Figure Out Your Skin Type With Tests 

Still not sure which skin type you have based on looks alone? There are a couple of tests you can try. Though these aren’t definitive, they can help point you in the right direction.

Tape Test

Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, gently pat dry, and then wait about 30 minutes to an hour. Do not apply any skincare products while you wait. Next, apply a piece of tape down the bridge of your nose and across your forehead (the t-zone).

Let it sit for about five minutes, then peel it off and take a look at the tape. Normal/balanced skin types will easily stick and unstick. Dry skin types will look cloudy and might even have visible, tiny flakes stuck to the tape. Oily skin types will likely not stick well and slide around easily while the tape is attached.

Blotting Test 

This skin type test is a variation of the above. Start by washing your face, gently patting dry, and then wait about 30 minutes to an hour without applying any products. Next, press a blotting tissue on your forehead for about five seconds, then remove. 

Hold the tissue up to the light and observe. If it looks relatively the same, you likely have dry skin. The more see-through the tissue is, the oilier your skin type. You can repeat the test on different areas of your face to determine if you have combination skin. 

Can Skin Types Change Over Time?

Yes, our skin types are apt to change depending on our age, the climate, and other variables such as hormonal shifts. For example, skin tends to become drier as we get older since sebum production slows down, and some people might experience a surge in oiliness throughout their menstrual cycle. 

Also, humid climates can lead to slicker skin while hot and dry climates can leave skin feeling drier. Even environmental factors can impact our skin, such as city pollution and water supply can impact our skin type. It’s important to check in on your skin often and reassess to ensure you’re giving it the right kind of TLC. 

For more skincare tips, check out our guide on when to start using anti-aging products and then learn how to determine the best type of moisturizer for your skin.

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