How to tell your skin type
When browsing the beauty aisle for a new cleanser or moisturiser, often products are stamped with suitability indications like 'for dry skin' or 'combination/oily' but what if you don't actually know your skin type? Before finding a product that matches your skin type (from the flurry of those on the shelf!) comes a more scrupulous – and important – task: determining your skin type. To help with this endeavor, we've compiled the information needed to make the right pick.
RELATED: Choosing the best face mask for you
Dry skin regularly feels tight and stretched-out because it doesn’t produce a lot of oil naturally – if any, in truly dry cases. Small flakes of dried-up skin will appear on the skin’s surface at certain times of the day when moisture is lacking, such as when you’ve just woken up.
The common miscast: It’s important to determine whether your skin is actually dry, or whether it’s suffering from an insuficient amount of moisture as a result of over-cleaning, using harsh products like retinols or alpha hydroxyl acid-based products, or undergoing rigorous or abrasive treatments, including clinical skin peels and microdermabrasion. If you’re unsure, refrain from the aforementioned and see if your skin self-corrects.
The telltale sign – and benefit – of normal skin is that it doesn’t require a lot of work; typically just a cleanser that isn’t too harsh, a light serum, and a moisturiser that isn’t overly thick or oily, to remove dirt and keep skin plumped up with a healthy glow. Additionally, it is rarely subject to breakouts, and doesn’t change a great deal over the course of a single day.
Those with oily skin will feel like they have a greasy residue that constantly or sporadically afflicts them. A shine will develop in a few hours, and accumulate to visible effect around midday. Pores are usually larger, too. Compounded together, this makes for a higher likelihood of suffering from frequent bouts of acne, blackheads and whiteheads.
The common miscast: Be wary of the fact that oily skin may be a result of dehydration – a consequence of your body trying to overcompensate for a lack of moisture. Make sure you clean your skin with gentle, oil-free products, while scaling-back the amount of makeup you wear daily, and watch for any shine or lack-thereof.
A combination of oily and dry, people with this skin type will have an oily T-zone (from their forehead, down their nose, to their chin) and dry patches elsewhere, though usually on the cheeks. One product, be it a face mask or moisturiser, isn’t often a fix-all.
Walking on eggshells of the beauty variety, sensitive skin is reactive to touch, harsh products, heat, UV rays, with redness and even itching following in close suit.
The common miscast: Harsh treatments can not only make skin dry but also more sensitive. Like you would for dry skin, pare-back your skincare routine to gentle products in your arsenal, staying clear of strong treatments for a period to gage if your skin changes.
Have you miscast your skin type?