How to Determine Your Skin Type


If you don’t know what your skin type is, you will inevitably end up lost in a world of confusion when it comes to selecting skincare products and various makeup products, not to mention tools, too! But how can you determine what your skin type is? What if you already know what it is? The fact is that our skin and bodies change over time. If your skin was always, always oily but has become dry in recent years, you don’t want to continue using oily-skin products if you don’t need to, right?

Skin Types

Skin types are loosely divided into three categories: oily, dry, and acne-prone. But don’t feel conflicted between choosing, because you can be any combination of the three. I used to think my skin was only oily because, well, sometimes it just seemed like it was. But then I discovered this simple method to test what my skin type was and lo and behold, I was wrong!

Determine Your Skin Type: One Simple Test

If you Google how to determine your skin type, you will find dozens and dozens of articles claiming to help you figure it out and the best products to use. Some of them have 10+ steps and are overly complicated. You don’t need any of that to find out your skin type. It’s actually really easy to do!

Start with a very simple facial cleanser like Cetaphil. Similar substitutes include Philosophy’s Purity, and Cerave.

  1. Mix the cleanser with warm water and gently pat across your face going in a circular motion.
  2. Rinse your face with warm water.
  3. Pat dry with a soft towel (rubbing with a towel will irritate your skin)
  4. As your skin dries (this is the most important step) pay attention to three areas: forehead, nose and chin.
  5. If you feel a tightening in any of these areas, you most likely have dry skin. If there is noticeably redness or acne, you likely have sensitive skin or acne-prone skin. If, after blotting with a tissue or a blotting sheet (these e.l.f ones are great) there is oil on the paper, you have oily skin.

BOOM. It really is that easy! Knowing your skin type will allow you to choose the right products that will help, not hurt, your skin. For example, gravitating towards oily-skin products only aggravated my acne which resulted in a second problem I had to address. But realizing my skin was more dry than anything else made a huge difference when it came to product selection and the overall appearance of my skin.

What About You?

Have you had a similar experience with using the wrong products for your skin type? It’s such a small thing but it has a huge impact on your overall skin appearance and healthiness!

5 thoughts on “How to Determine Your Skin Type

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  1. Yes! As I was getting older, I was getting more and more acne, so I tried salicylic acid as a spot treatment because Cosmo had mentioned how it was the end all be all of acne. Well, it burned multiple parts of my face, even parts where I didn’t apply any product (like my eyelids)! It was so painful, and I felt so hopeless because it wasn’t working and, on top of it, I was left with patchy, chapped, red burns all over my face. Through trial and error, I discovered that I have hormonal acne (big, under the surface pimples rather than white heads), which salicylic acid isn’t even recommended for, so now I have a set of products that work for my skin and keep my acne at bay. Don’t believe everything you read, especially from a magazine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness that is awful, I’m so sorry that happened to you! I had no idea salicylic acid wasn’t recommend for hormonal acne (which I have had too), but duly noted. It sucks that so much of it is trial and error. Thank you for the helpful info!

      Liked by 1 person

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