Skip links

How to Figure Out Your Skin Type

It’s a new year, the dawn of a new decade, and you’re not playing around when it comes to your skin. In fact, you’re so serious about it that you’ve added various skin care related themes to your 2020 vision board. But before you go crazy with internet deep dives and self-diagnosing your skin care concerns, you should probably be sure you know your skin type first. Your skin type, though in some parts influenced by genetics, is still unique to you. This is why it doesn’t help to ask a stranger what their skin care routine may be because what they use on their skin may be an epic fail for yours. Other influences on your skin type include environmental factors, hormones, diseases, and drug use (both the prescription and the turn up kind).

There are two really good ways to go about figuring out your skin type. The first would be to come see me (or your local esthetician) and the second would be to DIY, but only by following the instructions below.

Oily Skin Type

You can tell a lot about your type of skin by the appearance and location of pores. If the pores are visible, somewhat large in size, and resembles an orange peel (the French call this “peau d’orange”) then it is likely that you have an oily skin type. Oily skin tends to have a larger pore size due to the increased amount of oil that travels through (or gets “clogged”) in the follicle. It is important to note that it is possible to have oily skin without necessarily having the orange peel-like texture. It can also just appear very shiny or have a waxy texture. In addition to the physical appearance of oily skin, you might also notice comedones present on the skin. This can be whiteheads, blackheads, or a combination of both. While oily skin is more likely to develop acne than other skin types, it is not the cause of acne.

Dry Skin Type

If pores are “barely there”, meaning they are difficult to see even when using a magnifying mirror, then it is likely that you have a dry skin type. Because sebum is passing through the follicle at a normal rate, the pore size isn’t being dilated and is less visible . Dry skin typically appears dull and will have a really fine texture similar to cosmetic glitter or sandpaper. This type is more likely to develop fine lines and wrinkles and is often dehydrated. Some esthetic trainings will refer to dry skin as being similar to the “skin of an apple” but apples do not have that cosmetic glitter or sandpaper texture.

Combination Skin Type

If you feel like you have a mix of both then you likely have combination skin, the most common skin type. Combination skin types have a mix of oily and dry areas on their skin. Sometimes these skin types can be more oily, others can be more dry. This is why you see cleansers that are marketed as “normal-to-dry” or “normal-to-oily”. If you are primarily dry with a little oiliness, then you would want to pick up the “normal-to-dry” cleanser, etc.

Normal Skin Type

If you have normal skin then you are likely six-years-old and are unable to read this blog post. What is marketed as “normal skin” is actually combination skin as it’s the most common skin type. What we think of as normal skin is actually just really good genetics and, unfortunately (luckily?), no one has been able to bottle that up and sell it yet.

Still confused? Book an appointment with me and we’ll figure this out together.