11 skin typeLet’s make this highly important question clear. Talking to some of my friends about their skin care regime made me realize that the majority of people still don’t know their skin type. 

This makes our aim to achieve radiant and healthy skin slightly more challenging. 

Why, you may ask? 

Treating your skin with the wrong products can lead to unwanted conditions such as acne, severe dehydrations or even the dreaded greasy appearance. 

Remember – flaky skin doesn’t mean it’s dry, it may just be dehydrated. Having a breakout or two doesn’t necessarily mean you have oily or combination skin. It can also have a greasy appearance simply due to using inappropriate products. 

So if you are not sure of your skin type nor have you ever asked your (beauty) therapist about it, here is a simple test to do at home.

Best time to do it: Weekend morning, or on a day where you won’t have to leave your house for few hours

Duration: It will take you 3 minutes in total (although you’ll have to wait for 90 minutes after washing your face first..)

Effort: 1/10

Equipment needed: gentle face cleanser, toilet paper/tissue

The process is easy peasy: wake up, clean your face, “pat it dry”.

Don’t apply any other products on your face. ANY!!

Spend the next 90 minutes doing whatever you need to do – make breakfast, hoover, do your nails, watch an episode of the Walking Dead – and try not to touch your face too much. In about an hour and a half to two hours, your skin will get back to its natural state and reset its pH. 

Grab a very thin layer of a tissue, the gently tap it on different parts of your face.

If the tissue doesn’t stick to any part of your face, you have normal skin.

Some people don’t believe in the concept of normal skin as they perceive normal skin as perfect – skin that doesn’t ever get a zit or be unbalanced in any other way. This is ridiculous! It’s nature, there is no black or white. It’s just a skin that is not “tight” dry but can be dehydrated (and in current temperatures probably is). If pampered in the correct manner, the skin produces just the right amount of sebum and balances itself. It still needs to be looked after, but for this, the widest range of products can be used. 

If you feel that your skin is a size too small for your face and have that tight feeling, you fit into a dry skin type group.

Your pores are small and hardly visible, however, fine lines are much more apparent. Dry skin is most likely to be sensitive – red patches or flaking can occur in dry, air-conditioned environments or simply in cold weather. Dull and grayish skin tones can be a little more challenging to get that healthy glow.

But it’s not impossible. 

If all of your tissues have an oily residue, your skin type is – oily!

An Oily skin type is quite easy to identify (you are probably a loyal user of blotting sheets anyway) and is quite tricky to look after. The majority of products for oily skin are full of alcohol, witch hazel, … and are in general pretty harsh. Oily skinned people tend to use them all in their anti-greasy-forhead-by-the-lunchtime-war. But using too many astringents can strip the skin so it reacts with even more oil. The whole routine should be balanced. Here is some good news: face oil is not your enemy. 🙂

The most common of all is a combination skin type. A little bit of everything you have just read – oily t-zone and normal or dry cheeks. This type of skin needs very “balancing” products, with some products used in certain parts of the face only.

There is also a sensitive skin type, which requires much more careful product choice. People with sensitive skin don’t really need to perform tests to indicate what type of skin they possess. They usually have severe reactions to the majority of products on the shelves. To be clear, getting a zit after using a new moisturizer doesn’t make your skin type sensitive. It was probably just a reaction to a certain ingredient. Some ingredients can be more irritating than others and may cause a reaction. Don’t switch immediately to a whole new product range bearing the tag “for sensitive skin ”. The products may lack some of the important ingredients that your skin needs to be at its best. 

The test we’ve talked about today is very simple. If you are still unsure, or you think you may be using the wrong products, see a beautician or dermatologist. The first step to a healthy skin is knowing its type. You can’t repair an oil painting with water colours.