The Ultimate Guide to Identifying: Your Skin Type

Identifying your skin type is the first and most crucial step in creating an effective skincare routine.

This guide will help you understand the different skin types and how to determine which one best describes your skin.

Every person's skin is unique, but there are common characteristics that categorise skin into five basic types:

  • Normal
  • Dry
  • Sensitive
  • Oily
  • Combination

Knowing your skin type can help you choose the right products and routines.

The Five Basic Skin Types

Normal Skin: It's neither too dry nor too oily. Normal skin has a good balance of moisture, small pores, and an even tone.

Dry Skin: It produces less sebum than normal skin. Lack of sebum leads to the skin's inability to retain moisture, making it appear rough, dull, and prone to itching or flaking.

Oily Skin: It produces more sebum than normal skin. Oily skin tends to have larger pores and a shiny, thicker complexion. It's more prone to blackheads, pimples, and other types of acne.

Combination Skin: As the name suggests, combination skin is a mix of skin types. Typically, the skin is oily in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and normal or dry elsewhere.

Sensitive Skin: This skin type reacts easily to products or environmental factors and often feels tight or irritated. It might also show symptoms like redness, itching, burning, or dryness.

How To Determine Your Skin Type

Here's a simple test you can do at home:

Cleanse Your Face: Use a mild cleanser to remove all makeup, dirt, and oil.

Wait for an Hour: Leave your skin bare (don't apply any skincare product) and wait for about an hour. This allows your skin to return to its natural state.

Examine Your Skin: After an hour, take a close look at your skin.

If your skin appears shiny and feels slick to the touch, you likely have oily skin.

If it feels tight and looks dull or flaky, you probably have dry skin.

If your T-zone is oily but your cheeks are either dry or normal, you most likely have combination skin.

If your skin doesn't show any of these signs, you likely have normal skin.

If your skin shows signs of redness, itching, burning, or dryness, you might have sensitive skin.

Skin Care Tips for Each Skin Type

Normal Skin: Maintain its balance by using a gentle cleanser, a light moisturiser, and sunscreen.

Dry Skin: Keep it hydrated by using a gentle, cream-based cleanser, a rich moisturiser, and products with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

Oily Skin: Control excess oil by using an oil-free, foaming cleanser, a light, non-comedogenic moisturiser, and products containing retinoids or salicylic acid to prevent breakouts.

Combination Skin: Treat each area appropriately – light, oil-free products for the T-zone and richer products for drier areas.

Sensitive Skin: Use hypoallergenic, fragrance-free products and always patch test new products before using them fully.


Understanding your skin type is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Always remember that your skin can change over time due to age, hormones, and climate, so it's important to reassess your skin type periodically.

Consult with a dermatologist if you're unsure or if you have concerns about your skin.

Remember, everyone's skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Always listen to your skin and adjust your skincare routine as needed.

Posted 30 November 2023