Knowing your skin type is one of the most fundamental aspects of any skincare routine. It's key that your skincare products are working with your skin, not against it. Just imagine having super oily skin and then using a thick night moisturiser? It's not going to end well.
Skin types are not boxes, they're more of a scale.
Your skin type can also change, so you can move up or down the scale based on the season, temperature, humidity, medication and hormonal level. It's not unusual for women to have normal/dry skin and then experience a few days of oiliness before their period.
Your skin changes, so make sure to keep an eye out on what condition it's in.
There are four major skin types:
More prone to acne
Greasy feel to the skin
Oily skin is very common amongst young people. When androgen (a type of hormone) levels increase, pores are more likely to produce sebum - leaving the skin feeling oily.
Neither oily or dry
Not flaky or greasy
The gold standard of skin. It's neither too oily or too dry. The natural oils provide just enough moisture to not dry out the skin, but the oils are not over produced.
More prone to flaking skin
More visible lines and wrinkles
Tightness or itching
Dry skin is more common for aged skin, however anyone can experience it. It's when your skin isn't producing enough sebum which leaves the skin tight and itchy. In extreme cases, sometimes the skin may start to flake as a result of dryness.
Oily/normal in the T zone, normal/dry in the C zone
Areas of tightness and oiliness
Small and large pores
This skin type has areas of hyper sebum production on the T zone (on your forehead and the down the middle of your phase), and dry skin on the C zone (your cheeks and sides of the face).
How to know your skin type:
Here's a quick how to on getting to know your skin type...
Use a gentle cleanser in the morning or at night
Pat-dry your skin and don't apply anything onto the skin
Make sure you're not in an extremely humid or hot room
Don't perform much physical activity
After around 3 hours, inspect your skin.
... If your skin appears to be oily all around, you have oily skin.
... If you skin doesn't appear oily, but it also isn't dry, you have normal skin.
... If your skin feel very tight and rough, you have dry skin.
... If you skin is oily in the T zone but dry in the C zone, you have combination skin.
It may be beneficial to do this a couple time, to be certain you have definitely got the right skin type. Also, you may want to repeat it from time to time to see how your skin develops or changes from season to season.
How to choose the right products for you?
Now that you know your skin type, its important that you select skincare products catered to your skincare needs.
People with oily skin should use cleansers which remove excess oil from their skin well.
You can use serums which regulate sebum production such as niacinamide, and with a low oil content.
Moisturisers should be light, to ensure that the pores are not clogged.
Normal skin types can use any form of cosmetic which are not designed for the extremes.
You can use a gentle or deeper cleanser if you're wearing more product or feel like your skin is dirtier than usual.
Most serums and essences should work for you.
Moisture with a medium to light moisturiser to make sure your skin is hydrated enough.
You should be using a very gentle cleanser, as to not strip your skin.
Use essences and serums which are not drying (stay away from retinol if possible).
You can use heavier moisturisers with a higher oil content to hydrate your skin.
Use a gentle cleanser to remove excess sebum.
Use serums to control oil production in the T zone.
You can actually use a light moisturiser for the T zone, and a richer cream for your dry spots.