What Type of Skin Do I Have?

What Type of Skin Do I Have?


According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there are five primary skin types: oily, dry, normal, combination, and sensitive.1 Each skin type has its own set of unique characteristics and needs that can affect how it looks and feels. your skin. By first understanding your skin type, you can start making informed decisions – giving your skin the customized care and protection it needs now and for years to come. If you're not sure what your skin type is, keep reading. Below, we've covered all the basics on how to identify your skin type, plus tips for choosing the ideal skincare products and routines for each type.


  • Your skin type depends on the amount of sebum (sebum) your skin produces. Skin oiliness can change over time and can also be affected by factors such as stress, genetics, hormones, humidity and the natural aging process.
  • Once you know what to look for—using the general characteristics below—determining your skin type can usually be determined by simple observation.
  • There are two tests you can do at home that will help you understand your skin type in just 30 minutes: the blotting sheet method and the "watch and wait" method.
  • What is my skin type? Common characteristics of each type

As your body's largest organ, your skin performs a number of important and complex functions – from regulating body temperature to protecting against germs. This is especially true for the outer layer of your skin, also known as the skin barrier. Composed mostly of lipids (such as ceramides), this protective barrier acts as the primary gateway between your skin and the outside environment – ​​keeping water in and harmful substances out.

Although a healthy skin barrier is essential for all skin types, it's also important to remember that each individual's skin is unique in many ways. This means there is no "one size fits all" approach to achieving glowing, healthy-looking skin. However, there are a number of unifying characteristics to look for that can help you answer the question “What is my skin type?

Here are the main indicators to keep in mind when deciphering whether your skin is predominantly oily, dry, normal, combination or sensitive.

Oily skin

Oily skin produces an excess of sebum that makes the skin look shiny and greasy – especially throughout the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin). People with oily skin may have fewer wrinkles, but they may also be more prone to enlarged pores, acne blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Keep in mind that just because oily skin produces more natural oils, it doesn't mean it needs less moisture than other skin types. Supporting oily skin is all about choosing the right products that nourish and hydrate without clogging your pores or causing breakouts. An ideal routine for oily skin should include a gentle foaming cleanser that effectively removes dirt, excess oil and other impurities. It should also include a lightweight, oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer to give your oily skin the essential hydration it needs.

Dry skin

Dry skin generally produces fewer natural oils than other skin types. This can make it dull and rough, flaky or even scaly. It often feels tight or less elastic, noticeably dehydrated, and may be prone to more visible fine lines. In addition, it can itch or irritate.

Routine care for dry skin should include gentle, soothing and hydrating ingredients that help maintain the skin's protective moisture barrier – such as ceramides. For dry skin types, the Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding overly long hot showers, moisturizing multiple times a day, and choosing skin care products that are fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and alcohol-free.


Normal skin

Normal skin is balanced – it feels neither too dry nor too oily. Not prone to cracking, flaking or feeling greasy or tight. People with normal skin typically have pores that are small, smooth skin texture, and are less prone to sensitivity or blemishes. Despite the fact that normal skin has no specific problems or concerns, it still requires proper skin care to look and feel its best. An ideal normal skin routine helps maintain skin hydration by locking in moisture and supporting the skin's protective barrier.

Mixed skin

Combination skin includes areas that are both dry and oily – with the T-zone usually being oily and the cheeks either dry or normal. This skin type can vary in different seasons and due to various factors such as stress or hormonal fluctuations. Effective cleansing and hydration are key to caring for skin that is oily or normal in some areas and dry in others. To learn more about building a daily regimen for combination skin

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is often referred to as a skin type, but it is possible to have oily sensitive skin, dry sensitive skin, or normal sensitive skin. No matter what skin type you have, if you have sensitive skin, it can appear red and feel like it's burning, itching, or dry. These symptoms can be related to skin that is more susceptible to external irritations and can be triggered by certain ingredients – such as dyes or fragrances – as well as environmental factors.

If you have sensitive skin, you may be able to identify what triggers your sensitivity and avoid cleansers, moisturizers, or other products containing those specific ingredients. You can also change your environment to reduce exposure to triggers.

How do I find out my skin type at home?

If the descriptions of the different skin types didn't help you come to a conclusion, there are a few tests you can do at home to help you determine your skin type. Here are two methods you can use:

The "watch and wait" method.

This home test allows you to understand your skin type by observing how your skin behaves after cleansing.

  • First, wash your face with a mild cleanser and then gently pat it dry.
  • Wait 30 minutes.
  • If your skin is shiny, you probably have oily skin.
  • If it's tight and flaky or scaly, you probably have dry skin.
  • If the shine is only in your T-zone, you probably have combination skin.
  • If your skin feels hydrated and comfortable, but not oily, you probably have normal skin.

Absorbent sheet method

  • When pressed against the skin, the absorbent leaves absorb the oil – and you can use them to understand your skin type.
  • After washing your face with a mild cleanser, pat it dry and wait 30 minutes.
  • Press the absorbent sheets onto different areas of your face, then hold them up to the light to see the oil marks.
  • If the sheets have soaked up a lot of oil from all areas of the face, you have oily skin.
  • If they absorb little or no oil, then you probably have dry skin.
  • If only a small amount of oil from your T-zone is visible on the sheets, you have combination skin.
  • If you see only minimal oil from each area of ​​your face, you most likely have normal skin.

It's important to remember that any skin type can also be sensitive or prone to acne, although those with normal skin may be less likely to experience them. However, with the right products, you can take care of your skin while dealing with issues like sensitivity and acne blemishes. When in doubt, see a board-certified dermatologist for a personalized skin assessment and guidance on the best skin care routine for your skin type.

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