The Science Behind Beauty

By Dr Juliet O.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

How to Find Your Skin Type in 4 Easy Steps: Normal, Combination, Dry or Oily Skin

I thought I would start of by exploring the basics of skin type. Skin type is very quintessential to skincare because it sets the foundation for facial regimens and regimens throughout the entire cosmetic skincare industry. Not only that, it can also benefit you personally by knowing what products to use, to have glowing, healthy skin!


It is very important to know your skin type, if you want the skincare products you use to work well. Using the right products on your skin, can help you achieve the skin results you've always wanted. More than that, using a product that is not skin type-appropriate can give you unsatisfying results, it can aggravate your skin and can make any skin problems you have, even worse.


Skin type is determined by the balance between oil and water on your face. The sebaceous glands on your face make oil and your nearby sweat glands make water. The balance of water and oil is what makes up the 4 different variations in skin and it is usually categorised into the skin types: normal, oily, dry and combination.

  • Normal: neither dry skin or oily skin
  • Oily: t-zone appears oily, skin feels oily, breakouts with acne
  • Dry: cheek feels tight, appears dry and flaky
  • Combination: dry on your cheeks and oily skin in your t-zone or vice versa


Ok so the most important part! Lets find out exactly how to find our skin types.

1. Wash your hands using soap.

This step is necessary to get rid of dirty germs and bacteria. We don't want them getting trapped in our pores and causing spots. Try to avoid using soaps with perfumes and scents as it may irritate sensitive skin. 

2. Wash your face with ONLY water. 

Use warm water as it is more gentle for your skin and do not use any soaps/cleansers.
Using soaps and hot/cold water can be abrasive or drying.

3. Do not dry your face! 

This is the most important step, leave your face to air dry for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
No drying, damping and definitely no moisturising.

4. Examine your skin.

Look in the mirror and examine your skin, what does it feel like, how does it look?
How is your t-zone, cheeks, forehead, is it dry, oily, neither?

Here's what I discovered about my skin. After 30 minutes of air-drying, I found the skin around my face (cheeks, chin, forehead) to be normal- it wasn't too oily and it wasn't too dry! However, my t- zone area became slightly rough and patchy and I could tell that it definitely needed a moisturiser!

After doing this step-by-step guide quite a few times, I mostly found the same thing- it always between normal and combination skin. I usually repeat this every few months, when my skin feels different and sometimes I discover new things, for example dryness in the spring & winter months. Then I am able to change my skincare routine/ products accordingly to keep my skin in perfect balance.

This is by far, the most useful tool to examine your skin type. I would love to know what kind of skin you have, what is your dominant skin type and did you notice anything new? Let me know if you found this helpful and also if you have any skin- type questions or any other skin-related issues you want me to explore, please comment below.

Thanks so much for so much for reading and I will see you in my next post x


1 comment

  1. Wow, this is interesting! I've always wanted to find out my skin type and didn't quite know how to figure it , so thank you!


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