How To Determine Your Skin Type

No one knows your skin better than you do. Each of us is unique and has individual skin care needs. Did you know that determining what type of skin that you have can help direct you towards a proper skin care regimen? This blog will focus on identifying the most common skin types and how you can determine what your skin type is.

There are five main types of skin that the American Academy of Dermatology recognizes: Oily, Dry/dehydrated, Normal, Combination, and Sensitive. Although our skin type is somewhat inherited, there are many factors such as our gender, age, season, stressors, etc. that can influence this. Your skin type can also change throughout the course of your life.

Let’s take a look at the features of each skin type individually.

  1. Oily. This skin type is characterized by skin with increased sebum production. When skin is oilier, it may feel greasy to the touch and appear shiny. Our oil glands tend to be more active in the T-zone of the forehead, nose, and chin. People with oily skin tend to be more prone to enlarged pores, and comedonal (blackheads and whiteheads) acne breakouts.
  2. Dry. Skin that is easily irritated, itchy, or feels tight (dehydrated) and less elastic is considered dry. People with dry skin tend to have less oil production and may experience dull, rough and scaly skin at times.
  3. Combination. As the name suggests, this is a combination of oily and dry skin types. Sometimes this can be characterized by cheeks that feel dry or normal, however seem oily in the T-zone. Factors such as the air temperature season, weather and hormones can influence how the skin feels or fluctuates.
  4. Normal. This skin type is defined as balanced. Pores tend to be small, and the skin possesses a smooth texture. People with normal skin tend to be less prone to breakouts or sensitivity.
  5. Sensitive. Redness, dryness, burning and itching can be seen with this skin type off and on. Sensitive skin can occur alone with in combination with any of the above skin types. Additionally, factors such as the environment and specific ingredients in skin products themselves may aggravate sensitive skin.

How To Determine Your Skin Type

It may seem fairly easy to describe the type of skin that you have, however if  you need help with this, here is a simple way to determine your skin type at home.

  1. Simply wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry.
  2. Wait 30 minutes without any products applied to your face.

Examine your skin in your mirror. Look for the signs and symptoms specific to each skin type.

If you have oily skin, your skin may appear shiny or slick to the touch.

Dry skin may feel tight and seem dry or have flakes.

Combination skin may have both features of dry and oily skin.

Sensitive skin may seem irritated, red, and tender to the touch in some areas.

Normal skin will not seem overly dry or greasy to the touch and may not feel tight or seem irritated.

Follow a Consistent Skin Care Routine Focused on Your Skin Type

The unique needs of your skin will drive the type of products best suited to your skin type. No matter what type of skin that you have, cleansing with gentle cleansers twice daily, applying a moisturizer twice daily, and using sunscreen on a daily and as needed basis throughout the day are always recommended. Oily skin types may tolerate gentle exfoliating products with salicylic or glycolic acid or gentle toners, while people with sensitive and dry skin will want to avoid those products.

As a general rule, we recommend that people with dry or sensitive skin choose products that do not contain fragrances or sulfates. Look for products that contain hydrating ingredients such as niacinamide, oat products, glycerin and hyaluronic acid.

For more information on a basic skin care regimen, please see our previous blog here:

For even more personalized recommendations, we would be happy to see you in our virtual clinic. Easily book your appointment online here:

Come and See The Derm NP!

As a Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner, The Derm NP is available to answer skin care questions that you may have. For example, if you have acne, or sensitive skin, we are ready to consult with you on sunscreen options that may most meet your needs. Or, maybe you are looking for options to offer the best anti-aging benefits for your skin. For just $37 for a telehealth visit, you can rest assured that you are getting skincare advice from an expert without breaking the bank.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Derm NP will be out of the office from 

3/24/2024 – 3/31/2024

If you have an urgent matter during this time, please call us at (630) 233-9767 and leave a message with your concern.

We will respond within 24 hours.