Let’s just put it out there—understanding your true skin type is THE most important thing you can do for your skin. We’re talking serious benefits when you know your skin type and choose the best skincare regime for that type. And while no one knows your skin better than you, taking a few minutes to analyze your skin to determine if you are dry, combo, or oily will be a game changer when it comes to beautiful, healthy skin. Not sure where to begin? Find the closest mirror and try these 4 easy steps.
Before you start, keep in mind that your skin type is determined by genetics and the characteristics it displays, not by gender, ethnicity, color or condition. Environmental (extreme weather), lifestyle, or physical (stress) factors can also play a secondary role in your skin type.
Now take a look at your pores:
Step 1: Start by looking at your jawline. See how it’s smooth and relatively pore-free? This is your baseline to compare the rest of your face.
Step 2: Move to your nose and analyze the pores next to it. Do they look bigger or the same?
Step 3: Now examine other areas of the face. Are your pores bigger or smaller than what’s on your jawline? Skip comparing the pores on your nose as those are always bigger no matter what your skin type.
Step 4: Now that you’ve gotten a good idea about the size of your pores, compare it to our diagrams found here to determine your true skin type. Here’s some tips and guidelines for what products to use with each skin type:
- Dry Skin Type: If you have smaller pores on most of your face with some larger ones near the sides of your nose, you have dry skin. Other clues? Dry skin can often feel tight and look dull. When your skin is dry, it typically produces less sebum, our natural oil, so your goal is to replenish the lipid barrier by adding moisture and then building a protective shield. Be sure to use skincare products designed for dry skin.
- Combo Skin Type: Combination skin has larger pores on ⅓ of the face usually on the t-zone. These areas typically produce oil with other areas such as the mouth and eye area being more dry. If you have combo skin type, look for skincare products designed to treat both types and will work to find a healthy balance for your skin.
- Reactive Skin Type: Reactive skin is dry, combo or oily but responds/reacts to products, environment or lifestyle with breakouts, rash or irritation. Caused by a variety of things such as exposure to certain products, ingredients treatments or environmental factors, try products with ingredients known to calm, soothe and reduce redness and irritation.
- Acne Skin: This skin type can be dry, oily, combination, or reactive in addition to having active, chronic breakouts. Your skin produces bacteria that results in acne. Use skin care products that will help address the needs of acne-prone skin without stripping/dehydrating the skin and look for food triggers as well.
- Mature Skin: If you are over 40 and are beginning to see signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots or sun damage, your skin needs stimulation with products designed specifically for mature skin.