Find the Right Moisturizer: Simple Steps to Identifying Your Skin Type

There are two steps to being happy in your own skin: knowing your skin type and using the right moisturizer. In order to find the right products, you must first figure out your skin type to keep skin healthy. You can’t take care or treat skin until you know your skin’s landscape.

You might be surprised to know that you have a combination of skin types in different areas. Various combinations of skin can include: sensitive and dry, oily and blemish-prone, and sun-damaged with acne.

Does your face feel dry and tight from nose to your neck? Is your forehead and nose oily but your cheeks get chapped and breakout? Are your legs from the knee down flaky?

More importantly, your skin’s texture and tone can change over time depending on your monthly cycle (hormones affect skin and breakouts), alcohol consumption, diet, exercise, skin care regimen, and product ingredients. A holistic way to approve skin’s health is to examine what one puts directly on skin AND what one ingests that might be affecting skin’s health or lack thereof. Finding the right skin care and diet routine is a long-term process and doesn’t improve magically overnight. Trial and error to find the right routine is necessary to maintain good skin health for the long-run and beauty that last a lifetime.

If you don’t know what type of skin you have, here is a quick test you can do at home to identify your skin type.

  1. Gently wash skin with water and pat dry with a washcloth. No need to over-use heavy chemical cleansers, but gently remove all makeup and dirt from the day.
  2. Wait 30-45 minutes without applying any products or touching the face.
  3. Take a piece of paper and dab the forehead on one corner, the nose on another corner, a cheek on the third, and chin on the forth corner.
If three corners of the paper have soaked up oil but one is dry, you have combination skin.
If all corners have oil on the paper, you have oily skin.
If hardly any oil is soaked up on the paper, you have normal skin.
If skin became red and flaked off on the paper, you have dry skin.
If there is any irritation and pain, you have sensitive skin.


What you need to know about your skin type

Once you know your skin type, you can begin your search for the right products to moisturize your skin and keep it healthy throughout seasonal changes, time of day, and alterations in your routine. Furthermore, applying just any old product can lead to skin problems, outbreaks, and feeling uncomfortable.

Combination Skin: Combination skin is the most common type as many people have some mixture of normal, dry, and oily skin on various parts of the face and body. This skin type can be tricky to recognize and the presence of some oil be can misleading, and even trickier to treat. The most popular of this skin type is the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin are oily and the cheeks are dry and/or acne-prone). Most people with this type of skin must treat different areas of their face with different types of skincare products. The cheeks and jaw line may require a heavier moisturizer with fewer ingredients that will not agitate skin. The T-zone oil will need to be managed properly to reduce natural oil production over time with the right kind of face wash and moisturizer.

Oily & Acne-Prone Skin: Oily skin is caused by overactive oil glands beneath the skin, which results in excess production on the surface. This in turn causes skin to shine excessively with occasional breakouts. This skin type is characterized by large pores and a dull complexion. Acne develops on the skin when hair follicles or pores are blocked with dead skin cells and naturally producing oil gets back up under the surface of skin. With this skin type, one should not wash the face more than twice a day and skin should be cleared right after a workout. Look for gentle cleansers, ingredients that do not clog pores (noncomedogenic), and never use alcohol based brands that dry out skin.

Normal Skin: Wouldn’t we all love to have normal skin? To each of us, our skin feels normal. Normal skin is characterized by normal to small pores, a glowing complexion, few imperfections on the surface, and little to no sensitivities. This skin type is not too dry and not too oily but just right. Normal skin can bare almost any product on the market without causing day-to-day irritations. Hormones, stress, and diet can still affect this type of skin. It is recommended to protect skin from sun damage and prepare for the long-run by moisturizing daily and wearing sun protection from UV rays.

Dry & Sensitive Skin: Dry skin can often lead to irritations, which can make it more sensitive than other skin types. Dry skin will have very fine pores that are hardly visible. When skin itches, burns, and flakes, this often tells us that skin is dry and sensitive. Dry skin tends to be less elastic and more prone to wrinkle lines at a younger age than oily skin. All skin types become dry in the cold weather; however, dry skin can be exacerbated by a lack of moisture in the air leading to increased sensitivities. This skin type can also become drier from indoor heating, long showers or baths, harsh skin care ingredients, and medications. Dry skin requires extra moisturizing, organic and natural cleansing ingredients, and shorter exposure to water for showers and baths.

Mature Skin: Skin starts to mature as we get older. However, skin can start to look older if it is not properly cared for. Skin is considered mature when it loses its natural glow and elasticity, develops more lines, and pores open more frequently. This process cannot be stopped but it can be slowed down. Cleansing properly, cutting out toxic chemicals and topical alcohol ingredients, and deep moisturizing with effective skin care products can help freshen up skin and reduce the signs of maturity.

Hopefully you now have the proper tools to identify your skin type and understand how your skin differs from others. Not all skin acts the same and therefore your personal skin care regimen will reflect your specific needs. Read more in our upcoming articles about which moisturizer is right your for you skin type and which are the best products to use!

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