Skincare is a personal process that is different for everyone. Because everyone’s skin is unique, products that work for your friends may not work for you. Determining your skin ID (type and concerns) can enable you to create a skincare routine that addresses your particular issues and help you develop healthy, glowing skin.
Although there are several different skin types (long-term characteristics) and skin concerns (short-term issues), each has defining traits that can help you assess your skin. It’s easy to conduct your own skin analysis to determine what kind of skin you have and what kind of skincare routine would benefit you with the best results.
- Gain an understanding of the different skin types and why it’s important to know your skin ID.
- Assess your skin after a thorough face wash and look for indicators of skin type.
- Use blotting paper to determine how much oil your skin produces.
- Evaluate your pore size to identify which skin type you may have.
- A pinch test can determine whether you have dry or dehydrated skin.
- Ask yourself a series of questions to find similarities between the different skin types and your own skin.
Understanding Different Skin Types
To develop a skincare routine that truly benefits your particular skin, it’s important to first gain an understanding of the different skin types.
The four healthy skin types are:
- Dry: A lack of oil production causes skin cells to become dry and flaky.
- Oily: An overproduction of sebum leaves skin feeling greasy and appearing shiny.
- Normal: The right balance of oil and dryness. This skin is generally even and smooth.
- Combination: Some areas of the face overproduce oil while other areas don’t produce enough. The T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) are oily while the cheeks are dry.
However, there are a host of other factors that can affect the condition of your skin. The Baumann Skin Type Classification System further categorizes skin into 16 specific types while evaluating four barriers:
- Dehydration: dryness vs. oiliness
- Inflammation: sensitivity vs. resistance
- Pigmentation: non-pigmentation vs. pigmentation
- Wrinkles: wrinkling vs. tightness
This means that someone who has oily skin may also experience some surface-level dehydration. Mistaken for dryness, that person could begin using a creamier moisturizer that actually works against their oily skin. That’s why it’s important to correctly identify your skin ID and find products to support your skin’s issues.
Conduct Your Own Skin Analysis at Home
Professional estheticians can evaluate your skin to identify your skin type, conditions, texture, and appearance. Not only can this insight help you develop an effective skincare routine for your unique needs. It can also reveal any underlying medical conditions that may need your attention.
Luckily, there’s no need to turn to professionals for help just yet. Each skin type has fairly distinctive characteristics that can easily be assessed by an untrained eye. You can conduct a self-analysis of your skin in the comfort of your own home. Here are five methods to help you determine your own skin type.
1. Clean Face Method
The most basic assessment is a simple visual assessment. Begin by washing your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry. Refrain from applying any products like face serum or moisturizer and let your skin breathe.
After a half hour, take a look at your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin to see if you notice any shininess. Wait another 30 minutes and see if your skin feels dry when you smile. Tight skin indicates dry skin. A shiny forehead and nose indicates normal or combination skin. Additional shine on your cheeks means you probably have oily skin.
2. Blot Test Method
A quicker way to assess your skin type is to use blotting paper. Apply a sheet to different facial areas, like your forehead, chin, nose, and cheeks. When you hold the sheet up to the light, how much oil do you see? If the sheet is fairly dry, you probably have dry skin. If the sheet from your forehead and nose reveals some oil, chances are you have normal or combination skin. A saturated blotting paper indicates you have oily skin.
3. Pore Size Evaluation
Our skin’s pores can reveal a lot of information. Look into a mirror and examine your pore size. Larger pores indicate larger oil glands. These overproduce sebum and lead to oily skin. Conversely, small pores mean small oil glands. Skin that doesn’t produce enough sebum is classified as dry skin.
Look at the pore size on various areas of your face. If you have both small and large pores, you have combination skin. Consistently large pores indicate oily skin while consistently small pores suggest dry skin. Skin whose pores seem average in size and that doesn’t experience flakiness or greasiness is classified as normal.
4. Pinch Test
If you observe rough, flaky patches on your skin, you may have dry skin. Or it could be that your skin is just dehydrated. Dry skin is lacking oil while dehydrated skin is lacking water. Determine which situation you’re experiencing with this simple test.
Look in the mirror at the skin on your jowl or lower cheek. Gently pinch it between two fingers and then let go. Healthy skin (even if dry) will spring back into place quickly. Dehydrated skin will slowly return to its original position. If you see this happening, your skin (and body) is dehydrated. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin from the inside out. The more water you consume, the more moisture your skin cells can draw from to become plump, smooth, and have improved elasticity.
Because each skin type has such distinguishing characteristics, you can often diagnose your skin ID by asking yourself a series of questions.
Does your skin:
- Experience redness or irritation? Then you likely have sensitive skin.
- Feel tight and show wrinkles or an uneven tone? You probably have dry skin with pigmentation.
- Have a constant shininess and is prone to breakouts? Your skin type is oily with acne.
By understanding the common traits of each skin type, you can examine your skin and find similarities that reveal which category you fall under.
Take a Simple Skin Analysis Quiz
Snowperk understands the importance of identifying skin type to select the most effective products for your skincare routine. Still having trouble navigating how to know your skin type?
Our simple skin analysis quiz can help you identify your skin ID and address your unique skincare needs.