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How to Determine Your Skin Type

Nov 15, 2021

Many people don’t know what type of skin they have or even how to find out. However, this is essential information when buying skincare products, selecting dermatology services, and making beneficial lifestyle changes. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to determine your skin type once you know how to test it.

Identifying Your Skin Type

There are four primary skin types—oily, dry, sensitive, and combination. To find out which one you have, try the 30-minute test. This involves washing your face to remove any products and waiting for 30 minutes. Then, look in the mirror and examine your skin’s characteristics.

  • Oily skin looks shiny and may feel slick to the touch.
  • Dry skin feels tight and may have dry, flaky areas.
  • Sensitive skin appears red and irritated and may be tender to the touch.
  • Combination skin has shiny spots (often in the T-zone) and dry, flaky areas (often on the cheeks and chin).

How to Care for Different Types of Skin

Now that you know your skin type, you can treat yourself to the products and treatments that will help your skin thrive.

Caring for Oily Skin

  • Exfoliation: Oily skin is prone to accumulating dead skin cells, so exfoliation is an integral part of your treatment plan. Use at-home products and schedule chemical peels regularly.
  • Moisturizer: Don’t fall for the misconception that oily skin doesn’t need moisturizer. In reality, keeping your skin hydrated helps reduce oil production.
  • Light skincare products: Use lightweight, oil-free gel or liquid formulas rather than heavy creams or lotions.

Caring for Dry Skin

  • Moisturizer: Lock in much-needed hydration by moisturizing right after you shower. Look for products with ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, aloe vera, lanolin, and petroleum.
  • Lifestyle changes: Run a humidifier to hydrate your skin, avoid hot showers, and pat your skin dry rather than scrubbing it.
  • Visit a dermatologist: If your skin is excessively dry, red, and itchy, you may have psoriasis or eczema. A dermatologist can treat these conditions.

Caring for Sensitive Skin

  • Natural skincare products: To avoid reactions to common irritants, look for products with all-natural ingredients.
  • Patch testing: When trying a new skincare product for the first time, apply it to a small area and wait to see if your skin reacts. If not, it’s safe to apply it all over.

Caring for Combination Skin

  • Divide and conquer: Care for different parts of your face with different products. For instance, apply heavier moisturizer to dry areas and mattifying serums to oily areas.

Once you’ve determined your skin type, visit Arlington Dermatology for help formulating a skincare plan based on your skin’s unique needs. We offer a range of laser and cosmetic procedures and recommend high-end skincare products to safely and effectively treat various dermatology conditions. So when you are ready to look and feel your very best, please give us a call at 847-392-5440 or schedule an appointment online with our Arlington Heights dermatologist.