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How to Determine Your Skin Type?

4 Skin Types

Every individual’s skin is unique in its own way. Your skin type is usually determined by genetics and can be subjected to change over time as you age. The condition of your skin can also vary greatly depending on the various internal and external factors like lifestyle and environmental conditions that you are subjected to.

It is very important to understand and identify the skin type you have in order to discover the most effective way to take care of your skin and determine the right solutions to achieve your skincare goals. 

1. The Bare-faced Method

Step 1: 

Remove all makeup on your face using a makeup remover. Using a mild cleanser, cleanse your face thoroughly and gently pat it dry. Leave your skin bare. 

Step 2: 

After 30 minutes, examine your forehead, nose, chin and cheeks for any shine. Does your skin feel parched or tight?

Step 3: 

Wait for another 30 minutes before examining your skin again. If your face feels tight, especially when you smile or make other facial expressions, you most likely have dry skin. If your skin is shiny all over, you most likely have oily skin. If your T-zone has a noticeable shine but the rest of your face does not, you most likely have combination skin. 

2. The Blotting-Sheet Method 

Step 1: 

Remove all makeup on your face using a makeup remover. Using a mild cleanser, cleanse your face thoroughly and gently pat it dry. Leave your skin bare. 

Step 2: 

After 1 hour, gently pat a blotting paper on different areas of your face. Hold the sheet up to the light to determine how much oil is visible. 

If the sheet picked up little to no oil, you most likely have dry skin. If the sheet is saturated with oil, you most likely have oily skin. If the sheet picks up oil mostly from the forehead, nose and chin but little to no oil from the rest of the face, you most likely have combination skin. 

Skin Types

In general, there are 4 main types of skin- normal, dry, oily and combination skin. 

4 skin types

Normal Skin(also known as eudermic skin)

‘Normal’ skin type is usually defined as a well-balanced skin which is characterised by having balanced sebum production, good blood circulation and no severe sensitivity.



  • Neither oily nor dry 
  • Fine pores
  • Few or no breakouts or blemishes
  • Smooth texture 

Dry Skin (also known as xerosis)

‘Dry’ skin occurs when skin’s sebaceous glands do not produce enough lipids the skin needs to retain moisture to protect the epidermis against external influences, leading to impaired barrier function. An impaired skin barrier will lead to diminished capacity to maintain water, increased transepidermal water loss and increased vulnerability to external conditions. Skin will be prone to increased irritation and sensitivity.  

Contributed by the lack of:

  • Natural moisturising factors (NMFs) - especially urea, amino acids and lactic acid – that help to bind in water.
  • Epidermal lipids such as ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol which are needed for a healthy skin barrier function



  • Flaky & scaly skin
  • Dull, rough complexion 
  • Almost invisible pores
  • More visible lines 
  • Tighter skin
  • Uneven texture
  • More prone to itching 

Oily Skin

‘Oily’ skin occurs when the skin barrier produces an excessive amount of sebum, or oil, which can lead to clogged pores and blemishes. It can also be caused by exercise, stress, working environment and hormonal changes.



  • Enlarged, clearly visible pores
  • Glossy shine
  • Dull, thick complexion 
  • Presence of blackheads, pimples or other blemishes 
  • Greasy 
  • Rarely feels tight or dry 

Combination Skin

‘Combination’ skin is caused by an overproduction of sebum at the T-zone and a lack of sebum protection at other drier areas of the face. There is a need to determine which problem is more of a concern in order to target the areas using the appropriate skincare products.



  • Oily across the T-zone but may be dry or normal in other areas
  • Pores look larger than normal (especially on the nose)
  • Presence of blackheads and shiny skin 
  • Breakouts on T-zone
  • T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) may be greasy to touch but cheeks may feel dry, flaky and tight 


Determining your skin type is the first step to developing a routine and knowing what products to use to take care of it. Moreover, our skin’s needs constantly change over time due to several factors. Hence, it is important to assess the condition of your skin from time to time to ensure that it functions well and look its best. 

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