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How to Identify Your Skin Type

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Written by Noelle Park


Understanding your skin type is crucial in identifying the best skincare and makeup products for your skin. Unfortunately, most people don't know their skin type, which can affect how their skin reacts to certain skincare products. Here are two simple, at-home tests that you can do to identify your skin type: the "all day" test and "the wash" test.

For the "all day" test, you can determine your skin type by looking at the skin at the end of the day. Ask yourself whether your face looks oily and shiny at the end of the day. If that's the case, you have oily skin. Or is it only the T zone area in the face? Then you have a combination of dry and oily skin. Is the skin tight or flaky at the end of the day? You have more dehydrated skin in this case. Is your skin itchy, red, or irritated after you get home from a long day of school or work? You have more sensitive skin. (Chesak)

Another skin test is to see how your skin reacts after washing your face with a cleanser. After washing with a cleanser, wait 30 minutes without applying any products on the face. (Chesak) Notice how your skin reacts; you can tell which skin type you have. You can ask the same questions as the all-day test to tell which skin type you have.

Understanding your skin type will also help you identify which skincare products will give you the best results.

For oily skin types, dermatologists recommend hydrating the skin without oil-based products. If you have this skin type, make sure to use oil-free products with hyaluronic acid. Oil-free moisturizers are also excellent for hydrating the skin. Face lotions are a better alternative compared to heavy moisturizers. To maintain excess oil, dermatologists recommend using clay masks, a seaweed or saltwater toner, and exfoliators. (Chesak)

As we age, the drier the skin becomes. Weather also affects the skin, especially when the temperature drops; the skin becomes drier and tighter. For dry skin, dermatologists recommend using moisturizers with hyaluronic acid or ceramides. Gentle cleansers with no fragrance are also perfect for dry skin. We also recommend using a humidifier or an overnight sheet mask for the face to give your skin extra hydration. (Chesak)

Combination skin treatment is a bit trickier, but you should try what works best. You might need to switch products based on the weather conditions or time of day to satisfy your skin needs. Try a balancing toner and exfoliate for this skin type with an enzyme mask. (Chesak)

You need to find products that won't cause irritation for sensitive skin. You should use products with no fragrances or dyes. Avoid parabens and sulfates. Before your purchase a new product, do a spot check on the face to see how the products react to the skin. (Chesak)

We also want to mention that skin type does change over time and varies based on environment, diet, stress levels, and hydration. Therefore, we highly recommend trying the wash and all-day tests to test which skin type you are. These tests will help you determine which products work best for your skin because makeup application requires clear and smooth skin. Therefore, a comprehensive skincare routine with the best products for your skin is the crucial first step for makeup application.

Chesak, Jennifer. "The No BS Guide to Discovering Your Real Skin Type." healthline. August 23, 2022,

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