What Type’s Your Skin? Test It and Find Out
BY: Judith Rasband • May 04, 2018
Surveys reveal that many people – men as well as women have no idea what type of skin they have. Some complain of extremely delicate, dry skin, yet use as an acne cleansing bar and full-length astringent appropriate only for oily, blemished skin.
Others complain of oily skin, yet use super-fatted soaps, ultra-rich moisturizers and oil-base makeup.
To properly care for your skin, you need to know what type of skin you’re living in – perfect, oily, dry, combination or problem and whether or not your skin type is sensitive.
Let’s face it, the consumer who uses products which conflict with his or her skin type can hardly hold a cosmetic company responsible for a poor appearance.
Determining skin type is not nearly so difficult as you might think. You can examine your skin in a mirror, identify the characteristics you observe, and determine your type on your own.
Most skin types can be identified from the following classifications:
Perfect skin is the exception rather than the rule. Perfect skin has normal oil production, a fine and smooth texture, is baby soft and supple, yet firm, with tight pores and uniform coloring. It feels comfortable.
Oily skin has excess oil production, is shiny and greasy, with coarse and enlarged pores. It may be somewhat flushed and frequently blemished, but it has fewer wrinkles.
Dry skin has insufficient oil production, with a fine yet flaky, somewhat rough texture, tight pores and more apparent wrinkles. It may be sensitive and often feels tight and drawn.
Combination skin is the most common, normal in fact. It has uneven oil production with drier cheeks, eye area, mouth and throat, and an oil T-zone on forehead, nose and chin. Some people have an oil U-zone on chin and sides of face at the hairline, on an inverted U-zone, oily on the forehead and around the hairline.
Sensitive skin can occur with any skin type and at any age. Sensitive skin may be thin, easily irritated, itchy, blotchy and subject to allergic reaction. It sun and razor burns readily.
Problem or acne skin can occur occasionally on any skin type and at any age, but it’s most common on oily skin and during adolescence. Excess oil production (influenced by heredity, hormones, diet and drugs) and dead skin cells do not flow out of skin ducts but become clogged and form white heads, blackheads or inflamed redheads.
Give yourself a simple skin-type test to learn which skin you’re in and to map the facial areas of possible oiliness and dryness:
- Use tissue-type paper of a brown paper bag and cut into two-inch squares.
- Label five squares: forehead, nose, chin, left cheek, and right cheek.
- Wash your face with mild soap and rinse well, then wait about two hours.
- Pull your hair back and out of your face, securing it with a band or barrette.
- Press the paper squares on your skin according to the label.
- Then check the oil residue left on the paper from each of your face.
The paper will not stick to dry skin and will not leave a moist or oily mark. Paper may stick to perfect skin but will leave only a little moist mark. Paper will stick to oily skin and will leave an obviously oily, greasy mark.
Results of this test may be expected to differ with age, emotional and physical health, as well as changes in the weather or climate. With warm weather ahead, become aware of changes in your skin and make minor adjustments in your skin-care program or products.
Changes in the frequency of use of abrasive thinning agents, and in the strength of soaps or cleansing lotion, astringents and skin freshness are generally all that is required.
Such modifications need not be so complicated as any might fear but will contribute to clean, cool and clear complexion year-round.