How to Determine Your Skin Type

How to Determine Your Skin Type

Understanding your skin type is one of the most important factors to consider when building your skincare routine. There are five main skin types that occur on a spectrum - dry, oily, combination, normal, or sensitive. Everyone can benefit from cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection, but different skin types have different needs. I find that a lot of my patients are not sure what skin type they actually have, which can lead to a damaged skin barrier, breakouts, irritation, or imbalanced skin. Knowing where you fall on this spectrum is essential to choosing the right products and building an effective routine that is unique to you and your skin’s needs. 

Wondering how to determine your skin type? The good news is there is a simple and easy way for you to identify your skin type in the comfort of your own home.

I often recommend the bare face method. Simply wash your face with a gentle cleanser, pat dry with a Clean Towel, and refrain from applying any skincare products. After approximately 30 minutes, it’s time to evaluate your skin including how it feels and how it looks. At that point, you can evaluate your natural skin type. If your skin feels dry or tight and is flaking or scaling, you probably have dry skin type. If your skin feels greasy or oily or looks shiny, you probably have oily skin. If you notice some shine or oil in your T-Zone, and feel dry and tight in other areas, you probably have combination. If you experience redness, flushing, or burning sensations, you may have sensitive skin. For those that don’t feel overly dry or oily, you have normal skin type - lucky you! A few things to keep in mind, these can occur on a spectrum and your skin type can change over time. It’s possible to have sensitive skin and another skin type, such as being both oily and sensitive skin. 

Use this at-home test to determine your skin type. This will allow you to start making more informed decisions about the best skin care products to use for your individual needs leading to well-balanced, healthy skin.  

Thank you for reading!

This article of the Skinsider Scoop was graciously written by Dermatology Nurse Practitioner and APRN, Elizabeth Russeau, and edited by the Clean Skin Club team. If you're interested in more from Elizabeth, please shoot us an email, and follow her Instagram -