Skincare routine not working? Before you blame your favorite beauty care products, you should check if you have chosen the right ones for your skin type. Effective skin care begins with knowing the type and texture of one’s skin and then sticking to a routine that treats specific conditions.

Skincare is a full-time job that gives no excuse and no vacation. You wake up every morning and do your things throughout the day before you sleep. But, in the middle of that, you should also take time to treat yourself with the love you deserve. A part of it is called skincare.

Knowing one’s skin type and texture is crucial before deciding on a skincare routine. This also works the other way. If you don’t know what you are allergic to, you should not buy just about any attractive skincare product.

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A Matter of Type

Your skin’s type and texture are determined by genetics. The American Academy of Dermatology has identified five primary types of skin. They are normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and a combination. They are classified based on their attributes and characteristics.

Hormonal imbalances and extreme weather could also impact the skin. This list is seconded by age, stress, nutritional levels, prior products used, and any specific illness that may cause allergy.

How to Know your Skin Type?

  1. The bare face method

Cleanse your face with a gentle face wash to remove all traces of dirt, makeup, and other impurities. Pat dry and leave untouched for 30 mins. 

  • If your skin is shiny all over, you have oily skin
  • If your skin feels rough and appears flaky, you have dry skin
  • If your skin is shiny in specific areas like the T-zone while flaky in the cheek area, you have a combination skin type.
  • If your skin feels hydrated but is not shiny, you have normal skin

2. The blotting sheet method

Press blotting sheets against different parts of your facial skin. Then, hold the sheets against a light source to examine the oil marks.

  • If the paper has traces of oil on it, it indicates that you have oily skin
  • If the paper absorbs little to no oil, you have dry skin
  • If the paper absorbs a little oil from the T-zone but none from the cheeks, you have a combination of skin
  • If the paper consistently absorbs minimal oil from different parts of the face, you have normal skin

Testing for sensitive skin is a little different. You may have noticed that most products recommend doing a patch test. To do it, you should apply a small amount of the product somewhere on your body. It is advisable to use the insides of your elbows for it.

If you get an allergic reaction, soreness, or inflammation, you have sensitive skin. This reaction could have been triggered due to an ingredient used in the product. It is thus not an accurate indicator of overall skin sensitivity.

skin type

Did you know?

A dermatologist can help you determine the sensitivity level of your skin. 

What are you Allergic to?

Understanding your skin type is vital, as following the wrong skincare routine can aggravate skin problems. Here is a pointer about various types and how they stack against each other:

  1. Dry Skin

Dry skin is usually a result of low sebum production, a consequence of which is often dull, rough, and flaky skin. In addition, it is noticeably dehydrated and tends to feel tight or less elastic. 

Hydration is the keyword when it comes to caring for dry skin. Good-quality skincare products contain soothing and hydrating ingredients. You should opt for the ones that contain aloe vera or hyaluronic acid to moisturize your skin and restore its protective barrier. 

Dermatologists recommend avoiding long, hot showers and rather insist on moisturizing your facial skin multiple times a day. You should also see that skin care products for this type of skin should be non-comedogenic and alcohol-free.

type of skin
  1. Oily Skin

The excessive production of sebum is the cause of oily skin. It gives the skin a greasy feel and has a shiny appearance. This skin type is vulnerable to enlarged pores, acne, blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads. 

Even oily skin needs hydration, so don’t skip out on moisturizer. Just make sure it is lightweight and has a water-based formulation. The same applies to all your skincare products. Another must-have is a gentle foaming cleanser that removes dirt and excess oil without clogging pores.

  1. Normal Skin

Not too dry nor too oily, the normal skin type walks the fine line between these two opposing skin types. It is thus generally not prone to breakouts or flakiness.

While it may not appear problematic, normal skin needs to be cared for. It is crucial that you maintain moisture levels to protect the skin from environmental damage and stressors. 

  1. Combination Skin

With combination skin, some areas of the face (especially in the T-zone) have more active oil glands than the rest of the face. The result is oily skin in some areas and dry or normal skin in others. 

Caring for it requires effective cleansing and hydration. Choosing the right products shall help remove excess oil without drying the skin. We recommend using oil-free, alcohol-free, and non-comedogenic products for it.

  1. Sensitive Skin

It is possible to have oily, dry, and sensitive skin. Simply put, it is sensitive if your skin is vulnerable to inflammation, redness, burning, and itchiness. These symptoms could react to environmental factors or certain ingredients in your skincare products. 

Determining what triggers skin reactions is pivotal to caring for sensitive skin. While the general rule is to stick to mild, toxin-free products, you should also pay attention to the ingredients. If a specific ingredient – natural or not – triggers inflammation, avoid using products containing it and consult your dermatologist for skincare advice. 

A face toner helps cleanse deeply hidden particles in the skin cells. You should also check if your skin stings when you apply it to your face. In such a case, you should check your beauty care products too. 

Did you know?

Using ‘all skin type’ face washes and moisturizers works best for people who are short of time. For others, it is better to go with the best-suited products first.

The takeaway

The best way to care for your skin is to know what your skin’s texture is to first understand what it needs. Choose your products carefully. These products are formulated to be compatible with a certain skin type, and are much unlike foundation and moisturizers (for all skin types)

It is best to check the ingredients and ensure that they have what your skin needs to thrive. If you’re still unsure about how to know your preferences and care for your skin, you should consult a dermatologist for advice. 

What products can I use for all skin types?

While products are usually formulated to suit specific skin types, some of them are crafted to be compatible with all of them. 

Face Wash: You can’t go wrong with a gentle cleanser that is non-comedogenic, paraben-free, and sulfate-free. A cleanser should be mild and be able to remove excess oil and dirt without drying out the skin. The best ones offer a deep cleanse, preventing pores from getting clogged and refreshing the skin. 

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Dermatologists will often recommend sticking to oil-free formulations. Some ingredients to look for include neem, turmeric, vitamins A, B5, and C, saffron, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, activated charcoal, glycerin, coffee, and honey. 

Face Moisturizer: A moisturizer is a crucial skincare ingredient for all skin types – even oily skin. The trick is to look for one that is lightweight, easily absorbed into the skin, and doesn’t contain mineral oil, parabens, sulfates, or silicone. Moisturizers (suitable for all skin types) come in face gel and face cream formulations. 

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They are essential to give the skin the hydration it needs to restore the skin barrier that protects it from free radical damage, prodding the sebaceous glands to produce more oil and prevent early signs of aging. Ingredients in an all-skin type moisturizer include hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C and ceramides.

Face Gel: Gel moisturizers are a lightweight, skin-friendly alternative to creams or lotions. Generally, water-based formulations are compatible with all skin types, even sensitive skin, and they also offer some benefits. Though sticky at first touch, they are easily absorbed into the skin without leaving a residue. 

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Be sure to choose one that is paraben, sulfate, and silicone-free. The best face gels also fight hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and damage caused by free radicals. Hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, glycerin, flower extracts, watermelon, kale or watercress extracts, and vitamins C, E, and B3 are key ingredients to look out for.

Face Serum: The best face serums deliver a highly concentrated dose of active ingredients to the skin and target various skin concerns. They moisturize and nourish the skin from within, bringing out a natural glow. The lightweight formulations make them easy to layer. There are multiple serums to choose from for different results. 

Those compatible with all skin types contain jojoba, rosehip, germanium, raspberry, vitamins C, B5, and E, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. Serums without mineral oil, parabens, sulfates, and silicone are the ones to look out for. 


It is worth recommending that you should cleanse your face of deeply hidden impurities with a face scrub. This process is called exfoliation and it helps cleanse the skin cells. Be sure to apply a face cream afterward.

Face Mask: Want some TLC for your skin? Use a face mask. They are an excellent way to pamper the skin, giving it a chance to relax while restoring the skin barrier and healing damage caused by external factors. It could be difficult to find the one that suits all skin types, but you may play safe with clay masks. Make sure that it is non-comedogenic and does not contain any harmful chemicals.

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They would help remove dirt and excess oil without drying out the skin. The ingredients to look out for include AHAs, walnut, red algae, charcoal, lactic acid, vitamins A and C, rice enzymes, and green tea.

Sunscreen: The best sunscreen for all skin types is lightweight, easily absorbed into the skin, and formulated without parabens, sulfates, and silicone. It should also have a matte finish and an SPF value of 30 or above. 

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It should contain ingredients like sandalwood, honey, vitamins A, B, E, and F, aloe vera, argan oil, green tea, cucumber, jojoba oil, carrots, and lemongrass. They would help protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays and hydrate and nourish it. Water-based formulations are the ideal route to opt for.

Foundation: A foundation does just that- it helps create a base for makeup. It is available as a cream, liquid, powder, or cream that can be directly applied to the facial skin. It provides an even and uniform color tone that matches the complexion and helps conceal minor skin blemishes. 


Now that you have identified your skin type, it is time to choose a specific skincare routine for your AM and PM needs to tackle any underlying skin issues or concerns that you may have. 


  1. What is my skin type?

    Understanding your skin type is vital for working out the proper skincare routine. You can try the bare skin method or the blotting sheet method. Depending on the result, you could have dry, oily, normal, or combination skin. In addition, you should also check for skin sensitivity. 

  2. Which skin type has pimples?

    Each different skin type has its characteristics. For example, oily skin is most vulnerable to acne. People with combination skin also have to deal with pimples, especially in the areas of the face that are oily. 

  3. How do I know if my skin is oily or dry?

    Consulting a dermatologist to understand your skin type is one way to go about it. You can try other methods at home, like the bare skin test and the blotting paper test. The resulting shininess and oil absorption or lack thereof will help you identify your skin type. 

  4. Which skin type is best?

    All skin types are natural and a product of genetics. Normal skin is often regarded as the healthiest one as it has the right balance of oil, keeping the skin hydrated and reducing the chances of skin problems. It is vulnerable to environmental changes and poor-quality skincare products.

  5. How do you know different skin types?

    Examining the oil or sebum produced by the skin is the easiest way to differentiate between skin types. The presence of oil or lack thereof will tell you if you have dry, oily, normal, or combination skin. The bare skin method or blotting sheet method are some tests you can try. 

  6. What is a combination skin type?

    Combination skin type is defined by oily skin in some areas like the forehead, nose, and chin and dry in others like the cheeks and jawline. The rest of the facial skin is drier and does not have excess oil. It might even be completely dry in these parts.

  7. What is a normal skin type?

    Normal skin walks the line between oily and dry skin. Oil production is balanced, so it is usually less vulnerable to breakouts or other skin problems. 

  8. What is an oily skin type?

    Skin with overactive sebaceous glands is classified as an oily skin type. It leaves a shiny appearance and a greasy feel all over the face. It is vulnerable to enlarged pores, acne, blemishes, and other skin issues. 

  9. What is dry skin type?

    The primary cause of dry skin type is because your skin is not hydrated enough. Dry skin produces insufficient natural oils, leaving it dull, flaky, and itchy. You will need products high on hydration, like facial oils and creamy face washes.

  10. What ingredients should I look for in an all-skin type face wash?

    In a facewash compatible with all skin types, ingredients to look out for include hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamins C and E, and retinol. 

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