Identifying Skin Types

Genetics play a major role in our skin type and can change throughout our life. Our skin care will always work best when it is matched with our skin type and you can absolutely determine your skin type at home.

How To Determine Your Skin Type

One easy way to test your skin type is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and wait 15 to 30 minutes to see how your skin feels.

If your face feels very tight and dry right away, it’s important to check to make sure your cleanser isn’t too harsh and stripping and doesn’t contain alcohol.

Dry Skin

If your cleanser is gentle and it feels tight right away your skin is dry. If it felt okay right away but over the course of the 30 minutes it feels uncomfortable, tight, stingy, you can see more lines appear, or it looks very dull and feels rough, your skin is probably dry.

Characteristics of Dry Skin
Dry skin produces less oil. As our skin matures, and especially after menopause, it can become even drier or your skin type can change to dry. Dry skin can be prone to becoming dehydrated, leading to a more prominent appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and poor elasticity. Dry skin can feel uneven, patchy, tight, and itchy. It will look dull and can be red and blotchy. Dry skin can be sensitive as well.

Need more info on creating a hydrating routine? Check out this blog!

Oily Skin

If your skin is comfortable after cleansing or you feel the cleanser didn’t clean your skin completely, and after the 30 minutes your skin gets shiny, you can see large pores, and your skin appears to produce oil over this time, your skin is probably oily.

Characteristics of Oily Skin
Oily skin is thicker and has larger, more visible pores. Oily skin produces more oil and will be shiny, especially through the center of the face (forehead, nose, and chin), known as the T-Zone. Higher levels of the hormone, androgen, trigger the skin to produce more oil, which in turn, can lead to breakouts and acne. 

Sensitive Skin

If your skin is reactive to the cleanser and gets red to the touch or from the product, you feel some discomfort (like stinging) and your skin gets blotchy (or any combination of this), you may have sensitive skin. Remember you can have sensitive skin and another skin type.

Characteristics of Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is very reactive to touch and ingredients. It gets red and stays red and is easily irritated. Sensitive skin is generally vulnerable to internal and external factors and it can be very important to identify your specific triggers. If you are using harsh skincare or products that are stripping your skin barrier, like over-exfoliating, it can be easy to misidentify sensitive skin. Skin that is damaged solely due to external factors is sensitized, which is a skin condition, not a skin type.

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Combination Skin

If your skin has characteristics of 2 or more of these skin types, you are probably combination.

Characteristics of Combination Skin
Combination skin has the characteristics of oily skin, but mainly in the T-Zone. Combination skin can have the characteristics of normal to dry skin on the rest of the face. If the skin’s barrier is compromised and is losing its Natural Moisture Factor as a result, it can appear to be combination and so it is easily misidentified.

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If you have oily, sensitive, or combination skin, Niacinamide is a must-have ingredient in your beauty arsenal! Find out more here

Normal Skin

If your skin feels comfortable after cleansing and you don’t feel the need to apply moisturizer over this time, especially in the first 15 minutes, and your skin appears soft, and doesn’t produce shine over the 30 minutes, you don’t seem to have visible pores and you skin tone appears balanced, your skin is probably normal.

Characteristics of Normal Skin
Normal skin generally has minimally visible pores when well cared for. It feels comfortable and doesn’t get shiny. Normal skin is less prone to breakouts and issues of sensitivity.

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It’s possible to have the appearance of a skin type if your skin care routine hasn’t been consistent, you are under- or over-exfolaited, have a compromised skin barrier, or have a specific skin condition that is causing specific issues.

It’s so important to pay attention to our skin, how it looks and feels, and having a consistent skin care routine, to make an appropriate assessment, and then continually reassess over time.
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1 comment

I’m currently using the three piece set of Brighten Dramatically Firm & Lift Serum but in need of a cleaner and moisturizer for my combination skin what would you suggest I use I also trouble with – pigmentation along my jawline.
goPure Beauty replied:
Hello Hillary,

We recommend getting our Brilliant barrier water cream. It is a light moisturizer that is great for combination skin types. It also has Niacinamide to help reduce the look of hyperpigmentation. Here’s the link to it:

Hillary Harvey

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