How to determine your skin type

Spoiler: There’s no right answer.

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Curology Team
Mar 30, 2018 · 2 min read

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We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.
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Ever notice how hard it is to tell what type of skin you have?

That’s because it changes on you! From one week to the next, you may have dry, oily, normal, or combination skin. Your skin type can even vary depending on the location on your face. For example, you might have an oily T-zone, but dry skin on your cheeks or forehead. Ff this sounds confusing, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean your skincare routine has to be more complicated. Skin type may be a fluid situation, but that’s just all the more reason to keep your skincare products and routine simple.

How to determine your skin type today

STEP 1

Wash your face gently, wait an hour, then check out your skin in the mirror.

  • Normal: Smooth, no signs of dry patches or shiny oil

  • Oily: Slick and shiny, larger pores

  • Dry: Dry patches, tight feeling

  • Combination: Oily T-zone, with normal-to-dry skin everywhere else

STEP 2

Pat a blotting paper (gently) on each area of your face: T-zone, forehead, chin, and cheeks. It can be hard to tell whether what you’re seeing on your skin is oil, shine, or just glowiness, so check the sheet each time you blot to see which part of your face was oilier.

So you know your skin type (or types) — now what?

When it comes to tailoring your skincare routine to your skin type, misleading product labels can make things tricky. For example, a product label might say it’s “for dry skin” or “for oily skin,” but those claims might be inconsistent with their ingredients. So, the effects of a product aren’t always predictable. It may take some trial-and-error to figure out the products and routine that work best for you.

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Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
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