Guide : Know Your Skin Type


It is crucial to understand your skin type – just like how important it is to understand your partner’s personality – you really don’t want to mess with your skin, that is neither going to make you feel good nor look good.


Please bear in mind that your skin consists of a combination of elements which varies upon many factors: you will never have only a particular skin type in you entire life, therefore it definitely worths some effort to observe your skin from time to time and treat it in the most appropriate way.

1. What is 'Skin Type'

The major categories are dry, oily, normal and sensitive but usually we have more than one skin type at a time. For example, sensitive and dry, oily and blemish-prone, sun damaged with acne etc.

The compositions of these factors determine our skin type (skin condition):

  • Water content: Affects comfort and elasticity;
  • Oil content: Affects softness and nutrition;
  • Sensitivity level: Indicates tolerance to certain substances.

They vary easily with almost internal to external from time to time, such as:


  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Medications
  • Skin disorders
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Smoking and secondhand smoke


  • Your skincare routine
  • Climate
  • Pollution
  • Unprotected/prolonged sun exposure

2. Reasons you have to know your skin type

There are far more than 4 categories of skincare products with different textures/ingredients etc. available in the market (and it is still increasing). Most of us would agree that the vast array of options does nothing but causes confusion, choosing the right products has become harder and harder these days. Therefore, it is crucial to know our combination of skin type in order to choose the most suitable combination of products that is going to give us the optimum result.

Due to our always-changing skin condition, it seems like we  have to have all types of products available in the market. However, by truly understanding your skin, it is possible to restrict the range of products you need and as your skin getting closer to normal skin, what you need to do is just to maintain it. 

3. Ingredients that could possibly worsen your skin condition

This piece of information is non-trivial when we try to determine our skin type. By using the wrong product could give you wrong information about our skin type. For example:

  • Irritants: Create dry skin and worsen oily skin i.e. dry skin on top, oily underneath;
  • Overly-emollient/thick-textured: Clog pores Prevent skin cells from exfoliating Dull-looking skin;
  • Overly scrub your skin: Damage the barrier of skin, which causes more wrinkles and dry skin.

For more information, please have a read at this  article by Refinery29.

Below is a list of ingredients that you should be aware of:

  • Alcohol
  • Menthol
  • Thick emollients
  • Pore-clogging waxes
  • Fragrance (even those derived from essential oils)
  • Abrasive Scrubbing Agents
  • Harsh/drying cleansing agents
  • Irritants (organic & synthetic)

4. How to identify your true skin type(s)

So, after you get rid of all the possible variables that might give you the wrong information of your skin, this is how you are going to determine your skin type:

1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser.

2. Apply toner.

3. Chill and wait for 2 hours without applying additional products or makeup.

The chart below is a general guide to how skin behaves for that skin type – you may see any combination of the descriptions below happening on your face. It bears repeating that anyone’s skin can have multiple ‘types’, and that these types can change due to hormonal cycle, season, stress levels, etc.


Suppose now you have a brief idea on your skin type, then you should consider which type of skin care products suit you best or which you should definitely avoid. For example, oily skin should avoid lotion and cream, combination skin should avoid cream and powder etc. Details will be followed up in the next post.

Happy exploring! 🙂