Posted on April 29 2022
The common mind-set everyone has when it comes to skincare is to always find the best product. But the truth is, there are many great products out there. So how do you decide on the best one?
Well, generally we lean into a product when we come across good reviews about them. When you hear that a particular product has worked for someone, you tend to think that the product might work for you as well. But after purchasing and using the product for some time, you realise that it did nothing to your skin. What went wrong?
It is important to understand that the very first step to a beautiful skincare journey is not choosing the best cleanser- it is knowing your skin type thoroughly. Everything comes down to your skin type if you want a product to perform amazingly on your face. If you get this wrong, you are likely to see little to no results from the product you choose. Read on to know the different skin types and how to identify which one is yours.
So, What is Your Skin Type?
Combination skin, dry skin, oily skin and normal skin are the usual skin types we know of. However, Dr. Leslie Baumann has interestingly further classified our skin into 16 types. They can be a combination of any of the below:
- Dry (D) / Oily (O)
- Resistant (R) / Sensitive (S)
- Non-Pigmented (N) / Pigmented (P)
- Tight (T) / Wrinkle-Prone (W)
I (Qaph) have completed her survey titled Baumann Skin Types® with 64 items a few years back in her international bestselling book The Skin Type Solutions. My result was that I had ORNT (Oily, Resistant, Non-Pigmented and Tight) skin. Dr Baumann also included specific product recommendations for each skin type but unfortunately, most of these products are not sold in Malaysia. I didn’t manage to get the products she recommended, so I personally am not qualified to comment on the helpfulness of her suggestion. Her theory of the skin types is worth sharing with you though.
But now, I would say my skin type is more to DRNT (Dry, Resistant, Non-Pigmented and Tight). The only difference is that my skin transitioned from oily to normal, and to dry skin. But even though my skin remains non-pigmented and not wrinkle prone, I still apply skin lightening treatments and Retinol products for prevention.
All that being said, it is absolutely true that there is no one time confirmation for your skin type. You need to retest it frequently because it can change from time to time due to various internal and external factors such as hormones, genetic predisposition, stress, medications, temperature, skincare routine and so on.
Over the years, dermatologists and skincare experts have been creating tests and dividing skin into types of 6, 8 and 9. 16 skin types is the highest I have come across. Even so, you should know that the best way to confirm your skin type is to consult a certified dermatologist (not your facial beautician).
I am happy that instead of saying “I don’t know”, most of our friends at Worthee Cosmetics can tell us their skin type (oily, dry, combination and normal). But, when asked how they identified their type, they would say that their beautician told them. I highly doubt if a beautician can tell someone’s skin type accurately within just one to two hours of facial, especially since it can take hours or even days for a certified dermatologist to do the same.
If you do not have access to the mentioned test or do not want to pay for a dermatologist just to identify your skin type, no worries. I have summarized a method for you to identify your skin type below. This method is commonly recommended by skincare experts, so you can definitely try and trust its result. You can then tally if your beautician has guessed your skin type correctly.
How to Identify Your Skin Type
- Wash your face thoroughly at night with a cleanser.
- Apply absolutely nothing on your skin, make sure you are not in an air-conditioned room, and wait for at least two hours for your skin to return to its natural state. (Some experts suggest to go to sleep in this condition too.)
- Once you skin is in its natural state, evaluate your skin in front of a mirror. Try to touch and feel your skin’s texture. If you are living a seasonal country, repeat the test every season. If you’re Malaysian, twice or thrice a year should be all right. Identify which of the below skin type is yours.
- Oily Skin - Forehead, nose, area around the nose, chin (T-zone), and outer portion of your skin (C-zone) feels oily. Pores are obvious, your skin looks shiny and is darker than when you first washed your skin. Oily skin is more prone to breakouts because the rate of skin metabolism in clearing up the pores is slower than the active secretion of the sebum. This results in the accumulation of sebum and dirt, pore-clogging and growth of bacteria, therefore causing breakouts.
- Dry Skin - Skin feels tightly stretched, and may have some flaky areas.
- Sensitive Skin - Skin feels slightly itchy and uncomfortable. Redness is obvious. Extremely dry and sensitive skin happens when you first splash water onto your skin. Your skin feels intense burning sensations and itchiness when you apply your moisturizer.
- Combination Skin - Certain areas feel oily (usually the T-zone because it has more sebum glands) and other areas feel dry or sensitive. Combination skin simply means more than one skin type on a face.
- Normal Skin - None of the above. You have clear and smooth complexion most of the time. Everyone is jealous of your skin!
- Last but not least, never confuse skin type with skin concern. Rosacea, eczema, acne breakouts, and the like are skin concerns but not skin type.
Personally, I would say the combination skin is the most frequent skin type I have heard of and seen. But the thing is, most people with combination skin are confused and unsure of their skin type. This is mostly because unlike the majority of people with dry or oily skin, you cannot actually feel the combination skin type pretty obviously. Nevertheless, with a little bit of time and effort, you can discover your skin type and choose the right products for it <3
Your Sharing: What about you dear readers? What is your skin type? How did you figure out your skin type?