Discover Your Skin Type With This Simple Test
If you are uncertain which skin type you have (and no, we're not talking about race or color), try this simple "tissue test" and find out.
The Tissue Test
- Begin by cleansing your face. This will remove any cosmetics, oil, or dirt on your face.
- Then, wait an hour while your skin returns to its normal condition. Be sure not to touch your face while waiting.
- When the hour is up, dab a tissue on your forehead and other parts of your face, and examine the results.
If there is neither oil nor flakes of skin on the tissue, you have normal skin. If there is oil, but no flakes, you have oily skin. If there are flakes, but no oil, you have dry skin, and if there is oil on the forehead but all other points are normal or dry, you have combination skin.
Normal skin looks very supple, elastic, and vital. It is the least problematic skin type, and should continue to look good well into advanced age. To maintain normal skin, wash your face twice per day with a mild soap, and be sure to use sunscreen when outdoors.
Oily/Problem skin tends to look greasy and thick, and may have visible pores. Oily skin may become dehydrated at times because, though it retains oil, it can still lose moisture. So, a water-based moisturizer is probably best. Oily skin should be treated with warm water and soap to prevent pores from becoming clogged, but don’t wash your face more than two or three times per day, as this will just stimulate the production of more oil. The good news is, oily skin tends to be naturally resistant to wrinkles and signs of aging.
Dry/Dehydrated skin tends to feel flaky, dry, and tight. This can either be the result of dehydrated skin, which lacks the ability to retain moisture, or dry skin, which lacks the ability to retain oil. It is much more prone to wrinkles and other signs of aging than the other four skin types. To care for dry/dehydrated skin, wash your face twice per day with a mild, anti-dehydrating cleanser. Dry your skin by dabbing it gently, and be sure to moisturize regularly.
Normal-Combination skin tends to feel normal or dry in places such as the cheeks, and oily in the “T zone,” which refers to the forehead, nose, and chin. This can be the toughest skin type to care for because you have to deal with both ends of the spectrum. To care for combination skin, use a mild cleanser on your face twice per day, and look for skin-care products that contain Vitamin A and Alpha Hydroxy Acids.
Sensitive skin is thin, has a pink or reddish color, and may have a parchment look or feel, but is otherwise clear, smooth, and beautiful. It can easily become flushed and may experience pain or discomfort when touched. You must be very careful when selecting skin care products if you have sensitive skin, as many products may irritate your skin. Environmental conditions may also aggravate your skin’s already sensitive nature, potentially causing breakouts or other skin conditions. However, this is not to be confused with allergic reactions, which can occur in any skin type. To care for sensitive skin, look for skin care products specifically designed for sensitive skin. Check their ingredients against products to which you know you react badly. Use soft, gentle wash cloths and very mild soap when washing, and always wear sunscreen when outdoors.