Know yourself: What’s your skin type?

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Know your skin typeIf you’re confused as to what your skin type is, we’ve got an easy fix. Simply take a quick test by washing your face and patting it dry. In an hour, cut a piece of rice paper to create five small postage stamp size squares. Press one onto your forehead, each cheek, nose and chin. If the paper bits stick anywhere, this is where your skin is oily. In fact, some people have such an oily skin type that they’ll be able to see the oil shining on the surface of their skin without having to mess about with paper.

If you’re shiny all over, you’ve got an oily skin type. Those who are only oily in their T-section (forehead, nose and chin) have combination skin. If you can’t get any paper to stick at all, you’ve got a dry skin type. Many people with this skin type also have sensitive skin and need to be careful about using products with irritating ingredients.

Got oily or acne-prone skin?

Your main issues are going to be stopping pimples in their tracks, minimising the marks they leave when they’re gone and keeping your skin hydrated but free of oil.

Your beauty booty

Look out for an oil-free face wash, scrub, toner and moisturiser that contains pore-clearing ingredients like salicylic acid (also referred to as BHA). Just make sure your moisturiser promises to help mattify skin. When it comes to treating the marks certain big blemishes leave behind, try treating them them with glycolic acid (AHA). This mild exfoliating acid will help increase cellular turnover and speed up your skin’s healing process.

Combination/normal skin?

If you aim to control the oil in your T-panel while keeping your cheeks hydrated you’ll be glad to know many beauty brands offer ‘balancing’ facial care products to help you do just that.

Your beauty booty

You can use the same face washes, scrubs and toners as those with oily skin, but to keep your drier areas in good shape opt for a moisturiser specially formulated for combination skin.

Dry or sensitive skin?

If you’ve got a drier skin type you’ll have a tendency towards fine lines, flaking and the odd red or sensitive patch.

Your beauty booty

You’ll need a gentle face wash that won’t dry out your skin further so opt for rich, creamy formulas. When you exfoliate it’s important that you do it gently, so look for mild non-abrasive options or try a very mild chemical exfoliator that won’t pull or tug at your skin. When it comes to moisturising, pick formulas specially developed for those with drier skin types; they’ll usually be creams as opposed to lotions or gels.

Written by

Leigh van den Berg is a freelance beauty writer and avid blogger ( She's addicted to all things glossy and glam and currently has eight MAC lipglosses rolling around in her handbag.

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  1. CherylGD

    Very interesting article, thanks.

    5 years ago •

  1. Hess

    So good to know, skin is dry from this winter!

    5 years ago •

  1. tumin

    I thought my skin is combination but appears to be oily according to your test… that’s why I couldn’t find a good product, thanks for the tip.

    6 years ago •

  1. Arthz

    Dry skin has always been such a problem for me. Nivea seems to work best for me to combat this. The Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser also does miracles for me.

    6 years ago •

  1. Sammy

    I have a combination and struggle with my T-zone..very frustrating

    6 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    good to know but ladies should also remember that as seasons change so does our skin. i have combination skin but in winter my skin tends to me drier so i need a more intense moisturiser during winter

    6 years ago •

  1. jackys

    I need to get something for my bad skin. This was so informative.

    6 years ago •

  1. Adele

    Very informative information, thanks

    6 years ago •

  1. SpiceY

    Very smart way to determine skin types….

    6 years ago •

  1. Simone

    Finally I know how to tell what skin type I am…thank you!

    6 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    I am definately combination but do have sensitive skin

    6 years ago •

  1. may-may 22

    i kept wondering how to tell which skin type i have… now i know thanks… going to print this for future ref… awesome

    6 years ago •

  1. Nuuh

    Thank you very much for the tips I have oily skin this is really going to help

    6 years ago •

  1. Blackcherry

    thanks. i now know i suffer from combination skin.

    6 years ago •

  1. Swiegers

    I’m a oily skin.
    And cannot afford products that are TOO expensive.

    6 years ago •

  1. Riekie

    I check my skin type regularly, it tends to go through stages every 5 years..thanks for the tips

    6 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    Oh, I must be the only one with combination and plus sensitive skin. Always a mission to find something suitable.

    6 years ago •

  1. Katherine Webb

    Most people have combination skin and are not sure how to treat it. Cleansing and moisturising are of vital importance, especially in our harsh South African climate. OFRA Cosmetics skin care range is designed specifically for our climate.

    6 years ago •

  1. Maria Meyer

    Very informative, Always struggled to figure out exactly where my problems lie

    6 years ago •

  1. Zu

    Okay, so i am combination/ normal skin indeed. Thanks for the helpful tips

    7 years ago •

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