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Unsolicited advice about your skin type is still the best.

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Determine your skin type before creating your skincare routine

Nobody likes unsolicited advice and half-ass advice. That 'ish is annoying! Am I right? Since last year, we have preached that skinimalism is the waviest beauty trend. Yet, you may need more information. Sure, you may be on board to scale back your skincare routine, but what happens if you don’t know your skin type?

For starters, you end up choosing the wrong active ingredients to use. In certain instances, misusing an active ingredient can cause severe damage. Since wasting your money and time on incorrect skincare products go against everything that skinimalism stands for, let's figure out your skin type first.

What is a skin type?

As a basis, genetics determine your skin type. Almirall cites three other factors that determine skin type, and they are “sebaceous secretion, hydration, and sensitivity level.” With those four factors combined, scientists came up with five main skin types we discussed in a previous article. They include normal skin, combination skin, dry skin, oily skin, and sensitive skin.

Normal skin is smooth in texture, even in tone, and mostly free of imperfections. Combination skin is the most common skin type. This skin type is both dry and oily. The t-zone is where you will see excessive oiliness and acne breakouts most. This area includes your forehead, nose, and chin. Dry skin is, well, dry. People with dry skin have the tiniest pores, and their oil glands do not secrete enough oil to keep their skin lubricated. Opposite to dry skin, oily skin is a constant overproduction of oil glands. People with oily skin may struggle with acne and other skin issues if they do not follow a strict skincare routine. Finally, sensitive skin is most prone to skin irritation from external factors, including environment, active ingredients, diet, etc.

How to tell what your skin type is


There are two popular methods of determining your skin type. The first is the bare-faced method. By the way, the type of bare face that we refer to in this method is not the same type of #bareface that your favorite influencer refers to when sharing their filtered au naturale selfie. We mean a face cleansed with a mild cleanser, such as our On the Front Lines Anti-Aging Cleanser. If you are as serious about your skincare as Lori Harvey says she is, this method may go against everything you believe! Why? It requires you to leave your skin product-free for at least 30 minutes after cleansing it.

After 30 minutes, note how your skin looks and what it feels like. If it is tight, itchy, and patchy, then it is most likely that you have dry skin. Whereas if you barely made it to the 15-minute mark before your skin started to become excessively greasy, you likely have oily skin. Combination skin will be dry in some areas and oily in the next at the 30-minute mark. Normal and sensitive skin will appear normal. Unless you wash your face with scalding hot water, then your sensitive skin may be pink/red and enflamed.


This one is for the ladies and gents who swear by a good blotting sheet. In this method, you apply a clean blotting sheet to your face to examine how much oil it recovers. If the blotting sheet is soiled, then you likely have oily skin. Similarly, if you blotted and saw very little to no oil at all, then you have dry skin. Someone with combination skin will see the most oil from their t-zone. Those with normal and sensitive skin will see enough oil to prove that they are indeed, still human. Kidding.

When you try this method, make sure that you are not hot or sweaty. You want accurate results, and a hot, sweaty body will not help with that. Whichever method you choose, remember that your skin type evolves naturally and with your skincare routine. So if you are unhappy with your current skin type, let this encourage you!

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