What is Your Skin Type? Do You Actually Know?!

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

I can’t tell you how many times I have had friends, family and clients tell me they don’t know what their skin type is (dry, oily, normal or combination). Or better yet, guess dry.

Knowing your skin type is extremely important when it comes to skin care and makeup application. What kind of skin you have determines how it will be treated.

When you are buying and using products that are not designed for your skin type it could ultimately irritate existing conditions you already have or create new ones. For example, if you have oily skin and are putting oil based heavy moisturizers on, it’s going to cause your skin to produce more oil.

Now let’s get scientific (the nerd in me is coming out). Your skin type is solely based on the balance of water and oil you have in your skin.

Oily Skin- Oily skin is “greasy” feeling to the touch. To put it into simple terms, it produces more oil than it should, has larger, clogged pores and is acne prone.

Dry Skin- Dry skin is simply dehydrated skin. It is flaky, can feel tight and is often red, irritated and itchy.

Combination Skin- Combination skin is often oily in the T-Zone with larger pores while being dry to normal on other parts of the face.

Normal Skin- Normal skin is skin sent from heaven above. No, but literally, normal skin is neither oily nor dry, has little to no imperfections and small pores. Yes, please.

So when you’re selecting skin care, you want to be choosing products that fit your skin type. The goal of using skin care is to cleanse your skin from makeup, oil, dirt, environmental factors and more as well as hydrate and balance it out as much as possible. So, if you have dry skin your goal would be to hydrate it as best as you can.

Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, you should be looking for oil-free products and moisturizers that are not heavy and rich. Instead, you can choose lighter weight moisturizers and even water balms. For a more advanced routine you will get into toners, serums and more. As well as if you have acne prone, oily skin, you will need to treat this with specific cleansers etc.

Dry Skin

For dry skin you’re looking for anything and everything hydrating. A cleanser that is more simple and rich, possibly even a cleansing oil or milk are best for dry skin. Adding vitamin c, beauty oils and serums are extra beneficial. When you have super dry skin, it will soak up anything you put on it.

Normal Skin

When you have normal skin your needs are pretty basic. A simple, gentle cleanser and well rounded, basic moisturizer will completely do the job. I would personally recommend not over-complicating your routine.

Combination Skin

Lastly, with combination skin you’re gonna want to stick to oil-free products like oily skin to treat where your skin produces most of its oil. Hydrating the skin is key for any skin type but for combination skin you can stick to lighter moisturizers or water balms like oily skin as well.

Of course I would always recommend consulting with a dermatologist or esthetician when looking for a skin care routine. These are just some general tips I am giving on what to look for/avoid.

So when it comes to makeup, you’re using the same theory. For example, if you’re using a mattifying foundation and you have dry, flaky skin, the makeup is going to cling to the dry patches and accentuate your dry skin.

Oily Skin

When you have oily skin you want to look for mattifying or smoothing primers, oil-free foundations, satin and matte finish foundations and mattifying or satin setting powders. A mattifying primer, foundation and powder is going to keep your oil at bay from coming through the makeup. When you have oily skin, the oils will come through the makeup making you look shiny and “greasy”. You can also use smoothing primers to help smooth out pores and texture. Large pores and texture often go hand in hand with oily skin. Using satin finish foundations and powders are also great for oily skin because they can also help keep your oil at bay while not looking so cakey/makeup like. Matte foundations can often look not so natural and be drying depending on product you’re using and how you’re applying it. Where as satin has a more natural finish to it.

For oily skin you definitely want to stay away from anything that claims to be “dewy”. Your oily skin will without a doubt come through and even be accentuated.

Dry Skin

For dry skin you want to be looking for moisturizing primers, dewy or natural finish foundations and natural finish setting powders. With dry skin it’s best to use a light hand with powder. Too much powder will accentuate your dry spots. A secret makeup artist trick for dry skin is to mix foundations with moisturizers and beauty oils for extra hydration and a lighter coverage. The result will be extra dewy.

With dry skin you definitely want to stay away from anything that is mattifying because, like I said earlier, mattifying products cling to dry patches and accentuate them.

Normal Skin

For normal skin you can pretty much get away with anything. You can wear all the dewy, hydrating natural and even satin finish foundations you want. You can most certainly wear matte foundations too, but I personally wouldn’t because, like I said earlier, it can look cakey, drying or makeup like. Also, a mattifying primer is not necessary considering normal skin doesn’t overly produce oil.

Combination Skin

Lastly, for combination skin you will want either a mattifying primer or a smoothing primer in the T-Zone, or wherever you get oily/have texture. With combination skin you still can have large, clogged pores and texture on specific parts of your face. For foundation, you can wear matte, satin and normal finishes. You could even try a dewy foundation as long as you still address the areas that get oily with something mattifying. You have more leeway with combination skin compared to oily skin.

Ok, how was that for information overload?! I could ramble on all day long but I’ll cut it off there. If you have any questions always feel free to ask away! I’m eager to help. Also, let me know if anyone would be interested in a post all about my favorite products to treat the skin types listed above. I hope you love all this skincare/makeup knowledge as much as I do. That’s all for now.



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