We must learn what our skin needs, what it likes and what it responds to. We forget to listen to our skin, just as we listen to our bodies. Our skin is a very important part of us and in order to take care of it, we need to understand it first. This means learning how to know your skin type. It is also important to note that our skin type can change over time or after a change in hormones, a pregnancy, medications, any medical problems or just age.

Let's begin by explaining the 2 different methods that can help you know your skin type:

The bare-faced method

You start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser. It should get your skin clean, but without aggravating it or stripping it too much. After around 40 minutes, you check to see any signs of your skin type. Then you wait another 40 minutes and check again afterwards. 

Oil blotting sheet method 

Buy some oil blotting sheets and after washing your face and waiting for around an hour, you place them on different parts of the face. These sheets absorb the oil on the surface of the skin, so they're a good indicator of the amount of oil production and where it happens. undefined

NYX Blotting Paper

Now you can begin to identify your skin type: 

Oily Skin

1. The Bare-faced method

If you find your cheeks, nose, forehead and chin to be shiny or greasy, you have oily skin. 

2. Oil blotting sheet method 

If the blotting paper is greasy and soaked with oil from all the areas you placed it on, including the cheeks, you have oily skin. 

You will also notice that your pores are very visible and large. People with oily skin sometimes have really visible pores that are clogged and enlarged with excess oils. You are also likely to have blackheads, whiteheads, acne and pimples. Oily skin is actually considered healthy if you take care of it, because the natural oils in the skin hydrate it and keep the skin young and glowy. 

Dry Skin

1. The Bare-faced method

Try smiling, if your skin feels really tight, dry and flaky to touch, you have dry skin. 

2. Oil blotting sheet method

Almost no oil comes on the sheet or very little. 

Your skin probably feels tight all day, dry and can even end up flaking. When you touch it doesn't feel bouncy or elastic, almost like it needs moisture. Your skin probably swallows and soaks up any cream or skincare you apply to it really quickly.  You should drink a lot of water. You should also exfoliate to remove the outer layer of flaky, dry dead skin, but use a really really gentle exfoliant. With exfoliation, the skincare products you apply will absorb better. 

Combination Skin

1. The Bare-faced method

If you can see clearly shine on the T-zone; the nose, forehead and chin but your cheeks feel normal or a little dry, you could have combination skin. 

2. Oil blotting sheet method

The sheet used on your cheeks had very little or no oil come off. The one used on your forehead, nose and chin soaked up some noticeable oil. 

You skin is divided, which can be confusing when it comes to skincare and treatments, because you don't know which to target. The goal is trying to balance them out and bring them closer to each other in the ideal middle zone. Don't use products that will overly produce oil or overly dry your skin.

Sensitive Skin

For sensitive skin, the symptoms and signs can't really be identified by the methods above, however, they are also clear and you can point them out. 

If you get red sometimes, get sunburnt easily, breakout from heavy products, or your skin can feel inflamed or itchy, you could have sensitive skin.

The symptoms are different depending on each person, but another common one is that when you apply warmth or move your skin, it gets really red easily. 

You should always do a 24hr patch test on your arm before applying any product on your face. The  esteemed skincare brand Tatcha recommends that people with sensitive skin should always test the product by applying it behind the ears first, before the face. You should also look for products catered for people with sensitive skin. Stay away from products with fragrance, Parabens, harsh chemicals and avoid alcohol.

Normal Skin 

1. The Bare-faced method  

If you see a small bit of shine on the T-zone, but one that looks more like radiance and less like grease, you probably have normal skin. You should also not feel any dryness and the skin should feel nice and velvety.  

2. Oil blotting sheet method

The blotting sheet has a small amount of oil, but not excessive at all.

You're lucky, you have very nice skin. It feels good and balanced, not too oily or too dry. The skin usually has a nice healthy glow to it and feels soft and smooth. You still want to take care not to use anything too intense on your skin that can change that nice balance. You also want to still take care of signs of aging. So, make sure your skin is hydrated and moisturized and if you're in your mid 20s or above, you can start to include gentle anti-aging products.  

Note:  There is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin means you need to drink a lot of water and it is affected by things like the weather, environment  or if your body's dehydrated. It's mostly temporary.

Main Image Credits: Instagram @jullsjuly