Age-Old Question: What Is Your Skin Type?

Age-Old Question: What Is Your Skin Type?

This question can sometimes sound intimidating, especially for novices in the skincare industry. And hundreds of products on the shelves, tips from the magazines, and DIY solutions are not doing you any favours.
But, why is it so important to understand your skin type? Because, when we know our skin type, we can correctly choose products that can do wonders on our skin.

Differences In The Skin Types

Even though there are variations to every skin type, we can differentiate four basic types:

  • Normal skin
  • Oily skin
  • Dry skin
  • Combination skin

Normal skin is, well, normal – balanced, not prone to breakouts, feeling slick or tight. Forehead, chin, and nose (or shorten T-zone) can sometimes be a bit oily.
However, sebum, in general, is balanced, which leads to skin that is neither too oily nor too dry.

Oily skin is easily detected, because of the overproduction of sebum, it appears shiny and feels greasy. There are a number of reasons why your skin does it, such as genetics, hormonal changes, imbalances, medications, and stress.

On the other hand, when we say dry skin, we mean a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. That skin as a result lacks lipids, which are important in order to retain moisture, as well as building a shield against influences from the outside world.
Because of all that, we get dull, itchy skin that feels tight or not elastic enough.

And as the name says itself, combination skin includes areas that are both dry and oily – T-zone usually being the oily part of the face, while cheeks are the one being dry or normal.
Just like with oily skin, there’s overproduction of sebum at some parts, while the drier parts are caused by sebum deficiency.

How Can You Identify The Type?

Now that we have established the skin types, there is another question that needs to be answered – how can you know what is your type?

We prepared some tips and tricks for you below:
Tap your face with a tissue – An hour after washing your face use a tissue to dab the T-zone. Take a look at the tissue – if there is oil on it, you either have combination or oily skin.
Notice the feeling on your skin – with dry skin you get the feeling of tightness after cleansing your skin, however, oily skin gives the impression of cleaner skin after washing it. On the other hand, sensitive skin will react to certain products, while combination skin will feel clean only on T zone, and the rest will feel tight. If you are lucky enough to not have any of the mentioned conditions, then your skin is normal.
Take a look in the mirror – dry or sensitive skin will usually have red patches, but oily skin will make your face shiny
Your pores also tell a story – If you have normal skin, your pores will be visible but not large.
But, step away from the mirror – if the pores are still visible, your skin is oily. On the other hand, if they are not at all visible, you have dry skin.
Squeeze your skin – oily feels smooth when you do that, but dry or combination skin easily wrinkles
Check with your dermatologist – if you are still unsure or you have some skin conditions you would like to resolve, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor.

Treat Your Skin Right

As we have already learned so far, every skin type should have its own skincare.

We are sharing some basic tips everyone should know:

  • Moisturize your dry skin with fragrance-free creams to dry the areas
  • It is good to cleanse oily skin twice a day, both in the morning and the evening. Also, moisturizer is a good idea, but in this case, it should be oil-free. Blotting paper is also a good idea to remove oil from your face. It takes only 15 seconds to do that – just press it against the oily area. The result is a less shiny face because the paper absorbed the oil. Combination skin seeks balanced treatment – use a fragrance-free gentle cleanser to wash your face and avoid soaps with harsh chemicals.
  • For sensitive skin, the best solution is a soap-free facial cleanser. Choose a light cleanser that has no fragrance or chemicals, because you want to avoid any skin irritation. Also, use a moisturizer to prevent the potential breaking of dry spots.

Autumn Impact On Your Skin

Your skin likes consistency, but when the weather changes, the skin does the same.
As the season changes from summer to autumn, temperature along with the humidity, drops. That can take a toll on your skin, as it will be adjusting to the new environment. The skin has to work harder to maintain the same level of hydration as cold weather and wind start to kick in.

However, it is not just the weather itself that causes the difficulties for our skin, but our behavior during this time.
This time of the year is a synonym for hot showers and central heat, which can lead to dryness of the skin, as well as inflammation.

How can you take care of your skin during this time, no matter the type you have?
Avoid taking long, hot showers and consider a moisturizer to be your new best friend during this time.
And, of course, pay attention to the changes in your skin and consult your dermatologist, if needed.


Choosing the right skincare in this day and age can be quite challenging and overwhelming. Even though the information is everywhere, it can lead to confusion and the question appears – where to start? The first step is to establish and know what your skin type is.

That is where we step in! Here at the Ottawa Vein and Cosmetic Medical Clinic, our team of professionals will help you with every step of the way, from finding out your skin type to choosing the proper care for it. Contact us now and give your skin the treatment it deserves!

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