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Find Your Skin Type in 3 Easy Steps

IN THIS ARTICLE:

There are five main skin types: combination, dry, oily, sensitive and balanced (AKA: normal). Your skin type depends on how much water is in your skin (this affects your skin's comfort and elasticity), how oily it is (this affects your skin's softness) and how sensitive it is (this affects how it reacts to stressors).

How to determine your skin type

You can determine your skin type in three steps:

1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
2. After washing, wait an hour without applying anything to your face.
3. After an hour, observe how your skin looks and feels.

Your skin type isn’t set in stone. Weather, hormones, diet and stress can all impact your skin.

    • Combination skin will be oily in the T-zone, but dry around the cheeks and jawline.
    • Dry skin will feel itchy and tight with noticeable flaking. 
    • Oily skin will be shiny with a greasy feel to it, especially in the T-zone.
    • Sensitive skin will feel itchy and may be inflamed.
    • Balanced skin will look and feel even and smooth.

How to care for your skin type

Now that you’ve determined your skin type, it’s time to get a better understanding of what that means for your skincare routine.

A simple routine for combination skin

This is the most common skin type out there. It can be difficult to care for because one product may not work for your entire face. People with combination skin often benefit from using one moisturizer on their T-zone and a different moisturizer on their cheeks and jawline.

For combination skin, start by cleansing with Face Foam and our Bamboo Charcoal SpongeFace Foam is formulated with azelaic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to control sebum production. Our Bamboo Charcoal Sponge provides gentle physical exfoliation that helps to clear clogged pores and remove dry skin flakes.

Hands over sink applying Face Foam to Bamboo Charcoal Sponge

After cleansing, hydrate the skin with a spritz or two of our Face Food Mineral Mist. Then follow up with Fullmoon Serum. This water-based serum is formulated with moth bean extract, a natural retinol alternative that helps to speed cell renewal. It also contains blue tansy, which is rich in chamazulene and helps to control excess sebum.

Next, apply Phyto ClearThis lightweight gel-like moisturizer is infused with two plant-based retinol alternatives, bakuchiol and moth bean extract. These ingredients offer similar anti-acne benefits as conventional retinol, without the side effects. It also contains squalane oil, which is non-comedogenic and absorbs quickly into the skin. That means it won’t clog your pores or leave a greasy feeling on your face after applying. The ingredients in Phyto Clear work together to clear congestion and reveal smoother looking skin! 

If your cheeks and jawline are significantly drier than your nose and forehead, try applying Phyto Clear on the oily areas and Skin Stuff Face + Eye Cream on the drier areas. By using two different moisturizers, you can help to give the different areas of your face exactly what they need.

A nourishing routine for dry skin

This skin type can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Signs of dry skin include: 

  • tiny pores
  • dull complexion
  • red patches
  • less skin elasticity
  • increased signs of aging

People with dry skin often experience cracking, peeling, itchiness and inflammation. If you have dry skin, try dropping the temperature and length of your showers. It’s also important to use gentle cleansers that don’t strip your skin of the little moisturizer it has.

To care for dry skin, start with a creamy cleanser like our Aloe Milk Cleanser. Formulated with apricot kernel oil and aloe vera, this non-foaming cleanser helps to nourish, calm and soothe dry skin.

After cleansing, add a boost of hydration with Face Food Mineral Mist. Next, apply Moon Boost Serum. Our luxurious oil serum is formulated with a blend of superfood oils including safflower oil and raspberry seed oil. These ingredients help to slow transepidermal water loss so your skin stays hydrated for longer. They’re also loaded with skin nourishing vitamins and essential fatty acids.

Moon Boost Serum spilled on white background

Top it off with Berry Rich Face + Eye Cream. This velvety-rich moisturizer is formulated with vegan probiotics to reinforce the skin barrier, and mineral-rich blue-green alga to hydrate the skin.

For extremely dry skin, try a Putty face mask in the evening. After cleansing, apply a thick layer of our Putty moisturizer and leave on for 10 to 20 minutes before gently wiping away any excess and continuing with your skincare routine. Putty is a super soothing moisturizer formulated with colloidal oatmeal and cocoa butter.

A mattifying routine for oily skin

This is another skin type that can be difficult to care for as enlarged pores do not make it easy to keep blemishes at bay. Other than enlarged pores, this skin type is associated with a shiny skin (giving off a thick complexion), blackheads, pimples and other blemishes. Oiliness can be caused by weather, hormonal imbalances and stress.

For oily skin, cleansing is essential and non-comedogenic moisturizers are a must. I recommend cleansing with our Face Foam. This gentle cleanser is formulated with white willow bark to help unclog pores and regulate sebum production.

Next, give your face a spritz with Face Food Mineral Mist to help hydrate the skin. Face Food also contains a blend of minerals that help to mattify the complexion.  Follow Face Food with Fullmoon Serum. This water-based serum is formulated with mahogany bark extract to help diminish the appearance of pores.

Finally, finish off with Phyto Clear. In addition to two plant-based retinol alternatives, Phyto Clear contains non-comedogenic squalane oil, which will help to reduce the look of pores and keep oiliness/blemishes at bay.

Bottle of Phyto Clear surrounded by greenery

A minimalist routine for sensitive skin

This skin type can be challenging because it often reacts to anything and everything. Sensitivity can show up as:

  • redness
  • itchiness
  • dryness
  • a burning sensation

I always recommend patch testing before adding any new products to your skincare routine and patch testing is even more crucial if you have sensitive skin. Products that are dermatologist tested and formulated for sensitive skin can still cause a reaction.

For this skin type, a simple routine with minimal products is best. The more products you introduce, the more likely you are to come across an ingredient that your skin doesn’t like.

Face Foam is a gentle cleanser that is formulated for those with reactive, sensitive skin.

After cleansing, apply Skin Stuff Face + Eye Cream. This ultralight moisturizer was formulated specifically for skin that reacts to just about everything. Skin Stuff is infused with botanical ceramide to help strengthen your skin barrier. This is important because a strong skin barrier helps to protect your skin from irritation.

A basic routine for balanced skin

To be honest, this skin type is quite rare. Balanced skin is not too dry or too oily and is considered the easiest type to care for because it has:

  • few imperfections
  • no severe sensitivity
  • barely any visible pores
  • a radiant complexion

Balanced skin is what you’re trying to achieve with a carefully curated skincare routine.

For this skin type, choose a gentle cleanser that easily breaks down, makeup and impurities. Aloe Milk Cleanser is a great choice. After cleansing, give your face a spritz with Face Food Mineral Mist. This hydrating mist is formulated with a complex of minerals that help protect your skin from environmental stressors to keep your complexion radiant. 

Follow up with Skin Stuff Face + Eye Cream to maintain a healthy skin barrier because if your skin barrier isn’t healthy, your skin won’t be balanced.

Final words

Your skin type isn’t set in stone. Weather, hormones, diet and stress can all impact your skin. Pay close attention to how your skin looks and feels. If you think your products are no longer working the way they used to, perform the skin type test again.

The routines for each skin type outlined above are just starting points. Even though there are five skin types, everyone’s skin is different. What works for one person with sensitive skin may not work for another.

Our Deluxe Sample Set includes 13 sample sachets so you can try products before committing to the full size. You can also take our Skin Quiz to get a routine that matches your skin type and skincare goals, or email our product experts at hello@graydonskincare.com!

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On the surface, there are five different skin types. But not so deep down our skin is all the same. Keep reading to learn about the three skin layers and how they function.

Image Credits

Main image by: Artem Varnitsin

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