Georgia Dixon

Beauty & Style

How to figure out your skin type

How to figure out your skin type

You look at your skin every day, you touch your skin every day, and when it comes to skin types, there aren't that many categories. Yet somehow, nailing down that one classification is notoriously problematic.

If, like so many others, you’re always promising yourself you'll take better care of your complexion, knowing your skin type is an important first step. So we turned to one woman who really knows skin: celebrity facial expert Joanna Vargas.

As it turns out, figuring out your skin type is as easy as these three steps.

Step 1

Find a mirror.

Step 2

Examine your pores. "Large pores and the appearance of an orange peel texture indicates oily skin," Vargas says. "No visible pores means dry skin. And larger pores in the T-zone and no visible pores on the cheeks is combination." If none of that sounds like you, and your pores are neither enlarged nor invisible, you probably have that skin type called normal.

To confirm your suspicion, move onto the next test.

Step 3

Pinch yourself. "The second thing you need to do is give your skin a tiny pinch on the cheek.

If it appears plump and smooth, your skin is nice and hydrated." That means you can rule out dry and combination skin. "If it wrinkles easily, it's dehydrated," Vargas says. That means you probably have dry or combination skin.

And there you have it. It's as simple as that. Who knew pores and pinched cheeks were the clues we'd been missing? Here are the basics when it comes to dealing with different skin types.

Oily skin

"This skin type tends to look like an orange peel," Vargas says. "The pores are big and open. They can be seen all over the face, not just on the nose, for example." Since keeping this type of skin clean is key, her best suggestion for oily skin is to exfoliate regularly (two to three times a week) and get regular facials with extractions (monthly, if possible).

Dry skin

While people with dry skin don't have to worry about visible pores, Vargas notes that dry skin can look a bit dull and even somewhat chalky. "It tends to get a little sensitive and patchy in winter, when there is a lack of moisture in the air," Vargas says.

"My top tip is to eat avocado in a green smoothie every day to help keep the skin hydrated from the inside out. It has omega-3 fatty acids to keep the skin's lipid layer moist and plump. Greens are also great for dry skin because they're oxygenating and bring life into the skin." She also suggests investing in a humidifier, which will help your skin retain moisture, no matter the climate.

Combination skin

With combination skin, as you would expect, part of your face is oily (typically your T-zone), and part of your face is dry (usually the cheeks). With combination skin, the goal is to balance your entire complexion, getting both the oiliness and dryness to meet in the middle.

Normal skin

Normal skin rarely breaks out, and even though the pores may not be invisible, normal skin doesn't have much of an issue with large, visible pores. Vargas says to keep up with a thorough skincare routine filled with powerful ingredients. At night, she says it's especially important to cleanse, use a serum, and apply night cream.

What skin type do you have, and how do you take care of it? Let us know in the comments below.

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