What skin type do I have? This skin types test reveals if you have oily, dry, combination or sensitive skin
If you’re still buying skincare based on price or brand alone, you could be causing all sorts of problems for now and into the future. Take this skin types test to discover if your skin is more oily, dry, sensitive, or acne-prone – and what to do about it
W hether you’re spending a fiver on skincare from Tesco or treating yourself to a £30 luxury pot, if you’re not buying skincare to suit your unique skin type, you’ll definitely not be seeing the full benefit – and you can even be making things worse.
Below we explain what the different skin types are, show you how to easily and quickly learn what skin type you have, and then we recommend some products that will help.
FURTHER READING: Men’s skin vs women’s skin: Are there differences or is it marketing BS?
There are six skin types, but three major ones and each is caused predominantly by your genetics. It’s true that your lifestyle – drinking too much beer or being outside all the time – plays a role but chances are if your parents got spots as teenagers, you did as well. And so on.
The six common skin types are as follows (click on each type to jump to the relevant product recommendations):
Some skincare will cover more than one of these types; they might be labelled as dry/normal, or oily/combination while sensitive skincare is usually labelled as being fragrance-free. If a product promises to work on all skin types, it’s bullshit and we suggest you run a mile from those.
What skin type do I have? The skin type test
So how do you go about answering the “what skin type do I have?” question? There is a manual, offline way, and an online test.
The manual way is as follows:
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry
- Don’t use any skincare products (so no toner, serum, moisturiser, or SPF – read more in our Men’s skincare routine: Which men’s grooming products do you *actually* need? guide
- Wait 30 minutes
After 30 minutes check your skin.
- Is your skin feeling tight and flaky all over? You have dry skin
- Is your skin looking red, tight, itchy, or is stinging? You have sensitive skin
- Has your skin remained how it was before you cleansed, without any noticeable changes? You have normal skin
- Is your skin shiny on your forehead, nose and chin, but do your cheeks feel tight or look red? You have combination skin
- Is all of your skin looking shiny and feeling greasy? You have oily skin
What skin type do I have? The skin type quiz
You could also take this skin type quiz.
You’ll be asked some questions about your skincare routine and what products you use. You’ll also need to enter details about the size of your pores, and if you ever get spots.
At the end of the quiz, it will tell you what your skin type is and then recommend products for you.
Take the skin type quiz
Skincare for different skin types
Read on to find out what types of products you need for each skin type, as well as see our recommendations.
With dry skin the best type of cleansers are:
- Milk cleansers: These don’t irritate dry skin and won’t leave your skin feeling greasy
- Oil cleansers: Many oil-based cleansers turn a little milky when you add water to them and you’ll likely need a flannel to remove the residue – seeing as water and oil don’t mix – but they’re great for getting rid of redness.
Best cleanser for dry skin: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (£9.50)
Best cleansing balm for dry skin: The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter (£11)
Best serum for dry skin: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (£5.90)
Best moisturiser for dry skin: CeraVe Moisturising Cream (£9)
Avoid fragrances or any harsh chemicals. Also, be careful about introducing any new product to your regime – try using it once a week before upping the frequency so you can make sure it doesn’t cause you any problems.
Best luxury cleanser for sensitive skin: Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser (£35)
Best cheap cleanser for sensitive skin: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (£6.99)
Best toner for sensitive skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Fluid (£16)
If you have a normal skin type, you don’t need specific ingredients to tackle specific woes but you also don’t want to make it super oily, or dry it out, by using products that are more tailored towards a specific skin type.
Best cleanser for normal skin: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (£11.50)
Best serum for normal skin: Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (£52)
Best moisturiser for normal skin: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (£26)
Combination skin is one of the most common skin types, but it’s hard to buy for because you’re looking for a product that can tackle two different skin types in one.
Best cleanser for combination skin: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (£15)
Best cheap cleanser for combination skin: Q+A Peppermint Daily Cleanser (£7.50)
Best serum for combination skin: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (£5)
Best moisturiser for combination skin: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (£4.90)
Oily skin can cause a load of other skin problems including acne, and enlarged pores. Tackling the overproduction of sebum without stripping the skin of other essential oils can be difficult so you need to look for products without harsh chemicals.
Best cleanser for oily skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel (£9.35)
Best moisturiser for oily skin: Glossier Priming Moisturizer Balance (£23)
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