How to Accurately Determine Your Skin Type  

How to Accurately Determine Your Skin Type  

Skin imperfections and impurities are expected of most people. Sometimes, pimples or blackheads may reappear on your skin, no matter how hard you try to treat them. One reason for this hassle might be that you don’t know your skin type.

Knowing your skin type is crucial. It helps you care for and treat your skin correctly. 

The Baumann Skin Type Indicator (BSTI) categorizes skin types into different categories such as pigmented or non-pigmented, oily or dry, wrinkled or unwrinkled, and sensitive or resistant. 

Here are five tips for you to consider when trying to identify if your skin is oily, dry, or relatively normal:

Try the bare-faced test

The bare-faced or wash test involves washing and waiting to see how your skin turns out after some time. It’s a straightforward at-home test that lets you quickly identify your skin type.

First, cleanse your face with an all-type skin cleanser and gently pat it dry with a face towel. Wait for about 30 minutes without applying any product. Finally, examine your skin. 

If your skin appears greasy and shiny, it’s more likely you have an oily skin type. When your skin is only shiny in your T-zone area, chances are you have a combination skin type. If your skin comes out tight, scaly, or flaky, then you might be of a dry skin type. For a normal skin type, it’ll feel comfortable and hydrated.

Consider how often you use moisturizing cream

You probably need a moisturizer to ensure your skin is lively and healthy. However, how often you apply this moisturizer will depend on your skin type. Some people may even go a whole day without using any. 

For dry skin, you’ll need to use your moisturizer each time you wash your face. You may also need to reapply it from time to time to keep your skin hydrated. A normal skin type doesn’t require frequent application of a moisturizer – you’ll probably use it once or twice – and your skin stays fresh throughout the day. 

On the other hand, if you have oily skin, using the wrong moisturizer will probably make it worse. However, you may consider using an oil-control moisturizer that’ll help balance your skin and reduce the shine on your face. For a combination skin type, you’ll only need to apply a moisturizer to specific areas where the skin feels dry and flaky. 

Use the blotting sheet concept

This is another simple way of determining your skin type on a typical day at home. The process is easy; you only have to dab on different sections of your face using a clean blotting sheet and observe the outcome.

Then, you’ll need to hold the sheet against the light to get an accurate reading. 

Blotting sheets are known to absorb oil. Therefore, your skin type is oily if the sheet comes out with a lot of oil from all areas. If the oil is minimal and evenly spread throughout your face, you may have a normal skin type. You can tell your skin is dry if the sheets don’t absorb or absorb a small amount of oil. You may observe a little amount of shine in your T-zone area for combination skin. 

Ask your dermatologist

Dermatologists are trained experts on things related to the skin. If you’re unsure about trying the do-it-yourself (DIY) techniques to determine your skin type, consider asking your dermatologist. They may have a few helpful tips and tricks up their sleeves. 

There are photographic approaches your dermatologist may use to determine your skin type. Dermatologists use these photographic images to evaluate your skin further when other methods prove to be inefficient. The vascular filters indicate pigmentation and sunburn, as well as determining unhealthy blood vessels that indicate whether or not your skin is sensitive, rosacea-prone, or irritated. 

Observe your pores 

Pores show on your skin regardless of your skin type. However, the pore size will help to tell you your skin type. Large clogged pores throughout your skin show that your skin is likely to be oily. On the other hand, large pores around your nasal area indicate you have a combination skin type.

Skin type changes

You may think your skin type is all figured out, but it might change over time depending on various body changes. Research shows that many children under 11 years demonstrate a normal skin type. However, 75% of people aged 11-30 are most likely to be prone to skin acne. The hiked percentages show possible changes that may influence skin type.

In addition, here are factors that may lead to changes in your skin:

  • Vaccines and medications
  • Age
  • Menopause
  • Genes 
  • Climatic changes
  • Pregnancy
  • Coming into contact with irritants and pollutants
  • Use of oily make-up


Determining your skin type is crucial. For you to be in a position to treat your skin imperfections or determine your skincare routine, you’ll need to know whether your skin is sensitive, oily, normal, dry, or a combination.

You can opt to use the blotting sheet method, the wash test, or any other method discussed above to tell the type of skin you have. But for a more accurate result, give us a call to book an appointment and let our dermatologists help.