How to determine your skin type

If you look at the majority of products available on the high street, you’ll see they are labelled as being suitable for a specific skin type. Skin is rarely just one thing. It can be combination and sensitive. Or oily and dehydrated. But, to treat the skin effectively, we need to start at the beginning and determine our skin type. Genetics determines our skin type, and it is the skin we were born with.
How do you determine your skin type? Cleanse your face and don’t apply any products afterward. Wait for about 20 minutes and then check.

Oily skin type

If your skin appears shiny or feels greasy and your pores seem large, your skin type is oily. Likewise, your skin might feel greasier later in the day. The sebaceous (oil) glands are overproducing sebum, which is what gives the skin that shiny appearance. Fine lines aren’t as visible.

How to treat oily skin?

Oily skin types might opt for a mildly exfoliating facial cleanser with BHA or AHA or a mild clay cleanser. It can be used daily or a few times per week, depending on your skin’s tolerance. Alternatively, AHA or BHA serum will keep the pores clear. The skin still needs hydration, so look for a Hyaluronic acid serum to incorporate in your routine or Niacinamide to balance the oil production. In terms of moisturisers, emulsions or gels work well for oily skin types. And there is no need to shy away from facial oils, it is just a matter of finding the right one.

Dry skin type

On the other end, we have dry skin. After you have cleansed your face, your skin might feel tight, uncomfortable, or there might be flaking. That is because the oil glands are producing less sebum. Dry skin will appear dull and fine lines will be more prominent.

How to treat dry skin?

Dry skin types can opt for oil, balm, or cream cleansers to keep the skin moisturised and comfortable. Like with oily skin, a Hyaluronic acid serum should be included in the routine. Dry skin will benefit from a heavier moisturiser and facial oil. Use chemical exfoliant, but only a couple of times per week.

Combination skin type

Things get a bit more complicated with combination skin. T-zone (forehead and nose) can get oily, while cheeks have a tendency to be dry. Due to excessive oiliness, T-zone can also be more prone to breakouts, and pores are more prominent.

How to treat combination skin?

Combination skin is tricky, but it is all about keeping the skin in balance. Gel or cream cleanser will keep the skin clear and moisturised. Again, a Hyaluronic acid serum will give the skin much needed hydration. For your T-zone, chemical exfoliants a few times per week should do the trick. Opt for emulsions or lotions to keep the skin hydrated. A weekly clay mask applied to T-zone clears out the pores and balances the oil production. If your cheeks are dry, apply a hydrating mask.

Normal skin

Ah, normal skin – the unicorn of the skincare world! It refers to skin that has a balance between oil and moisture, is even in tone, and isn’t blemish-prone. Likewise, normal skin isn’t prone to sensitivity or irritation.

How to treat normal skin?

Normal skin can tolerate a lot, but that doesn’t mean you need to throw everything and the kitchen sink at it. A good baseline routine would include a gentle wash, a hydrating serum, and an antioxidant. Don’t forget to double cleanse in the evenings to remove makeup and sunscreen.

What is your skin type? What is the ride-or-die product you can be without?

As always, if you are unsure which of Ishtar products would be best suited for your skin type, please do get in touch so we can help.

Roberta Striga