One popular skin care myth is that skin type is obvious and easy to pinpoint. Unless your skin is excessively dry or oily, however, it may be hard to determine exactly what you're working with. In order to develop an effective skin cleansing regimen, it might help to recruit a dermatologist to determine your true skin type. If that's not financially feasible, you can make your own assessment of your skin.
For starters, keep track of how many times a day you blot your face. If you've got oily skin, the tissue you use to blot your skin will soak up oil at any given time of day. You've got dry skin if you blot and the tissue comes up clean. (Another hint that you've got dry skin is if you never feel the need to blot). Combination skin types tend to sport dry cheeks and foreheads, with the occasional oil buildup around the nose. The few people lucky enough to have normal skin rarely need to blot and never feel as though skin is dry or tight [source: Langston].
If the blot test has you pretty convinced you've got an oily complexion, here are a few other telltale signs to look for:
- large, visible pores
- a shiny T-zone (the area that spans your forehead and nose)
- frequent blemishes, including blackheads, whiteheads and pimples
Now that you've confirmed your skin type, you're well on your way to designing a skin care routine that will minimize the effects of extra oil.