Why knowing your skin type is the very first step in skin care routine?

How to establish the best skin care routine according to your skin type?


skin care routine


Figuring out your own skin care routine could be overwhelming and very confusing. 

First of all, hardly anybody has specific education on determining her or his own skin care routine (I am talking about regular people, not professionals).

Second, there are so many things to consider: one’s skin type, allergies, skin problems, goals of skin care and so on.

Most people spend years of trying different products, going through breakouts, clogged pores, allergies and disappointments.  Usually internet helps, however, there is so much conflicting information it could be very discouraging and overwhelming.

Skin is the largest body organ, it’s structure, thickness, hydration depends on location, exposure to environment, amount of sweat glands and many, many other factors.

The very first step in establishing your own skin care routine is determining your skin type. 

What is my skin type?

Usually skin type is classified into 5 types: normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination.  However, I am going to add two more common skin types to make sure to cover all the basics.  Those two skin types are: acne prone and aging/mature types.

What influences skin types?

Skin types  are affected by many factors such as  you hormones, environment, genetics, stress, sun exposure, nutrition, underlying medical conditions and many others.   Even though human skin is categorized into different types, there are no two persons with the same skin; your own skin type is like your fingerprint – there is no other like yours.  Keep this in mind as all above factors might affect how your skin will react to skin care products.

what is your skin type

People often ask what age should you start skin care routine.  There is not definitive answer, however, the earlier you start taking care of your skin, the better.  I mean, applying sun screen is a very important step to skin care routine as it prevents skin from premature aging; and we apply sun screen to babies.

It is safe to estimate that proper skin care routine should be started when puberty start as this is when our skin glands start producing larger amount of skin oil, which leads to clogged pores and contributes to acne formation.  You can read more on how acne is formed by following THIS link.


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Normal Skin Type

Everyone desires to have this skin type: it is not too oily nor is it too dry; it does not have enlarged and/or clogged pores, it is just – well, normal.

You might have some occasional redness, mostly as a reaction to an unknown ingredient in a new skin care product, or a blemish.  However, those issues are not something that occurs on a regular basis.

Skin care for Normal Skin type

Use gentle cleansing oil followed by a water-soluble cleanser (double cleansing method).  Use lightweight lotions and serums that moisturize and nourish your skin. 


Oily Skin Type

what is your skin type

Skin is shiny, feels greasy towards the middle of the day or even earlier.  Most times this type of skin has enlarged pores, especially on the nose, chin and around cheeks.  Also this skin type is prone to blackheads.

Skin care for Oily Skin type

One huge mistake that people with oily skin make is trying to wash all oils off with skin; most type using harsh soaps.   This way of cleansing the skin does produce an a illusion of skin cleanness and refreshment, but feeling is very temporary.   As soon as water is dried off the skin, skin immediately starts feeling dry, tight and pulling.  Regardless whether you apply any skin care products or not, your skin will become greasy and oily within an hour.

The thing is: OILY SKIN GETS DRY AND DEHYDRATED.  It might not feel that way, but it is true.  By washing off all oils and trying not to use “heavy” creams, you stripping your skin off natural oil.  Your skin responds by producing more oil to stay moisturized and that oil gives you unwanted shine and greasy feeling.

Thus, people with oily skin should pay close attention to two things: cleansing and moisturizing.

what is your skin type

Cleansing: if you have not done so, introduce double-cleansing method into your skin care routine.  I have oily skin and was very hesitant to start using cleansing oils; I thought it would be too much to layer oil on oil.  To my surprise my skin actually felt so much better, clean and not dry at all.

Moisturizing:  opt for water based skin care moisturizers like hyaluronic acid and products containing it. 

I find that using sheet masks daily boosts skin hydration without adding heavy oily feeling.

Use water based sun screens.

With oily skin type you need to use products that clean out clogged pores and minimize them; also you need to take care of your blackheads.   Look for products containing BHAs (beta hydroxy acid) and during winter time AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid).

Refrain from using sulfates in your skin care as they dry skin substantially.

Read complete skin care routine steps for oily skin by following THIS link.


Dry Skin Type

Tips for the best winter skin care dry skin

Dry skin type means that your skin naturally does not produce enough skin oil to moisturize your skin.  It probably feels dry and tight most times and you could notice occasional flaking.  People with dry skin notice appearance of wrinkles earlier than people with other skin types; dry skin is usually dull and lack elasticity.

Skin care for dry skin type

Do not confuse it with dehydrated skin: any skin type can become dehydrated due to environmental pollution and the use of wrong skin care products that strip off skin’s oil.  Dry skin usually does not get breakouts.  If your skin feels dry and you experience breakouts, most likely it is an indication that your skin is dehydrated due to unsuitable skin care products.

Truly dry skin needs oil-based moisturizers.  Try natural emollients like grapeseed oil, cranberry oil, jojoba oil, borage oil and peach kernel oil.  These oils are amazing in hydrating the skin while creating a protective layer on the surface of the skin preventing from moisture loss.  These oils are also non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores.

Do not use any scrubs and alcohol containing products.

Read complete skin care routine for dry skin by following THIS post.


Sensitive Skin Type

Sensitive skin is skin that easily reacts to new products, unknown ingredients, long list of ingredients, weather and other factors resulting in breakouts, redness, rashes, stinging.  You might also notice flakiness.  Your skin easily turns red from the wind, cold or heat.

Skin Care for Sensitive Skin Type

what is your skin type

Opt to skin care products with minimal list of ingredients.  Avoid products with fragrances, mineral oils, parabens and sulphates as they can be a huge trigger for skin reaction. 

Natural emollients that are recommended for dry skin are also suitable for sensitive skin care.   

Consider using aloe containing products that are very soothing for sensitive skin; also add niacinamide to your skin care.

When introducing a new skin care product, always perform a patch test to avoid overall reaction.   

When cleaning your skin, use lukewarm water, do not go to extremely hot or cold temperatures.


Combination Skin Type

This skin type usually is characterized with oily T-zone (chin, nose and forehead) and dry/sensitive cheeks.

Skin care for Combination Skin Type

It might be hard to pick a skin care product that will satisfy both oily and dry parts of the face. 

Products containing both hyaluronic acid and niacinamide could be used with a good effect. 

Gentle water-based non-foaming cleansers should be incorporated into skin care; consider switching to double-cleansing method if not done so yet.

Moisturizers should be a must in your skin care routine. 

Some people incorporate products designed for both oily skin – applied to T-zone and dry skin – applied to the rest of the face.

Overnight sleeping packs and sheet masks should be in your skin care routine as they provide extra moisture to your skin.

Read complete skin care routine for combination skin by following THIS link.


Acne-Prone Skin Type

People with this skin type break out more easily and often then others.  The causes of this are not exactly known; it could be due to genetics, hormones, excessive oil (sebum production) or the combination of all of them. 

In any event skin that is prone to acne breakouts requires special care.

Skin Care for Acne-Prone Skin Type

Try to avoid oil-based moisturizers and cream to avoid pore clogging; instead include water-based moisturizers and cleansers.

You should also avoid sulfate containing products.

You should choose skin care products that contain anti-bacterial ingredients.

Do not use heavy oils like petroleum or mineral oil and heavy butters like cocoa butter or shea butter; also avoid using comedogenic oils like olive or almond skin oil.

Retinol should be a must in your skin care as retinol fights acne. 

Include products containing AHA or BHA in your skin care to help to clear out pores and remove surface  dead skin cells.


Aging/Mature Skin Type

what is your skin type

Aging skin type does not really refer to how old you are.

Some people could be in their twenties and already exhibit sings of aging skin: dull tone, pigmentation, sagging skin and fine lines.

There are many reasons besides genetics that affect aging of people’s skin: overexposure to sun, usage of wrong skin care products, over frowning, dehydration, smoking, alcohol overuse etc.

Skin Care for Aging Skin

One of the main steps to care for aging and dull skin is moisturizing. 

Retinols are the must for aging skin to prevent new lines from forming and fading the old ones away.

what is retinol and its uses

Skin care acids, both AHAs and BHAs, are very important to even out skin tone and remove dullness.

Sun protection is vital for aging skin.  Try to hide your face in the shadow, wear a hat and always have sunscreen applied before leaving the house.

Incorporate peptides into your skin care.

I really like Argeriline 2% solution by The Ordinary.  I use it once or twice a day over problematic spots and started noticing lines disappearing after about 6-7 weeks of use.


Daily Skin Care Routine Steps For Any Skin Type

Skin care products are applied in a specific order to ensure that your skin receives the full benefit of each product.  General rule: apply your products in layers from the thinnest to the thickest, allowing each layer to dry completely before applying another.

During the day SPF should be always applied before leaving the house.

Morning/Day Time

Step 1: Cleansing using Double Cleansing Method

Step 2: Toner

Step 3: Moisturizer or Light face cream

Step 4: Sunscreen

Evening/Night Time

Step 1: Cleansing using Double Cleansing Method

Step 2: Exfoliation.  This step is done 1 or 2 times a week using chemical exfoliants (AHA – alpha hydroxy acid or BHA – beta hydroxy acid:

Step 3: Toner

Step 4: Spot treatment (acne, age/sun spots)

Step 5a: Sheet mask – this step is done 2-3 times a week.  Once you are done with sheet mask, you can skip the next step and go right to step 6. 

Step 5b: Serum or Ampoule or Essence

Step 6: Eye Cream

Step 7: Moisturizer and/or Night cream and/or Overnight sleeping pack

In conclusion I would like to emphasize the importance of knowing your skin type.  That would help you to choose skin care products accordingly.  You cannot just apply products with essential oils to a sensitive skin type or heavy oil to an oily skin type – you will cause a major problem to the skin.


Thank you for reading this post.  Please, drop a comment or a question if you have any, and I would be happy to answer.

Stay beautiful!!!!


Subscribe to my email list to receive FREE Skin Care Basics ebook and FREE skin care routine worksheet to track your AM and PM skin care routine and products.


Understanding different skin types: normal, dry, oily, sensitive, combination, acne-prone and aging/dull ones. Find your own skin type so you can pick the skin care product that is suitable and beneficial for your skin type. Learn about cleansing, moisturizers, creams, retinol, overnight sleeping pack and other skin care products that will enhance your beauty and help minimize any skin impurities and wrinkles.

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