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How to find your skin type – the easy way

How to find your skin type – the easy way

Dr Tranter Aesthetics, skin types

The first step to crushing your skincare routine, and selecting the right products for your skin, is actually knowing and understanding your own skin type.

I’ve posted about this on Instagram previously, and I’m dedicating my first blog post to this crucial first step that is essential if you want healthy, glowing skin that will reflect your inner beauty for years to come.

The reason I feel this knowledge is so important when it comes to your skin routine is that understanding your skin will better equip you to identify and address those areas which are concerns for you. If you consider your skin as a living organ that is constantly exposed to the environment (both external and internal), you can imagine how it will change and react to things it is exposed to.

Let’s start with the different skin types out there. Chances are you already know what you like/don’t like about your skin. My skin, for instance, easily flushes and can look red when it’s hot or when I exercise. It can sometimes feel tight or dry and it used to break out as late as my mid-late 20’s. As a result, I have a small amount of scarring and some hyperpigmentation.

Have a think about your skin…what does it like or not like? When do you think it looks it’s best and worst?


skin type, oily skin, normal skin, sensitive skin, acne

There are 3 key areas to consider when thinking about skin type. These are oiliness, hydration, and sensitivity. Thinking about your skin in each of these areas will easily, and quickly, help you discover what your skin type is.

As a general rule of thumb:

* Oily skin has an above level of sebum (oil) production (does your skin look or feel greasy, do you get spots or breakouts?)

* Dry skin has a below-average level of hydration (does your skin feel tight, does it look dry or flaky?)

* Combination skin is a mix of oily and dry skin in different areas of the face, usually an oily T zone and dry cheeks, forehead, and chin

* Sensitive skin often reacts to products or the environment and is prone to flushing and inflammation

* Normal skin is skin that is balanced in terms of oiliness and hydration and does not exhibit sensitivity

skin barrier, healthy skin, skin care routine


The goal of all of this is to help your skin barrier repair itself and return to functioning normally.

Once your skin barrier is healthy, the next step is to address specific concerns such as wrinkles and fine lines, pigmentation, scarring, and texture.

More on your skin barrier in an upcoming post…

Here are some key questions you can ask yourself about your skin:

  • When you touch your skin, how does it feel?
  • How visible are your pores?
  • How often do you break out?
  • Does your skin ever look red (and if so when)?
  • What happens to your skin when you’re stressed?
  • Does your skin change with the weather or seasons?

It’s a good idea to keep a skin diary of things you notice about your skin and when, which is particularly helpful if you’re dealing with sensitive skin, and its triggers or hormonal acne and breakouts.

Hopefully, this will point you in the right direction to quickly determine the key features of your skin. Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s easy to select the right products, treatments, and in-office procedures that will work best for your skin type.

Dr. Sarah

Masters in Clinical Dermatology Dissertation. This PDF download is provided for personal use and is the intellectual property of Dr. Sarah Tranter  and Dr. Tranter Aesthetics. It cannot be copied or reproduced without permission.

The Efficacy and Safety of Topical Retinoids for preventing and reversing the effects of photoageing (pdf)

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