The first step toward getting a beautiful skin is figuring out your skin type. Confused about which category—combination, oily, normal, or dry/sensitive—you fall into? You’re not alone. Most women misdiagnose themselves and, as a result, wind up using the wrong care regimen and products. Caring for the wrong skin type can aggravate skin, lead to acne, or even make your skin look older than it really is.
So we devised an easy cheat sheet to help you pinpoint the correct category, then talked to four top dermatologists, each with a different skin type, to reveal their best lifestyle advice and the products they swear by.
Your forehead, nose, and chin are oily and tend to break out, while your temples, eye area, and cheeks are really dry. You also fall into the combination category if your skin changes according to the climate or season—sometimes it’s completely oily, other times it’s sandpaper dry.
Your face feels and looks moist and shiny (especially at midday, when oil is at its peak). You tend to have clogged pores, and your skin is prone to both noninflammatory acne (blackheads and whiteheads) and inflammatory acne (pimples and cystic zits), which pop up all over.
Your skin is smooth and radiant because it reflects light evenly. Your complexion is balanced (not too oily or too dry), and you rarely have breakouts. You don’t notice any changes in your skin throughout the day and can try many kinds of products without having a reaction.
You flush easily or have red patches or eczema (a dry, rashlike condition). Your skin often feels rough, tight, or dry in the afternoon or evening—even two hours after applying moisturizer. Skin products, sunblocks, and cosmetics sometimes sting or cause redness.
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