How to Figure Out Your Skin Type

skin type

A man looking at his skin | Source: iStock

In order to properly take care of your skin, you need to figure out your skin type. Every guy’s skin feels normal to them, but there are different skin types to be aware of. Ascertaining your skin type is the first important step in knowing how to treat it, as it will help you determine what products will actually work. If you’re going through all the effort to take of your skin, you might as well do it the right way.

Figuring it out

First things first: You need to figure out what type of skin you have. Do you have dry, combination, normal, or oily? First, wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat it dry. Doing this helps to clean away oils and dirt that may have accumulated during the day, so this will give your skin a fresh start so you can properly gauge the situation. Don’t over-wash it though.

After this, wait two hours. During this time, your skin will return to its natural state before you washed it — the characteristics of which will determine your skin type. Be sure not to touch your face or do anything crazy during this waiting period. Once your waiting period is over, dab your face with a tissue. Pay close attention to the “T-zone” — the area of your forehead and nose. The tissue will be telling of the type of skin you have. Here’s how you can find out what category yours fall into.

1. Normal

Normal skin shows neither oil nor flaking skin, in other words, it’s not too dry and not too oily. It should feel supple and smooth, with barely visible pores. You will see a more or less radiant complexion with no severe sensitivity.

Best Cleanser to Use: Baxter of California Daily Face Wash,

Best Moisturizer to Use: Face Reviver by Neville,

2. Dry/sensitive


A man checking the skin on his face | Source: iStock

Dry skin may feel taut or show flakes of dead skin, and it’s usually associated with small pores. Moisturizing is really important for this skin type. Additionally, since your skin in dry, it’s more sensitive and can easily react to regular skin care products. If you use a product marked for regular skin, your face will get red, itchy, or a rash could even form. While sensitive skin is a problem skin category itself, it’s more likely to fall under the dry skin type.

Best Cleanser to Use: Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser, or Ernest Supplies Soap-Free Gel Face Wash,

Best Moisturizer to Use: Ultra Hydrating Cream by Dove Men+Care,

3. Oily  

Oily skin is characterized by the grease on the tissue. It’s also common for a person with oily skin to have large pores and shine. Similar to having skin categorized as sensitive, if you have oily skin, you’re more likely to have acne, so you may need to incorporate acne products into your routine.

Best Cleanser to Use: Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser,

Best Moisturizer to Use: Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer by Tom Ford For Men,

4. Combination

Combination skin is the most common. It exhibits traits of all of the three skin types above. Usually, this type of skin is oily in the T-zone area and normal to dry elsewhere. Your forehead, nose, and chin are oily and you tend to break out. You can also fall into this skin category if your skin changes according to the climate or season — sometimes it’s completely oily, while other times it’s sandpaper dry.

Best Cleanser to Use: Malin +Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser,

Best Moisturizer to Use: Clinique for Men Oil Control Mattifying Moisturizer,

More from Gear & Style Cheat Sheet: