woman looking at skin in mirror

What is My Skin Type? How to Tell if My Skin is Dry or Oily

There are many different skin types, and knowing which category your skin falls into will help you develop a great skincare routine. Dry skin needs to be treated differently than oily skin, and those with sensitive skin may need to be more conscientious about which products they use. 

Before you start with a dedicated skincare routine, it's helpful to know your skin type. Thankfully, there are plenty of tried and true methods you can do at home to determine whether you have dry or oily skin. 

We'll explain the different ways you can determine your skin type, and we'll explain the five main skin types. Let's get right into it!

Related: The Science Behind pH Balanced Products

The 5 Skin Care Types:

The blotting sheet method and the bare-faced method are excellent ways for a person to determine their skin type while at home. However, it’s equally important to know the different possible skin types you can have. 


Close up of a woman’s face


Oily Skin

Plenty of people have oily skin, and it's usually pretty easy to tell if this is your skin type. Your face will likely have a natural sheen or shine throughout the day. You may need to use more foundation or powder than others, and those with oily skin tend to be more prone to breakouts.

The issue with oily skin is that the excess moisture can clog your pores and keep your skin from staying healthy. There are plenty of ways to combat this, like using a good face cleanser in the evening. 

Dry Skin

Dry skin is also widespread and easy to identify. People with dry skin can usually feel a tightness in their skin, especially right after washing. You may see noticeable flaking and be more prone to wrinkles and bags under your eyes. 

Having dry skin can be uncomfortable, but there are plenty of ways to help promote your skin's health. You can keep your skin hydrated with moisturizing creams, and using a gentle exfoliator will help remove dead skin cells and encourage the development of new, healthy cells.

Related: Soteri Skin- Our Story

Combination Skin

People with a combination skin type will generally experience some areas of oily and dry skin. Most people with a combination skin type will see dryness on their cheeks but may see oily patches in other areas of their face. 

Finding a good, gentle exfoliator and a light moisturizing cream is key to dealing with combination skin. You want to moisturize the dry areas of your skin and exfoliate your entire face to help promote the production of new skin cells.

Related: Read about the T-Zone and How to Keep it in Balance.


woman applying face cream


Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin can be the most challenging skin type to deal with. You’ll know you have sensitive skin if you frequently experience inflammation or redness, especially when using a new product.

The best way to manage sensitive skin is to only introduce one new product at a time and try to determine which ingredients cause your skin to become inflamed or red. You’ll want to find a good cleanser and a pH-balancing cream that works for your skin type to help keep it healthy.

Special Considerations for Sensitive Skin

People with sensitive skin should always check the labels of skincare products before buying them. It would be best to look for products labeled as non-irritating and avoid products containing parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, and sulfates, as these ingredients can cause inflammation and redness. 

Normal Skin

You can easily tell if you've been blessed with normal skin, as you rarely have to worry about products causing your skin issues, rarely experience breakouts, and don't see excessive oiliness or dryness. 

How To Determine Your Skin Type

There are two simple and easy methods for determining your skin type at home. We'll walk you through how to use these methods, so you can always get the right products for your skin!

Blotting Sheet Method

This is one of the simplest methods for determining your skin type at home. All you need is a blotting sheet and your face! Make sure you try this method in the evening before you do your usual cleansing routine for the most accurate results.

All you need to do is press the blotting paper to different areas of your face, then hold it up to a light to see how much oil was absorbed. If the paper towel absorbs a lot of moisture, you probably have oily skin However, if the blotting paper picks up little to no oil, you likely have dry skin. If you notice the oil was mainly collected from your T-zone, you likely have combination skin.

Bare-Faced Method

This is another super easy method for determining your skin type, but it'll take a bit more time than the blotting sheet method. With this technique, you'll want to start by using a good face cleanser. Wash your face well, dry yourself off gently, and wait 25-30 minutes.

After half an hour, head to a mirror and study your face. You'll want to check your skin for spots that look irritated because that can indicate sensitive skin. If your skin doesn't look irritated but is very shiny, then you likely have oily skin.

This is an excellent opportunity to check in with how your skin feels as well. If it feels tight and uncomfortable, then you probably have dry skin. If your skin feels wet, even though you know you dried off, you likely have oily skin.

Can Your Skin Type Change?

Your skin type can absolutely change throughout your life. Several factors can affect skin type, including hormonal changes, age, environment, lifestyle, and diet. It can be helpful to use one of the methods we mentioned above every once in a while to check in with your skin. 

Are you looking for a gentle product that can help keep your skin healthy? Check out Soteri Skin for pH-balancing creams that will work miracles on your skin!

Final Thoughts

Determining your skin type will help you find the perfect products to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy. Using the blotting sheet or bare-faced method is super easy and effective. Once you know which of the five skincare types you have, you'll be able to find the right products for your skin.