September 28, 2018 10:10 am

In my short years working beauty retail, the one question I asked people looking for skin care products was, “What is your skin type?” Nine times out of 10, they didn’t have a clue. Because most weren’t sure, they often resorted to touching their face in the hopes of figuring it out on the spot.

In order to have an effective skin care routine, it’s important to know what your skin type is. Using the wrong cocktail of products could do more harm than good, causing irritation and breakouts. Basically, if you don’t understand your skin, your beauty regimen efforts are pointless. But once you start to learn more about your complexion, shopping for products won’t feel like a headache.

Before you figure out a routine that works for you, you’ll need to know what the heck your skin type is. We spoke to Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a dermatologist and contributing medical expert for Zwivel.com, about some key things to keep in mind.

There are three main skin types: oily, dry, and combination. However, you probably don’t have just one. You could be “oily in the T-zone and have dry cheeks,” according to Dr. Baxt. It’s also important to note that some people’s skin type “changes due to the time of year and the weather.” Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that your face and body also have different skin types, meaning you might have an oily face but dry skin on your arms. The human body is so mysterious, isn’t it?

To help you figure out what products to use for each skin type, we listed some tried-and-true skin care items.

1Dry Skin

Dry skin can feel tight or uncomfortable, and depending on the severity, people can sometimes experience flaking, scaliness, and itching. Even though it might seem obvious, dry skin types will want to use moisturizing products. Since dry skin lacks oil, you’ll want to use products that nourish your skin.

Here are some products people with dry skin should consider using:

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap, $18.50


Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, $18

Ulta Beauty

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, $29.50


2Oily Skin

People with oily skin tend to have glands that overproduce sebum, leaving excess oil on the surface of the skin. When it comes to buying products, it’s important that they are water-based and/or oil-free. Why? Well, oily products can cause clogged pores and breakouts, and we don’t want that.

Here are some products people with oily skin should consider using:

Tatcha The Deep Cleanse, $38


Olay Oil Minimizing Clean, $4.99


Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer, $45


3Combination Skin

Combination skin is a mix of dry, oily, and normal (which is balanced skin). Having combo skin can get tricky, and you may have to use products on certain areas of your skin rather than your entire face. Thankfully, there are products that can help balance out your skin, by both hydrating your complexion and controlling the oils.

Here are some products people with combo skin should consider using:

Glossier Solution, $24


Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Toning Lotion, $26.50


Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream, $65


Unfortunately, according to Dr. Baxt, there currently isn’t a skin test your dermatologist can give you to uncover your skin type. Understanding your skin will take some trial and error. But once you lock down a routine that works for you, your skin will thank you.