SKINCARE 101: What is your skin type?

3:41:00 PM Mei B 12 Comments

Hello Lovelies~

Many people use makeup to boost their confidence and hide their flaws (which isn't a bad thing at all, I'm all for doing whatever makes you feel better in your skin), but they forget that they can actually achieve a more or less fresh and flawless skin even as they get older without damaging it further.

Also, don't you think that actually having a nice skin would make you happier than always relying on makeup to achieve it? That's what I thought as well.

I'm no pro but during the last few years, I learned how to embrace my flaws since nobody's gonna do it in my behalf, and try to achieve a healthy skin - I still have a long way to go - but I think that I have many things to share to help the others, especially since many people around me are new to skincare and most of them know next to nothing, thus the reason why I decided to start this "Skincare 101" series where more or less the following sections will be covered (I might add some others, lemme know if there is anything you wanna read about), hopefully you'll find them helpful:

- What is your skin type?We are here
- Basic Korean skincare routine
10 not so common ingredients widely used in K-beauty
- Double cleansing: why should we double cleanse?
- Exfoliation: Chemical vs Physical
- Wash-off masks: Types and purposes
- Toners: Types, and how are they different from western toners?
- Acids and Actives.
- First essences: What are they exactly?
- Serums, Ampoules: What is the difference?
- Moisturisers: Lotion, Emulsion, Gel and Cream: What's the difference?
- Eye creams: Why should you use and eye cream?
- Sheet masks: Tips and Tricks
- Pores: how to deal with them?
- Acne: Products that helped me and my siblings to get rid of my acne.
Ps: Keep in mind that I will include in each step some recommendations by skin type.

To start an effective skincare routine, it is imperative to know your skin type first otherwise you might make things even worse. I'm gonna talk today about the most common skin types, hopefully you will be able to identify your skin type after reading this post.
Ps: I didn't include sensitive skin and rosacea since It would take ages to detail them and talk about everything concerning them. Let me know in a comment down below if you want me to write about them.

Normal Skin Type:

Normal skin is a balanced skin that produces just enough oil to moisturize itself and stay soft and supple.


- Barely any imperfections or visible pores (few if any)
- No sever sensibility
- The skin doesn't feel too tight/dry nor too shiny/oily
- A radiant complexion. 

So those of you guys with a normal skin type should consider themselves lucky, and take care of it.


Even though your skin is balanced and is in a good condition, it still isn't perfect and might become occasionally troubled and eventually would age as the time goes on, so what you should aim is a healthy skin with minimal signs of aging. This can be easily achieved by a balanced hydration, antioxidants and a UVB and UVA protection.


- A refreshing toner
- First essences (when needed)
- Light moisturizers, essences and ampoules rich with antioxidants

Things to avoid:

- Harsh skincare products designed for skin troubles you don't have
- Heavy moisturizers
- Harsh cleansers that would break your moisture barrier and strip your face from its natural moisture.

Oily Skin Type:

Oily skin is a skin that produces way much more sebum than it needs to maintain the moisture barrier and keep the skin soft and supple, so it ends up being extra shiny with lots of clogged pores and blemishes


- Shiny or dull skin, especially by the end of the day
- Enlarged pores, blackheads and whiteheads
- Acne, lots of it.
- Thick complexion


- Hydrating your skin: Many of you think that an oily skin means that you should skip your moisturizer/hydrating products and this is wrong. Oily skin needs to be hydrated as well, and most of the acne can be actually caused by skin irritation due to lack of hydration.
- Preventing new breakouts and healing the old ones
- Fading acne scars
- Getting rid of black and white heads
- fixing any other skin troubles you might have


- A good exfoliating agent (either scrub or peeling gel) to prevent more clogged pores
- Clay or charcoal masks
- A low pH cleanser that won't break your moisture barrier and strip your skin from its oils but still clean it and get rid of excess oils.
- Refreshing toners
- BHA and AHA products (make sure to introduce them gradually to your skincare routine and use a sunscreen) to get rid of blackheads, whiteheads and acne
- Niacinamide or Vitamin C serums or ampules to brighten up the skin complexion and get rid of Hyperpigmentation.
- A light emulsion or lotions
- Gel moisturizers
- Pore serums

Things you should avoid:

- Heavy , oil based creams
- Heavy face oils

Ingredients to look for:

- Witch hazel
- Retinol
- Salicylic Acid
- Sulfur
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Kaolin and Bentonite (clay masks)
- Tea tree oil
- Glycolic acid
- Hyaluronic acid and glycerin
- Aloe Vera
- Silica and Magnesium Aluminum Silicate
- Niacinamide

Ingredients to avoid:

- Petrolatum

Combination Skin Type:

The skin can be oily in some areas (mainly the T-zone) and normal or dry in others (mainly the U zone). This is the most common skin type I believe.


- Pores larger than normal
- Oily parts are shiny, have pimples and black/whiteheads
- Dry parts are often tight, with dry patches

Have a balanced skin with no major breakouts and pore problems nor major dryness.


- Clay masks and moisturizing wash-off masks: you don't have to apply them on your whole face. use both of them at the same time each on the concerned area. Or you can mix honey masks and clay masks together and apply them on your face.
- Refreshing and hydrating toners
- Light moisturizers. You can use a heavier moisturizer on your dry areas. If you have a combination oily/normal skin, then light moisturizers will be enough
- Products rich in antioxidants
- Spot treatments

Things to avoid:

- Using heavy products on your oily zones
- Avoid neglecting the lack of moisture in the other parts of your face if there is any.

Dry Skin Type:

This skin type lacks moisture. The skin is unable to produce enough sebum to maintain an effective moisture barrier, which would cause a rough dry skin that might crack, peel, become itchy and easily irritated, and tend to age quickly compared to other skin types since the moisture barrier doesn't only lock the moisture in the skin, but protects it from external agents like bacteria, microorganisms and harmful sun rays.


- Scaly and flaky skin
- Small, almost invisible pores
- Dull, Rough skin complexion
- Easily formed fine lines
- The skin feels dry and tight 
- Might break out as well since it's easily irritated due to the lack of moisture


You should rebuild your moisture barrier, keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from aging sooner than it should.


- Exfoliation: You should exfoliate your skin to get rid of all these flaky patches, without overdoing it since it might dry out your skin even more
- Mild cleanser: You want to clean your face without stripping your skin from oils it doesn't have in the first place
- Hydrating toners. 
- First essences
- Rich moisturizers: you might need to layer your moisturizers
- Face oils
- Hydrating night packs to lock in the moisture during the night.
- Use a humidifier
- Products with lots of antioxidants

Things to avoid:

- Alkaline (high pH) cleansers since they strip the skin from its moisture.
- Toners with lots of alcohol in it since it might dry out the skin even more
- Over exfoliating: it can dry out the skin even more
- Artificial UV rays
- Sitting right in front of the air conditioner and indoor heating
- Too hot temperatures

Ingredients to look for:

- Shea butter or cacao butter
- Glycerin
- Hyaluronic acid
- Lanolin
- Petrolatum
- Paraffin
- Beeswax
- Squalene
- Coconut, jojoba, sesame, almond, and other plant oils
- Cetyl alcohol
- Olive oil (oleic acid)
- Triethylhexanoin
- Propylene glycol
- Sorbitol
- Sodium PCA
- Allantoin
- Urea
- Stearic acid

Ingredients to avoid:

- Alcohol
- Sulfates
- Salicylic acid
- Retinoids
- Benzoyl Peroxide

But what about Dehydrated skin?

Dehydrated skin is actually a skin condition and not a skin type. Which means, any of the previously mentioned skin types can become dehydrated due to environmental, nutritional or hormonal factors, but it isn't permanent.

What is the difference between Dry and Dehydrated skin?

Like I said before, dry skin lacks moisture, and most likely you would be dry everywhere: face, hands body, scalp etc, and your skin tends to absorb moisturizers like deserts absorb water.
Meanwhile, dehydrated skin lacks water. so you might feel like your skin is kinda oily yet flaky, or you have lots of dry patches and at the same time have black/whiteheads and acne. This is because when the skin becomes dehydrated, it starts producing more sebum to compensate but ends up worsening the situation instead.

To help you understand better, here are two situations:

- Person A has a tight flaky skin during the winter, but during summer when they start eating properly, drinking more water and the weather becomes less dry and cold, their skin becomes normal or oily. 
→ Person A has a dehydrated skin condition

- Person B has a thigh flaky skin during winter, and during summer when they start eating properly, drinking more water and the weather is less harsh, their skin still doesn't produce enough oil, and they possibly still have some dry patches here and there.
→ Person B has a dry skin type

So what should I do to avoid dehydrated skin?

You should avoid what's causing it (if possible). the main causes are:

- Poor diet with barely any fruits and veggies
- Eating lots of greasy junk food OR having a fat-free diet. Balance is the key guys
- Not drinking enough water
- Living in a dry and windy environment (or the air conditioner is constantly blasting in your face)
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Aging
- Makeup
- Drying agents
- Excessive exfoliation
- Iron deficiency / anemia
- Some hormonal imbalances (such as thyroid imbalances)

Most of the time dehydrated skin is related to nutritional factors, so make sure you drink enough water and have a balanced diet.

But Mei, What is YOUR skin type?

I have a combination (oily/normal) acne prone dehydrated skin xD (I don't drink enough water and I have an horribly unbalanced diet, as well as anemia *hides shamefully*) 

Which means I have oily and super dehydrated T-zone (lots of flakes you have no idea, especially around my brows), with normal and kinda sensitive U-zone, and lots of redness in my cheeks area (I don't have rosacea) , as well as dry and sensitive lips. Something like the picture below:

The struggle is real.

Now that you know my skin type (and conditions), Let me know in a comment down bellow what is YOURS ^^

If you found this helpful and want me to carry on with this kinda posts, please subscribe to my blog, comment and share with your friends and family. You can also follow me on Social Media.

Have a lovely week and stay beautiful ♥

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  1. OMG Thank you I really needed this post!
    I learned so many things about my skin type I didn't even know :o

    1. Glad to know it was helpful ๐Ÿ˜
      Thank you for commenting it means a lot ๐Ÿ˜™

  2. Yes please make more posts like this you are gonna save so many lives and skins *-*
    This was really interesting

    1. Glad you like it ^^ I'll do my best :D

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you :) I'll make sure you won't be disappointed ^^

  4. So helpful post, Mei! Thank you so much!
    Adiรณs! xoxo

    1. you are welcome ♥ glad it was helpful ^^

  5. Very informative and detailed. thank you ๐Ÿ’•

    1. Glad you liked it ^^ and thank you for reading ♥

  6. I'm so glad to have come upon a blog who has similar skin troubles as I do.

    1. Hope this blog would be helpful for you ^^