You can’t pick the right products to use for your skin-care arsenal without knowing exactly what your complexion needs. If you’re unsure of your skin type, you have little chance of fighting skin problems such as acne, signs of aging, and pigmentation. However, figuring out what category your complexion falls under can be tricky.
“Determining your skin type can be difficult for a number of reasons: Skin changes with each season, acne-prone complexions have the tendency to use harsh, drying products, and there are a number of products on the shelves that can be quite confusing to the average person,” says New York–based dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf.
While trial and error is one way of coming to a conclusion, it can be time-consuming to test a large number of products, not to mention the risk of irritation in the process. Instead, Dr. Graf has one suggestion that doesn’t require any extrapolating or adding too many extra minutes into your existing routine.
One of the most effective ways of figuring out your skin type is to wait a few minutes after cleansing and then use a rinse-off cleanser and see how your skin feels. “If it feels tight, then I would classify your skin as dry,” Dr. Graf explains. “During the day, if your skin becomes oiler and your skin is dry, you have combination skin.”
And what if using a wipe-off cleanser leaves your skin feeling fine? “Then you probably have normal skin,” she says. There you have it.