Skin Types: How to Identify and Treat It Right

Skin Types: How to Determine Yours and Treat It Right

There are tons of great skincare products out there, and lots of ingredients that are sure to make a major difference for your skin. That’s why, if you’re like most people, you probably jump from product to product and try all of the latest things that brands have to offer, especially when the bottle says, "for all skin types."

And that’s great. But here’s the problem:

It’s hard to know which of these products will work for you and your skin type. After all, products that “minimize pores” or “smooth lines and wrinkles” sound great for everyone, right?

Wrong. The reality is that you have to be discerning based on your skin type and your skin’s specific needs if you want to get consistent, positive results.

The Skinny on Skin Types

If you find yourself asking, "what is my skin type?", you have to find out ASAP. Why does it matter so much?

Because using incompatible products exacerbates existing issues. Someone with oily or extra sensitive skin, for example, shouldn’t use an ultra-rich face oil like marula oil. It could clog their pores and cause unwanted shine.

That’s why your facial skin type should drive all of your product choices and your skincare regimen.

There are 5 main categories here, though there is certainly going to be some overlapping characteristics. Here are the key facts and differentiators:

Before We Get Started: The T-Zone

Before going on to discuss the question 'what is my skin type', it's important that we clarify a few things that could confuse you when searching for an answer. The most common error people make is mistake T zone acne for skin type.

But what is T zone skin, you may ask? The T zone is an area on your face that includes your forehead, nose, and chin. It's normal for things to get oily in T zone face areas because they have more sebaceous glands. So even if your forehead, nose, and chin look shiny, that's not necessarily an indication that you have oily skin altogether.

Now that that's cleared up, let's get started with skin types.

Dry Skin

Just because your skin is dry doesn’t mean that you have a dry skin type. Everyone has experienced dry skin at some point in their lives: maybe they were sunburned, maybe they spent a day out in the wind, or maybe they were just using products that were too harsh for their skin. But that doesn’t mean that everyone has dry skin.

This skin type becomes particularly confusing because of the prevalence of overly harsh and moisture stripping products. Today, the norm is unfortunately to overuse products with salicylic acid or other strong active ingredients that strip your skin of its natural protective barrier. This leads to tight, flaky skin, along with fine lines and wrinkles.

So how can you tell if your skin is really dry? Here’s the baseline:

How to Identify:

If you truly have a dry skin type, you’ll notice:

  • Almost invisible pores
  • Consistently dull, rough complexion
  • Red patches
  • Reduced elasticity
  • More visible lines

You’ll also experience tightness or flakiness throughout the day that could lead to cracking, roughness, and even itchiness. If you have dryness every once in a while, or if your skin is dry but oily in the t-zone, then this isn't your skin type.

Products for Dry Skin:

The most important product for dry skin is a rich cream and a moisturizer that contains both humectants and occlusives. This combination is non-negotiable: the humectant aspect - like hyaluronic acid - will draw moisture into your stratum corneum (the outermost layer of your skin). The occlusives - like oils and silicones - will seal that moisture in. Without the occlusives doing that sealing, all the good stuff will just end up on your pillow or down the drain.

Next, make sure that you include products that restore your skin’s natural barrier. What's at the top of the list? Ceramides and peptides.

Ceramides mimic your skin’s natural lipid layer, helping you keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. Peptides revitalize the protein in your skin and help improve its resilience over time.

Is your skin dry and oily? Have no fear - these Eight Saints products are sure to help restore its balance:

Up The Anti

Dry to oily skin doesn't always respond to conventional skin care products - that's why you'll need to Up The Anti. This anti-aging cream contains hyaluronic acid that helps lock in moisture so that you wake up with the plump and hydrated complexion you deserve.

Up The Anti - Dry Oil Skkin

Pep Rally Face Serum

Calling all those with dry combination skin! Our Pep Rally Face Serum was made for you. This lightweight formula is perfect to use as a base before applying creams and moisturizers. Its hyaluronic acid will go the extra mile to refresh your face from forehead to chin. Plus, who doesn't love a good green tea scent?

Pep Rally Face Serum

Cloud Whip Face Cream

Packed with lively antioxidants, Cloud Whip Face Cream blocks free radicals, fades sun spots, and prevents discoloration while locking in moisture. It's worth noting that this is a heavier moisturizer, so less of it is needed to get results. You'll want to scrub it in well, then ensure that it's fully absorbed into your skin before applying makeup.

Normal Skin

Ah, normal - the unicorn of skin types. If your skin type is normal, you won’t have oiliness or dryness (and, if you do, it won’t last for long or be hard to resolve). You’ll have little shine, few lines or wrinkles, and your skin tone will be generally even.

How to Identify:

  • No/few imperfections
  • No severe sensitivity
  • Barely visible pores
  • A radiant complexion

If this is you, don’t rub it in.

Products for Normal Skin:

Skincare for normal skin textures and types is all about maintenance, balance, and choosing products that don’t disturb what you naturally have going on. This can make it hard to choose the right products, especially since your options are usually products for “normal to dry” or “normal to oily” skin types - and neither choice is right on the money.

Go for products that suit your personal preference.

Do you like a richer and more luxurious feeling? Opt for the products with a “dry skin” inkling. Enjoy a more clarifying feel? Go the other direction.

Alternatively, make some preventative skincare choices and incorporate products that address:

  • Free radical damage
  • UV and sun damage
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Loss of collagen

After all, these concerns apply to everyone. Remember to avoid any irritating products that can create a concern that you don’t naturally have. If your skin type is normal you don't want to go creating problems where there aren't any!

If you consider your skin type normal, have gratitude for the fact that there are plenty of skin care products out there for you. Here are our top recommendations:

Chase The Sun SPF 30 Face Moisturizer

The hyaluronic acid, squalane, and aloe vera in our Chase The Sun SPF 30 Face Moisturizerwork together to maintain skin elasticity and prevent aging. Even if you consider your skin dry and oily, this cream will help regulate its overall balance without being overly greasy. UV protection is an added bonus for those who love spending time outdoors.

Soulmate Brightening Treatment

The Soulmate Brightening Treatment contains glycolic acid, which is known to expedite the cell shedding process. Use it consistently to remove old cells and keep new, healthy, and luminous skin cells intact.

High Society Face Oil

Our High Society Face Oil uses the best plant-based face oils - namely omega-rich marula, hydrating jojoba, lavish neroli, and many more antioxidant-rich ingredients - to provide your skin with deep nourishment. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe skin.

Combination Skin

If your skin type is combination, you deal with all the issues: your skin can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in others (particularly the t-zone - your nose, forehead, and chin). You might be confused about the combination skin meaning, especially if your skin types are on completely opposite sides of the dry to oily skin spectrum.

How to Identify:

Because there's more than one skin type on the face, you may notice:

  • Open pores that appear larger than normal
  • Blackheads
  • Shiny skin
  • Mostly oily skin but dry around the cheeks and mouth

Types of Combination Skin: A Grey Area

Do you have oily skin but dry skin, too? It's possible. This gray area is what experts call combination skin. It's defined by dry to oily skin in different areas of your face.

Combination skin can be tricky to treat because cases fall on a spectrum, with some individuals having more dry combination skin than oily, and vice versa. To effectively treat combination skin, you'll need to find the right balance between hydrating and cleansing.

Take a look at this breakdown of combination skin types:

Dry Combination Skin

Dry combination skin typically means you have dry or flaky patches on the cheeks, with less dry areas around your forehead, nose and chin (known as the “T-zone”).

Oily to Combination Skin

Normal, dry, oily, combination – it’s all relative. Oily combination skin may mean your T-zone is especially shiny and prone to breakouts, while the rest of your face still feels somewhat dry or sensitive.

Dry to Oily Skin

Dry and oily skin often occurs in people who are chronically dehydrated. The T-zone may be oily, while the rest of your skin can feel tight and dry.

Products for Combination Skin:

For combination skin, we recommend that you start with a cream cleanser that's gentle enough not to disturb either the oily or the dry parts of your skin. Instead, it hydrates and calms dry skin while clearing congestion and controlling excess oil production - win-win!

Next, make sure that you use a pH-balancing toner. People with types of combination skin tend to feel tightness, particularly after cleansing. This usually happens because their cleanser - or even the water - is throwing off their skin’s natural pH balance. Restoring this with a toner will solve a lot of problems and balance the skin overall.

Finally, incorporate an AHA product into your regimen. This can help shed dead skin cells and maintain hydration.

Whatever skin type combination you may have, Eight Saints has a product fit to treat it.

No Plans Clay Mask

You know what makes dry skin oily again? Deep pore treatments like this No Plans Clay Mask. Unlike other clay masks, which only work at surface level and dry out fast, this one pulls impurities and pollutants from deep within the skin while delivering soothing minerals that keep it healthy and hydrated long-term. We highly recommend it for anyone suffering from dull, dry skin. Or anyone in need of a good facial, for that matter.

Bright Side Cream Cleanser

Our Bright Side Cream Cleanser is a versatile product with the power to change your skin for the better. It's formulated with a mix of natural fruit and seed oils that have been proven to promote tissue regeneration, while the anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce redness and irritation. Not only that, but its antioxidant-rich formula will leave your skin looking brighter and feeling softer with each use. Perfect for normal to dry skin types!

Coast Is Clear Face Toner

Using oil-absorbing witch hazel, Eight Saints' Coast Is Clear Face Toner removes trapped dirt and oil from your pores to leave it feeling fresh and clean. This product helps preserve the skin's natural moisture, making it ideal for those with naturally dry skin.

Quality Control Acne Spot Treatment

Formulated with two percent botanical salicylic acid, our Quality Control Acne Spot Treatment starts working in seconds to clear up blemishes. It's compatible with virtually every skin type combination out there, from dry to oily skin.

Oily Skin

How to know if you have oily skin seems completely straightforward, but it's actually the most frequently confused skin type. Beauty standards today have conditioned women to ban any shine and go for a super matte, poreless look. As a result, they’ve basically gone scorched earth on their skin to achieve those results with ever more over-stripping products, alcohols, and unnecessary chemicals.

After that kind of treatment, the skin tries to protect itself, recover, and even things out. It overproduces oils to self-soothe and undo all the harm that’s been caused.

Then, you think you have oily skin and buy products for combination and oily skin types. But you really don’t and you’re just making this irritation-driven condition worse.

That said, if you really have an oily skin type, you’ll notice significant shine all over your face along with possible breakouts.

How to Identify:

How to know if you have oily skin:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Dull, shiny, or thick complexion
  • Blackheads, pimples, and other blemishes

Products for Oily Skin:

Having oily skin does not mean that you should skimp out on moisturizer or other hydrating products. In fact, not applying enough moisturizer will make your skin overcompensate and produce even more oil.

That’s why it’s important for those looking at how to get rid of oily skin to maintain a comprehensive skincare regimen that includes - at the very least - a cleanser, an exfoliant, a moisturizer, and sunscreen.

Use a moisturizer that contains humectants like hyaluronic acid - but that's non-comedogenic, oil-free, and silicone-free. Consider incorporating an AHA like glycolic acid to reduce oil production and prevent clogged pores.

And always avoid harsh scrubs and overly-rich products like shea butter or coconut oil.

Every facial skin type has a tell. As far as oily skin signs go, the most obvious is a shine on the skin that feels greasy to the touch. Whether you think you have oily sensitive skin or oily to combination skin, the range of products below should make a measurable difference.

All In Eye Cream

The magic behind All In Eye Cream is simple - Vitamin C brightens while caffeine in green tea counteracts puffiness, bags, and dark circles. The formula's glycolic acid isn't too heavy, and paired with other lightweight ingredients, makes this a tangible option for those with oily skin types.

Down To Earth Gel Cleanser

Eight Saints' Down To Earth Gel Cleanserabsorbs the excess oil weighing your skin down, unclogs pores, and gently cleanses, all while maintaining your skin’s natural pH balance.

Zen Out Of Ten Face Scrub

This powerful exfoliator accelerates cell turnover, enabling skin to refresh itself faster. Plus, the antioxidants and bioflavonoids in our Zen Out Of Ten Face Scrub nourish tissues and reduce the effects of pollution while cleansing. No need to know how to get rid of oily skin on your own when this can do it for you.

Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, it’s more reactive and uncomfortable than other skin types.

How to Identify:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Dryness

This is another one that may be self-induced. While some people have naturally sensitive skin, others have reactive skin due to the harsh products that they use.

Products for Sensitive Skin:

If you have sensitive skin, play it safe when it comes to your skincare routine and which products you incorporate into your routine. You don’t want to deal with redness, breakouts, rosacea, or eczema if you don’t have to.

Avoid anything with synthetic fragrance, synthetic colors, silicones, and other common irritants (even though everyone should, this is particularly important for you.) Instead, stick to products that are gentle, soothing, and calming for your skin.

Sensitive' is probably one of the hardest categories to be in when it comes to skin textures and types, as even somewhat oily sensitive skin can be prone to dryness and irritation. With that being said, there is hope if your skin type test comes back with this result - we've listed three miracle-working products below.

Night Shift Hydration Gel

Use our peptide-rich anti-aging Night Shift Hydration Gel moisturizer to bolster your skin's natural defenses against environmental harm. It can be applied anytime before bed and after cleansing to soothe, replenish, and protect your skin. You'll wake up with a bright complexion that feels noticeably softer.

Daydreamer Natural Face Moisturizer

Daydreamer Natural Face Moisturizerblends an array of organic oils and botanicals with powerful hyaluronic acid, which is known for its ability to bind 1,000 times its weight in moisture.

Seeking C Face Serum

Our Seeking C Face Serumreduces skin inflammation and irregular pigmentation while simultaneously promoting healthy collagen production. This is a natural and effective way to prevent the acne breakouts that have ravaged your dry skin for so long.

Can Your Skin Type Change?

In one word, yes. Your skin type can change over time due to environmental factors, age, hormones, and other health-related issues. It's very normal for someone to experience the entire oily to dry skin spectrum over their lifetime as their body develops.

To ensure you're taking the best possible care of your skin at any given time, it's important to understand how to recognize when your skin type has changed and identify which products will offer maximum benefits.

One type of skin test that can help to identify changes in your skin type is the tissue paper test. This involves placing a single layer of facial tissue on the forehead, nose, chin and cheeks for about 10 seconds. The amount of oil left on each area indicates whether you have oily, dry or combination skin. If the tissue has a lot of oil on it, your skin type is likely to be oily; if the tissue appears not to have any oil, then you probably have dry skin.

Learn to Love Your Skin Type

Now that we've helped you find an answer to the question 'what is my skin type', it's important that we take a moment to highlight the fact that all skin is beautiful. T zone acne affects virtually everyone, and dealing with breakouts every now and then just proves you're human.

So don't worry 'is my skin dry or oily'; combination skin meaning oily and dry skin is completely normal. So is very oily skin. And very dry skin.

Our advice? Don't obsess over finding a definitive answer to your skin type. Instead, focus on what makes you feel comfortable in your own skin and use it as an opportunity for self love. Eight Saints' line of products are formulated with a mission to celebrate diversity in all its forms and encourage each and every one of us to find our own definition of skin health.