The Easy Guide to Determining Your Skin Type (and the Best Routine for Your Skin)

Caring for your skin begins with knowing your skin.

Just as a medical check-up reveals what you should eat more of and what you should cut from your diet to maintain a healthy body, identifying your skin type will help you craft a skincare routine that works best for you.

We’ve all seen products labeled “for dry skin” or “suitable for sensitive skin” but what do these phrases really mean?

How do you know – for sure – which skin type you have?

How to Figure Out Your Skin Type

Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry. Leave skin bare - no serums, moisturizers, nothing. After 30 minutes, check for oil with a blotting sheet. Gently press the sheet all over your face and hold it up to the light to see how much oil is absorbed. You can also look in the mirror and give yourself a big smile to see how your skin feels.

If your skin feels tight and the sheet picked up little to no oil, you most likely have dry skin.

If there is shine on your skin and the sheet picked up lots of oil, you most likely have oily skin.

If there is oil on your T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin) but not on other areas, you mostly likely have combination skin.

If your skin feels comfy and the sheet picked up just a hint of oil, you most likely have normal skin.


Dry Skin

This is when your skin produces less oil than normal.

You Might Experience:

  • Tight, dull, and rough skin
  • Noticeable flaking
  • Irritation and itching
  • Loss of elasticity - leading to more visible lines

Your Nourishing Skincare Routine

When you have dry skin, you want to make sure your skin is fed plenty of moisture with a heavier cream to seal everything in.

In the AM

Cleanse with So Fresh if needed
If skin doesn’t feel oily when you wake up, simply rinse your face with water - no cleanser needed.

Spot treat with Lighten Up (for red post-acne scars) and Dark Mark Defense (for brown post-acne scars) if needed

Moisturize with Matte Hydrator
The hyaluronic acid in it holds onto water and keeps skin hydrated.

Double moisturize with Protective Moisturizer
This strengthens your skin barrier and seals in moisture.

Protect with your favorite non-comedogenic sunscreen
Choose a sunscreen with SPF 35+ and a PA+++ rating.

In the PM

Remove makeup with an oil-based cleanser

Cleanse with So Fresh

Spot treat with Lighten Up (for red post-acne scars) and Dark Mark Defense (for brown post-acne scars) if needed

Clear clogged pores with Clear Out if needed

Moisturize with Matte Hydrator
The hyaluronic acid in it holds onto water and keeps skin hydrated.

Double moisturize with Protective Moisturizer
This strengthens your skin barrier and seals in moisture.

 

Do you have dry or dehydrated skin?
Yes, there’s a difference! Dry skin is when your skin has too little oil and dehydrated skin is when there’s a lack of water.

This means you can have dehydrated skin even if you have oily skin. Quench thirsty skin by using a product with hyaluronic acid – such as the Matte Hydrator.

Oily Skin

This is when your skin produces more oil than you need, often leading to clogged pores and breakouts.

You Might Experience:

  • Shiny, greasy skin – especially in the T-zone
  • Enlarged pores
  • Clogged pores – leading to acne

Your Pore-purging Skincare Routine

Excess oil on skin often causes clogged pores which lead to acne. You’ll want to be extra careful and choose non-comedogenic products that won’t block pores. You can also benefit from products that are tough on sebum - such as salicylic acid.

In the AM

Cleanse with Balancing Cleanser
It’s formulated with both glycolic acid and salicylic acid to gently exfoliate skin.

Spot treat with Lighten Up (for red post-acne scars) and Matte Hydrator
This oil-free moisturizer nourishes skin without adding any shine.

Protect with your favorite non-comedogenic sunscreen
Choose a sunscreen with SPF 35+ and a PA+++ rating.

In the PM

Remove makeup with an oil-based cleanser

Cleanse with Balancing Cleanser
Once a week, leave the Balancing Cleanser on for 30 minutes for a gentle peel.

Remove stubborn oil with Clarifying Toner
If your skin feels extra oily, soak a soft cotton pad with the Clarifying Toner and swipe it gently across your face. The witch-hazel in the toner is a natural astringent that helps tighten pores and remove excess oil.

Spot treat with Lighten Up (for red post-acne scars) and Dark Mark Defense (for brown post-acne scars)

Clear clogged pores with Clear Out

Moisturize with Matte Hydrator
This oil-free moisturizer nourishes skin without adding any shine.


Combination Skin

As the name suggests, this is when you have a combo of oily and dry skin.

You Might Experience:

  • Dryness on the cheeks
  • Oily and shiny skin in the T-zone

Your Balancing Skincare Routine

Look for products formulated for all skin types and where possible, use different products for the different areas of your face. For example, you can cleanse oily areas with the Balancing Cleanser and wash the dryer areas with So Fresh. Dryer areas may also benefit from an extra layer of the Protective Moisturizer after you apply the Matte Hydrator.


Normal Skin

This is when your skin is well-balanced, being not too dry and not too oily.

You Might Experience:

  • Minimal skin concerns and sensitivity
  • Smooth texture
  • Few or no blemishes and breakouts
  • Barely visible pores

Your Healthy Skincare Routine

When you have normal skin, you might find you have very little skin concerns. Still, it’s important to be diligent with your routine to keep skin healthy and happy for the many years to come.

In the AM

Cleanse with So Fresh

Moisturize with Protective Moisturizer

Protect with your favorite non-comedogenic sunscreen
Choose a sunscreen with SPF 35+ and a PA+++ rating.

In the PM

Remove makeup with an oil-based cleanser

Cleanse with So Fresh

Moisturize with Protective Moisturizer


Sensitive Skin

Unlike the previous skin types, sensitive skin cannot be determined by the wash and blot test. But you probably are aware of whether you have sensitive skin from how it reacts to certain products. While normal skin types might have no reaction, sensitive skin types often show a negative reaction to irritants.

You Might Experience:

  • Visible redness
  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Irritation and itching
  • Stinging and burning
  • Feelings of tightness and discomfort

Your Gentle and Kind Skincare Routine

With sensitive skin, you want to be careful when using any new product. Introduce one new formula at a time to identify which ingredients irritate your skin and always do a patch test (such as on your inner forearm and behind your ear) before applying anything on your face. You’ll also want to choose gentle products that are formulated without fragrance and harsh chemicals. Try this:

In the AM

Cleanse with So Fresh

Spot treat with Lighten Up (for red post-acne scars) and Dark Mark Defense (for brown post-acne scars) if needed

Moisturize with Protective Moisturizer

Protect with your favorite non-comedogenic sunscreen
Choose a sunscreen with SPF 35+ and a PA+++ rating.

In the PM

Remove makeup with an oil-based cleanser

Cleanse with So Fresh

Spot treat with Lighten Up (for red post-acne scars) and Dark Mark Defense (for brown post-acne scars) if needed

Clear clogged pores with Clear Out if needed
Slowly introduce your skin to Clear Out by applying it on alternate evenings. When skin feels ready and no irritation occurs, you can start applying it every evening.

Moisturize with Protective Moisturizer

Keep in mind that your skin type can change over time depending on the seasons, your hormones, your age, and more. Check in with your skin once in a while – just as you would with your body.


Still unsure what your skin type is? We can help you figure it out and build a personalized skincare routine to help you reach your skin goals!

Get in touch with us on Messenger chat or Instagram DM (@clearlybasics).

Disclaimer: This article should not be interpreted as personal medical advice. For medical-related matters, please consult your dermatologist.

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A
Clear Out^
Angela Milliken-Tull
Skin Type: Combination
Comments: Does not appear to cause any problems if suffering from rosacea. Too early to say if it improves this condtion.
After 4 decades of acne have I found a soloution?

I am a week into using Clear Out and so far everything I expected to happen has taken place. With 4 decades of mild but persistent acne I'm certainly committed to giving this a few months to (hopefully) work it's magic. So far I can almost see my pores clearing. This does mean, as I expected more spots appearing but if this means they are finally leaving than lurking under my skin to keep making an appearance every few weeks or months I'm happy with that. I also have some rosacea across my cheeks so was worried that it might become worse, however, the spots that more recently have been appearing alongside the redness appear to be reacting in the same way as other acne type spots. I experienced a little dryness around my eye sockets as I had applied too much product in this area but within a few days this disappeared. It's early days but I'm feeling hopeful and positive and an acne free middle age is certainly very welcome! I am now considering purchasing additional products for cleaning and brown patch treatment. Will update my journey in a couple of months.

Skin Type: Combination
All I can say is wow

Got all the acne products on a whim and they did not disappoint! I have noticed such a difference in the texture of my skin. I have tried so many acne products and felt like nothing was working. The clearly basics range has lasted me soooooo long and I saw results in just 3 weeks! Really happy with my experience, I would highly recommend those with acne to try this brand. Love it!

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Power Duo*
Chuan Ling T.

Adult acne is a new thing for me- I’ve had clear skin growing up so the outbreaks were very stressful! I did everything and anything I could, from watching YouTube reviews, trying out cult products to professional advice, but nothing quite did the job. So how the power duo panned out for me was definitely a pleasant (-ly hugeeee) surprise. I do acknowledge that my acne challenges are not on the extremely severe end, but I must say, emotionally the positive outcome of using both the power duo encouraged me to wear my skin as it is again. It’s really worthwhile trying as it is also a no fuss duo; hence the currently gild of my staple skincare products.

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Calm Down*
Kimberly C.

The entire Clearly Basics product line is the only one that has cleared my skin. I tried any product you can think of including doctor prescribed medication and ointment and nothing worked. After having acne for over 15 years I am so happy to have clear, radiant skin!

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Power Duo-
Stephanie A.

I am a Nurse and my hormonal acne has really escalated since having to wear the N92 masks daily. Since using the Clearly power duo, I have noticed the outbreaks on my cheeks (where the masks are really tight) are less frequent, and when they do happen,are much less
severe.

I have maybe seen some improvement but nothing amazing yet. Have used the product as instructed, religiously. Will try another bottle and stick to it for a few more months.

I love all of clearly basics! They made my confidence rise because I finally feel comfortable without makeup.
This cleanser is amazing 👏
My skin doesn't feel tight afterwards and now I don't get that mid day shine near as bad.

I love everything from clearly basics! It totally changed my life by clearing my acne. Now they have a new sunscreen and it's great.
It doesn't have a smell or leave your face white or greasy. Best of all it doesn't cause breakouts!

The products are just amazing!! My results in 4 months of using clear out extra strength!!

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Fahrin M.

Been using clearly basics for 3 months now and this is the best results I have seen with any skin care line I have tried for acne. I have converted all my products to clearlybasics and feel a sense of hope after discovering them!

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Sophie C.

Love this product 👏🏽

Works really well! Enjoy using this face wash, never stings or dries out my acne prone skin !

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Clear Out*
Emma S.

Worked really well in quite a short amount of time! I now see long lasting results, my skin is healthy and my acne is finally under control! The first product I have tried which works and is actually affordable!

I struggled with lots of painful cystic acne so tried the clear out product. Found by the end of the first bottle a lot of the smaller spots were not coming back and the more painful larger ones were coming back less inflamed. I was happy with the results from the first bottle so I ordered another, this is halfway through the second bottle and can see most of the acne on my cheeks has gone! I still get cystic acne in the T area but it is much less painful than before. Definitely recommend, but takes time to see real results.

Clearly Basics has been an absolute life saver! Not an over night miracle, be patient and stick with it, amazing products

I saw a huge reduction in new pimples and any new pimples scars healed and disappeared a lot quicker

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Anne F.

I have struggled with acne since I was 12 years old. All through my teenage and adult life my skin has been unpredictable and the breakouts have been constant and so frustrating. I’ve tried everything you could imagine but nothing worked reliably. Clear Out and lighten up have been a total game changer for me and I couldn’t be happier with the results

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Acne Care Kit*
Sinead C.

I started using clearly basics at the beginning of the year. I have struggled with acne most of my adult life and when I saw a video from a customer on instagram, everything she described is exactly what I had done…had hormonal acne on chin and jaw line in particular. I had been to the doctor, was referred to a dermatologist and had been on medication, tried all sorts of creams and gels with no success.

I cannot believe this actually worked. I would say I saw results within the first month and probably took around 4 months so really clear up. I have continued with using it and now only get the odd spot at that time of the month but use the calm down on it. It has given me my confidence back and now I’m working on reducing the scaring. I use clear out each evening, the TLC in the morning, lighten up twice a day (but that is a small bottle so doesn’t last long) and then have tried both the so fresh and balancing cleansers. For me it really worked so would highly recommend.

Tightens pores and brightens and smoothes skin. This was my first bottle but I will continue to purchase. I use day and night.

I already use CB balancing cleanser and clear out extra strength, two years ago my skin was spotty, blackheads, raw and very visible. I wondered if the TLC would make a difference in my routine but it has, a glow and radiance I didn’t expect. This is no filter I’ve just woke up. I turned 50 this year the clearly basics range is also an amazing anti ageing tool!

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Mamtha J.

Tried every product out there from proactiv to slurp! None worked, they infact aggravated the condition! Tried clearlybasics as last resort and oh boy it works! Worth every penny! First time in 20 years, stepped out without wearing base makeup! Never thought this day would come!

I suffered with acne for years, and when I finally learned to stop the acne I was left with red and brown scars and hyperpigmentation. But I started using the clearly basics Lighten up cream and Dark mark defends, followed by the moisturiser, and I saw a dramatic difference within days! My scars have lightened so much and most of them are gone. I find this moisturiser is also very hydrating but not greasy, it is absorbed into my skin effortlessly, and it wears beautifully under my makeup. I've now been using the products for 6 months and will continue to use it!

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Laura S.

This stuff changed my life!!!!
After reading the reviews I never thought it would work for me in the same way as it had for other people, as my skin was so bad and cystic. But after just a few months of using this and cutting down on dairy, my skin was 10 times better!
I’m still religiously using the Power Duo and don’t think I’ll ever stop 😊

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Clear Out*
Leah N.

It's such a relief to finally have found something that works. I've had acne since I was around 11 and like most people, I tried so many different products and 'hacks' to try and get rid of the spots but nothing really helped.
I was hesitant to try clear out because of the price but I was reassured by the money back guarantee.
To be honest, the purging process they warn about was pretty severe for me. Mine lasted for the entire first bottle and I was so ready to give up. I contacted customer service and they offered me a refund or 50% off my next bottle, reassuring me it would be worth sticking with it. I agreed to persevere and I'm so glad I did! About half way through the next bottle I really noticed improvements and by the end, my skin was the clearest it had ever been. I've completely stopped having breakouts and only occasionally get a spot or two during my cycle. Overall my skin is smoother and I have much less redness and a more even skin tone. I keep using clear out nightly to maintain my nice new skin and I'll happily keep buying it knowing how well it works for me!

M
Clear Out*
Mandy R.

After a few weeks the results were already visible (right photo). Now the red spots are also less visible!!

Individual results may vary

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