In a perfect world, there would be a beauty equivalent to those Spotify engineers calibrating "made for you" playlists, only instead of songs, you'd get skin-care suggestions based on your individual skin type. They would collect all the necessary metrics — what's your oil level by bedtime, on a scale from 1 to 5? Do you get dry and flaky year-round, or just in winter? — and spit out skin-care products tailored just for you based on the data.
Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?) we're living in the real world, which means figuring out whether you have oily, dry, combination, acne-prone, normal, or sensitive skin can be a dance of trial and error, especially if you don't have the help of an expert. That's why we've created this easy skin type quiz with the help of the pros: to make pinning down your perfect skin-care routine easier than ever.
We consulted with a handful of professionals — from board-certified dermatologists to top aestheticians — to find out telltale signs of each individual skin type, as well as the best routines and ingredients for each, so you can feel more informed when you shop for your next cleanser, serum, face moisturizer, and more. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions, and we'll direct you to your most likely skin type, plus a few skin-care steps (and specific ingredients) to consider accordingly, just because.
What's that? Ah, yes: music to your ears.
Image Source: Getty / Sofia Polukhina SeventyFour Tetra Images Boy_Anupong and Illustration by Ava Cruz
You just washed your face. How does your skin feel?
So tight I want to dive into a tub of Vaseline.
Wait. I'm supposed to feel something?
Like the oil I rinsed away is already creeping back . . .
Flushed and a little irritated.
A little tight on my cheeks, but nothing to fuss about.
Like I should probably apply my acne medication already.
How shiny does your skin get in a flash photo?
My skin shines bright as an ornament all over.
Not at all. The only shine I get comes from highlighter.
Sometimes I'll look shiny in my T-zone, but that's it.
It looks a little more red than shiny.
Hm, I haven't noticed.
I notice more breakouts than shine.
It's the end of the day. What does your skin need?
Another layer of moisturizer.
Nothing. A little alone time, thanks.
Some blotting paper, STAT.
A soothing spritz of face mist.
A little powder on my T-zone.
A concealer touch-up on a few breakouts.
Zits happen. Or do they?
All. the. time.
Rarely, if ever.
I'll get a few here or there on my nose or forehead.
I'm more concerned about my pores than acne.
Your dream moisturizer: tell me about her.
The richer, the better.
So lightweight you forget you're wearing anything.
Soothing and simple.
Packed with acne-fighting ingredients.
Anything that hydrates and gets the job done.
Something that's equal parts hydrating and lightweight.
What's your #1 skin concern?
Constant flare-ups and redness.
Patches of dry, flaky skin.
So. much. shine.
It depends on the season.