Woman touching her face

When it comes to skincare, it’s not one-size-fits-all. What works for your BFF might not necessarily work for you; five-star reviews on a new product are not always an assurance that you’ll get stellar results. After all, different people have varying skin types and react to products in different ways. 

We break down the basic skin types to help you figure out yours. From there, you can find the best products to give you a radiant glow that’s all your own.

Oily Skin

Constantly have an unflattering shine on your face? You may have oily skin.

You know you have oily skin if:

You have large pores that work overtime secreting excess oil, or sebum. Ordinarily, this natural oil is a good thing, protecting your skin against bacteria and environmental aggressors, while helping keep moisture in. The problem is when your skin produces too much of it. This can be due to genetics or other factors like stress, hormones — say, from an upcoming period — and environment. The bigger problem is when the excess grease combines with dead skin cells, bacteria, and other irritants, clogging pores and leading to blemishes like pimples and whiteheads. 

Pro tips: Limit face-washing to twice a day. Over-washing can backfire on you, stripping away so much oil that it tricks your skin into producing more of the slick stuff!

Your go-to products: Look for those formulated with ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and niacinamide, which keep oil and acne under control. Try POND'S Bright Miracle Ultimate Acne Control Facial Foam, a cleanser with salicylic acid and Thymo-T Essence for extra protection against acne.

Dry Skin

Dry skin can be caused by over-washing, using the wrong products, or even the weather—say, when you travel to a colder or less-humid place.

You know you have dry skin if:

It tends to appear dull and may be flaky, scaly or itchy. Fine lines also tend to appear earlier and look more noticeable on those with dry skin.

Pro tips: Avoid taking long hot showers, which can dry out your skin, and instead go for cold or lukewarm showers that last 10 minutes max.

Your go-to products: A day cream and night cream are essential—anti-aging ones, such as POND'S Age Miracle Ultimate Youth Night Cream, can work wonders for you, given that you’re more prone to fine lines. For makeup, ditch the powder and go for creamier textures.

Combination Skin

Combination skin can be a little more complicated. Unlike dealing with just dry skin or just oily skin, you have to deal with both.

You know you have combination skin if:

Your skin is oily in some spots--particularly your T-zone--and dry on others. To check if you have combination skin, try running oil-blotting paper over your forehead, nose, and chin—if it comes out greasy while the rest of your face feels parched, then you likely have this skin type.

Pro tip: You might have to use a variety of products on different parts of your face.

Your go-to products: Oil-zapping acids like salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acid would work best on your forehead, nose, and chin, while ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin can hydrate your cheeks, eye area, and jawline.

Sensitive Skin

For you, the skincare aisle is a minefield because you never know how your skin will react.

You know you have sensitive skin if:

Scratching and flare-ups are just a regular part of your life. You may experience a stinging sensation or suffer from dermatitis when you dare to try a new product or suffer from conditions like eczema or rosacea. 

Pro tip: Avoid hot showers and, when trying a new product, do a patch test on your arm and keep an eye out for a reaction before using it anywhere else. 

Your go-to products: Sensitive skin can be tricky, and you might need your derma’s guidance when it comes to choosing products. A hypoallergenic moisturizing face lotion you can use on sensitive parts of your body. Vaseline moisturizers, such as the Original Petroleum Jelly Original, might help calm your skin down—it’s a dermatologist-recommended moisturizer, which has been awarded the U.S. National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance as suitable for sensitive skin and dryness associated with eczema. What to avoid: alcohol and fragrance, which can irritate skin and cause a flare-up.

If you don’t have any of these issues, then you, my friend, are what we call #blessed. Those with well-balanced skin type typically have a smooth surface and good elasticity, as well as barely-there pores. So, go ahead and have fun with your skincare!