The Bare-Faced Method
Cleanse your face thoroughly with a mild cleanser and gently pat dry. Leave skin bare (and do not apply any additional moisturizers). After 30 minutes, examine your face for any shine. After another 30 minutes, evaluate whether your skin feels parched, especially if you smile or make any other facial expressions. If your skin feels tight, your skin is likely dry. If there is noticeable shine on your nose and forehead, your skin is mostly likely normal/combination. If there is shine on your cheeks in addition to your forehead and nose, you most likely have oily skin.
The Blotting Sheet Method
Pat a blotting paper on the different areas of your face. Hold the sheet up to the light to determine how much oil is visible. If the sheet picked up little to no oil, you most likely have dry skin. If the blotting paper reveals oil from the forehead and nose areas, your skin is normal/combination. Finally, if the blotting paper is saturated with oil, it is extremely likely that you have oily skin.
Dry skin can feel tight throughout the day, and may experience noticeable flaking. Dry skin is largely due to genetics, environmental factors such as lifestyle & diet, hormonal changes, and climate. Dehydration is also a leading cause of dry skin, so drinking plenty of water and avoiding diuretics like alcohol and caffeine can make a significant difference in how your skin feels and looks.
People with normal/combination skin often experience dryness on the cheeks.Those with normal skin are not prone to breakouts on their cheeks, and tend to have a well-moisturized t-zone. Gentle, daily exfoliation is also important to keep the t-zone and cheek areas balances. Moisturizers with a gel-like texture are absorbed more quickly and less likely to cause breakouts. Start with a small amount and increase as needed to avoid over-moisturizing and stressing the skin.
Excess oil can oftentimes leave pores congested and clogged. Daily enzymatic exfoliation is essential to promote cell turnover and prevent sebum buildup in pores. A gentle physical exfoliator (that does not use abrasives) is also useful for balancing the tone and texture of your skin.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Managing sensitive skin can be challenging. To make this process easier, introduce only one new formula or product at a time. This rule applies to both skincare and cosmetics. Patch test on your arm before using it on your face.