3 Steps to Determining Your Skin Type and How to Handle It

M. David Cole, MD talks skin typesThe human species is incredibly diverse, made up of different shapes, sizes, hair, facial features and even height measurements. Likewise, people have different types of skin (whether oily or dry), which requires different processes for daily care and maintaining a good balance. Of course, in order to know the latter, you must know the former, but not everyone does. However, the process to finding your skin type is relatively simple, and I’ll list some steps for doing so below.

  1. The first thing to do is wash your face. It’s possible that your skin has some type of moisturizer, lotion, sweat or dirt accumulated from the day. Give your face a rinse, using a gentle cleanser, to start fresh. As I’ve shared in a previous blog, there’s no need to scrub or wash the face too much. One time is sufficient, and afterwards, dry off with a clean towel by patting the face, not wiping.
  2. Give your face some time to rest. Wait about an hour or so, as your skin recalibrates and returns to its natural state, for the next step. While doing so, be sure not to touch your face, adding any debris or oil from your hands to disturb the process. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit still the whole time. Feel free to go about your daily routine, and if it helps, set an alarm to remind you of when the hour is up.
  3. Once you’re face is dry and in its natural form, it’s time to perform the skin type test. All you will need is a little tissue and some light. Simply dab your face, focusing on the T-Zone area (i.e. your forehead, nose, chin and area circling the mouth), as it is the most oily part of the face, with more overall glands than the other areas. Then, examine the tissue:
  • Oily Skin will show grease on the tissue afterward. You may also notice large pores and a shine even when you’re not wearing any moisturizer or face lotion. This type of skin may require you to wash twice a day (morning and night) with a gentle cleanser, as well as an alcohol-free toner, and moisturizer for balance. 
  • Dry skin will may show flakes of skin on the tissue, and this is likely because of small pores. Addressing this issue requires less face washing, or washing with water only, and a good moisturizer for dry skin. 
  • Combination skin means a combination of both oily and dry, and is the most common type of skin. There are cleansers made specifically for this skin type which help maintain balance. If you know your problem areas, such as a more oily T-zone and dryer outer areas, then you can target accordingly.
  • Normal skin will show neither oil or flaking. Rather, it should appear smooth and supple. This type of skin doesn’t require as much discretion, however if notice things change, to either oily or dry, it may be a result of the types of cleansers you’re using or your routine (or lack thereof), and in that case, you need to change.

The Psychological Impact of Acne



Acne is one of the leading causes for visits to a dermatologist. Although most cases are developed during a person’s adolescent years, acne can frequently continue into adulthood causing emotional and psychological damages on an individual. In many ways, people become vulnerable to the modification of their cosmetic appearances. While it is extremely difficult for a teenager to experience these types of changes, the overall social and internal complexities these outbreaks can have is something that needs to be noted.

For acne, they are incredibly visible on your skin. Unlike other dermatological diseases that may be limited to areas covered by clothing, acne is often visible on the face. This heightens particular body image issues and social insecurities many people, especially those within their teenage years, can have when they arise. Therefore, it is unsurprising that people with severe acne are susceptible to significant psychological and emotional impacts than in comparison with those that experience lesser cases. In many ways, this can impact a person’s interpersonal relationships as well as their own personal confidence, especially when going out publicly.

Now with the psychological factors, the overall studies are poorly understood. But the emotional distresses that acne can have on a person are incredibly significant. They are often aligned with various levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem. Because of this, moderate-to-severe acne can force adolescence and teens to feel sensitive upon the negative comments and critics about their skin. For those that feel uncomfortable about their acne problem, they tend to avoid eye contact and can even go to extreme lengths such as overly use of makeup or growing their hair longer to cover their faces.

While acne will never feel comfortable, there are particular approaches to help combat and alleviate the situation. In not doing so, you will be subjecting yourself to the negative psychological impacts such as social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem, reduced self-confidence, poor body image, embarrassment, depression, anger, and frustration. To help aid you in alleviating and repairing your skin, try and consult your local dermatologist. One of the biggest myths about acne is that they are common skin problems and that you have to just let it run its course. As much as we can think that, letting acne persist without treatment can lead to dark spots and permanent scars on your skin. By assuming the necessary skin treatment, you will be able to treat your acne, increase your self-esteem, and find beneficial and viable options that can lead you to your goal of beautiful and clear skin.

If you would like more advice or opinions about acne or other dermatological health issues, please visit or contact Dr. Matthew David Cole, MD, at Horizon Dermatology and Laser Institute in Newport Beach, CA. You can also call his office at 1-949-439-9288 or visit his site horizonderm.com.

Three Common Myths about Acne


Many people have a way of coping with acne. While it is a common part of our lives, it is important that we discuss and highlight some of the most common myths that exist about acne skin care. By understanding and internalizing this information on a deeper level, you will be able to go beyond the standard way of thinking and find the best approaches and methods that can help you on your skin care journey. Like anything in life, the more you know about a something, the better control you will have on an entire situation Do not allow these myths stop you from having healthier and better skin. Learn, understand, and most importantly utilize this information for the betterment of your skin care.

Myth 1: Acne is caused by X factor.

In order to take control of your skin, you need to understand the fundamental background information about how and why acne occurs. Many people commonly believe that acne is caused by one particular situation. While one poor hygiene or specific dietary issues may play a factor to your acne problems, there are a variety of internal and external influences that can impact your acne in a negative way. To start, genetics will always play a role in the overall makeup of your skin. In addition, hormones, cosmetic products, food and dietary lifestyles, stress, and other outside and environmental factors can often alter how your skin or acne will react.

Myth 2: Squeezing and Popping Pimples

While it is tempting, popping or squeezing a pimple will not necessarily get rid of the problem. This type of approach can often push bacteria and pus deeper into the skin, which can cause even more swelling and redness. In addition, this approach can often lead to scabs that can potentially become permanent scars. So when you feel the urge to poke, pick, prick, and pop a pimple, think about the longer lasting negative effects that this can have on your face.

Myth 3: Acne Goes Away on its Own

As much as you can do the natural way of things, you do not have to suffer silently. There is a reason why acne treatments are available. They not only help speed up the process, but also control the situation before it develops even further. To start, acne is caused by clogged pores in the skin. Some of this can be clogged from the skin’s natural oils. If your pores become clogged, the skin’s natural bacteria can sometimes cause inflammation, which can lead to even worse acne. To control that, utilize the various acne treatments available to your locus of control. Do not wait for the situation to worsen. Take the initiative and make moves.