Picture the face of someone you like. What color are the eyes? What size is the nose? Are the lips full? The differences in these facial features are part of what makes each one of us unique, but there’s one more important feature that may not be obvious, but plays a huge part in making up your face. Do you know your skin type?

Dry, oily, normal - these are familiar terms. You might even know about T-zone, combination, sensitive, acne-prone. If all of these descriptors have you confused or rolling your eyes in dismissal, keep reading! Skin is the human body’s largest organ. On average, an adult carries about 22 square feet of it! Your facial skin type is crucial to know, not only to help you make it more aesthetically pleasing, but also because as an essential organ, you need to know how best to keep it healthy and functioning well.

Try the blotting tissue test for a quick and easy way to determine your skin type. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, preferably sulfate and alcohol-free, so as to get the most natural facial condition. Pat dry with a towel and leave it alone for at least one hour. Avoid touching it during this time as much as possible. Then, using a single blotting tissue, blot it (don’t rub or use extreme pressure!) on all areas of your face.

If your skin looks healthy and the blotting tissue shows no signs of oil, you’ve got normal skin. If the blotting tissue shows no evidence of oil, but your skin feels tight, or flakes off, you’ve got dry skin. If the blotting tissue is oily and your face is shiny, you’ve got oily skin. If you’ve got oily patches on your T-zone, which is across your forehead and down your nose and chin, creating the “T,” but the rest of your face is generally normal, you’ve got combination skin.

This is the first step on the journey to cultivating healthy, beautiful skin!

Armed with this knowledge, you can begin building an effective skin care routine. Look for other articles in this SKIN 101 series that will talk about common skin concerns and a primer focusing on best practices and starter products. If you have any other topics you’d like us to tackle in this series, leave a comment, or reach out to us on our Instagram or Facebook. Feed your knowledge, and feed your skin with only the best foods. SKINFOOD.