How to determine your skin type – A beauty therapist’s guide

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How to determine your skin type?


Knowing your skin type is not that tricky; you simply need to evaluate how your skin looks and feels. Focus on your skin’s qualities, such as your pores and the overall look.

Typically a beauty therapist can help you to determine your skin type. Luckily I happen to be one! Knowing your skin type has massive benefits; it basically means understanding your skin better and knowing what products work and what don’t.

quide to determining your skintype & different skintypes

How to determine your skin type?

To determine your skin type, take a look at your bare skin. Can you see your pores clearly and what’s their size? Are there impurities and if so, what kind? Does your skin look dry or shiny? If your pores are large or there are impurities, you most likely have combination or oily skin. If you can see some flaking or wrinkles, you’re most likely dry.

There are four skin types: Normal, dry, combination and oily. Now you might think, wait, what about sensitive skin or acne? Sensitive skin is actually not a skin type, it’s more of a feature (more on that on this post). And acne is a skin condition, which I’m a little too familiar with, especially hormonal acne.

I should also note that your skin type or your skin’s qualities can and will change with age, as your skin produces less collagen, oils and sebum. In other words, your skin gets more dry and loses firmness.

This means that mature skin is not a skin type per se, it’s just your skin type except more dry. Products advertised for mature skin are usually creamy and nourishing. What that means is that choosing mature skin’s cream (“anti-age cream”) for dry skin might be the right choice and vice versa.

how to determine skin type cheat list
Cheat list for determining your skin type; evaluating the skin.

Different skin types and their characteristics

Your next read: How to build a skincare routine for all skin types


On normal skin the pores are very small or not visible at all. The skin is even and it doesn’t really have impurities, excluding the occasional spot here or there. It can get dry or sensitive on some occasions, but usually there’s no problem with it. I would still recommend taking good care of your skin, because it’s easy to take it for granted.

When it comes to skincare products, you have the most room to play. It all depends on your personal preference and what do you feel your skin needs: more hydration or lighter products? Explore products for normal, combination or dry skin.


Probably the most common skin type.

Combination skin is a mix of normal, dry and oily skin. Usually the T-zone is more oily and the pores are visible, but the cheeks are almost normal or even dry. Impurities, enlarged pores and dryness all go within this skin type. With a good skincare routine combination skin can look close to normal – with the exception of enlarged pores, which you can’t really minimize at home.

Combination skin might be prone to breakouts, so a good wash routine is crucial to keep those pores clean. But don’t fool yourself by choosing the most purifying products; oily skin is a different story. Lightweight and hydrating products are the core to your routine. You might benefit from products that contain AHA or BHA, especially if you have impurities. It’s likely that you need different types of products for different occasions (say, lighter products for summer vs. extra moisture for winter).

I have combination skin, so my skincare recommendations on this blog should be helpful to you.

Quick picks for combination skin:
*Patyka Hydra-Booster Serum (+ other Patyka Hydra line products)
*Pura D’Or Organic Argan oil (actually awesome for all skin types)

how to determine your skintype


Oily skin has a tendency to impurities. The pores are visible and likely enlarged. Skin gets oily and shiny. Even oily skin can be sometimes dry and sensitive, but the biggest problem is the oil production and impurities.

A good wash is important to keep the pores clean, but don’t overdo it.  A little bit of oil on the skin is a good thing – but more about that below in the dry skin section. You also need to hydrate and moisturize. If you really struggle with impurities, I would definitely recommend adding a purifying serum, that works its magic under your lotion.

I have a blog post for the best moisturizers for oily skin.

Quick picks for oily skin:
Neal’s Yard Remedies Palmarosa products
*The Body Shop Drops of Youth Serum



An acid mantle is the skin’s barrier, which consists of sebum and sweat. That protects the skin from dryness, bacteria, air pollutants and other external threats. Dry skin type doesn’t produce enough sebum, which is why the skin can appear dry, flaky or dull.  Basically the acid mantle isn’t working properly. Dry skin has small pores or they’re not visible at all.

Feeling like your skin gets tight after a shower is probably all familiar to you. Dry skin demands oil and moisture. It can’t take certain ingredients and it can react to things like weather quite dramatically, since the acid mantle isn’t fully there to take the hit. In other words, dryness can cause redness and sensitivity. There might be the occasional spot here or there, but it’s quite rare.

Your skin can be problematic but with the right products it can almost be perfect. Take good care of your skin, find the right moisturizers and don’t forget to exfoliate too. (Yes, even dry skin needs exfoliating).

I have dedicated a post for dry skin with a lot of product recommendations. You’ll find the best products for dry skin here!

Quick picks for dry skin:
*Clarins Extra Comfort Toning Lotion
*Loccitane Aqua Reotier Ultra-Thirst Quenching Cream


This is what I’ve learned at school and what I believe in: sensitive skin isn’t a skin type. You might be sensitive to some ingredients or certain products. All skin types can be sensitive.

If your skin is sensitive, you need to learn what ingredients irritate your skin. Or is it perhaps that you’re over-cleansing or over-exfoliating your skin, weakening your skin barrier (the acid mantle)? It’s a good idea to avoid alcohols, harsh cleansers and strong exfoliants.


Acne is a skin issue that is more likely to happen on mixed or oily skin (but it can happen on any skin type really). If you have mixed or oily skin your skin might be acne-prone, which means wrong products or ingredients can irritate it and cause acne. There are different types of acne. If it’s mild acne, you can probably treat it by upping your skin care game. If it’s really painful and bad – you should see a doctor.

I have suffered from acne throughout my teen and adult life. I have tried pretty much everything. Luckily now my skin (and my panic about acne) has calmed down a lot. You can read more about my acne struggles here.

hormonal acne blog
My hormonal acne at its worst a few years ago.

I also want to say that with hormonal acne, there’s only so much you can do. You can’t get rid of it with products. It’s not your fault. You can, however, maintain it. My skincare routine keeps the worst inflammation at bay, though depending on my cycle, the acne can look a bit worse for a few days. I don’t really use any harsh products for my acne, only some light acid containing toners, AHA or BHA serums and argan oil.

Every acne case is different and it depends on your skin type, but make sure to not over-cleanse your skin. Be gentle with it! I would also recommend using *TBS Drops of youth serum which helps with impurities and skin texture. Another must have product is *argan oil. It’s gonna help moisturize your skin and prevent scarring.

how to determine your skintype

Hopefully you now know how to determine your skin type and were able to learn a thing or two from this post. Let me know if you have any questions.

Make sure to also check out my post on how to build a skincare routine for all skin types. There you’ll find a lot of product recommendations!


Natural boho bridal makeup

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If you want a more simple look for your big day, natural boho bridal style is for you. Think of earthy tones, natural glow and all in all a makeup, that brings out your best features and doesn’t steal all the attention.

I’ve written a quide for bridal makeup, where I go through, well, everything. I recommend reading that, because this post is shorter.

Here are the best tips and products for boho wedding makeup!

natural boho bridal makeup tips

Natural boho bridal makeup for Susanna

I was honored to do Susanna’s bridal makeup for her wedding. She wanted quite a natural look with bronze eyes to compliment the lilac flowers in her flower crown.

I love the bohemian vibes of Susanna’s bridal look. This makeup is close to something I would choose myself if I ever got married. It really suits everyone – the only thing that you might need to change are the tones (cool, warm or neutral, based on your colors).

madara soft glow foundation golden sand 50

Natural boho bridal makeup: base

I would argue that a sheer foundation works for most people. And you don’t have to have a perfect skin for that. You’ll be surprised how much just a light layer of product does. The whole idea is to even out the skin color and texture a bit, and leave the rest for the concealer. Instead of using a full-coverage foundation all over the face, use a concealer where it’s needed, such as dark circles, pimples or redness.

Madara’s natural foundations a great option for a wedding, because they really stick to the skin, making them last long while giving a beautiful glow. They also double as sun protection (perfect for a summer wedding). Creamy consistency works both on dry skin and on skin with impurities. You see, a matte foundation would enhance the texture, whereas this creamy foundation sits nicely on the skin.

Another perfect option for a natural base is mineral makeup! It really looks like your skin, but better. Loose mineral foundation is very easy to apply (and it also has SPF in it).

Natural foundations & mineral makeup:
*Madara Skin Equal foundation
*Madara City CC Cream
*Bareminerals Loose Powder Mineral Foundation

Concealer & powder:
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
*Madara The Concealer
*Laura Mercier Transluscent Powder


How to neutralize and brighten dark circles
Effortless makeup with Lily Lolo

Susanna has gorgeous skin that she takes really good care of with facials and good skincare. For her I mixed Madara’s foundation and CC-cream. The foundation has more pigment while the CC-cream is very sheer. So by mixing them I get the perfect medium sheer coverage, plus a close shade match. I also used the NARS and Madara concealers on her and some Laura Mercier powder.

natural bohemian bridal makeup
I did both the bride’s and the bridesmaids’ makeups.

The bridal glow

For any bridal makeup, I always make sure to add a lot of glow. This doesn’t mean a lot of shimmer or glitter on the face. You can also achieve a natural glow with bronzer or blush. Cream products also tend to give a nice sheen. For example Ilia’s multi-stick has a dreamy consistency that blends effortlessly on the cheek and has a natural shine.

When you’re bronzing your face, make sure to use a big fluffy brush, which distributes the product softly. This way you avoid any harsh lines. Add the bronzer to the highest points of your face: cheekbones, temples and the tip of the nose. If your neck is pale, you can also bronze that up.

Bridal glow products:

*Ilia Multi-Stick Cheek & Lip
*Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder
*Benefit Hoola Bronzer
*All in one: Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Palette

I used Zuii Organic’s  Sun bronzer, Kjaer Weis Above And Beyond cream blush and Zuii’s Diamond Sparkle Powder in Berry on Susanna.

natural boho wedding makeup

Boho bridal eye makeup

I don’t think you need to change yourself completely with makeup, even or especially for your wedding. If you normally don’t wear makeup, you can keep your makeup light. Or if you like a light brow –  do light brows on your big day as well. That said, if you want your makeup to show on photos, you’re gonna have to apply a bit more of it. Still I think the look can be natural!

False lashes are always a great idea for a big day, because they open up the eyes and elevate the look. Individual (duo & trio) false lashes are the best option for a wedding, because you can control the volume and length of the lashes. If you’re doing your makeup by yourself you’re probably happy to hear they’re also the easiest to apply.

warm reddish eye makeup for deep set eyes

My eyeshadow palette recommendations at Sephora *here.

Susanna’s eye makeup:

Mad4eyebrow Natural Brow Filler (a powder brow product with fibers)
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Morphe 3502 Palette
Bobbi Brown Luxe Eyeshadow, Heat Ray
*Jane Iredale Gold Dust
Alima Pure Natural Eye Pencil, Ink (blog post: Brilliant black pencil for sensitive eyes)
*Eylure Individual Lash Duos & Trios

Mad4eyebrow natural brow filler
Benefit 24Hr Brow Setter Gel review (the best brow gel)
Brow tutorial using powder and pencil (how to get the right brow shape)
Brilliant black pencil for sensitive eyes

blushed lips gosh romance lipstick
Another idea for boho lip makeup: blend the edges to make your lips look blushed!

Boho bridal lip makeup

Even though matte lipstick would probably stay the whole day, it’s not the most comfortable. My recommendation for brides is nude sheer lipstick, that looks natural wearing off and is easy to reapply.

The best, most comfortable lipstick ever is Jane Iredale’s Triple Luxe Lipstick. I’ve recommended it before and used it on brides too. One of my all time favorite nude lip glosses is Clarins Natural Lip Perfector. I’s moisturizing, it has some color and a nice gloss to it. Plus it smells delicious.

Bridal lip products:

Clarins Natural Lip Perfector Gloss
*Charlotte Tillbury Lip Gloss
*Jane Iredale Triple Luxe Lipstick

The best lipstick – Jane Iredale Triple Luxe
Clarins Natural Lip Perfector shade swatches & review

Susanna purchased the Clarins gloss by my recommendation for her wedding day and I used that on her.

natural boho bridal makeup

I hope this post offers some tips and inspiration for your own natural boho wedding makeup. And hey –  if you have any questions regarding bridal makeup, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.

Photos of Susanna: Polina Khanteeva


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