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Skin Type Check

The first step on your way to beautiful, radiant skin is to determine your skin type. Skincare routine and products depend on your skin type and thus it is important for you to know your skin type. Products formulated for your skin type offer the best chance of giving you the results you want. Therefore, knowing your skin type allows you to choose and tailor your skincare routine and products that will be most beneficial to your skin.

There are generally 5 skin types. Firstly, normal skin that feels clean and smooth with natural radiance as it is not too oily or dry. Normal skin does not experience breakouts often. Secondly, oily skin which tends to shine and feel greasy. Excess sebum production makes oily skin more prone to whiteheads, blackheads, clogged pores and acne. Thirdly, combination skin which is a combination of oily and dry skin. People with combination skin will experience shine and greasiness on some areas of the face while having localised dry patches on other areas. Besides, combination skin can change according to weather. Next, dry skin that feels tight, rough, flaky and dry. Dry skin is more prone to aging and irritation. Last but not least, sensitive skin which gets irritated easily accompanied by rashes, red patches, itchiness and pain.

Other than visiting a skin doctor, you can determine your skin type by yourself at home. There are several simple methods to identify your skin type.

1. The Blotting Paper Test.

To perform this test, you need to prepare blotting paper. At the night before the test, wash your face and go to bed without applying any skincare product. Once you wake up in the morning, take the blotting paper and blot key areas of your face including T-zone, forehead, under eye, cheeks and jaw area. After that you can check the oils absorbed by the blotting paper to identify your skin type.

  • Normal skin: Blotting paper has average amount of oil in all areas.
  • Oily skin: Blotting paper has excessive amount of oil in all areas.
  • Combination skin: Some areas of the face have excessive oil but other areas don’t have much oil on them.
  • Dry/sensitive skin: Blotting paper has little or no oil on it.

2. The Mirror Method.

After your morning cleansing, do not apply any skincare or makeup as well as no wiping and blotting. As soon as midday comes, go see what your skin looks like in front of a mirror.

  • Normal skin: Looks the same all the time.
  • Oily skin: Look shinier compared to morning.
  • Combination skin: T-zone looks shine but the rest of the face is the same.
  • Dry/sensitive skin: Dry patches, peeling and redness at the midday. 

3. The Touch Test.

Similar to the mirror method, prepare your skin in the morning. When midday hits, use your hands to touch your face to feel how is it. However, make sure that your hands are washed and clean.

  • Normal skin: Entire skin feels supple and moisturised.
  • Oily skin: T-zone and other parts of your face feel oily.
  • Combination skin: T-zone, nose and chin feel oily while other areas feel rough and dry.
  • Dry/sensitive skin: The skin feels rough without oily or supple feel.

Finally, when you get to know your skin type, you are ready to learn what are the skincare products available in the market that suit your skin type. After that, incorporate them into your skincare routine correctly to maximise their effects on the skin for a beautiful and radiant skin. If you are still not sure about your skin type, do seek help from the professionals like Serene Aesthetics.

Care Steps to Stop Acne

Oily skin is one of the most common skin types. If you are so “lucky” enough to have oily skin type, then you should know how troublesome oily skin is. This is because sebaceous glands in oily skin are over-active, producing excess sebum. Excess sebum can make the skin to appear shiny and greasy. Other than blackheads, whiteheads and enlarged pores, oily skin is acne prone. Excess sebum can form a plug with dead skin cells and impurities and block the follicle. This makes oily skin more susceptible to breakouts when the blocked follicle is irritated.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By having a good skincare routine and being gentle with oily skin can save you from breakouts. Hence, this article is going to share some skincare tips to take care of oily skin in order to avoid acne.

Gentle but deep cleansing:

It is important that you cleanse your face twice or thrice daily to get rid of accumulated dirt and excess oil which can leads to clogged pores and acnes. As mentioned in our previous article (Different Cleanser for Different Skin Type), gel-based cleansers is the most appropriate cleanser for oily skin. Moreover, if your skin is really very oily and causes acne outbreak, you may look for ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, tea-tree oil or salicylic acid that regulate sebum production and fight acne. However, do not over-cleanse your face or use abrasive cleansing techniques as this will strip your skin of its natural moisture which results in sebaceous glands producing more oil.


Excess sebum production leads to dead skin cells on the skin which can cause dull-looking skin and acne. Hence, you might want to include exfoliation in your skincare routine. Exfoliation can remove dead skin cells and impurities to renew your skin surface, as well as to keep breakouts at bay. However, don’t forget to be gentle to your skin as scrubbing too hard can remove healthy cells and make your skin easily irritated.

Explore Exfoliation Cream: SOSKIN Gentle Peeling

Weekly face mask:

After exfoliation, you can follow up with a relaxing face mask at least once a week. When choosing your face mask or making it at home, you might want to look for or use some ingredients, like clay, witch hazel, sandalwood and multani mitti, that are effective in absorbing excess oil and regulate sebum production.

Toning everyday:

Complementing the cleansing routine, toning is crucial for handling oily skin. Toning daily helps to eliminate excess oil and impurities from your skin. When choosing a suitable toner, rosewater makes a very good toner or you can also go for toners that are loaded with antioxidants and skin-replenishing ingredients to help the skin renew and recharge, minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and remove the makeup that can lead to clogged pores. However, you must avoid using any toner that contains alcohol or vinegar because these ingredients dry up your skin and stimulate oily skin to produce even more sebum.


Some may think that moisturizing will encourage excess sebum production and moisturizer can clog the pores and thus they skip their moisturizing routine. However, this is not true. Stripping your skin of moisture will actually further encourage the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to compensate. Besides, you also need to moisturize your skin to balance the drying effects of other products used in your skincare range, such as acne treatment products. For oily skin, choose a feather light water-based serum or gel moisturizer that is oil-free and non-comedogenic to give your face the moisture it needs.

Sun protection:

Like moisturizer, some people don’t like to put on sunscreen because fear of greasiness and the sunscreen clogging the pores. However, not using sunscreen can cause blemishes, brown spots, pigmentation, freckles and even skin cancer. Hence, people with oily skin can go for a gel-based sunscreen or sunscreen specially formulated for oily skin that will leave your face matte and offer adequate sun protection.

Yes, taking care of oily skin is a complex and tedious process. But, if you do follow this skincare routine properly with consistency, you should be able to take good care of your oily skin in order to avoid breakouts and enjoy a flawless skin. Besides, don’t feel bad for having oily skin because oily skin is less prone to wrinkles and other signs of aging because the oil tends to lock the moisture into the epidermis which is the outermost layer of the skin.

Acne! Lifestyle Mistakes

Acne breakouts affect the skin of the majority of teenagers and some adults. Some people are lucky enough to have only occasional breakouts while those unlucky ones may experience ongoing acne breakouts. Other than the physical pain it brings to you, acne breakout can affect you emotionally and psychologically, causing anxiety and embarrassment to you.

To solve acne problem, you must first find out the reasons why you are having acne breakout. Other than hormonal influences and puberty, experts say that acne breakout is actually what your face is trying to tell you about the mistakes you made in your life and skincare routines which cause you acne problem. Hence, this article is going to help you to explore some common lifestyle and skincare mistake that can cause acne.

Inappropriate cleansing and exfoliating habits:

Experts say that you must at least cleanse your face twice a day with a gentle and hydrating cleanser. Insufficient cleansing means you are not washing all the dirt, oil and makeup on your face and this will clog the pores which results in irritation and acne. On the other hand, it has been agreed that exfoliating twice or thrice a week can remove dead skin cells on your skin surface. Although scrubbing can keep your face clean enough to avoid acne, over-scrubbing can scrub away healthy skin cells which protect your skin and this can lead to hypersensitivity that can cause breakout.

Filthy bedding:

Your bedding sheet and pillowcases can transfer dirt and oil to your skin and cause acne. When they are not laundered or changed frequently, dirt and oil will build-up from the environment. When your skin and hair have contact with these bedding sheet and pillowcases, the dirt and oil is transferred back to your skin, clogging pores and causing irritation.

Acne-causing substances in your skincare and cosmetic products and tools:

Your acne problem could be due to irritation-causing and pore-clogging ingredients like comedogenic mineral oil and silicones in your products. If you have acne problem and suspect that it is caused by your products, you should stop using them and see what happens. If acne problem do improve, then it is the problem of your products and you might want to consider changing other products. Besides, you should also make sure the hygiene of your skincare and makeup tools as the dirt and oil accumulated on those tools can irritate your skin and cause acne breakout.

Improper diet:

There is always a connection between what you eat and acne breakouts. Dairy products, sugar and spicy food are the common foods that cause you to have acne. Dairy products like milk and cheese are produced by pregnant cows and contain high levels of hormones that can send your oil glands into overdrive and aggravate acne whereas sugar is said to be able to aggravates the hormonal acne and promote inflammation. Besides, spicy food often contains tomatoes and peppers which contain acidic lycopene that can irritate the skin, causing imbalance in the skin pH levels and triggering breakouts.


Improper acne treatment:

Overusing acne-treating products that contain topical salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or sulphur can worsen your acne problem. These ingredients can dry out your skin and cause it to produce more oil which leads to acne. Besides, these ingredients can burn your skin if used too frequent, making the acne appear redder and harder to heal.

Lack of protection against the sun:

Light sun exposure can benefit your skin but sun exposure can cause you acne if you are spending more time under the sun without putting on sunscreen. This is because the sun can cause your skin to dry out and trigger more sebum production which leads to acne. Besides, after getting sunburn, your skin becomes more sensitive and easier to get irritated.

Improper hair care products and routine:

Shampoos, conditioners and stylers contain sulfates (cleansing agents), heavy moisturizing agents and silicones that can seep into your pores, clogging them and causing acne. Not tilting your head over to the side when washing your hair worsens the problem because this makes it easy for the hair products’ residue to travel to your face. In addition, washing your hair less often can cause the oil and grease in your scalp and increase the chance of them travelling to your face.

Insufficient sleep:

Lack of sleep causes stress which leads to increase in the substance cortisol in the body. This cortisol will cause your skin to secrete more sebum which results in clogged pores and acne. Moreover, sleep deprivation can cause increase in insulin resistance which can make you to become acne-proned because insulin resistance increase glucose in your body.

So, after understanding a number of common lifestyle and skincare mistakes that can cause you acne, you might want to avoid these mistakes to improve your acne problem. On the other hand, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, for those who do not face acne problem currently may also want to take precaution of these common mistakes.