When shopping for products, knowing what your skin type is can make a massive difference. Skincare and makeup is often developed with certain types (e.g. dry, oily etc) in mind, so getting it wrong can prove a costly mistake. I’m going back to beauty basics today and discussing a few top tips to help you work out your skin type. It’s also worth remembering that your skin concerns can change over time – hormones, the weather, certain medications and many more things can have an impact on your skin, so it’s worth re-evaluating regularly.
Dry skin: has a lack of natural oils, can feel tight or look a bit flaky if not properly hydrated and won’t get shiny throughout the day. Needs extra hydration to stop the dryness getting worse.
Normal skin: doesn’t have any dry patches or oily spots (lucky devils!)
Combination skin: has a mix of dry and oily areas. Oily areas tend to be in the ‘t-zone’ (forehead, nose and chin) and can get shiny throughout the day. Drier areas (usually the cheeks) need extra moisture. Can be hard to get the right products to balance out both areas.
Oily skin: is generally oily all over (but not necessarily blemished), looks shiny quite quickly after cleansing; blotting papers are your best friend.
What about dehydrated skin?
There’s a lot of talk about dehydrated skin at the moment, but dehydration isn’t a skin type, it’s a condition that can affect all of the skin types, even oily ones. Dehydrated skin is lacking in moisture and can look a bit tired, as well as making fine lines more visible. Drinking extra water will help to hydrate you from within, but products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid will also help dehydration as they encourage the skin to hold onto more moisture. Hydrated skin looks plumper and fresher, so try a weekly hydrating mask like Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Mask.
Don’t fear face oils
Whatever skin type you have, a face oil is the one thing you should add to your routine. Now, if you’ve got combination/oily skin the idea of adding more oil will probably freak you out, but the right one will actually help balance out the production of oil in your skin and reduce how oily you get. Use a few drops in the evening, either alone or with your regular moisturiser.
Steer clear of harsh cleansers
The right cleanser can be a lifesaver and have a positive impact on the overall health of your skin. Avoid strong foaming cleansers that use SLS (this is the same ingredient used in cheap hand wash and you wouldn’t put that on your face) as it will strip the skin, making dry skin even drier and potentially encouraging oily skin to make even more oil. Bad times. If you have oily skin, try a gentle gel cleanser (I like Dermalogica’s Ultra Calming cleanser), or for drier skin types, a cleansing balm and a hot flannel will be your best friend.
What’s your skin type? Do you have any top tips or favourite products?