Every skincare routine should follow the same best practices to be blemish-free, hydrated and glowing. However, it’s important to use the right products for your skin to get the best results. To do this, you first need to understand your skin type which is largely determined by genetics and also an array of internal and external factors that your skin is exposed to. Then, you can use this guide that we’ve created to find the perfect skincare routine for every skin type.
Understanding the four skin types
If you need help determining your skin type, the below skincare test will help you narrow it down based on the main symptoms and characteristics of each skin type. If you’re still in any doubt, we would recommend getting in touch with a professional dermatologist or pharmacist to help you identify your skin type and give you advice on how best to look after it.
Normal skin is a term used to describe a well-balanced complexion that is not too oily and not too dry. Normal skin has little to no blemishes or imperfections and barely visible pores. People with normal skin will rarely experience sensitivity and tend to have a radiant complexion.
Dry skin describes a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin which creates a duller and sometimes blotchy complexion. Similarly to normal skin, people with dry skin tend to have barely visible pores. However, dry skin can cause scaling, flaking, itchiness and irritation.
Oily skin describes a skin type that produces an excess of sebum that makes the skin appear shiny and greasy. If you have an oily skin type, you are much more likely to enlarged pores and experience acne breakouts.
Combination skin describes someone that has both oily and dry areas of the face. Most often, this results in a more oily t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and dryer areas elsewhere. If you have combination skin, you’re more likely to notice more visible pores within your t-zone than other areas of your face.
Daily skincare routine fundamentals, for all skin types
No matter your skin type, it’s essential to take daily care of your skin with a routine that helps you manage the overall complexion as well as target specific areas of concern like acne, scarring, dryness or irritation. Before we outline the specific steps you take to help with your skin type-specific routine, here’s a quick reminder of the steps every skincare routine should have. The below basic principles should be followed day and night!
- Cleansing - helps to remove the daily build-up of dead skin cells, dirt and toxins.
- Serums - are packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants and will hydrate your skin
- Moisturisers - are used to lock in moistures to help create a radiant glow
- SPF - protects you from environmental damage from the sun
Skincare tips for normal skin
Typically, normal skin types don’t have any specific concerns to address so the priority is maintaining a healthy balance and shine.
The first step is to use a gentle cleanser that takes away impurities without stripping away your skin’s natural oils. To keep your skin feeling hydrated and looking fresh, use an all-natural plant-based cleansing oil to cleanse your skin gently and effectively.
Then, once your skin has dried off, use a few drops of serum and gently massage it into your skin. Serums will penetrate deeper into the dermis (the middle layer of your skin) to help create deeper and longer-lasting hydration.
Now it’s time to lock in that hydration from the serum and create a protective barrier of moisture with a nutrient-enriched face moisturiser.
Finally, adding SPF to your skincare routine as the last step will help protect your skin from damaging UV rays. Furthermore, it will help your skin to maintain its elasticity and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
As you can see, if you have normal skin you need to stick to the basics and make sure you give your skin daily attention. This will help you to maintain a healthy complexion.
Skincare tips for dry skin
If your skin is dry, it means you’re suffering from a lack of hydration. This can cause your skin to feel tight after cleansing, and look matte and poreless. Markings on the surface of the skin such as flakiness, redness, fine lines and wrinkles are more noticeable than other skin types. So to combat the effects of dry skin, hydration is key. You should use cream, oil or gel-based formulas for the best results.
It’s important not to over-cleanse dry skin as this will actually strip away some of the oil on your skin and have the opposite effect of locking in more moisture. Just cleanse twice throughout the day, once in the morning and then again in the evening. Use a nourishing cleanser that helps you to hydrate your skin while washing away impurities.
It’s essential to apply serum to dry skin to provide deeper hydration. Finding a serum packed full of antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E will help to slow the breakdown of collagen and reduce fine lines and wrinkles that dry skin is more prone to.
Moisturisers should be applied in the mornings and evenings to help lock in more moisture. Choose a rich, creamy moisturiser to help balance those areas of dryness, reduce flakiness and improve your skin’s elasticity.
As dry skin produces less sebum it would be ideal to use a product that can mimic the good oil of the skin. Face oils with ingredients like lavender, squalane and Bakuchiol can offer not only an extra layer of hydration but comfort and help to calm and clear the skin.
Exposure to the sun can further dry out the skin. So if your skin is already on the direr side make sure you choose an SPF with nourishing and hydrating properties to help protect against UV rays throughout the day.
Skincare tips for oily skin
For oily skin, the priority is to find skincare products that balance out the overproduction of sebum which causes the shill to look shiny. Oily skin is also prone to blackheads and blemishes so sticking to a routine that keeps your skin clean and free from impurities is essential. Skincare products with Salicylic acid are good to add to your routine as this ingredient can reduce excess sebum and reduce the visibility of pores and breakout.
With oily skin leading to blocked pores more often, focusing on removing impurities with a gel-based cleanser twice daily will help to keep the surface of your skin free from makeup, dirt and impurities. Over cleansing, just like with dry skin, can have the opposite effect to what you’re after. Too much cleansing can actually irritate the skin, causing it to ramp up sebum production. So just stick to twice a day for the best results.
While counter-intuitive, applying an oil-based serum to oily skin can help to rebalance the skin’s PH level to create a more balanced skin tone. Pick a serum that is light, calming and with natural plant oils to help balance out your skin tone.
Don’t shy away from moisturisers if you have oily skin. However, make sure you pick products that are light-weight and non-comedogenic to ensure that they will hydrate your skin without clogging pores.
UV rays affect oily skin by making it look shiny and greasy. Choose an SPF with an anti-shine finish and a lightweight formula to help protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Skincare tips for combination skin
Combination has skin has two priorities: to hydrate and to reduce shine. Finding products that will help with rebalancing your skin’s natural ph balance is the key to achieving a more balanced complexion for those with combination skin.
Lightweight cleansers that don’t have any harsh ingredients, acids or alcohol are best for combination skin as they can cause the skin to dry out. Instead, choose a hydrating cleanser that will help balance out the drier areas of your skin.
When looking for a serum, look for something that is hydrating to help brighten your complexion. Serums that include hyaluronic acid work well because this ingredient gives your skin structure and helps to achieve a plump and hydrated look. This will help to combat the often dull complexion of combination skin.
Just like with oily skin, if you have combination skin it’s important not to skip moisturising out of fear of making your t-zone more oily. For daytime moisturising, pick something light, like a water-based or gel-based moisturiser that won’t clog your pores. This will limit extra shine while still providing you with some hydration. At night, you may want to choose something a little thicker which may feel greasy on your skin but it will provide the extra hydration you need for those drier areas.
As SPF is worn during the day you want to select an SPF product with a gel formula and/or a matt finish to help reduce shine throughout the day. This will help to reduce the oily appearance of your t-zone while still getting the protective benefits of SPF that help to slow down hyperpigmentation and other signs of ageing.
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