Skin care types can generally be divided into four categories: dry, oily, sensitive and combination.
Each of them requires a different kind of regimen when it comes to cleansing, toning and moisturizing.
How can you tell which type your skin belongs to? Start by giving your face a good cleanse. Pat it dry with a soft towel and pay attention to how your skin looks and feels.
If you can feel it tighten (in an uncomfortable way) and you can also notice rough patches or flakiness, then you probably have dry skin.
On the other hand, you can take a paper towel and put it on your face. If it sticks and has traces of grease when you remove it, then your skin is probably oily.
If you are observing redness around your nose and the cheek area, but also redness and irritation, then your skin might be more on the sensitive side.
Finally, if your skin feels oily in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin), but dry around the cheek area, then it sounds like you have combination skin.
Now that you’ve determined your skin type, let’s find out what are the best ways to treat it in order to achieve beautiful, glowing complexion.
Keep reading to discover the right skin care regimen for you!
As already mentioned, dry skin tends to experience flakiness, tightness and some rough texture, usually around the cheeks and on the eyelids.
Dry skin care woes are also especially noticeable during frigid winter months.
This type isn’t usually characterized by visible pores, but the skin tends to be brittle and is more prone to signs of premature aging.
The main skin care goals for dry skin care types should be to perk up your moisture levels and help your cells retain the hydration.
In practical terms, this means choosing rich, hydrating products over lightweight, watery ones.
For example, when it comes to cleansers, your skin will benefit from oils and balms, as they will dislodge all the dirt and product buildup in your pores without rubbing your skin off its natural moisture.
And if you haven’t had experience with this kind of texture when it comes to cleansing, it’s easy as ABC: simply take a small amount of product and rub it into your skin, massaging it to boost the circulation.
The oil or balm with gently break down daily grime and makeup, leaving you with soft, supple complexion.
As far as toners are considered, make sure to avoid any and all astringent and alcohol-laden formulas.
Opt instead for gentle, hydrating toner that will return the balance to your skin and even out your complexion.
Make sure to apply them when your skin is still damp after cleansing to avoid the tightening effect.
Since dry skin often manifests itself in form of rough, flaky texture, your complexion could greatly benefit from regular exfoliation.
However, due to their harsh composition, traditional face scrubs aren’t recommended for people with dry skin, as they can only strip your pores of the natural sebum.
So, what’s the solution, then?
The answer is chemical exfoliants. These powerful formulas are loaded with active ingredients that can help break down dead skin cells and contribute to a brighter, more radiant complexion.
Dry skin types can especially benefit from products enriched with alpha hydroxy acids, as they can help diminish fine lines and flakiness.
When it comes to caring for dry skin, everybody knows that moisture is the name of the game.
Oftentimes, just one layer of moisture won’t do the trick, so you might have to elevate your hydrating routine.
You can follow up your toners and exfoliants with a dash of essence, which will provide that initial layer of hydration for the skin and prep it for additional moisturizing products.
Serums are great for supplying your skin with high doses of replenishing nutrients, while moisturizing your skin at the same time.
Finally, no effective skin care routine can be complete without a nourishing moisturizer which, in cases of dry skin, should be extra-charging and moisture-retaining.
For this purpose, look for products enriched with the following ingredients:
- Hyaluronic acid, particularly nano-hyaluronic acid particles, which are able to seep into the skin better
These will not only super-charge dry, weatherworn skin, they will also form a hydrating shield that will protect your face from the environmental pollutants that harm your skin.
Elsewhere, you may also find culprits for your parched skin in your immediate environment. If you live in especially cold or arid climates, you might want to invest in an air humidifier to prevent your skin from drying out during the day.
If your skin is on the oiler side, then your skin tends to be shiny (especially in the T-zone), even right after cleansing.
Other than glistening complexion, this skin type also tends to have large, visible pores.
It’s not unusual for people with oily skin to experience acne and blackheads, especially in the adolescent period.
However, in the majority of cases, the occurrence of spots and breakouts tends to diminish with age.
Therefore, if your skin tends to gravitate towards this type, your main goals should be keeping the oils in check and preventing the occurrence of break outs.
The first step to doing so would be to ensure your skin is purified from all excess oil and other pollutants that might cause acne.
Due to increased production of sebum in the pores, oily skin will definitely benefit from a daily cleanse.
However, when choosing your ideal product, make sure to go for a water-based formula that will detoxify your skin without adding extra grease.
Gel and foam formulas are especially great for this kind of cleansing routine.
Every once in a while, your pores will require a more thorough cleanse, which is why your skin will definitely appreciate it if you routinely treat it to a good face mask.
Clay masks are unparalleled when it comes to purification of pores. This nature-derived substance has the power to sink deep into your skin, where it will dislodge all the dirt and excess sebum that are causing breakouts and blackheads.
Simply apply it to your face using your fingers or a flat foundation brush, wait for about 15-20 minutes, then rinse it off. You can do this once every week.
Another effective way to conquer those pesky pores and blackheads is to start using a chemical exfoliator. If you want to reduce the appearance of pores and spots, invest in a product enriched with beta hydroxy acid.
Since oily skin often experiences acne scars and dark spots, you might also want to get a quality spot treatment to target these areas.
An incredibly powerful agent for eradicating dark blemishes and other imperfections is Vitamin C. This complexion-boosting antioxidant can effectively diminishing the symptoms of hyperpigmentation and contribute to an overall balanced skin tone.
Since Vitamin C-infused formulas tend to be photosensitive, make sure to follow up your serum or spot treatment with a high-SPF sunscreen. Alternatively, apply it on your skin as a part of your nighttime routine.
If your skin is prone to getting greasy, it might feel counterintuitive to lather it up with a bazillion of skin care products.
While this instinct is not completely off the mark, keep in mind that even the oiliest skin can become dehydrated. And if your cells are feeling parched, not only will you look oily, but your complexion might start looking grey and sallow to boot.
To avert this skin care catastrophe, make sure your skin is thoroughly hydrated.
And if you want to avoid that overly-greasy feeling, go for a water-based, featherweight texture that will replenish your cells and give you only the good kind of glow.
Avoid heavy-duty creams and choose fast-absorbing formulas infused with calming or ever-so-slightly exfoliating ingredients, such as green tea extract and salicylic acid.
If your skin experiences frequent flare-ups, redness and irritation, then it’s definitely on the more sensitive side.
This skin type might be the trickiest to treat; however, if you play your cards right, you can effectively combat the symptoms of inflammation and achieve healthy, glowing complexion.
The best thing you can do for your sensitive skin is to identify the potential irritant and stay as far away from them as you can.
For example, is your moisturizer laden with parabens or synthetic fragrance?
Then it might not be doing any favors to your complexion.
There are a number of well-established skin baddies that shouldn’t be anywhere near your beauty products if your skin is hyper-sensitive.
- Essential oils
- Artificial coloring
- Alcohol and other astringents
- Physical exfoliants
Moreover, the reason for your skin’s condition can be environmental as well.
A diet packed with processed foods could also very well be causing skin to act up, as well as eating meals that are overly salty or spicy.
Moreover, one of the worst things you can do for sensitive skin is spending prolonged periods of time in direct sun exposure.
The ultraviolet rays will not only dry out your skin, but contribute to redness and hyperpigmentation.
If you haven’t done so already, you should introduce a broad spectrum, high-SPF sunscreen into your day-to-day routine.
By applying sunscreen on the regular, you will help form a protective shield for your face and neck that will minimize the occurrence of sun-related allergies and inflammation.
When it comes to basic skin care, sensitive types will benefit from using gentle, skin-nourishing formulas that won’t aggravate their skin.
For example, purifying your skin can be achieved with creamy and milky cleansers that will remove all the pollutants without being overly harsh on your skin.
Moreover, keeping sensitive skin moisturized is crucial, as dryness can only contribute to more pronounced inflammation symptoms.
If you’re not sure where to start your hydration routine, opt for serums and moisturizers enriched with calming ingredients.
Among others, these include:
- Aloe Vera
- Green tea extract
When it comes to makeup, avoid heavy, pore-clogging products, but also unwashed, bacteria-laden beauty tools.
People with sensitive skin can look into mineral makeup products, as these are specifically designed for irritation-prone types.
If you haven’t found yourself in any of the previously described skin types, then you might have combination skin.
How to be sure?
Well, if you feel like your T-zone fits perfectly into the “oily” category, but your cheeks often feel parched, then you definitely sound like the candidate for the combination skin type.
When it comes to caring for this kind of skin, it’s all about combining two or more skin care products with varying effects on different parts of your face.
For example, if your nose and forehead tend to grease up, but not your cheeks, use your acne-eradicating cleansers only on the oily parts of your face.
The same goes for moisturizers: use a nourishing, heavy-duty formula on the dry areas of your face and a gentler, water-based products on the cheek, nose and forehead.
It’s worth saying that not everything about combination skin care has to be about mixing and matching.
There are many universally good-for-you products that can benefit absolutely any skin type, making them ideal for combination complexion.
One of them is the increasingly popular sheet masks, which can simultaneously boost your moisture levels and address just about any kind of skin care concern.
Another practical, rejuvenating skin care innovation is face mists. They work wonders from oily to dry skin types and everyone in between. Moreover, they can be used at any point in your skin care regimen and even over your makeup, making them a perfect product for all those moments when your skin needs a blitz of moisture.
Hopefully, you’ve managed to pinpoint your skin type and learned all the tips and tricks on how to properly care for it. Whether you are oily or dry or sensitive, we have no doubts that you will achieve a healthy, radiant complexion in no time.