Identify your skin type & skincare maintenance

A number of different skin types

a) Why is it important to know my skin type?

By knowing our skin type we’re better able to maintain health. Dry skin will benefit from products that oily skin will not and vice versa. Today’s skincare market is often broken down by skin type, which in theory makes it easy for us to digest. We should use what is right for our skin. Failure to do so could lead to irritation and exasperate problems we are trying to resolve.

Most of us know what skin type we are. Dry often feel tight & rough. It can look ashy and doesn’t retain moisture well. Oily, often feels heavy or bogged down, looks shiny, and disrupts makeup. Combination can be characterised by a combination of the two. By determining skin type, product selection becomes less of a guessing game.

Back to top


b) What determines our skin type and can we change it?

Genetics is the biggest determining factor when it comes to skin type. Whether we are oily, dry or combination, we are predetermined to have these characteristics. Certain events or environments can make our skin type symptoms worse but generally speaking, we cannot change them or rid them completely. What we can do is manage.

Hormones can play a part in how our skin looks and feels at any one time. Before menstruation, for example, we may be more prone to breakouts whether we are naturally oily or not.

A rise in androgens during puberty can cause hormonal acne.

Menopause, the decline of estrogen can lead to dry and itchy symptoms.

Depression can unset our system and leave us unbalanced, this will undoubtedly show on our skin.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect our skin too. Hormones like genetics factors are often out of our control. We need to acknowledge changes and take action.

Seasons. Not quite a determining factor but one that can affect our symptoms. Oily skin can predict their skin symptoms worsening during the summer. Oil production is on an all-time high and things can become difficult to manage, aesthetically.

Dry skin during summer may not produce all the protective oils needed and become extremely dry. UV from the sun is at it’s highest. Adequate sun protection is essential as is a good antioxidant.

We all love summer but it can be the most problematic time for most of us. A prime example of how seasons can affect our skin. Oily skins tend to do better in winter whilst dry skins can produce their worse symptoms.

Back to top


c) Skin type vs skin condition

Our skin type is a genetically programmed trait. A skin condition is something we can experience in addition to our skin type at any one time.

Dehydration is a skin condition that can be experienced by any skin type. It refers to a lack of water.

Dry skin types tend to lack oil. Oily skin types produce excess oil. Normal skin refers to being relatively balanced and combination experiences extremes of both oily & dry.

All types can lack water, therefore become dehydrated. Dehydration is often caused by poor skincare choices, particularly in oily skins. See Can oily skin be dehydrated too

Air conditioning can dehydrate in the summer, blow heaters in the winter. There’s a number of determining factors but it’s most important to identify symptoms as lacking water which requires a different approach to cream application.

Other skin conditions include sensitive, blemish-prone, ageing and skin pigmentation.

Sensitivity is often referred to as a skin type but may be preferred as a condition since every skin type can experience sensitivity. It is often associated with dry skin. Dry skin tends to be thinner, this may explain why sensitivity is more apparent in this skin type.

Sensitive oily skin is commonly over scrubbed due to the aberrant need to rid excess oil.

Skin pigmentation is a condition related to sun damage, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and hormonal changes such as melasma.

Back to top


d) How to identify your skin type

Try this little task.

Cleanse and leave for at least 1 hour, 2-3 hours is better. Access the symptoms. If you feel tight and the skin looks relatively matte you are dry. If you feel greasy and the skin looks shiny you are oily. Combination is typically oily forehead, nose & chin with dry/flaky cheeks. You’d be super lucky to have felt completely comfortable, that is a normal skin type.

Oily vs dry skin - skintherapy.uk

Back to top


e) Essential oily skincare kit

Optional

  • Mechanical exfoliators
  • Retinol
  • Hydroxy acid lotion/serum
  • Antioxidant

Incorporating a gentle or normal cleanser will ensure our skin isn’t excessively stripped of natural goodness. Switch it up between normal and exfoliating daily.

Chemical exfoliator cleansers can provide a gentle but effective approach to skin exfoliation.

Toners are a questionable essential but can in many cases provide instant relief to dehydration symptoms. Specifically in oily skin where it can be overlooked. Applied following a cleanse, specific toners can aid in rehydration, soothe tightness and rebalance the skin.

Oily skins should not avoid moisturisers. Choose something light with higher water content. Look for products with sun protection particularly in warmer seasons. This then avoids the need for an additional sun protection product.

The optional list refers to items we may not need on a daily basis. They are better served for skin conditions. If we don’t have current skin conditions of concern, we most likely don’t need them right now.

Common skin conditions associated with oily skin include – spots/pimples, large pores, congestion. Pigmentation problems are often associated with oily skin types. Simply because this type tends to get buildup and breakouts, the skin can become blemish-prone. In many of these cases, the optionals become essential.

The optionals can also become essentials during aesthetic treatments such as chemical peels. Such treatments would require a higher SPF. Antioxidants will aid in skin healing. Retinol will aid in skin preparation and so on. For our basic kit, we won’t consider them.

Chemical exfoliators are preferred over mechanical exfoliators. Mechanical exfoliators refer to beads and other abrasive types. They can cause irritation and minor tears in the skin. Over scrubbing can cause real damage. These products are popular however and if chosen, they should be used in moderation.

Most of us don’t use antioxidants. Some of us don’t understand how antioxidants benefit the skin. They haven’t made the essential list but they are highly effective in their purpose. Antioxidants are typically the ‘serums’ within skincare ranges. See a guide to cosmeceuticals and skin care products to learn more.

Makeup hasn’t been mentioned but BB creams are particularly good for oily skins. They often contain sun protection and are usually lighter in consistency than their foundation sisters. A good choice for summer toner, an oily girl’s best friend.

What follows is a basic selection of essential skincare products aimed at oily skin. To find more search throughout the site either by skin type or specific skincare product.


CeraVe Moisturising Cleansing Foam Wash

A gentle, foaming gel cleanser for normal to oily skin on the face and body. Specifically formulated for sensitive skin that is normal to oily and prone to discomfort and imperfections. This gently foaming gel deeply cleanses and removes oils, dirt and makeup without disrupting the protective skin barrier of the face.


The Ordinary – Squalane Cleanser

A gentle cleansing product formulated to target makeup removal whilst leaving the skin feeling smooth and moisturized. Being non-comedogenic and soap-free, this formula is designed to be gentle enough for daily use, without over-drying the skin, making it suitable for all skin types.


Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser

A warming gel cleanser that deeply cleanse, dissolves pore-clogging impurities, refreshes skin and refines skin texture. Charcoal helps draw out excess oils and impurities by removing dirt and helps to minimise the look of pores over time. Contains glycolic acid.


NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow 6% 100ml

Cleanse and clarify your skin with NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow 6%, a liquid exfoliator that visibly brightens the complexion. Enriched with 6% Glycolic Acid to improve skin texture, Salicylic Acid to unclog pores and Allantoin to soothe and protect, the formula also uses Vitamin B5 to restore much-needed moisture. The result is a skin surface that looks and feels re-energised.


Anthelios Shaka Ultra-Light SPF 50+

An ultra-resistant formula specifically developed for sensitive skin. A very high protection, broad-spectrum (PPD 46, SPF 50+) comfortable fluid formula that is ultra water, sweat and sand resistant. This non-greasy cream does not leave white marks and does not migrate. A great choice for all skin types.


Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Packed with a proprietary blend of moisturising ingredients including 1% retinol, vitamin c, peptides, licorice root extract, oat extract and other soothing plant extracts to combat acne-prone & pimple-prone skin, dark spots, blemishes, uneven skin tone, breakouts, and clogged pores.

Back to top

f) Essential dry skincare kit

Basic essential

  • Foaming/Gentle cleanser
  • Moisturising cleanser
  • Moisturising cream
  • Sun protection

Optional

  • Toner
  • Retinol
  • Hydroxy acid serums
  • Antioxidant

Foaming or gentle cleansing should have an emphasis on clarification. Moisturising cleansers can be beneficial for dry skin but we mustn’t distract from the purpose of cleansing, to remove surface debris. Switch it up between clarifying and moisturising being careful not to scrub.

Moisturising cream is essential. It should contain relevant properties and actives to suit symptoms which may include dehydration, roughness and sensitivity.

Sun protection may be included in a moisturising cream but a moisturising cream should not be selected on its sun protection merit. It may be applied later in the form of a dedicated sun protection product.

The optional list refers to items we may not need on a daily basis. They are better served for skin conditions. If we don’t have current skin conditions of concern, we most likely don’t need them right now.

Common skin conditions associated with dry skin include – fine lines & wrinkles, thin skin, vascular lesions such as broken capillaries. Milia is also associated with dry skin types. In many of these cases, the optionals become essential.

The optionals will also become essentials during aesthetic treatments such as chemical peels. Such treatments would require a higher SPF. Antioxidants will aid in skin healing. Retinol will aid in skin preparation and so on. For our basic kit we won’t consider them.

Applied following a cleanse, specific toners can aid in rehydration, soothe tightness and rebalance the skin. Dry skins

Most of us don’t use antioxidants. Some of us don’t understand how antioxidants benefit the skin. They haven’t made the essential list but they are highly effective in their purpose. Antioxidants are typically the ‘serums’ within skincare ranges. See a guide to cosmeceuticals and skin care products to learn more.

What follows is a basic selection of essential skincare products aimed at dry skin. To find more search throughout the site either by skin type or specific skincare product.

Back to top


g) Essential combination skincare kit

Combination skin should try ‘normal’ ranges. If as the oil


h) Is there such thing as a normal skin type?

Maybe. We all strive for normal skin but what does it even mean?

Let’s think about skincare ranges and how they’re marketed to us. Blemish products will be marketed to acne sufferers, rich creams will be marketing to dry skins and so on. Normal skincare ranges are generally aimed at those who don’t experience extremes. Those that can’t really tell or don’t have symptoms bothersome enough to consider it their genetic skin type.

If normal didn’t exist, a lot of skincare brands would have a marketing gap. How would they sell to those who don’t experience extremes? Those that don’t consider themselves oily or dry? That’s really the context that ‘normal skin’ actually exists. We can’t strive for something that isn’t truly real. We work with what we have and the best way to do that is to adopt skincare maintenance.

Secrets to glorious skin

No spam guarantee.

Related Posts