Different skin types have different needs. When it comes to caring for your body’s largest organ, one regimen does not fit all! It’s important to know what your skin type needs in order to keep your complexion healthy and balanced. Whether your skin is dry and sensitive, normal, combination or difficult and acne-prone, knowing the basics about caring for your skin type can make a huge difference in the health of your complexion.
Oily, acne-prone skin is definitely the most frustrating type of skin to deal with. It’s prone to clogs, shininess, and even dryness. One thing to keep in mind when caring for oily and acne prone skin is to be careful to not overdry it. We often think that stripping our skin of oil will make it less oily, but the opposite actually happens. The more you strip your skin the more oil it produces which causes your skin to get even more greasy and broken out. If you have oily or acne prone skin we recommend seeing a professional to diagnose the best types of products for your skin. This is a tricky skintype to deal with that should be left to the professionals. However, if you decide to go about trying products on your own, skip the drying cleansers and opt for something more natural and balancing.
- Cleansing: Cleansers make a big difference for your complexion, so it’s important that you choose a face wash that cleans thoroughly without over-drying. We recommend using a more gentle cream based cleanser in the morning and a light exfoliating cleanser at night to remove impurities and makeup. We like Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel to remove makeup at night and Bliss Labs Clog Dissolving Cleansing Milk, $20 in the morning for gentle, yet thorough cleanse.
- Toning: Toning is something a lot of people skip, but we find it removes dead skin and brightens the complexion after cleansing. Use a gentle alcohol free toner such as Skinceuticals Equalizing Toner to refresh and lightly moisturize your skin, $22.
- Moisturizing: Use a light gel-based moisturizer Clinique Moisture Surge Gel Cream, $30. If you need sun protection, we recommend using a BB cream that includes SPF rather than applying a separate sunscreen which can make your skin greasy and clog your pores. Oily skin can also benefit from a pore-reducing, oil combating primer like Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional, $38.
- Masks and Treatments: For masks, try clay-based products like GLAMGLOW Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, $42. Clay-based masks act like a magnet to sop up excess oil and help draw impurities from your pores.
Dry and sensitive skin should always be handled with care and delicacy. That means staying away from harsh products that contain too many chemicals, acids, or fragrances. Dry/sensitive skin can also be quite reactive to essential oils, so it’s important that you keep your skincare as simple, natural, and fragrance-free as possible. Even though it may be tempting to try all kinds of intriguing products on your face, when it comes to dry/sensitive skin, less is more. Natural products that contain soothing ingredients like aloe, rose water, cucumber and extra virgin olive oil are all great for sensitive and dry skin.
- Cleansing: Opt for a fragrance-free, cream-based, non-foaming cleanser. Foaming cleansers are often too harsh for dry/sensitive skintypes and can leave your skin flaky and parched. Try a simple non-frills cleanser like Phisoderm Cream Cleanser For Sensitive Skin.
- Toning: Tone with a natural, gentle alcohol-free toner like pure rose water. Rose water is super gentle and hydrating without being irritating. It also is anti-inflammatory and helps calm irritation and redness. Try Elma and Sana 100% Pure Moroccan Rose Water, $13
- Moisturizing: Dry/sensitive skin often requires extra moisturizing and can benefit from rich fragrance-free oils like Argan oil, extra virgin olive oil, moringa oil, and grapeseed oil. We prefer moisturizing with pure oils, but you can also look for products aimed for sensitive skin that contain these nourishing oils. Try Josie Maran Argan Oil, $42.
- Masks & Treatments: Again, look for fragrance free treatments that contain natural ingredients and nourishing oils. It’s also best to use cream or gel based masks rather than clay-based masks -which can strip skin of moisture. Dry/sensitive skin can also benefit from a “sleeping mask” which you leave overnight for maximum moisture. Try Dr. Jart Most Moist Water-Max Sleeping Mask, $33.
Congratulations, your skin is the easiest type to care for! If you have normal skin, consider yourself very lucky. Your skin is typically robust and you can use just about any product with ease and little irritation. One thing normal types need to remember is to always cleanse and wear sunscreen. Because your skin is relatively low maintenance it can be easy to neglect it and forget to wash or protect it from the sun. However, poor skincare habits can catch up to any skintype, so be sure to cleanse in the morning and at night and wear sunscreen daily.
- Cleansing: Take your pick. A simple gel-based cleanser will probably suit you best, but you can use cream, oil, and gel based cleansers with ease.
- Toning: You can probably skip this step, but if you want to tone, steer clear of alcohol-based toners and try some natural like Fresh Seawater & Ginseng Treatment Toner, $20.
- Moisturizing: Your skin is already balanced and it’s unlikely that it’s ever too oily or too dry, so protecting your skin from the sun should be top priority. Use a moisturizer or BB cream that has at least SPF 30 and anti-aging ingredients like peptides and hyaluronic acid to maintain your lovely complexion.
- Masks/treatments: All skintypes can benefit from regular treatments and masks. You can use a variety of masks from gel based to clay based, depending on your needs. You can also benefit from enzyme and AHA acid treatments to fend off spots, fine lines, and discoloration. Try Alba Botanica Papaya Enzyme Facial Mask, $9.
Combination skin is confused. It doesn’t know if it’s dry, normal, or oily. It can be all skintypes at once, so it can be quite annoying to care for. The one thing combo types must remember is balance. This means you may need to use different products on different parts of your face. Most combo types have an oily t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and then normal or dry cheeks. So, you’ll want to use products for oily skin on your t-zone and products for dry and/or normal skin on your cheeks. Yes, we know that’s annoying, but it’s the best way to care for your skin if it’s combination.
- Cleansing: Because your skin is all over the place, you’ll want to use something that is gentle but thorough. Gel based cleansers are best for combo skin because they’re the most effective for both oily/acne-prone AND normal/dry skin. Try Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser, $18.
- Toning: Combo skintypes should use an alcohol-free balancing toner that won’t overdry your cheeks or make your t-zone oily, so it’s important to use a toner that’s meant for confused skin. Try Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner, $20.
- Moisturizing: Combo skin demands everything at once, so use a moisturizer than can combat excess t-zone oiliness while keeping your cheeks supple. Combo skin can also benefit from a pore-priming moisturizer to help your makeup last longer and keep your t-zone shine-free. Try Murad Balancing Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15, $23.
- Masks/Treatments: We recommend having different products for your t-zone and cheeks. Because each part of your face has different needs, it’s best to use products catered for each zone. For instance, on your t-z0ne, which is more prone to acne and clogged pores, you can apply a deep cleansing mud mask. On your cheeks, which are more prone to dryness, you can apply a moisturizing mask. When it comes to combo skin, it’s common that one product does not fit all! So, while one product may work great on your t-zone, it may be entirely too harsh for your cheeks. This can be a frustrating trial and error process, but one thing we know about combo skin is that one product may not work on all areas, so you may need to stick products specialized for “balancing” or try a few different products and spot treat! Try Pevonia Ligne Fondamentale Balancing Combination Skin Mask, $30.
As always, this is article is not meant as medical advice. Always seek a dermatologist if you are having issues with your skin.