Do you have a shiny (not in a good way) glow? Or is it the opposite and you constantly suffer from a triple whammy of dryness, flakiness, and itchiness? Or maybe you wear a seasonal skincare wardrobe because it seems to be oily in the summer but dry in the winter!
Whatever the case may be, knowing your unique skin type is the first crucial step towards taking better care of your skin. Today we’re going to end all the confusion and explore the characteristics of the 3 skin types, dry, oily, and combination. Arming yourself with this Holy Grail bit information will help you to initiate a truly personalized skincare routine!
What are the different skin types?
Your skin is unique, and nobody has the exact same skin as you. Our skin type is predetermined by certain factors such as age, genetics, and the environment like wind, sun, and air conditioning. We all generally fall into one of three skin type categories below:
- Oily Skin
- Dry Skin
- Combination Skin
Now you might be asking yourself, where are the other issues, like acne, sensitivity, and aging? Well, these are actually conditions that can happen to all skin types, but (thank goodness) they tend to come and go. It’s also entirely possible to have any combination of skin type and condition(s) at any time… make sense?
OK cool, now let’s unravel these skin types so you can better understand which one applies to you!
Related: Concerned about aging skin? Here are 8 ways to slow premature aging!
Oily skin: that glistens brighter than a 10-carat diamond
Your skin type is considered oily, if you’re familiar with:
- A shiny (not in a good way) glow
- Enlarged, darkened pores
- Living in fear of running out of blotting sheets or mattifying powder
- Your makeup going MIA by mid-day
- Some pesky breakouts here and there
QuickFire Tips: Your skin is trying to help you. No, really. It thinks you don’t have enough moisture, so it sends a HELP signal to your body to produce more oil. The problem is…it goes a *little* crazy and ends up overproducing oil. Whoopsie.
Keep. It. Hydrated. Yep, seems totally counterintuitive. But you need to make sure your skin is hydrated so its “DRY” sensors don’t get tripped and send it into oil overproduction mode. If your skin *thinks* it’s lacking the moisture it craves, it goes into crisis mode and makes excess sebum. That’s definitely not the kind of excess we want.
It’s also worth mentioning that it is possible for oily skin to be dehydrated. That’s why moisturising ingredients with humectants (basically a substance that draws in and retains moisture) are gonna be clutch to help you balance that oil production.
A deep-cleansing clay facial mask twice a week can soak up excess oil, reducing shine for several days. Combine the mask with an easily absorbing oil and something soothing like honey to prevent the skin drying too much.
The products you’re going to want to arm yourself feature emollients and humectants, plus ingredients to keep your skin’s oil production balanced. Stuff like…
→ Rosehip Seed Oil: Oils have a bad rap, especially when it comes to acne-prone skin. You’ve probably said, “Why would I want MORE oil on my face?!” The thing is you want the *right* oil, and that means one high in linoleic acid, which is ah-mazing for oily skin like yours because it’s lighter, thinner, and quickly absorbed. So no clogged pores and heavy feeling – probably something you’ve dealt with in the past, right? Rosehip oil, in particular, is a super lightweight plant oil that your skin basically drinks up. The result? Softer, moisturised skin with a lovely even tone.
→ Coconut Milk, found in our Nude Clay Mask, is ultra moisturising and nourishing. Its fatty acids are naturally antiseptic – basically, it won’t clog your pores. It does double duty, cleaning and hydrating your skin at the same time.
→ Orange Blossom Water will help control and balance your skin’s (seemingly hyperactive) oil production. It’s also a very gentle exfoliator, making it excellent for cleansing and refining your pores. Even better? It’s supremely hydrating and soothing, which is exactly what your oily skin needs to look softer and a hundred times more radiant. Check out our Orange Blossom Water.
Dry skin: that’s like a handful of sand – zapped of all it’s moisture
Your skin type is considered dry, if you’re familiar with:
- That uncomfortable tight feeling after you wash your face
- Basically invisible pores (break out that microscope!)
- The triple whammy of dryness, flakiness, and itchiness
- Zero elasticity, 100% tightness – all. year. round.
- A bit of a rough feeling
- A dull, tired complexion that’s begging for some glow, hydration, and nourishment, pleaseee!
QuickFire Tips: Avoid anything that will dry out your skin. So things like harsh cleaners, acids (alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids), and alcohol. We won’t tell if you sip on some wine though… To make sure your skin is absorbing AS MUCH goodness as possible, your job is to gently exfoliate (keyword is gently – DO NOT aggressively scrub!) 2 or 3 times a week and lather on hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, vitamin E, rose water, green tea and aloe vera which are all good for dry skin types.
The products you’re going to want to stock your bathroom shelves with are mild, unscented, and natural and are packed with hydrating, protective, and strengthening ingredients. Stuff like…
→ Aloe Vera, a star in our Nude and Green Clay Masks, is loaded with essential minerals, vitamins, and active compounds that rejuvenate, hydrate, and moisturise. Pretty much all the things your dry skin is begging for. Not only does aloe vera slough away dead skin cells and rebuild new ones, it has antimicrobial properties that make it a rockstar at healing sun damaged skin.
→ Roses don’t just smell good – they’re bomb at maintaining healthy skin tone and fighting off free radicals. They’re packed with antioxidants and can help refine pores so your skin looks happier and healthier. Dry skin loves roses because they’re extremely moisturising and soothing, quenching that parched skin.
→ Jojoba Oil is a liquid wax and is an amazing vegetable oil occlusive that forms a thin, protective layer on the skin and prevents transepidermal water loss. Which is really just fancy language to say it helps your dry skin hang on to every single drop of moisture and stay hydrated, soft, and smooth all day, every day.
Combination skin: t-zone’s got glare, but cheeks are like a stale, health-food cracker
Your skin type is considered dry, if you’re familiar with:
- Indecisive skin. Is it dry? Oily? Make up your mind!
- A troublesome t-zone that’s oily, got enlarged pores and breaks out from time to time
- A mid-afternoon shine you can always count on
- Some dullness that’s just asking for some hydration
- Clogged pores and ever-present blackheads
- A seasonal skincare wardrobe because it’s oily in the summer, dry in the winter
Quick Fire Tips: Combination skin can go overboard producing oil in some spots – especially the t-zone – but forget to spread the love to other places, like your cheeks. So pretty much Sybil… It craves hydration but politely requests you skip the heavy oils and pore-clogging ingredients.
So you need to target your approach. You might not be able to slather the same serum all over your face, but you can ALWAYS opt for non-drying, pore-cleansing, and exfoliating products with hydrating antioxidants and skin-brightening botanicals. Your combo skin’s dream routine is all about using the right products in the right areas. That might mean oils and creams to lock in moisture on your cheeks and jaw, and a clay mask to sop up oil on your forehead and nose.
The products you want to befriend are full of emollients and humectants for moisturisation and ones that help your skin balance sebum production. Stuff like…
→ Rosehip Seed Oil: Oils have a bad rap, especially when it comes to acne-prone skin. You’ve probably said, “Why would I want MORE oil on my face?!” The thing is you want the *right* oil, and that means one high in linoleic acid, which is ah-mazing for oily skin like yours because it’s lighter, thinner, and quickly absorbed. So no clogged pores and heavy feeling – probably something you’ve dealt with in the past, right? Rosehip oil, in particular, is a super lightweight plant oil that your skin basically drinks up. The result? Softer, moisturised skin with a lovely even tone. Give our Rosehip Seed Oil a try.
→ Zeolite Minerals, like the ones in our Pink Clay Mask, are awesome at retaining water and drawing in moisture from the environment – perfect for those dry spots. If you wanna impress your friends, you can say they’re “hydrophilic,” which basically means they love water. Us, too. Zeolites are also boss at cleansing your skin and drawing out nasties like impurities and toxins. They’re always down to detox – dirt and blackheads kinda don’t stand a chance when they’re around.
→ Orange Blossom Water will help control and balance your skin’s oil production. It’s also a very gentle exfoliator, making it excellent for cleansing and refining your pores. Even better? It’s supremely hydrating and soothing, which is exactly what your combination skin needs to look softer and a hundred times more radiant. Check out our Orange Blossom Water.
As you can see from the above, it’s super important to know your own skin. This enables you to better understand what ingredients are going to work for you and what ones not so much. The truth is no matter how amazing the products you’re using – or expensive the ingredients – if they aren’t a match for YOUR skin, you won’t get the results those glowing testimonials promise. And who wants to drop hundreds of dollars on products that look pretty in your #shelfie but don’t do anything for your skin?
Still not sure what your unique skin type is? Let’s end that confusion and the myth of one-size-fits-all skincare! Take our short (and entertaining but we’re not biased) quiz to discover your unique skin type and get recommendations for a truly personalized skincare routine below!