Skin Type + Products 101

With an abundance of skincare products on the market, choosing products that will incorporate seamlessly into our routine can be tricky. Based on skin types and specific skincare needs, we can narrow down on a few products that will that pair well with the skin’s chemistry.

Normal Skin

Normal skin type describes those who have well-balanced skin and wouldn’t usually experience dryness, flakiness, or oiliness.

For those with normal skin type, use products that keep the skin hydrated and radiant. Start by washing the face with a cleansing gel followed by a moisturizer. Moisturizers come in all types of textures from gels to thick creams. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your choices such as a lightweight moisturizer during the day and a richer cream during the night. With that said, look for a moisturizer with soothing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and aloe.

Normal skin can also benefit from chemical exfoliation once a week. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) including lactic acid and salicylic acid respectively can work to gently exfoliate the skin while leaving radiant results.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is often tied to the feeling of tightness on the surface of the skin. Those with dry skin can experience flaky skin and a dull complexion due to less sebum production compared to normal skin.

For dry skin, opt for an oil cleanser, cream cleanser, or micellar water instead of the traditional foam cleanser or gel cleanser. Products that foam or lather up can lead to further dryness on the skin as natural oils and sebum are washed away. To combat dryness, apply a heavier moisturizer or cream to help improve the feeling of dry skin. Still looking for an extra boost in hydration? Consider trying a cream based overnight masks to help hydrate the skin throughout the night.

Light-weight oils such as jojoba oil or squalane can also help nourish the skin. These can be found in existing products or as stand alone facial oils. Other additions in products including ceramides and hyaluronic acid also work well to help the skin retain moisture as these ingredients are natural components of our skin’s barrier.

Combination Skin

With combination skin type, it’s typical to experience oily areas surrounding the chin, nose, and forehead area while feeling dry on the remaining areas of the face.

The best practice for combination skin type is to divide and conquer. After washing the face, choose a light-weight or gel moisturizer as a base product. For areas that are dry, try layering a hydrating serum or a face oil such as jojoba oil or squalane. In contrast, for oily regions apply a clay mask once a week to once every two weeks.

Exfoliation for combination skin can be slightly complex as dry skin and oily skin have different needs. Although both skin types can benefit from chemical exfoliation, dry areas work well with alpha hydroxy acids, while oily regions work better with beta hydroxy acids.

Oily Skin

Those with oily skin type can experience greasiness and shininess on the skin. Oily skin can occur when the skin produces too much sebum.

A skincare regimen for oily skin consists of washing the face with a cleansing gel or foam cleanser followed by an alcohol-free toner and a light-weight, oil-free moisturizer. Although it’s been said that oily skin types can skip the moisturizer. Finding the correct moisturizer can benefit the skin and help balance sebum production. For those with an already established routine without a moisturizer, it’s understandable to have some hesitation when adding a new product to the lineup. If the current routine works well. Then great! If not, then try something new. During this transition and trial period, try using a milky serum instead.

There are additional steps that can help maintain balance when it comes to oily skin type. The introduction of exfoliation can be a great option to refresh the skin. Exfoliation using products containing salicylic acid can help remove build-up found in pores, which can help clear up potential breakouts.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin generally refers to those who may experience irritation from products, redness, uneven skin tone, tightness, itchiness, or dryness.

Sticking with a gentle routine that consists of an oil cleanser, cream cleanser, or micellar water is a great start. Follow up with a toner and moisturizer containing soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, squalane, chamomile extract, and panthenol (vitamin B5).

Like most of the skin types mentioned previously, sensitive skin types can also benefit from chemical exfoliation. Instead of using glycolic acid or lactic acid that’s meant for less sensitive skin, try products containing lactobionic acid or gluconolactone acid. These ingredients are considered to be more gentle on the skin. With sensitive skin, work slow and build up a tolerance to once a week exfoliation.

All Skin Types

Not all product recommendations for are limited to specific skin types. Regardless of skin type, sun protection can help maintain healthy skin and youthful looking skin in the long run. During the day, use a SPF 30 or greater sunscreen to protect the skin. All skin types can also experience dehydrated skin, which is different from dry skin type. Dehydrated skin occurs when the skin lacks water, which can contribute to excess sebum production, the feeling of tight skin, and irritation. To combat dehydrated skin, keep the skin hydrated by using a moisturizer, cream, or even a milky serum.