Determining Your Skin Type

There is no one size fits all skincare solution, so it's important to understand which category your skin fits into in order to nourish, moisturise, and protect in the best way. There are four main skin types Oily, Dry, Normal and Combination. The easiest way to determine which best describes your skin type to wash your face and observe how it feels after 2 minutes.

If you don’t notice much of a difference from before you washed your face …

You are likely to have normal skin. People with normal skin tend to not notice much of a difference after the 2 minutes have passed. This skin type as a good oil and water balance and usually, will only experience a slight shine at the end of the day.

Features of normal skin:

  • Pores are barely visible
  • Generally clear + uniform in appearance
  • Soft and smooth (good elasticity)

When looking for products you’re likely to want a simple routine that helps maintain your skin’s current condition whilst preventing any future spots or blemishes.

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If your skin is noticeably shiny ...

You likely have oily skin. Those with oily skin tend be more prone to acne due to highly active sebaceous glands, resulting in shiny / greasy looking skin.

Features of oily skin:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Glossy shine
  • Blackheads

When looking for products it’s a good idea to look for products that “control sebum” production while still providing enough moisture, so that your skin doesn’t get dehydrated.

Ingredients to look for:

  • AHAs (Alpha hydroxy acids) + BHAs (Beta hydroxy acids): These acids act as exfoliants by loosening desmosomes (small structures that hold skin cells together) so that the top layer of skin can be shed and flush sebaceous glands of trapped dirt and sebum.
  • Clay: Clay is great for absorbing excess sebum which will prevent your skin from looking so oily
  • Tea tree: Tea tree acts as an antiseptic agent in cosmetics which can inhibit the growth of Probacterium Acnes (the main acne causing bacteria) and thus helps prevent the development of acne.

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If your skin is noticeably tight ...

You probably have dry skin. Dry skins tend to be noticeably tight and possibly flaky in places. Because dry skin does not produce a lot of sebum, there is nothing to prevent water from leaving the skin, resulting in dryness.

Features of dry skin:

  • Tightness
  • Dull appearance
  • Mild scaling/flakiness and possible itchiness

When shopping for dry skin it’s good to look for products that are hydrating and are good at sealing in moisture. It’s also a good idea to look for products that claim to be “soothing” or “calming” - as dry skin tends to be pretty sensitive.

Ingredients to look for:

  • Water - As obvious as it sounds, the only ingredient that will really hydrate your skin on a cellular level is water. Skincare products with a high water content work wonders for dry skin.
  • Antioxidants -  Antioxidants prevent free radicals damaging skin cells which help keep skin healthy and they also have additional anti-inflammatory properties (green tea and vitamin E are two ingredients high in antioxidants)
  • Ceramides + Fatty acids -  these help enhance the skin’s barrier to make sure the extra water you’ve just added doesn’t evaporate. They also help to soften the skin. They’re often found in ”Nourishing” products.

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If your skin is noticeably shiny in some areas and tight in others ...

You most likely have combination skin. People with combination skin can be described as having different skin types on different places on their face. For example your cheeks may be particularly dry but you have a very oily T zone.

Features of combination skin:

  • Exhibit different skin types in different areas
  • Skin type is not always consistent and can change seasonally

When looking for products you’re going to want to pick products that cater to different skin types on your face as well as products you can use all over.

Ingredients to look for:

  • PHA (Polyhydroxy Acids) - Like AHAs and BHAs, PHAs are chemical exfoliants and work in the same way that AHAs and BHAs do, but as PHA molecules are larger they don’t penetrate as deep into the skin meaning they are suitable for the dryer/more sensitive areas of your face as well as the oily ones.
  • Honey -  Honey is well known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It also acts as a great moisturiser so it’s great for dry and acne prone skin.
  • Humectants - No matter what your skin type - its good to make sure it is properly hydrated. Humectants are ingredients that attract and retain water which help keep your skin’s moisture levels up. Popular ones include glycerin and fatty alcohols

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