Do you ever shop for skincare products and stop to think 'hmm, i think my skin is that' then pause 'oh wait , but i do have a bit of that...' and then see the next shelf and see an ingredient you've heard loads about 'oh my skin must need that!' and then feel totally overwhelmed and come away with either the whole bloody range or worse... nothing at all. Yep i've been there! Understanding your skin type is like finding the perfect fit Jeans or the perfect summers day glass of wine... its gold! So whilst we have a little more time to look at our skin in the mirror and suss this out, I thought I would give you a helping hand to try to figure out your skin type to help you choose the right products for you.
Disclamer *I cannot be held responsible for how much money you may spend on Cult Beauty after reading this post!
Feels uncomfortable and desperate for moisturiser after washing your face & showering, feels tight in cold weather and is aggravated by central heating, pores are small and often not visible, fine lines appear sooner than others in your age group, make up can be patchy, skin can be flaky, prone to milia (tiny white lumps, often around the eyes).
The best way to establish if your skin is Dry is knowing your skin is thirsty for moisturiser after washing your face or getting out of the shower. You will feel the need to put on night cream (and lots of it) before bed and wake up feeling like immediately you need face cream or a spritz of face mist. This skin type is one that needs to be looked after with care so avoid throwing too many ingredients on it and monitor changes to see whether you have had a positive impact or a negative impact when you try new products out. Dry skin is often visibly flaky and if you are suffering quite abit you may need more pharmacy based creams such as E45.
Reach for oily cleansing balms, rich with plant oils and gentle exfoliants over harsh scrubs, often dry skin sufferers believe buffing the skin with a harsh exfoliant will reveal a new layer of a different skin type, but this will only aggravate it. Also avoid Micellar Water as the ingredient Sulphates (SLS) will not help this skin type. Make up wise I would also recommend avoiding Matte Finish foundations and primers, these will only make your skin feel tighter and your make up appear patchier.
Shiny and plumper looking skin, pores are often large, you may see blackheads quite visibly, prone to spots and breakouts, can leave a shower and not need moisturiser, fewer fine lines & wrinkles than others your age.
Oh oily skin, how you confuse me, on one hand you keep my skin feeling more youthful and give me added bounce and radiance and on the other hand my make up will not sit still with you! This skin type has the good with the bad but to balance out oily skin, don't avoid oil, infact add it to your routine! Do avoid the following ingredients - minerals oils, shea and cocoa butter and rich emollients. I personally suggest using an oil based cleanser or oil serum at night to work with your skin and a gentle exfoliant over an aggressive one as this can produce additional oil (Sebum) and a good tip would be to have handy some travel blotting papers and invest in a good translucent power to set your make up to help its staying power (my recommendation is the Laura Mercier one!)
Skin is generally healthy looking with pores larger round the nose, forehead and chin, cheeks can be prone to dryness in the winter. During your menstrual cycle you may appear oilier around your t-zone. Make up can become patchy throughout the day.
I believe that if you don't know your skin type, you will probably say you have combination skin. Combination skin is heavily affected by hormones but can often be made worse by using the wrong products - concentrating on one type over the other, resulting in confusing your skin more. Try not to force your skin to be something its not and treat it with care, rather like sensitive skin as yours will be prone to change. Opt for Plant rich ingredients and avoid foaming face washes and Micellar waters especially those than contain Sulphates (SLS) Reach for gentle exfoliators and balms and oils to try to rebalance your skin.
Can get aggravated using new skin care or make up products, can be hot and itchy, can also be oily, dry or combination and burns quick in the sun or feel very tight and burns in extreme cold also.
This skin type can be quite tricky to deal with and at times, feel rather unfair, especially when it comes to experimenting with new skincare products or make up.
Often it can be an ingredient or a few that are causing this and without trying and testing this, it can be hard to know what is causing your skin to be so sensitive, it can also be driven by diet - sugars, or certain food groups (dairy) but i won't go in to that just keep a diary of changes and see how your skin reacts but i would recommend doctors advice before any drastic changes! A few known ingredients to often irritate sensitive skin (again, test) could be minerals, paraffin oils, fragrance, Sulphates (SLS), parabens, alcohol and palm so have a look at the back of a particular creams' and lotions ingredients you know didn't work well, then compare it against another... if 2 ingredients match you may be on to something....
I would always recommend patch testing any new products if you have this skin type, try it on a small part of your face for a few days to check for any reaction as you would rather be dealing with a small patch of problem/reaction than your entire face.
Prone to dullness, fine lines come and go, your skin can look rather radiant soon after showering but then need help after drying. Responds well to humid weather.. Lips can be dry and skin can flake around the nose and between the eyebrows.
This skin type essentially lacks water, rather than oil and you can find yourself dipping in and out of this skin type. Close up (and i mean microscope close) this skin type will appear cris-cross as if being pulled apart... sounds horrid doesn't it!) but don't panic you just need to hydrate it and keep up the routine. Some think drinking more water will help, as much as this will help any skin group because water is essential, but this does not increase your skins ability to retain water and plump out, water will be prioritised to your organs... over your skin, so concentrate your skin care products on ingredients such as Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid (a firm favourite in my skin care bag and not as scary as it sounds) these will be your skins savours. Hyaluronic Acid can be found in many eye creams, day and night creams and also foundations (L'oreal True Match to name one).
Comfortable, smooth, either dry nor oily. Not problematic and suits all products when introduced into your skincare or make up regime. Sometimes prone to breakouts during menstrual cycle but quickly reverts back to normal.
Normal is not the best term to use but this skin type is really quite middle of the road, you lucky bunch! Often with this skin type you feel your skin is comfortable with or without skin care or make up, it is low maintenance and any product seems to work for you. You may find time of the month changes your skin but then you will go back to 'normal' my main advice with this skin type is try not to spend all of your money on paying around with products.... i'm only jealous!
I hope this helps clear up some myths and helps you to get a good understanding of your skin type and what products/ingredients to look out for or avoid. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to talk Skin!