Knowing your skin type will guide you towards your ideal skin care routine for a healthy glow and confidence boost. Here are the most common traits of dry, normal, combination and sensitive skin. Once you've figured out which skin type you are, visit our handy PRODUCT GUIDE to find out which products are right for you.
Dry Skin Attributes:
- Rough or papery texture
- Feels tight and looks thin
- Small pores
- Absorbs moisture quickly
- Minimal oil production*
Dry or alipidic skin does not produce enough sebum (oil) to protect it from environmental pollutants and the signs of aging. The skin is often sensitive because the acid mantle – the natural barrier between your skin and the outside world – is weakened. Look for skin care products known as occlusives, which are thick moisturizers that protect the acid mantle and to develop a healthy balance between skin and oil.
Try: Petal Purity Facial Cleanser followed by Rosehip Oil Moisturizing Serum or Today Serum before bed and follow up with Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream after you brush your teeth in the morning. If you’re a morning shower person skip the evening cleanse (but always remove makeup!).
*See note under Oily Skin
Dry vs. Dehydrated
Dehydrated skin is lacking in water instead of oil, and can strike all skin types. Dehydrated skin can look thin or flakey, and can feel like a bit like tissue paper to the touch. Dehydration of the skin is caused by internal factors such as caffeine, alcohol, and medications as well as external factors such as sun exposure, winter weather, harsh products or over-exfoliation. Drink plenty of water or herbal teas and moisturize regularly.
Normal Skin Attributes:
- Usually blemish-free
- Matte or glowy appearance, but not shiny
- Pores are normal size, noticeable around the T-zone
Normal skin can fluctuate between all the skin types, but won’t do so radically or for an extended period of time. While it’s the ideal skin type, it still requires regular care to keep skin and oil production in healthy unity.
Combination Skin Attributes:
- Parts of the face can be oily while others are normal or dry
- T-zone and chin are often the oiliest parts of the face
- Pores are more obvious outside the T-zone
- Skin around the edges of the face can be flakey and dehydrated
With a little tender loving care, it is possible to tame combination skin. The key to balancing the oil and dryness is with gentle cleansers and regular exfoliating to remove dead skin cells and combat acne. Regular exfoliating could mean anywhere from daily to weekly, let your skin decide. Water-based products are ideal.
Oily Skin Attributes:
- Excessive oil production*
- Pores are large
- Prone to blemishes
- Can look sallow and thick
Oily, or lipidic, skin needs a balanced regime of moisturizer and cleanser. Too much cleansing will strip the acid mantle that protects skin from environmental pollutants to cause irritation, while too little will lead to breakouts and speed the signs of aging. Too little moisture will cause skin to continue to overproduce oil, while a thick moisturizer may not entirely absorb. Exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells that can become trapped in the pores by oil and cause acne. The good news is that oily skin is slow to show the signs of aging!
*Excess oil production can also be a sign of dry skin. When this happens it’s because the skin was dry for so long that the body overcompensates in oil production. If astringent products irritate your skin rather than combat oil, you likely have dry skin.
- Fragile, red, and appears thin
- Flushes red easily and it’s common to have conditions that cause redness such as rosacea
- Especially common in descendants of Northern Europeans
Sensitive skin has become more common thanks to our society’s hurried, stressful idea of normal, but it is also caused by harsh weather, sun exposure, environmental pollutants and genetics. It is fussy, but not impossible to pamper. Exfoliate sparingly; you may find just gently removing cleanser with a washcloth is enough. Read skin care product labels carefully and avoid anything astringent or with added scent, and avoid deep cleansing masks. Stop using products immediately if there is any sign of irritation.
Try: Petal Purity Facial Cleanser, which is cream-based so does not suds up and strip skin of moisture. Follow with Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream. If you’re interested in a moisture-boosting serum like our Argan Oil Moisturizing Serum use that in place of a cream moisturizer as using both may overwhelm your skin.
My skin doesn’t fit any of these categories.
That’s not unheard of. The theme that links all skin types together is balance. Be open to the idea of trying different routines and products, and keep track of what your skin likes and does not like. If you find something that works, stick with it even if you’re tempted to try something else because regularly changing your routine may not do your skin any favours.