The Ultimate Guide to Different Skin Types

The Ultimate Guide to Different Skin Types

Whether you spend a quick five minutes before bed cleaning and moisturising your skin, or have an entire bag of high-quality skincare products that you use morning and night, we all know that taking care of our skin is important. What we often forget, however, is that completing general skin care tasks is not nearly as important as caring specifically for your skin type. Everyone is different, and understanding the needs and quirks of your skin is the first step to keeping it happy and healthy.

If you're planning an overhaul of your skin care routine and need a few pointers on how to identify which of the different skin types you have, we can be of help. In this guide, you'll learn the five different skin types and their characteristics so you can discover which type of skin you have. From there, we'll offer some advice on which products and routines will work best for you and your unique skin.

What are skin types?

One of the most useful ways of categorising our skin, skin types allow us to ensure we provide ourselves with the tailored care our skin needs to stay healthy. Of course, dermatologists, skincare brands and even we as individuals know that all skin is different and, just because your skin shares the characteristics of skin types, that doesn't mean it doesn't show its own unique quirks. Even so, we would still recommend asking yourself '_x0098_what skin type am I?' From this starting point, you'll be able to identify key characteristics of your skin and discover the best skincare routines and products to keep it gorgeous and glowing all year round.

What are the different skin types?

There are five skin types most commonly-recognised by dermatologists, and these are combination skin, dry skin, normal skin, oily skin and sensitive skin. While these five skin types may seem to be very different to one another (and they are!) it can be surprisingly difficult to identify which category your skin fits into. This may seem odd, especially considering the amount of time we all spend caring for our skin, but it's important to remember that skin types can change as we age, not to mention the effect additional factors such as temperature, humidity and even our diet can have. If you're struggling to identify your skin type, take a look through our guide below to discover the most common characteristics of skin types, and the best way to look after it.

The dry skin type

One of the more difficult skin types to identify due to the ease by which characteristics can be dismissed as an anomaly, the dry skin type shows itself through dry, dull skin that usually feels a little lackluster. This appearance is caused by the underproduction of sebum, an oily substance that helps skin retain moisture while also providing the skin with a waxy, protective layer to defend against harsh external conditions.

Characteristics of dry skin type

If you have the dry skin type, you might have noticed some of the following characteristics:

  • A dull, tired appearance occasionally flecked with patches of rough, flaky skin
  • A less elastic, occasionally tight feeling over the skin, which shows lines easily
  • An uneven complexion, often with red patches

The best type of cleanser for dry skin

If you recognise the characteristics of dry skin in yourself, adapting your skincare routine to help provide your skin with the moisture it is lacking is a good way to reduce the appearance of red patches and flaky, dry skin. To help get you started, we've picked out our favourite products for dry skin, including the best type of cleanser for dry skin.

Clarins Make Up Remover Cleanser Trio Travel Set

£17.99 (RRP £30.00) Save £12.01

Perfect for caring for your skin on the go, this travel makeup remover set from Clarins includes a 30ml bottle of Instant Eye Make-Up Remover to focus on stubborn mascara and eyeliner, a 50ml bottle of Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs to gently remove foundations and powders and finally a 50ml bottle of Toning Lotion with Camomile to soften and refresh your skin.

The oily skin type

The opposite of dry skin, the oily skin type is found where the overproduction of sebum occurs. The severity by which this occurs can vary from person to person, and even by the time of year, but it remains a manageable skin type with the right level and type of care.

Oily skin type characteristics

As we've mentioned, oily skin type characteristics are very flexible and will change regularly as the environment around you does. On hotter days, and days where you're feeling more stressed than normal, these characteristics will be more noticeable.

  • Large pores can be seen and the skin appears glossy or shiny
  • A slight greasy feel to skin due to the excess production of oil
  • The regular appearance of blackheads, whiteheads and acne caused by a buildup of sebum in the pores

The best moisturiser for oily skin

Oily skin can be tricky to care for. You want to make sure it's getting everything it needs to stay healthy and clear of any pollutants, while simultaneously working to minimise any pesky shiny points created by natural oils. The best way to do this is to make sure that you're buying oil-free moisturising products. It's a common myth that those with oily skin don't require moisturiser, but this isn't the case as a lack of moisture causing the skin to dehydrate can actually see oil build-up increase. Opting for a gel based moisturiser will ensure your skin is still receiving the moisture it needs, but in a lightweight formula that won't add further excess oil. These will help to create an even, mattified complexion without dehydrating your skin.

Clinique Dramatically Different Gel 125ml

£28.99 (RRP £32.00) Save £3.01

If you're looking for an easy way to manage your oily skin type characteristics such as unwanted shine, Clinique's Dramatically Different Gel for oily skin might be your saviour. Designed to give your skin the moisture and hydration it needs on a daily basis, this oil-free moisturising gel feels lightweight on the skin and helps to smooth out your pores to create a soft, even complexion.

The normal skin type

While dry skin suffers from the underproduction of oils and oily skin is a result of the regular overproduction of oils, the lucky few who have normal skin are those whose skin can naturally strike a healthy balance. Outside factors such as excess heat and overexposure to the sun can still cause normal skin to exhibit characteristics of other skin types, so taking additional care when in different environments and climates is important to ensuring your healthy skin stays that way.

Normal skin type characteristics

While other skin types have clear indicators to help determine whether your skin fits into the category or not, normal skin is a little harder. As we've mentioned, if you belong to the normal skin type, you can still occasionally get dry, flaky skin (usually caused by a change in climate), or shiny, greasy skin (usually caused by hormonal changes or stress), so you'll need to pay close attention to how often your skin displays these characteristics in order to determine your true type.

  • Normal skin should have an even, regular appearance which isn't prone to blemishes and imperfections
  • There should be an even balance of oils on your skin, leaving it neither too dry or too oily

Normal skin face cream

Since the normal skin type strikes a healthy balance on its own, your daily skincare routine doesn't need to target any specific areas. This leaves you with more freedom when selecting skincare products, though we recommend investing in products which are specifically designed for 'normal skin'. If your skin is often exposed to climate changes or you spend a lot of time in the sun, it would also be a good idea to expand your search to include 'normal to dry skin' formulas to help you on your less hydrated skin days. Avoid using products created for specific skin concerns if you do not have any, as this may disturb the balance of your skin barrier and cause problems to occur. A good rule for those with normal skin is to keep skincare simple - a hydrator such as hyaluronic acid, a non-chemical exfoliating toner, a quality moisturiser and of course, an SPF with suitable UVA and UVB protection for your morning skincare routine.

Clarins Hydra Essentiel Silky Cream 50ml

£32.50 (RRP £37.00) Save £4.50

Perfect for keeping your skin hydrated and happy, Clarins' Hydra Essentiel Silky Cream 50ml is designed to return your skin's natural radiance. Suitable for normal to dry skin types, simply apply this super soft, moisturising cream to provide extra protection from the sun and dry environments.

Combination skin type

Perhaps the most common type of them all, the combination skin type can occur in a variety of ways. Whether it's mostly normal in the areas surrounding the eyes and on the cheeks with oily patches across the T-zone (across the forehead, nose and chin), or a mix of dry and oily across the same zones of the face, treating combination skin can be a challenge.

Combination skin type characteristics

If you have combination skin, the characteristics you experience can be different from those of someone else with the same type of skin. The usual challenge is identifying which areas of your face show the typical '_x0098_oily skin type characteristics' and where you're more likely to get features typical of normal or dry skin. If you think you fit into this category, we recommend visiting the characteristics sections detailed above and seeing where you fit into for your T-zone, and where you fit for the rest of your skin.

Face moisturiser for combination skin

Finding the right products to tackle the specific characteristics of dry and oily skin together takes a little work, but it is by no means impossible. We recommend searching for lightweight, wearable moisturisers that hydrate and protect areas of dry skin without increasing the greasy, shiny feel of more oil-prone areas.

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Moisturiser SPF15 Dry Combination 50ml

£44.90 (RRP £55.00) Save £10.10

Designed to repair and protect dry skin without overloading oily T-zones with excess moisture, Clinique Smart Custom Repair Moisturiser is a saviour for those with dry combination skin. The formula works to create a more even complexion, smoothing out fine lines often caused by the dry skin type and, with SPF 15 defence, you'll benefit from additional protection from the sun.

The sensitive skin type

Not classified as it's own skin type by all dermatologists, people with sensitive skin usually share only one main characteristic; hyper-sensitivity to irritants. It's important to know that you can have dry, sensitive skin or oily, sensitive skin, as this characteristic isn't exclusive, so your care regime should focus on managing both the demands of your primary skin type, while also working on maintaining a healthy, defensive skin barrier to reduce irritation caused by external factors.

Our golden skincare rule

There's no doubting the importance of creating a skincare regime that is tailored to your skin type, individual quirks and preferences but, no matter what you choose, our golden rule of skincare remains the same: always apply SPF to your face!

Important to more than just the appearance of your skin, applying SPF every day as part of your morning skincare routine is essential to ensuring your skin stays healthy. This is a year-round rule, with no ifs or buts, whether it's through foundation, moisturiser or just our favourite sunscreen, applying SPF with UVA and UVB protection should never be skipped. You can even pair your SPF care with your skin type-specific skincare regime to give yourself more tailored protection. If you aren't sure where to start, take a look at our favourite SPF skincare products below.

SPF for dry skin - Lancome Renergie Cream

SPF for oily skin - Clarins Super Restorative Day Face Cream SPF20

SPF for normal skin - Clarins Extra Firming Day Face Cream

SPF for combination skin - Clinique Smart Custom Repair Moisturiser SPF15

Develop your perfect skin type-specific care routine

Whether you have hard-to-manage combination skin, are trying to control excess oils or need help with dry skin type characteristics, Hogies Online is here to help you treat your skin the way it deserves. The perfect place to find high-quality skin care products for less, Hogies has plenty of dry skin type moisturisers, cleansers for combination skin and skin care products for sensitive skin to choose from. Start your search in the skincare collection online and get one step closer to happy, healthy skin.