From night creams to beauty oils, toners to serums, the plethora of luxurious skincare products on the market today means there is a greater level of choice than ever before – but with so many different types of products, all professing to offer a wealth of different benefits, it can be a confusing process to navigate through. And, as many of us have no doubt found out over the years, at times it’s all about trial and error.
Even so, there is one thing that can give you a firm basis from which to start, and that’s identifying your skin type. Not all skin was created equal, and the same goes for skincare products – so using a product designed for normal skin when yours is on the drier side, for example, might not produce the desired results.
Visiting a skincare consultant and having an analysis done of your skin is one way to get a better understanding about your needs, but it’s easy enough to get an idea of it by simply paying attention to it yourself. Does your t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) tend to get a little oilier than the rest of your face? Then you may have combination skin, but if the oiliness is a perpetual problem to contend with all over your face, then it’s likely you have an oily skin type. As you would expect, skin that is on the drier side falls into the ‘dry’ skin type, while those who are lucky enough not so suffer with any of these issues can consider their skin ‘normal’.
Of course, it’s not always that simple, and with a number of other skin conditions to contend with – from acne to rosacea – a more complex skincare routine is sometimes required. But it’s always important to lay a solid foundation for your skin, so here’s what you should add to your beauty collection today.
Suffer from oily skin? Then oil-free products are a must. The last thing you want to do is add to the problem, and thankfully, there are now a wealth of skincare products on the market that cater to this skin type. In fact, you can even stretch it to your makeup routine, too – there are some great oil free foundation formulas out there – Laura Mercier’s Silk Crème Oil Free is our favourite.
To avoid oversaturating your skin with heavy moisturisers, which can often make the problem worse, opt for lightweight, gel formulas instead. We love Origins’ Make a Difference + Rejuvenating Treatment, which replenishes and quenches thirsty skin. It’s light, oil free and is enriched with lychee and watermelon to support the skin’s barrier function and retain moisture without weighing skin down.
And, to keep those frustrating breakouts at bay and unclog blocked pores, a weekly face mask treatment is essential. Origins’ Out of Trouble is a great SOS treatment, while Que Bella’s Professional Detoxifying Intense Black Peel Off Mask uses charcoal to detoxify and deeply cleanse the skin. A great pick if you suffer from blackheads – and strangely satisfying to peel off at the end!
If you suffer from dry skin, it’s important to find products that will hydrate without causing irritation. Avoid drying ingredients such as alcohol and astringents, and steer clear of fragranced products, too. At this time of year, dry skin can be at its worst, but don’t be tempted to overhydrate as this can often cause unwelcome breakouts. Instead, opt for light products containing peptides, ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
As always, be sure to cleanse, tone and moisturise, as these are the cornerstones of every good skincare routine. For this skin type, cream cleansers work best, and adding a hydrating night cream to your routine during the winter months is essential.
Combination skin can often be the most difficult type to treat, with different areas of the face requiring different treatments. As a general rule of thumb, look out for gentle, lightweight formulas that pack a punch when it comes to potent ingredients and nutrients. Oil blotters can be a useful tool to have on hand to absorb excess moisture from the t-zone whilst you’re out and about.
And finally, if you’re blessed with a normal skin-type, then lucky you. A basic cleanse, tone and moisturise routine is all you really need. Even so, there are lots of products on the market designed to address other skincare concerns outside of the basic skin types, so feel free to experiment with anti-ageing and brightening products to find what works for you.
A toner containing glycolic acid can be used daily to gently resurface your skin and help you to maintain that healthy glow. And don’t be afraid to add an eye cream to hydrate the delicate eye area and reduce the appearance of those fine lines and wrinkles we all dread. Our favourite? Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Eye Cream.
Whatever your skin type, knowing the basics will help you to make the best of your complexion – so take the time to ask questions at beauty counters and experiment with what works for you. After all, if your skin looks great, then you’ll feel great, too – and what could be more worth the effort than that?