All the reasons you need to know your skin type

Skin comes in four main types, but does anyone care? Yes, apparently. Here’s why.

You’re likely across the fact that skin comes in a variety of types, but if you have little to no idea which type you are you’re not alone. The vast majority of us either have no clue or, worse, have misdiagnosed our skin type altogether. That’s a problem because knowing your type does make caring for your skin much easier.

“It does help to know the basics of skin analysis,” says skin therapist Christine Clais, author of French Complexion – The Secret to Beautiful Skin at Any Age (Viking).

“Failing to correctly identify your skin type and the condition it is in usually leads to choosing the wrong products and worsening your skin’s condition.”

Charlotte Turner, head of training for the French beauty house Clarins agrees. The vast majority of skincare (and even some cosmetic) ranges are specifically formulated for specific skin types, says Charlotte.

“If you select products that do not match your skin type it can lead to imbalances which can exacerbate signs of premature ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles.”

Nobody wants that. So here’s a sneaky guide to identifying your skin type today – read it to ID which type you are. Then, you can be 100 per cent confident you’re choosing the products and treatments that suit you best.

Oily Skin

Skin is affected by genes and your hormones too. This means it can change at various periods of your life – think puberty and menopause for example. Still, if for the majority of the time your skin general appears shiny and has enlarged pores, occasionally develops blackheads and whiteheads too, plus an odd pimple or even acne, you’re likely to be an oily type.

Tip: Try moisturisers and also makeup that have mattifying ingredients to tone down shine.

Normal Skin

No enlarged pores are visible and on the whole, you’ve got a nice little glow going on.

Your skin is smooth, plump looking, has few to no blackheads (or whiteheads either) and pimples are rare. You’re normal.

Tip: Your skin is gorgeous. Keep it that way by wearing an SPF all year round.

Combination Skin

This type is particularly common and easy to recognise. If your T-zone (the forehead, nose and areas around the mouth and chin) appear shiny then you have combination skin, says Charlotte Turner.

Tip: Use oily skin products in the T-zone but opt for normal elsewhere.

Dry Skin

Can feel tight and touchy and even rough to the touch. Often looks dry or slightly flaky and is prone to fine lines and ageing. Breakouts are very rare but conditions such as dermatitis and even eczema are common.

Tip: Take shorter showers, use mild, gentle cleansers and apply a rich moisturiser as needed.
Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs for Dry/Normal Skin, $44. or 02 9663 4277.

Removes dirt and grime yet add moisture and neutralises the drying effect of water.

Giorgio Armani ARMANI PRIMA Glow-On Moisturising Balm, $128. 1300 651 991.

Hydrates even the driest skin leaving it radiant and dewy, plus it’s a perfect pre-foundation base.

Homedics Radiance Microdermabrasion Device, $249. or 03 8756 6512.

A handheld microdermabrasion device that whips off dead skin cells and stimulates the skin beneath. Particularly suited to oily skin types who are battling visible pores and breakouts.

Olay Complete UV Protection Moisture Lotion SPF 15 Normal/Dry, $14.99. or 1800 028 280.

Non-Greasy yet deeply hydrating, this lotion b
oosts elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines.

Nivea 2in1 Wash & Scrub, $9.97. or 1800 103 023.

A gentle exfoliating scrub and cleansing gel which removes excess oil and sebum preventing shine. Perfect for oily and/or combination skin.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming SPF30, $240. or 1800 649 849.

A colour correcting cream that brightens, evens skin tone, refines pores and provides glow. Suitable for all skins.


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