Know Your Skin Type

Know your skin type

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to beauty products, but how much of what you are using actually suits your skin type? Here I will give you advice on how to differentiate,

As we know, there are a wide variety of skin care products available to buy in all cosmetic houses, department stores, chemists and nearly all supermarkets. Every time we pick up a magazine or we are watching ads on the television, we see new face and body products with the answer to all our problems on how to look younger and on how to get rid of our lines and wrinkles! But are we using the correct products to suit our skin?

There are 5 basic skin types, however our skin is not always the same throughout our lives, Skin experts will say your skin and hair type is change every 7 years. Skin can alter at any time due to illness, time of year, hormone changes and pregnancy among other reasons, so point being that just because we have used a certain cream that was recommended for us in the summer is the correct one to use in the winter, as with the weather changes in Ireland so often we need to change our lotions and potions to suit us depending on climate!

Ask yourself these questions to distinguish which skin type you are.

DRY: Dull, dry, and itchy, Flaky and red patches with fine pores, dry skin lacks oil. (Make-up can become patchy in dry areas and feel tight)

NORMAL: Even tone, soft, a smooth texture, no visible pores or blemishes, and no greasy patches or flaky areas. This type of skin has a clear, fine-textured, supple and smooth surface which is neither greasy nor dry. (Make-up will be flawless and stay put with no problems)


OILY: Large clogged pores, shiny appearence, oily t-zone, (make-up can slide off quickly and always appear shiny even with powder)

SENSITIVE: High colouring,(redness),thin fine pores, itchy, tingly and feels tight, can be tough sensitive and react to products easily,(make-up can cause greater irritation and aggravate skin)

COMBINATION: Medium pores, smooth even texture, healthy colour, T-zone most likely to be oily, pores have a tendency to be blocked in oily areas; combination skin can also be dehydrated or dry in areas,


Dry skin has under or inactive oil glands that do not produce enough sebum to keep skin naturally hydrated. It can have a dull appearance, feels dry and sometimes itchy; those with dry skin also have a tendency to have fine lines, flaking and red patches with sensitivity. Unfortunately dry skin can age faster than normal or oily skin due to the lack of moisture.


  • Hydrate the skin regularly from inside and out by drinking plenty of water and moisturising daily with a hydrating cream, Serums are also great for extra hydration especially at night to replenish the skin using products that are naturally hypoallergenic.
  • Exfoliating the skin on a weekly basis will remove ant dead skin cells that can work as a barrier from creams being penetrated deep into the surface of the skin so by removing these dead cells skin will appear less dull and absorption of cream with ease that will result in a more hydration.
  • When using Make-up, use a foundation that is moisturising not oil free. When cleansing the skin after make-up use a cream cleanser that won’t leave the skin feeling tight and use an alcohol free toner,
  • Day and Night moisturisers are essential for dry skin. Use a moisturising cream suited for dry skin, such products are a lot heavier than lotions and gels, Serums and masks are very beneficial and can be used regularly,


This is the skin type we all wish for. You could say it’s as soft as a babies bum; it’s the skin most of us had as children, with the right balance between oil and moisture content. Pores are small, and overall skin tone is even. Skin looks fresh, soft and is not greasy or dry; it’s supple and smooth with the least amount of problems.


I can safely say that this is the skin type we all dream to have, if you are lucky enough to have normal skin you will need to take good care of it by using the correct products to maintain it.

  • When choosing day and night creams most products will state which skin type it is suited for, Normal or all skin types is the one to buy. On a daily basis use a cleanser, toner and day night cream.
  • It is also important to drink plenty of water and not to use very heavy make-up normal skins have a very clear complexion and will need very little coverage so be sure not to cover up this beautiful skin and show it off while it’s in good condition.


Oily skin is the opposite to dry, as it produces too much sebum, which causes the skin to have a greasy, slippery texture. It’s most likely to have large clogged pores and has a shiny look is prone to blackheads and blemishes

Oily skin can find it hard for make-up to last the full day without blotting and re-applying powder to the oiliest areas, most likely the nose, chin and sides of the mouth. This is what’s known as the T-zone. Unfortunately oily skin is prone to develop acne, with one in five experiencing acne at some point in their lives. Acne is a build up of oil in the hair follicle, creating a plug that traps oil and dead cells under the surface of the skin, However on the other hand there is a plus side to having oily skin, as it generally remains younger looking and supple over time, so you could say they are the lucky ones when it comes to ageing of the skin.


Oily skin does still need to moisturise and it needs to be cleansed thoroughly to prevent breakouts and clogged pores, very gentle exfoliating products are fine to use but make sure not to use roughly especially on inflamed areas, Clay masks are brilliant for deep cleansing,

  • Use a gel cleanser rather than a cream and use an oil free foundation for lasting power and a mattifying  translucent powder after liquid foundations,
  • When buying moisturisers, be sure to go for a gel or a lotion that is lighter in texture than a heavy cream.


Skin can be dry, oily or normal and it can be referred more as a skin condition rather than a skin type, you could say you’re unfortunate to have sensitive skin but once it’s looked after with some T.L.C it will remain in good condition. This skin type is prone to react to certain ingredients found in some every day skin care cosmetics containing alcohol, artificial oil and fragrances, preservatives and dyes.

The skin tends to be thin with fine pores and very delicate, developed red and scaly areas, can be itchy and is the most problematic and fragile type of skin.

  • Sensitive skin should be advised professionally in what products they should us, and always try samples before spending a small fortune.
  • Sensitive skin should also try staying away from very harsh exfoliating masks and high fragranced products, They  should be more inclined to use natural gentle treatments,


Generally, most women, at one time or another, have two or more different skin types, Combination skin is characterized with an oily T-zone, cheeks, eyes and mouth is probably normal or dry, with medium pores, smooth even texture with good circulation and a healthy colour, Unfortunately for combination skin, generally you would have to use different types of products to accommodate all areas,


  • Gentle exfoliators and purifying masks just on the T-zone, are great for controlling the production of sebum, and to purify the surrounding areas while avoiding the areas that can be dry.
  • Use light creams or lotions, as they are not too heavy that can add to the over production of oil to the T-zone, while moisturising the areas that need it, most likely being the eyes, cheeks and neck.
  • When cleansing, try cleansing milks and lotions that are light. There are plenty of moisturisers to choose from for combination skin, but always try a sample before you buy.

I hope this information will help you distinguish what type you are and if you have any questions or need some recommendations on products please email [email protected]