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The 5 skin types and the perfect routine for each

Online Style Editor Ruby Gleeson reveals the perfect routine personalised for each of the five skin types

By Ruby Gleeson, Online Style Editor.

Online Style Editor Ruby Gleeson reveals the perfect routine personalised for each of the five skin types

Learn which skin type you are, and how to care for your complexion without breaking the bank.

The world of skincare can be a confusing place. Kendall Jenner was recently exposed to have been paid to falsely advertise Proactiv as curing her acne, when it was actually down to her Hollywood dermatologist. We are inundated with so-called ‘miracle-products’ that promise to deliver flawless results, commanded to exfoliate daily (or not to exfoliate at all) and told to invest in cult-like followings such as the 10-step Korean skin care regimen. FYI that’s an oil balm, a foaming cleanser, an exfoliant, a toner, an essence, a serum, a sheet mask, an eye cream, a moisturiser and finally, an SPF.

But the secret to skin care is more simple than we think. Long gone is the 3-step 'Clearasil Blue' method of cleansing, toning then moisturising. I say skip the second step and simply use a coin-size squirt of face wash to cleanse with lukewarm water, followed by a moisturiser to hydrate and soften skin.Yes- the squeaky clean feel of toned skin does feel wonderful at first, but toners strip away your skin’s natural oils. The problem with this is that stripping away oil makes the skin panic and compensate by producing sebum, an oily secretion which actually causes spots. Toners are counter-productive myths of skincare- avoid at all costs!

Winter is here, meaning that it is officially skincare season. The first step is determining which of the five main skin types you are, and then understanding the best regime for your individual complexion.

Dry Skin

If your skin flakes easily, feels dehydrated or raw, you have dry skin.

Dry skin suffers particularly in the winter period because the sebaceous glands produce less oil, which can leave your skin feeling scaly or sore. To help dry skin flourish, moisturise two- three times a day. You can get a travel-size bottle that is perfect to carry around uni. Consider this £1.99 Rich Nivea Moisturiser that is enriched in almond oil to give your skin the moisture it deserves. I would recommend using an oil-based cleanser such as Garnier Micellar Water Oil, which you apply with a cotton pad. Drink plenty of water, be cautious of over-washing, and avoid super-hot water -even in the shower- as this can dry your skin even more.

Oily Skin

If you have a natural sheen and can be prone to acne or clogged pores, you have oily skin.

Avoid loofahs or flannels as too much friction can aggravate the skin to produce more oil. Look for products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide as these ingredients can reduce sebum production and balance your skin more. Try using Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub that gently exfoliates and thoroughly cleanses skin. Follow this with a water-based moisturiser rather than oil-based, such as Nivea Soft. For flare-up days, use a clay mask to draw out impurities.


Image: NIVEA/

Normal Skin

If you feel like your skin is neither oily or dry, congratulations! Your skin is ‘normal’. Dermatologists refer to this skin type as eudermic; normal skin is well-balanced and easier to manage.

Use Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash followed by NIVEA Soft. Consider splurging on a fresh, natural face mask for off-duty days, such as Mask of Magnaminty from LUSH.

Combination Skin

This one’s a bit more complex. If your skin is sometimes dry but also oily, particularly on the T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin), the chances are that you have combination skin.

Use cotton pads to cleanse with Loreal Micellar Water for Normal Skin.

Use a moisturiser that is non-greasy but also is hydrating enough for the drier parts of the face, such as Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Combination Skin Moisturiser.

'Try different things out until you find your perfect match. My housemate swears by slathering on sudocrem to cure an emerging pimple'

Sensitive Skin

If your skin goes red easily, products often sting or you react easily to things like dust, stress or household pets, your skin is probably sensitive.

Consider using a balm or cream, such as L’oreal Paris Fine Flowers Cleansing Cream. Follow this with Aveeno or Simple Light Moisturiser. Avoid heavy scents or chemicals and go for natural, simplistic products.

Everyone’s skin is different and there is no one-size-fits-all regime. Ask for samples and try different things out until you find your perfect match. My housemate swears by slathering on sudocrem to cure an emerging pimple. And to recall Baz Luhrmann’s famous lines: ‘Don’t forget to wear suncreen’. Protect your skin by applying an SPF after your moisturiser.

If you suffer from acne and feel like nothing is working, consider booking an appointment with Student Health Service. GP’s understand how much skin can affect wellbeing and can advise whether the acne is hormonal or bacterial in order to creams or antibiotics accordingly.

Featured Image: Kevin Laminto / Unsplash

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