Table of Contents to Adore Beauty's Skincare Guide
Skincare isn't a one-size-fits-all type of game. Your skin is your skin, and your concerns are unique.
Ensuring your product choices suit your skin type and address your concerns is paramount to creating a rock-solid routine that keeps you looking fabulous. We’ve got products to suit every complexion, so let’s start your skincare journey by breaking down the first step in choosing products: what’s your skin type?
Oil, or sebum, is the substance that helps protect the skin’s surface. Everyone's skin produces a degree of oil, but some complexions pump out far more oil than others do. Oily skin, however, isn't nearly as common as most folks think it is.
A dab or two of oil on your forehead or nose isn’t a true sign of oily skin. Shiny spots simply mean skin is functioning properly and producing needed protection and hydration.
Still feel like you might be oilier than the average bear? Here are some important questions to ask to find out whether you truly have an oily skin type.
Am I oily all over, or am I oily in my T-zone? Pretty much everyone on the planet shows some oil production in the T-zone, which is the T-shaped area that makes up the centre of the face: forehead, nose, and chin. Those who are truly oily will find they’re not just oily on the T-zone, but rather the whole face.
Are my pores large and visible or difficult to see? If your face seems to be trying to put out a fire with sebum, your pores have to stretch to allow those large amounts of sebum to pass through. If you have truly oily skin, you'll have significantly more visible pores than someone with normal or combo skin would.
Do I get oily throughout the day, or am I oily when I wake up? Check your skin tomorrow morning and see how it feels. Is it already slick with oil? You’re most likely oily. If you’re dripping with oil 15 minutes after washing your face, you’re oily. If not, you’re most likely a more combo-normal skin type.
So if you’ve determined that your skin is oily after asking yourself those questions, congratulations! You’ve nailed down your skin type, and it’s pretty good news if you’re concerned about ageing.
Skin that naturally produces a lot more oil, although sometimes frustrating to care for, is much more likely to be wrinkle-free as you age. Your seemingly endless hydration will do you tons of good in the long run! For more info on how to take care of oily skin, check out our Ultimate Guide to Skincare for Oily Skin.
Most Common Concerns for Oily Skin
When you have naturally oily skin, you’re more likely to have issues with acne, scarring, and uneven texture. For more info on how to deal with these concerns, check out our Ultimate Guide to Acne & Scarring.
Most people's skin falls somewhere in the combination/normal category, which is the broadest skin type and can present in many ways. This skin type requires less intensely targeted cleansers and moisturisers but requires more of a focus on maintaining your even-keeled skin type.
Caring for this skin type requires a lot of specifically targeted products that match your particular concerns. Some questions you can ask to determine if your skin is normal or combination are:
What areas of my skin are oily or dry? On normal/combo skin, you'll find much more variation over the different areas of the face as far as oiliness and dryness. Normal/combo skin is most often lightly oily in the T-zone, or the T-shaped centre area of the face, with normal-to-dry skin on the cheeks and around the eyes.
How does my skin feel when I wake up in the morning? If your skin generally feels pretty average with no specific concerns when you wake up, you’re most likely normal/combo. When you start to notice excess oil or pronounced dryness, you should choose products that have a slight focus in that direction to maintain balance.
Do you have specific concerns? Skin that’s normal/combo most often won’t have super-specific concerns in either direction regarding oil production. If you generally only experience mild skin issues, you’re probably normal/combo.
Most Common Concerns for Normal-Oily (Combination) Skin
Generally, people with normal or combo skin have concerns that don’t necessarily relate to oil production issues, such as hyperpigmentation, lines, and wrinkles. Our Ultimate Guide to Pigmentation Correction and Ultimate Guide to Anti-Ageing Skincare are two guides that would be helpful in finding solutions to these common concerns.
Dry skin is generally pretty easy to recognise and requires a significant amount of maintenance to stay hydrated and supple. Major signs and symptoms of dry skin include tightness, dullness, flakiness, and roughness.
However, in some cases, dry skin can be a difficult skin type to diagnose, as dehydration can often be caused by seasonal changes or other factors, such as climate, working conditions, and frequent travel.
Not sure if you’re dry or just reacting to your environment? Some questions you can ask to help figure out if you’re dry by nature are:
How does my skin feel after cleansing? Dry skin generally feels tight and dry after cleansing due to the lack of oil present. If your skin is truly dry, you’ll feel a significant lack of hydration when you’re cleansing your skin as well as after showering and swimming.
How does my skin feel in different environments? If your skin is dry, it will generally feel dry regardless of the environment you’re in. Spending time in airplanes and office buildings with recycled air or heating can cause minimal dryness for those who aren’t dry and severe dryness for those who are. If you only feel your skin drying out in certain environments, you’re most likely experiencing situational dryness, not all-around dryness.
How quickly does my moisturiser sink in? If your skin is dry, it will eat your moisturiser right up. Try applying moisturiser and waiting a few minutes to see how quickly it absorbs. If a thick, heavy cream soaks in immediately, leaving skin feeling soft and silky but not moist, you’ve most likely got some dry skin on your hands.
For more information on dry skin and how best to take care of it, check out our Ultimate Guide to Skincare for Dry Skin.
Most Common Concerns for Dry Skin
The most common concerns for skin that’s dry are ageing, sensitivity, and dullness. With no hydration, the skin can appear grey, sallow, and showcase wrinkles and imperfections much more visibly than normal/combo skin.
The lack of hydration, and thus lack of skin’s proper barrier function, leaves dry skin open to irritation. Ensuing concerns include sensitivity, redness, and reactive issues. Some helpful resources for dealing with dry skin are our Ultimate Guide to Anti-Ageing Skincare and our Ultimate Guide to Skincare for Sensitive Skin.
So now that you’ve identified your skin type, it’s time to check out some products to help you best care for your skin.
The Best Products for Oily Skin
Products intended for oily skin often come in lightweight formulas and feature acne-fighting ingredients, as this skin type is often plagued with spots. We’ve got some great recommendations for oily skin, including:
- What’s the Best Moisturiser for Oily Skin?
- How Do I Control Shine on My Face?
- What Skincare Ingredients Are Bad for Oily Skin?
- The Best Moisturisers for Acne-Prone Skin
- What Are the Best Treatments for Acne?
The Best Products for Normal/Combination Skin
Normal/combo skin can take tons of products. Our recommendations address not only maintaining good, normal skin, but balancing, perfecting, and treating other concerns such as pigmentation issues and ageing. Some great resources for normal skin include:
- What’s a Simple, Effective Anti-Ageing Routine?
- What’s the Right Skin Cleanser for Me?
- How Do I Choose the Best Serum for Me?
- What Treatments Are Effective for Hyperpigmentation?
The Best Products for Dry Skin
Dry skin needs a lot of love, and we’re here to deliver some amazing recommendations for dry skin products. Some great resources for finding the best dry skin products for you are:
- What Are the Best Cleansers for Dry Skin?
- What Are the Best Facial Moisturisers for Dry Skin?
- What Products Should I Avoid if I Have Dry Skin?
- What’s the Best Moisturiser for Sensitive Skin?
- How to Choose Skincare That’s Less Irritating to Sensitive Skin
Check out all of our amazing Ultimate Guides to arm yourself with as much skincare knowledge as possible! Adore Beauty is always here to help you make the best skincare choices for your skin.