I hear you, bellas – choosing the right skincare can be tricky. In summer, you might be all about the serums, switching to a heavier cream formulation when the chill sets in. But is it really as simple as that? Shouldn’t it depend on your own individual skin type? Well, quite simply, the answer is yes. If you’re confused over whether you’re oily or combination, we’ve done the digging so you can do your own accurate self assessment. We sat down with Amber Jarratt, a truly clued in Educator at one of Australia’s leading beauty training schools, Beauty EDU, and this is what she had to say.
How many skin types are there?
“There are four skin types: Dry, Normal, Oily and Combination. Along with skin types, there are also skin conditions which can go with any skin type. i.e. dry skin with breakouts; oily skin that is dehydrated, and so on.”
“A dry skin will usually have small, tight pores with a slight pinkish to red tone. There is little to no oil content (i.e. you don’t get that 3pm shine); you could also have a flaky, dry texture and more noticeable fine lines.”
Normal Skin – the one everyone wishes for!
“Normal skin will have small sized pores in the T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin), and an even colour all over that is typically blemish-free. There may be a little oil on your T-Zone, but you’ll have a smooth and soft texture all over.”
“An oily skin will have medium to large pores, and the bigger the pore size, the more oil the skin will produce. Normally, oily skin is quite shiny all over all the time, and can appear quite thick.”
“Combination skin is probably the most common in Australia at the moment. Typically, you have enlarged pores in the T-Zone, but cheeks are usually dehydrated, dry or sensitive. You can appear quite shiny through the T-Zone towards the afternoon; however, cheeks stay pretty matte.”
What determines your skin type?
“Everyone is born with a ‘normal’ skin type. As we mature, genetics, diet, hormones, chemical influencers and climate can all play a part in ultimately changing and developing your skin type.”
Can your skin type change?
“Your skin type does change as you age. Especially in females – hormonal changes such as puberty and pregnancy play a huge role in changing your skin type (usually skin will experience hormonal changes at 13-14 years old, then again in your late 20s, then again around your 50s). Diet, skincare and environment may also influence your skin to change.
“As you age, you also have a decline in cell regeneration and renewal which needs to be stimulated by products and treatments. Lifestyle factors such as stress, lack of exercise, sleep deprivation, smoking, air conditioning and heating exposure all contribute to skin changing, too.”
How can I determine my true skin type?
“By taking note of which skin type best describes your skin’s feel and appearance, you can easily determine your skin type yourself. However, you must note that skin types and skin conditions are different. For example, you may be experiencing breakouts, however that does not mean you have an oily skin type, you could be suffering from hormonal changes. Also, a common mistake is assuming you have dry skin because you feel tight or dry, however you could be dehydrated (like most Australians) which is due to a lack of water, rather than dry skin which involves a lack of oil.
“A good test is to see if your skin needs to be moisturised straight after a shower. If you automatically feel tight and dry, chances are you have dry or normal skin. If you can go without moisturiser, you generally have oily skin.”
What formula of moisturiser suits my skin type?
“It honestly depends on the brand and their recommendation. Not all gel cleansers are for oily skins, as you can get hydrating gel cleansers for drier or sensitive skin types. The same applies to moisturisers. However, most likely the heavier the moisturiser is in weight and feel, the better it will be for a drier skin, and the more lightweight and water-like a formula, the better it will be for a combination or oily skin. It really does depend on the brand though, so always check the description, ingredients and recommendations.”
Some of our favourite moisturisers by skin type…
Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Daily Balancing Moisturiser– This fabulous, affordable moisturiser contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that blocks free radicals and keeps skin balanced, and fruit acids that help maintain a clean and clear complexion. It also contains sebum absorbers, and simultaneously moisturises and balances the skin.
Cetaphil Suntivity SPF 50+ Ultra-light Lotion – Specially designed for sensitive and oily skins, this featherweight lotion contains a broad spectrum SPF, because all skin types need sun protection!
Gatineau Aquamemory Moisture Replenish Cream – If you suffer from dry skin characterised by premature fine lines, this luxurious cream is for you. Enriched with OsmaporineTM technology, it is designed to retain and balance moisture leaving your skin feeling baby soft.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel – I am a bit obsessed with this amazing hydrator (which is so light it’s also great for normal and combination skins). The non-sticky gel formula instantly absorbs into the skin for a smooth, hydrated, healthy appearance. The hero ingredient of Hydro Boost is Hyaluronic Acid, which holds over 1000 times its weight in water. What’s more, Hydro Boost uses a unique progressive release system, with the gel continuing to release moisture for 24 hours after application.
Derma E Vitamin E Skin Oil – Perfect for mature, dry and sensitive skins, this fragrance-free oil delivers nourishing vitamin E deep down into the skin, enhancing softness and smoothness.
TheBalm Shelter Tinted Moisturiser – A lightweight, tinted moisturiser that offers light, dewy coverage, while protecting skin from the sun’s harsh rays. We love a multi-tasker.
Skin & Co Truffle Therapy Cream– Suitable for all skin types, this truffle-infused (yes, really) face cream from Italy is the ultimate in luxury. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, it hydrates, and protects, preventing and minimising the signs of ageing.
MooGoo Anti-Ageing Cream With Resveratrol – This lovely, natural cream can be used by all skin types (the brand is great for those with sensitive skin), is non-greasy, and contains powerful anti-ageing ingredient, Resveratrol.
Clarins Hydra-Matte Lotion – A lovely, hydrating lotion that tightens pores and controls shine, while calming skin. Smells heavenly to boot.
Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Moisturiser – A great budget option which eliminates shine while leaving skin moisturised.