If you’re reading this post, chances are you want to take good care of your skin. But often times in the world of skincare, products are recommended based on “skin type,” and a lot of us don’t really know what our skin type is. So we’re here to demystify that whole skin type thing, and help you better understand which one is yours.
The Big Five
Skin types are traditionally broken into 5 categories; Oily, Dry, Combination, Sensitive, and Normal. I tend to roll my eyes at that last term, because what exactly does normal skin mean? I’m pretty sure that, as all of us have skin, whatever skin you’ve got is by definition “normal.” But for the sake of explaining traditional skincare terms, “normal” refers to the least problematic type of skin. So which type are you?
If you’re someone with oily skin, you have a skin texture similar to an orange peel- think large and open pores throughout the skin on your face, not just on your nose or chin, and you’re prone to- you guessed it- oil. This skin type will see big improvements in oil control with a daily glycolic or salicylic acid face wash, which gently exfoliates to remove excess oil and sebum (the dirt that mixes with oil). An astringent face serum can also be huge for oil control.
Dry skin on the other hand, has really small pores, tends to be patchy, chalky, or flakey, and feels tight, especially in colder or drier climates. If you have dry skin, you’ll find you can really benefit from using a humidifier- the added moisture in the air can make a world of difference! In terms of products, thicker, heavier creams can be super helpful for this skin type.
Many of us have combination skin, which is a mixture of oily and dry, usually with the oilier skin around the T-zone: that T shape from your forehead down to your chin through your nose. This skin type can be annoying to treat, but it’s also pretty simple. Use heavier creams on drier parts like your cheeks, and keep oil-control specific products to the T-zone.
Sensitive skin is prone to redness and flare-ups, and reacts adversely to certain cosmetics. The truth is, we should all steer clear of products that contain parabens and synthetic fragrance, but sensitive skin tends to respond worst of all. Sensitive skin types want to make sure they’re using very clean skincare products, and pinpoint ingredients that cause flareups and stay away from anything that has them.
Normal skin- a misnomer if we’ve ever heard one- is the gold standard of skin. This is skin with the right amount of oils and water to maintain that glowy, healthy look we all want with few if any flare-ups or acne.
Treat it Right
So what do we suggest for products based on skin type? Surprisingly, most of our tips are the same for all skin types! Here at Alder New York, we’re big believers that good skincare works for most types of skin, not just some of them. The only real exceptions are that oily skin can benefit from more astringent products, and dry skin wants the opposite: heavier, thicker creams. But other than that, all skin types will benefit from daily skincare that focuses on clean ingredients that emphasize natural botanicals and the latest in skincare science.