The ultimate guide to every skin type

From oily to breakout-prone, here’s how to recognise your skin type

Confused about which category your skin falls into? You’re not alone. Check out our skin type 101 and discover which products you need on your bathroom shelfie. Let’s dive right in.

Dry skin

Skin looking rough and flaky? Chances are you’ve got dry skin. As well as making your face feel tight, parched skin can make applying your make-up a real challenge. The good news? People with a dry skin type often have less breakouts. See, it’s not all doom and gloom.

DO drink plenty of water. Hydration is key for healthy-looking skin.

DON’T use alcohol-laden products.

Here’s our fave products to help quench dry skin:

Oily skin

One of the biggest signs you’ve got oily skin? Shine. Although those with oily skin can be more prone to blackheads and breakouts (boo!), people with this skin type tend to have more moisture, meaning they can be less prone to premature wrinkles. Bonus!

DO use a face wash to keep pores clear.

DON’T go overboard with rich moisturisers.

Here’s our top picks for excess oil:

Combination skin

So, what if your skin is oily and dry? You probably have combination skin. People with this skin type often have normal/dry skin around the cheeks and chin, plus oily/blemished skin around the T-zone. Confusing, right?

DO apply a clay mask once a week on your oily areas.

DON’T be afraid to use different products on different areas of your face.

Try these hero products:

Teen skin

Thanks to hormonal roller-coasters, teenage skin can be more prone to breakouts, clogged pores and excess oil.

DO remember to take your make-up off before heading to bed.

DON’T touch your face too much – bacteria can irritate skin even more.

Why not give these products a whirl?

Breakout-prone skin

Breakout-prone is the skin type that’s easiest to spot (pardon the pun). While some people are genetically more prone to acne, it can also be triggered by everyday things like pollution, stress and hormonal changes.

The most important thing to do? Don’t beat yourself up. Check out our interview with skincare activist, Lou Northcote, and discover her #freethepimple campaign.

DO use creams, gels and lotions to help clean your pores.

DON’T pick at pimples or blackheads.

Here’s our top picks for breakout-prone skin:

Sensitive skin

Redness, bumps, scaling, burning – these are just some of the hallmarks of sensitive skin. Although some people are prone to this skin type, it can often be triggered by things such as stress, caffeine and alcohol.

DO keep your skincare routine nice and simple.

DON’T use products with fragrance and harsh chemicals.

Give one of these soothing and calming formulas a go:

Normal skin

We all know that one person – the one who doesn’t even try but somehow has perfect skin. If you’re lucky enough to have won the genetic lottery, you’ll probably have easygoing, low maintenance skin that’s not dry or oily.

DO protect your skin with sun cream – just because you’re balanced, doesn’t mean you’re invincible.

DON’T overdo it with clay masks.

Help keep your skin looking great with these top picks:

Acne-scarred skin

Severe types of acne can sometimes result in scarring. We know how frustrating these little brown and red marks can be, but try not to lose hope. You can help tackle the appearance of hyperpigmentation with a whole range of hero products, and you can learn about the ins and outs of acne with our acne 101.

DO embrace gentle acids, especially glycolic acid.

DON’T forget to wear SPF – this can help prevent current scars from worsening.

Why not give these products a go?

Mature skin

Fine lines, discolouration, broken blood vessels – these are just a few telltale signs that you have mature skin. Although skin ageing is a totally natural process, with a little TLC you can help keep skin’s youthful appearance for longer.

DO embrace retinol-based products.

DON’T spend too much time in the sun.

Why not try our hero products for mature skin?

Whether your skin is dry, oily or somewhere in-between, try to choose products that work in harmony with your skin type, not against it. Your complexion will thank you for it later. And remember, no matter what type of skin you have, we should all be wearing sun cream to help protect it.