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How do I know what my skin type is?

An estimated 80% of women wear the wrong size bra. It seems surprising that it could be so common to make a mistake in choosing what feels right for your body, but the same can be said of people knowing their correct skin type.

Of course, skin isn’t a fingerprint and changes day to day, month to month and age, sex and diet can all affect it, but it will often have a tendency to a particular skin type, depending on how much sebum it produces. So it makes sense that people could be mistaken when choosing the correct products for their skin’s needs. Plus, the three main categories of dry, normal/combination and oily skin types often overlap in real life.

If you’re thinking what is my skin type, here’s how to correctly identify your skin’s needs and the daily care routine and lifestyle that can help you meet them.

Dry skin symptoms

This type of skin tends to have low sebum production levels and feels dry or tight during cold weather or when you feel dehydrated. You fall under this category if: you rarely get blackheads and spots or high-shine zones, even after a long day; your skin feels tight after cleansing until you apply moisturiser; or appears uneven and lacking in suppleness and smoothness.

How to care for dryness-prone skin

Choose moisturising products with a rich, nourishing formula. Look for gentle cleansing and toning products to avoid drying your skin out further. During cold weather, incorporate extra moisturising steps into your skincare routine by using a hydrating masque a couple of times a week.

For dry skin we recommend the La Roche-Posay Nutritic range, and for dry and sensitive skin use the Toleriane range. Toleriane is specifically formulated for dry and sensitive skin, and contains our soothing Thermal Spring Water as well as Neurosensine, Glycerin and nourishing Shea Butter.

Here’s our top picks for tackling dry skin concerns.

Normal to combination skin

As the broadest skin type category, most people have complexions with a combination of dry, oily and just fine areas. It varies from person to person but usually, you fall under this category when oily skin is concentrated around the nose, chin and forehead, while the cheeks tend to be drier, and blackheads or enlarged pores can be a problem too.

How to care for combination skin

For many people, the best approach is to use different products on different parts of the face. You might choose a hydrating masque but concentrate the application on your cheeks, or use a gentle exfoliating scrub only around the nose and chin. If you’re prone to blemishes, you can apply a targeted treatment to the specific area, or products, for example a facial wash, that cleanse the whole face – look for formulas that are neither too harsh or too mild.

We recommend using the La Roche-Posay Effaclar range. It’s suitable for everything from combination to blemish-prone skin, sensitive enough for delicate areas, balances high-shine zones and nourishes your complexion.

Oily skin symptoms

This skin type produces plenty of natural oil and often has a shiny appearance that’s difficult to balance. If you fall into this category, you may also be prone to blemishes, enlarged pores and congested skin, particularly around the forehead, nose and chin.

How to care for oily skin

Choose products that will cleanse your skin effectively but not strip it of moisture. Oily skin can still look dehydrated if your cleansing products are too harsh. If you’re prone to congestion and blocked pores, gently exfoliate to deeply cleanse skin and remove the surface of bacteria. Use a light moisturiser that’s fast-absorbing and non-comedogenic too (one which won’t reclog pores). We recommend the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel. It is targeted to deep cleanse and clarify both breakouts and oily complexions with zero stringency. It can also be used on your body.

Sensitive skin symptoms

Any type of skin can experience sensitivity and the signs vary from person to person but, if your skin is sensitive, you may find it reacts to certain makeup and skincare products. It might also change when the weather gets warmer or colder, and require different kinds of care at different times of the year. Sensitive skin also tends to be prone to itchiness, redness, tightness and dryness.

How to care for sensitive skin

Always opt for products that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin  and will have a soothing effect to help calm any discomfort. It’s also good to choose hypoallergenic, fragrance- and alcohol-free products. Monitor how your skin reacts to different products and the environment where you live and work, this can help you adjust your routine and avoid any triggers.

Still not sure what skin type you have?

It’s always good to ask the experts. Book a free skin consultation with a La Roche-Posay brand expert and they’ll be able to create a bespoke skincare routine for your skin’s needs in just 30 minutes. You don’t even need to change out of your PJs for your online skin consultation either.

Click here to book your free online consultation.

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