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How to tell what skin type you have

Have you heard the statistic that 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 concept applies when it comes to people knowing their correct skin type.

Of course, skin isn’t a fingerprint and changes from day to day, month to month and over the course of our lives, 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 in 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.

Your age, sex and diet all affect your skin, here’s how to help correctly identify your skin type and what that means for your daily care routine and lifestyle.

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 using the La Roche-Posay NUTRITRIC 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 shea butter. Get ready to feel nourished.

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 more dry, 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 [link to product] but concentrate the application on your cheeks, or use an gentle exfoliating scrub only around the nose and chin. If you’re prone to blemishes, look for an targeted product that you can apply to the specific area, and for products which you apply on the whole face, for example a facial wash, look for formulas that are neither too harsh or too mild.

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

Oily skin symptoms

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

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 stringent. If you’re prone to congestion and blocked pores, gentle exfoliation is important for deep cleansing to rid the skin’s surface of bacteria. Use a light moisturiser with an easily absorbed texture that’s non-comedogenic too (one which won’t reclog pores).

We recommend the new La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel. It is targeted to deep cleanse and clarify both breakouts and oily complexions with zero stringency. This new innovation is also suitable for use on body and ‘bacne’ break outs.

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 products and make sure to check that they definitely don’t contain fragrances or alcohol. Notice 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.

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