Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Rithi Choudhury (Journalist) on 28th Sep 2020
Choose The Best Skincare Products For Your Skin Type
Every individual in this universe is unique. It is mainly owing to this that we are all different. Especially in terms of physical aspects. Our skin type is different, so is the texture and color of our hair, and also the shape of the eyes and the nose. Since we've praised the Almighty's creation enough, let us dive straight to our point, which is identifying your exact skin type and products specially created to tend to your skin concerns because life is too short to be breaking out by wearing the wrong sort of creams or serums.
Common Skin Types And Your Perfect Match Skincare
Beneath the skin surface, we have sebaceous glands (oil glands) that produce oil, essential for keeping the skin lubricated and protected from environmental damage. This sebum is secreted onto the skin surface through the pores (tiny openings on our skin surface). However, there is an imbalance in some skin types - excess oil production leading to oily skin and too little oil production leading to dry skin.
1. Normal Skin:
This skin type has a well-balanced sebum (natural oil) production. Your skin can take most products, has a smooth texture, has a non-greasy appearance, and the pores are less visible. Consider yourself blessed if you have this kind of skin as it is less prone to breakouts.
Ingredients to look for - This skin is already in perfect condition and therefore go for skin-nourishing ingredients like ceramides, peptides, antioxidants like vitamin C and E, exfoliants like AHAs, humectants like glycerine, hyaluronic acid, anti-aging ingredients like retinoids, niacinamide.
Ingredients to avoid - Avoid skin barrier destroying ingredients like harsh sulfates, drying alcohols.
Ideal Formulation - Creams, serums, water/gel-based moisturizers, essence (this skin type can take up almost all formulations)
2. Dry Skin:
This type of skin produces less than a sufficient amount of sebum required to keep the skin moist. Pores in this type of skin may be fine or large. Therefore it appears dry, feels tight, and lacks glow. This skin type is prone to wrinkles and fine lines quite early than its other skin counterparts.
Ingredients to look for - For dry skin, the goal is to provide enough hydration and smooth out the wrinkles and fine lines.
Look for hydrating ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, hyaluronic acid. For exfoliants, go for mild AHA like lactic acid, which hydrates along with promoting cell turnover. You could also use polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), which are gentler than AHAs; skin-nourishing ingredients like argan oil, sesame seed oil, shea butter; skin barrier restoring ingredients like ceramides, glycerine; skin barrier protecting ingredients mineral Oil and lanolin (if not prone to breakout) and anti-aging ingredients like retinoids.
Ingredients to avoid - Avoid drying Beta Hydroxy Acids like salicylic acid, harsh sulfates in cleansers, watch out for isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol in skincare products, potent exfoliants like glycolic acid, and irritants like fragrance.
Ideal Formulation - Serums with skin hydrating and nourishing ingredients and top that up with oil-based creams. Creams, Oil Based Emulsions, Essence (a hybrid between a toner and serum that will balance the skin pH after cleansing, allow better penetration of the other ingredients and hydrate at the same time.
- Minimalist Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 2% Serum (exfoliant)
- Minimalist Hyaluronic Acid 2% + Vitamin B5
3. Oily Skin:
This type of skin produces an excess of sebum and, as a result, appears greasy/shiny most of the time. Pores on this type of skin are quite noticeable. This skin is also prone to acne if not taken care of. Oily skin can be either normal-oily skin or sensitive-oily skin, which means the skin is oily but reacts quickly to products and is prone to inflammation.
Ingredients to look for - The goal for oily skin is to reduce the excess oil production and unclog the pores (of blackheads and whiteheads).
Look for oil clearing ingredients like salicylic acid, anti-bacterial ingredients like tea tree oil and benzoyl peroxide; oil-controlling and anti-inflammatory ingredients like niacinamide; exfoliants like glycolic acid; skin smoothing and pore-minimizing ingredients like dimethicone, humectants like hyaluronic acid; antioxidants like green tea extract and the all-rounder retinoids for anti-aging, acne-clearing, etc.
Ingredients to avoid - Avoid comedogenic, pore-blocking ingredients like coconut oil and other heavy oils.
Petrolatum products like petroleum jelly and mineral oil, and drying alcohols like denatured alcohol, often labeled as isopropyl alcohol or alcohol (denat), should also be avoided.
Ideal Formulation - Water/Gel-based Serums, Oil Free Lotions, Water/Gel-based Moisturizers.
4. Sensitive Skin:
This type of skin, like the name suggests, is sensitive and reacts easily to fragrances, harsh exfoliants, harsh sulfates, etc. This skin is prone to rash, inflammation and redness.
One may develop sensitive skin as a result of using skin sensitizing ingredients, over-exfoliation, skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema; sun exposure, broken skin barrier etc.
Ingredients to look for - To treat sensitive skin, look for skin-soothing ingredients like thermal spring water, colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera. Skin nourishing and hydrating ingredients like jojoba oil are also helpful. Anti-inflammatory and anti-aging ingredients like niacinamide are a gentler alternative to retinoids and can work here. Mild anti-bacterial ingredients like azelaic acid; gentle exfoliants like polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), sensitive skin-friendly hyperpigmentation ingredients like lactic acid are all great to try. Lastly, non-irritating antioxidants like melatonin for repairing the skin.
Ingredients to avoid - Avoid more potent ingredients like retinol, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), vitamin E, hydroquinone, and irritants like essential oils, fragrances, denatured alcohol.
Ideal Formulation - When choosing serums, make sure to check the ingredient list and go for the sensitive skin-friendly alternatives mentioned above. Choose fragrance-free moisturizers likewise with skin-soothing ingredients.
5. Combination Skin:
This type of skin is a mix of two skin types. The T-zone (skin on the forehead, nose and chin) is oily, whereas the skin on the cheeks is either dry, normal or sensitive. This type of skin is tricky to take care of because different products are needed for the T-zone and the cheeks specifically.
Ingredients to look for - Since the T-zone is oily and therefore prone to acne (pimple, blackheads/whiteheads). Therefore, go for spot treatment with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, preferably in wash-off forms. If the skin is oily and sensitive, go for gentler alternatives like azelaic acid. For the normal to dry part, choose skin nourishing, hydrating and soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants like vitamin C, E, niacinamide, glycerine, etc.
Note: When using BHAs like Salicylic Acid on the T-zone, make sure the product does not get into the non-oily parts. A wash-off form is preferable over a leave on as it can be more drying.
Ingredients to avoid - Avoid irritants and drying ingredients like fragrances, drying alcohols, harsh sulfates, comedogenic oils and creams.
Ideal Formulation - For combination skin, it is better for going with oil-free moisturizer even if the skin on the cheeks is normal to dry as the moisturizer is going to travel to the T-zone anyway. Therefore, it is best to avoid oil-based creams. Choose water/gel-based serums, moisturizers, oil-free lotions, and if possible, go for fragrance-free options to reduce inflammations.
- Minimalist Salicylic Acid 2% Serum (Exfoliant)