SKIN TYPES + INGREDIENTS.

Beauty

Emma Hoareau

Emma Hoareau
May 1, 2020

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SKIN TYPES + INGREDIENTS.

Building a skin routine can feel daunting for many, so I thought I’d create an easy to follow guide for those who need a little help. As you know, my goal here is to help us all have skin we feel comfortable and beautiful in – no matter what that looks like – which is why I save all my Sunday Schools to Instagram to help everyone understand different ingredients and products – and how they work and how best to use them. You can find me on instagram @emmahoareau

I’m always being asked to create ‘basic’ routines for skincare for all ages and skin types, so I’ve included the below images as guides you can easily screenshot and have to hand, alongside the longer explanations in the rest of this blogpost. Of course – you can have more than one of the below –  for example I have sensitive combination skin that is prone to breakouts, so I work to use products that work in harmony and bring balance to my skin for these issues. Please note the below are total basic routines and there may well be other ingredients you like to include – these are just the key ingredients your skin needs!

A GOOD SKINCARE ROUTINE INCLUDES:

  • cleansing (once in the morning, twice in the evening)
  • an eye cream (both morning and evening)
  • exfoliation (this can be in the form of a toner, serum or even mask)
  • hydration (an essence and / or serum are the best way to deliver it deep into the skin)
  • moisturiser (to lock your serums in)
  • daily sun protection (to help prevent from worse or future damage)

SKIN TYPES

how to figure out your skin type:
wash your face, don’t apply any products and leave it for 1-2 hours.
If your skin feels tight = dehydrated. If it’s flakey = dry. If it looks and feels the same = normal. If it’s starting to look and feel a little greasy = oily. If it feels both tight / dry and looks a little shiny in areas = combination.
If your skin is prone to redness = sensitive. If you get spots more than 2x  a month = prone to breakouts.

Below I’ve outlined the best ingredients to look out for for each skin type, and my top product picks for each. Affiliate links have been used which means I received a small commission from any sales. I appreciate your support by using these links as it helps me create all this information and content.

We should ALL be double cleansing at night, exfoliating a couple times a week, hydrating our skin twice daily and wearing daily SPF. Those are the non negotiables for all ages and skin types. For the products I recommend for these steps head to my Lolita List here.

OILY
what ingredients to use:
Oil! Yes, it’s sounds counter productive but actually feeding your skin oil topically  means it doesn’t need to produce so much itself. Balancing the sebum (oil) production is key too – and using a clay mask once or twice a week will help with this. You’ll likely prefer to use a light weight moisturiser too rather than a heavy, thick texture. You want to balance the skin –  and using the super soothing and oil soluble exfoliator that is salicylic acid (aka BHA) will be perfect for you.
my top product picks:

 

COMBINATION
what ingredients to use: exfoliation is key to help both dry and oily areas of the skin as it’ll remove dead skin cells on dehydrated / dry areas, and help unclog pores from oily areas. BHA is best for this as it is oil soluble – you can use this twice daily if necessary – in both liquid or serum form for best results. You also want to hydrate the skin, but not with thick, emollient creams but rather lightweight water gels and lotions that don’t feel heavy on the skin. Gel and milk cleansers will be perfect, too. Flooding it with hydration will help naturally balance it, too, so hyaluronic acid is your best friend.
my top product picks:

 

NORMAL
what ingredients to use:
You’ve won the skin game! Your skin acts as it should! Essentially, nothing is off limits but any good skincare routine includes exfoliation, hydrating and protection. A daily lactic acid will be great to keep skin smooth and ageing at bay. SPF will also prevent your skin from future issues, and hydration will keep it glowing, while antioxidants will remove dullness.
my top product picks:

 

DRY
what ingredients to use:
Dry skin is lacking in oil so you want to be using rich, creamy texture in all areas: from cleansers to creams and oils. Nourishing, repairing ingredients such as omegas, niacinamide, ceramides and antioxidants will helps rebalance the skin. You can use a hydrating mask every other day – and sheet masks are your friend! To help remove any flakiness using daily gentle physical exfoliants made from powder or AHA will give you glow while allowing your products to penetrate better. Essences and mists will also help add soothing hydration. 
my top product picks:

 

 

SKIN CONCERNS
these are different to skin types, as anyone can get one (or a combination) of the below. These tend to be temporary concerns (if you follow my tips!) rather than skin types which are yours forever.

DEHYDRATED
what ingredients to use:
Dehydrated means skin is lacking in water and tends to feel tight – which can happen to all skin types. It can happen due to environmental aggressors or ingredients that were too drying  for your skin (eg essential oils and alcohol) Hyaluronic acid is your best friend as this is literally like a tall glass of water for your skin. If you want to get more out of it apply to moist / just misted skin and always follow with a cream to lock it in. Using gentle cleansers like gel and milk will also help keep hydration in instead of stripping the skin. Hydrating masks are amazing – especially sheet as they also help keep the hydration going in rather than out. Don’t exfoliate everyday but instead around three times a week, one of which can be a resurfacing mask – enzymes are great for this as so gentle also. Probiotics will help restore microbiome on the skin that may be lacking and causing the dehydration. And of course – drink some water!
my top product picks:

 

SENSITIVE / SENSITISED
what ingredients to use:
This is a lot more common than you think, and whether you have sensitive (prone  to redness) or sensitised (due to environment, wrong products or over exfoliation) you want to look at calming your skin, keeping it balanced and strengthening the skin barrier. Avoid fragrances (whether synthetic or natural aka essential oils) and make sure to include calming and protecting antioxidants, hydrating ingredients and protect if from the sun – mineral SPF might sit better on the skin. Don’t be afraid of exfoliating acids, they’re actually a lot more gentle on this skin than an aggravating physical scrub. Salicylic BHA is super anti inflammatory and lactic AHA is a nice gentle one, as are enzymes for calm exfoliation. Using an LED tool as often as you can will also really help to heal the skin, while omegas will ‘bubble wrap’ the cells. Cica, niacinamide and ceramides will work wonders.
my top product picks:

 

 

BREAKOUTS
what ingredients to use:
breakouts are due to too much sebum (oil) being produced by the skin, which is then trapped in the pores with dead skin cells, get infected by bacteria and create havoc. You want to work on balancing oil production and hydrating the skin. I never advise to ‘dry out’ a spot. Using BHA aka oil soluble salicylic acid to exfoliate is extremely effective as alongside soothing the skin it will remove the dead skin cells from lower down in the layers of skin – where breakouts start. This can be in toner or leave on form – or even a mask! As long as it’s in your  routine somehow. Hydrating the skin is key, too, as oil is produced when the skin is dehydrated or dry – which then leads to further breakouts. Using hyaluronic acid twice daily is a great way to flood the skin with moisture, and lock it in with a light weight cream so as not to overload the skin. Take your time  to properly cleanse with oil, gel or milk cleansers and you can use an AHA 2/3 times a week. The best mask for you will be a clay mask that helps balance sebum  production and also draw out any impurities currently in the pores. To help boost cell turover, retinol can also be a very effective ingredient to include – but if you haven’t tried AHA or BHA before then begin with those before moving on to retinol if need be.
my top product picks: