How often have you found yourself standing in the middle of the skin care aisle, lost in a sea of cleansers, toners, moisturisers and face oils wondering "Wait.. what skin type do I have? Do I have normal skin or oily skin?". Thankfully, we’re here to tell you that figuring out your skin type isn't actually that hard. However, it does involve you taking a good hard look at your skin and your routine. Just because you get the occasional pimple, doesn't mean you should be reaching for that oil-free, foaming acne cleanser because you have oily skin. And just because you have flaky skin, doesn't necessarily mean you have a dry skin type. Wild, right? Here’s the ultimate guide on how to figure out your skin type, and how to build the best skin care routine for your skin.
What does oily skin look like? First things first: Pimples are not the only indicator of oily skin. Every skin type, even dry or normal skin, can experience break-outs caused by a variety of factors, like hormonal changes, food allergies and seasonal changes. If you have oily skin, you'll also experience clogged pores, blackheads, and a greasy or shiny-looking complexion on top of break-outs. If you also notice your make-up sliding off during the day, these are all tell-tale signs of oily skin.
However, excess oil may also be a sign of dehydration. When the skin is not properly hydrated, it over-produces oil to lubricate itself and protect against the elements. If you also experience dehydration and flaking skin, it’s possible you may have combination skin, dehydrated skin or sensitised skin.
How to treat it
One of the key steps towards treating oily skin is keeping it hydrated. You might think that because your skin is producing too much oil, the last thing you need is extra moisture. In actual fact, keeping your skin properly hydrated can help to reduce oil production.
Washing your face with an oil cleanser can also help to pull excess oil out of the skin better than a water-based cleanser. Using a toner or serum formulated with chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid and lactic acid can help to eat away dead skin cells before they block your pores.
Using a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil or salicylic acid can help heal active breakouts, however, these ingredients can also make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure - so be extra vigilant with your SPF.
The Poko Soothing Serum is specially formulated to treat oily and combination skin types, with aloe to soothe skin while tea tree oil works to fight bacteria and keep your pores clear.
What does it look like? Does your skin feel tight and dry if you don’t moisturise straight after cleansing? Are you constantly battling flaky, scaly, peeling skin regardless of the season? Does your concealer always settle into your flaky patches by the end of the day? If these problems sound familiar, you probably have dry skin.
While different skin types can experience occasional dryness (especially in winter months), for dry skin types the struggle is all year round.
Dry skin is characterised by a lack of oil in the skin, so dry skin types won’t experience breakouts as much as other skin types. If you have oiliness and pimples along with dry patches, you might have combination or dehydrated skin. Your skin may be dry, but that doesn't mean it has to stay that way.
How to treat it
The basic premise of treating dry skin is moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Because your skin tends to have trouble keeping itself lubricated, you need to layer as many hydrating products as you can to make up for it.
Straight after cleansing, start off with a hydrating essence or toner applied to damp skin. Look out for ingredients like glycerin and aloe to calm flaky patches and soothe the skin. Next, use a face serum formulated with hyaluronic acid to pull moisture into the skin. Follow up with a thick occlusive moisturiser to seal all your other hydrating products into the skin and prevent moisture loss throughout the day.
Since dry skin lacks oil, using a face oil is vital for dry skin feeling and looking normal. The Poko Luxury Facial Oil is packed full of luscious botanical oils like baobab oil, moringa oil and crambe seed oil to fight the flakes and keep skin conditioned. Depending on your preference, you can use facial oil before or after your moisturiser. This will get rid of that pesky dry skin for good.
What does it look like? At the end of the day, do you notice your cheeks are flaky and dull while your t-zone is shinier than a brand-new penny? If so, you probably have combination skin.
For combination skin types, everything is on the table. Blocked pores? Check. Dry flaky patches? Check. Whiteheads? Check.
How to treat it
Treating combination skin is a delicate balancing act. For combination skin types, the daily struggle revolves around how to treat pimples without drying out your skin, and how to heal dry patches without triggering a break-out.
Focus on keeping your skin as hydrated as possible. Keeping skin moisturised will quench your dry patches, and combat excess oil in your shinier areas. The Poko Light Hydrating Moisturiser is formulated with balancing ingredients like aloe to combat excess oil, while moisturising botanical oils keep skin dewy and plump.
Try an acid serum or toner that is both exfoliating and hydrating, like lactic acid. Using a spot treatment to target pimples instead of an all-over BHA serum will fight pimples without triggering a face full of flakes.
What does it look like? Dehydration isn’t exactly a skin type, because all skin types can suffer from dehydration. Dehydration is a skin condition caused by factors like environment, caffeine consumption, diet, alcohol consumption, and how much sleep you’re getting.
Symptoms of dehydrated skin include dullness, fine lines, congested pores, redness, and dry patches. If you notice more pronounced ‘shadows’ around your nose and under your eyes, this is also a tell-tale sign of dehydrated skin.
How to treat it
Dehydrated skin is different from dry skin in that while dry skin lacks oil, dehydrated skin lacks water. As a result, the skin over-produces oil to hydrate itself. This is why you can experience flaky, scaly skin along with acne break-outs.
Much like dry skin, the key to treating dehydrated skin is layering several hydrating products for ample moisture. Look for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, aloe and glycerine to hydrate and soften. Using an oil-based makeup remover will dissolve dirt and pull excess oil from your skin, without damaging your moisture barrier (which just leads to more dehydration). Ditch foaming cleansers and opt for a milky formula with glycerine and ceramides, to cleanse without drying out your skin.
To improve dullness, look for ingredients that are brightening without irritating already compromised skin. The Poko Correcting Eye Cream is formulated with avocado oil, fig extract, which is packed full of vitamin C to brighten dark under-eye circles.
To fix dehydrated skin from the inside out, cut your alcohol intake and drink at least two litres of water a day. You can also up your water intake through consuming fruit like melon, oranges and pineapple.
What does it look like? Sensitive skin may be very reactive to the ‘wrong’ products (think stinging, tenderness and itching). Sensitive skin is also prone to inflammation, such as red, flaky patches or acne flare-ups. You might also develop rashes easily.
Some people have constantly sensitive skin, while others can experience episodes of sensitivity. Any number of things can cause skin sensitivity, like harsh cleansers and weather changes. Overdoing it with potent actives like acid exfoliators and retinoids can also sensitise the skin.
How to treat it
To treat sensitive skin, you need to strip your routine back to basics. Scale your products down to a gentle face cleanser, moisturiser and a non-irritating SPF (check the ingredients list for hidden alcohols).
Check ingredients lists, and ditch anything that includes harsh sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, which can be drying. Instead, use a gentle, milky cleanser formulated with ceramides and glycerin to clean the skin without stripping your natural oils.
At a push, use a hydrating face serum with soothing ingredients hyaluronic acid. When your skin starts to calm down, introduce new products one at a time, so you can easily identify if one doesn’t suit your skin.
Avoid harsh fragrances and anything that contains high amounts of essential oils. While less reactive skin types might have no trouble using essential oils, they can be irritating when your skin is already sensitive. Using a nourishing moisturiser formulated without irritating ingredients is essential for keeping sensitive skin feeling hydrated without triggering a reaction. The Poko Light Hydrating Moisturiser contains glycerin to calm skin, along with olive oil, which mimics your skin’s natural oils to hydrate without blocking pores.
So there you have it, for every different skin types, whether it be dry or sensitive skin there is a way to treat it and move on. Our range of skin care products are perfect for people, with any skin type, wanting to overcome their skin's problems.