Facial skin can normally be categorized into four main types – Oily, Dry, Combination and Normal. These skin types are determined by the skin's ability to produce sebum (oil). These definitions help us to provide consistent information and recommendations to our customers.
Some people have additional issues with their skin such as blemishes/acme or sensitive or aging skin that need special treatment.
The Tissue Test:
You need a completely clean face for this so remove any traces of makeup, and give your face a final clean, using warm water and cotton wool balls. Gently towel dry and wait for about 30 minutes before covering your face with one ply (or layer) of a family-size paper tissue. Press lightly all over your face and leave for about one minute. Then remove the paper carefully and examine it near a window or a light.
Normal Skin, Faint oily traces on most of the paper.
Dry Skin, No oily traces, skin often becomes dry as it ages.
Oily Skin, Obvious oily stains over most of the paper.
Combination Skin, Oily patches at the sides of the nose and around the mouth and forehead.
Patch Test: Anyone with a known skin sensitivity should 'patch test' new products. To patch test apply a small amount of product to the delicate skin on the inner forearm just above the wrist. Should there be any irritation rinse off with water.
See which of the descriptions below most closely describe your skin type, then refer to the ‘Shop by Skin Type’ page to find out what products will best help you to look after your skin.
Normal Skin is smooth and firm due to healthy connective tissue and good muscle tone. There are no visible lines or large pores and, due to the correct balance of moisture and sebum (oil), the skin is of a matt appearance. Blood circulation is good. Collagen, elastin and the ground substance (i.e. the matrix of connective tissue in which various cells and fibre are embedded) in the dermis is at a premium.
Oily Skin is caused by over secretion of sebum (oil) by the sebaceous glands lying in the dermis. Most susceptible parts are the forehead, nose and chin, which become shiny. Pores tend to be enlarge. Blemishes and skin disorders such as acne vulgaris may result if the oiliness worsens. Oily skin is sluggish looking, with an unhealthy hue.
Dry Skin is taunt looking, with thin epidermal layers. It is prone to lines and wrinkles, particularly noticeable around the eyes, mouth and on the neck. The appearance of the skin is transparent, with the addition sometimes of flaky skin and broken capillaries. It is dehydrated with an incorrect balance between moisture and sebum. Muscle tone is also lacking. Collagen, elastin and ground substance are lessened.
Combination Skin has dry and oily areas that follow a T-shaped pattern, starting at the forehead, running down the nose and over the skin. The 'T-zone' area is susceptible to over-production of sebum. On all other areas the skin could be normal or dry, varying from person to person.
Sensitive Skin generally thin, gets red or inflamed easily, is sensitive to temperature change, sunburns easily, can have broken capillaries and is often allergic to strong fragrance.
Aging Skin reflects loss of elasticity, collapse of lower part of face, double chin and jowls along with wrinkles, crows feet and dull complexion colour.
Couperose Skin which is characterised by the face being permanently red, unfortunately suggesting a 'boozy' look. Tiny red lines (dilated blood vessels) appear particularly on the cheeks, nose and sometimes on the chin.