Choosing Products for Your Skintype
Working our your skin type and what products work best for your skin can be a pretty daunting task. That's why I have done some research and compiled some basic information about skin types and ingredients so that you can start your skincare routine the right way from the start! But first we need to work out your skin type.
What is my skin type?
This is a great question to ask, and it not as straight forward as it may seem. Much like everything else in the world, your skin type may not be defined by one category. In fact, it's pretty unlikely and country to popular belief, there is more than three skin types. For example, one of your friends might be blessed with a normal skin type, have great skin and in general do not have any skin concerns. Your skin type, on the other hand, might be combination, sensitive, acne-prone and hormonal. Determining your skin type can be tricky because your skin is very vulnerable to external factors such as environmental pollution, stress-levels, medication etc. This is why it is important to have a good, hard look at your skin regularly to see what it needs. See the infographic for more --->
Some skin concerns may also play a part in what your skin is feeling:
Hormonal: it is pretty common for woman to suffer from hormonal breakouts. Hormonal breakouts generally occur around the jawline and chin area, with painful/ cyst-like acne.
Acne-prone: occur in people for a number of reasons such as genetics, larger pores sizes or overactive skin. This leads people with acne-prone skin to experience breakouts more than the average person.
Dehydrated: is when your skin is not getting enough moisture and generally looks dull- it is not confined to dry skin types. A simple test for this, is to pull your skin gently and see whether it bounces back into place or slowly reforms. Not drinking enough water, using stripping skincare products and living in a dry climate, can all result in dehydrated skin.
Aging: can manifest in a number of different ways on your skin. Factors that influence your skins appearance as it ages include environmental stressors (such as pollution) and sun exposure. An aging skin type appearance may manifest in pigmentation, sun spots, a greyish skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles.
Products suggested for the Normal Skin Type:
If you were blessed with a normal skin type then your skincare can be much easier than the other types- but this doesn't mean that you should take it easy! For you, maintaining healthy, radiant and fresh skin is your best approach to skincare. Some ingredients that may be of interest to you are Dimethicone, Panthenol, Algae Extract, Hyaluronic Acid and Glycolic Acid- all of which help to keep your skin hydrated and protected. Other than that, the skincare world is your oyster.
Because nothing is of particular concern, skincare products for normal skin is pretty general but I've listed a few K-beauty favourites that might interest you.
- COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser 150ml (13NZD, 11USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
- Son & Park Beauty Water 340ml (38NZD, 30USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
- COSRX Centella Blemish Cream 20ml (28NZD,20USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
- JayJun Rose Blossom Mask 10pk (NZD40, 20NZD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
- Dr Jart + Ceramidin Cream 50ml (59NZD, ), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
PRODUCTS suggested FOR THE dry SKIN TYPE:
If you have a dry skin type then hydration and moisturisation is key. For this, you want to be looking for emollients (moisturisers) such as shea or cocoa butter, squalane, beeswax, oleic acid, coconut, jojoba, sesame, almond and other plant oils. All of these ingredients help keep the skin dry by reducing water loss from the top layers of your skin. While this sounds contradictory, it means that all the good stuff such as hydration is locked into your skin. In terms of humectants (enhances your skins ability to hold water), your best friends are going to be hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol and glycerin. Hyaluronic acid is super popular for dry skin types because of its ability to replenish moisture- one gram of hyaluronic acid can actually hold up to 6 litres of water! Propylene Glycol is able to absorb and help your skin retain moisture. However some people can be very sensitive to PG, so keep that in mind when you are trying it out for the first time. Glycerin is a skin-replenishing ingredient so it helps to enrich the surface of your skin with hydration and keep it there.
The most important skincare products for dry skin are your creams, moisturisers and masks for added hydration.
- Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream 50ml (42NZD, 29USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
- Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream 60ml (30NZD, 24USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
- COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream (30NZD, 21USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
- Laneige Water Sleeping Mask 70ml (44NZD, 23USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Amazon.
- COSRX Ultimate Moisturising Honey Overnight Mask 50g (22NZD, 13USD) available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
PRODUCTS suggested FOR THE oily SKIN TYPE:
Oily skin is categorised by large pores and an excess of sebum production. This means that you want ingredients that can help combat the production of sebum without removing your skins natural oils. For this, you want to be using tea-tree which helps to fight acne, charcoal which helps to clean pores and kaolin which is found in clay masks and helps to absorb oil and mattify your skin as well as cranberry, jojoba and blackcurrant. In terms of humectants acids work best. Some notable ingredients are Glycolic Acid, Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid. Glycolic Acid is an active acid (and therefore most effective in AHAs) which has the ability to penetrate and clean deep into the pores. Niacinamide has amazing anti-inflammatory benefits for your skin and is therefore perfect for treating active acne. It also regulates oil flow and controls excessive oil production (sounds pretty good right?). Salicylic Acid is a form of BHA and as such has the ability to penetrate even deeper into your skin, making it especially effective for treating breakouts. You may have read that above that Hyaluronic Acid is often recommended for dry skin types, however it does a great job for oily skin types as well. This is because it is a very light weight substance that can hold ridiculous amounts of water without clogging up your pores. It is also important to avoid ingredients that will clog your pores such as mineral oil and petroleum.
Exfoliators and cleansers are particularly important for the oily skin type because they can reduce and control your oil production.
- Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Charcoal Soap 100g (16NZD, 12USD), available from NZ seller Korean Kiwi Beauty, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
- Heimish All Clean Balm 120ml (25NZD, 19USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
- Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 100ml (23NZD, 13USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
- I'm From Volcanic Mask 110g (40NZD, 29USD), available from international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
- COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid 100ml (30NZD, 21USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
PRODUCTS suggested FOR THE combination SKIN TYPE:
It can be difficult to judge what products you need for combination skin because it feels as though every part of your face needs something different. It is often best to approach certain problem areas with different methods for example, you may wish to use a clay mask on your oily t-zone and avoid your dry zones. The same goes for a moisturiser, you may need a heavy cream around your cheeks but something lighter on your chin and forehead. Combination skin largely depends on your own situation but I've listed a few well-known products suggested for combination skin by Charlotte Cho and my through my own experience.
- NEOGEN Green Tea Real Fresh Foaming Cleanser 160ml (28NZD, 19USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
- COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner 150ml (19NZD,16USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
- Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off 100ml (13NZD, 8USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
- COSRX One Step Clear Pimple Pads 70pads (27NZD, 20USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
- Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion 120ml (26NZD, 20USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Wishtrend and Amazon.
PRODUCTS suggested FOR THE sensitive SKIN TYPE:
Sensitive skin means you need the most gentle products for your skin, otherwise you'll face some sort of reaction. It sucks and I sympathise because my skin is also super sensitive. Luckily for us, sensitivity is taken very seriously in Korean Beauty so you're not limited in anyway! The most ideal situation is that you know which ingredients your skin reacts with. Because sensitivity varies from person to person, it is also easier to identify which ingredients to *avoid* rather than suggest. These include alcohols (they can be super harsh), anything fragranced (can easily cause inflammation), betaine (form of BHA that is very harsh, rather opt for betaine salicylate), sulfates (known to cause irritation) and petrochemicals such as mineral oil, petroleum etc.
For those with sensitive skin, it is most important to work out which products react and don't react with your skin. These are a few products known to work well with sensitive skin!
- Banila Co. Clean it Zero Purity 100ml (32NZD, 25USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international seller Amazon.
- COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser 150ml (13NZD, 11USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Amazon.
- Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner 180ml (32NZD, 22USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
- Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel 100ml (23NZD, 19USD), available from NZ seller Hikoco, and international sellers Wishtrend and Amazon.
- Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Sheet Mask 10pk (25NZD, 20USD), available from international seller Wishtrend.
NB: This post contains affiliate links but you do not have to use them if you don't want to- it just means that I receive a small commission with no extra cost to the viewer. For more, see my disclaimer here. I am not an aesthetician or skin specialist, the information I have listed here is simply a compilation from sources which have been included.