Caring for your skin and making sure it looks healthy and glowing can be, well, complicated. With so many products on the market aimed at an array of skin types, it can be difficult to know if you’re doing right by your skin – and protecting it against premature aging. Luckily, we’re here to help. Follow our no-nonsense guide to make sense of the skincare conundrum and find out what works for you.
Find Your Skin Type
First, gently wash your face and remove your makeup. (If you can’t take off your makeup right this minute, try our skin type quiz for more suggestions.) Wait an hour, avoiding the urge to touch your face. By this point, your skin will be in its most natural state. Using a clean Puffs tissue, gently blot the skin on your nose, forehead, chin and cheeks, each time checking to see how much oil is present.
If you have oil in several or all of these areas, you have oily skin. If you only found oil on your “T-zone” (your nose and forehead), you have combination skin. If you don’t see any oil, or if your skin is flaking or looks tight, you have dry skin. And if you had none of the above, then you’re in the lucky minority with normal skin.
Once you know your type, here’s how to look after it:
You can blame overactive sebaceous glands for producing the extra oil you see, but the good news is that women with oily skin tend to age more slowly. Avoid the temptation to over-wash your face – stripping it of all oils will only increase oil production. Washing twice a day with an oil-minimizing cleanser is plenty. Toner is a bit of a mystery to many, but for those with oily skin it can be a great additional step. We recommend Olay Oil Minimizing Clean Toner, which helps remove dirt, excess oil and makeup residue from your skin. Finish with a light, oil-free moisturizer, such as Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer, to help provide long-lasting hydration for your skin.
You don’t need us to tell you that dry skin needs moisture. For your daily skin routine, first wash with a hydrating cleanser, like Olay Total Effects Nourishing Cream Cleanser. Then moisturize every morning and night, ideally within 20 minutes of cleansing your face, when your skin is most absorbent.
Your skin is equally oily and dry – so how do you cater to both skin types at the same time? Start by using a cleanser specifically designed for combination skin to remove makeup and grime without drying out your face. Olay 4-in-1 Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths for Combination/Oily Skin are our pick: They combine the power of a makeup remover, scrub, toner, mask and cleanser in one, but the textured cloth is also soap-free and hydrating. Use an oil-free moisturizer afterward to hydrate the dry sections without clogging up the oily patches.
Your skin isn’t particularly oily, especially dry or sensitive – you have it fairly easy in the skincare department! Simply cleanse, tone and moisturize twice a day. Try adding an antioxidant-rich serum at night before applying moisturizer to keep your skin looking gloriously “normal” for years to come. Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum delivers moisturizing ingredients 10 layers deep into the skin’s surface and helps restore skin’s elasticity with plumping hydration. Hey, even normal skin could benefit from a little plumping from time to time!