Thursday, February 27, 2014

Starting a Skin Care Regimen for Oily, Dry, Combination, and Normal Skin Types

Hey everyone!  I get a lot of questions about starting a skincare routine and which products are best for different skin types.  Starting a skin care routine can be kind of overwhelming because there are so many different products, and so many different price ranges.  Should you start big or small?  How many products do you really need?  Which order do you apply all of the products in?!

I personally think it is worth it to invest a little more in your skincare.  Your skin is something you want (I hope) to look good for a very long time- and sometimes shelling out the big bucks will help.  There are a few products I splurge on, and a few that are pretty budget friendly!


For a beginner, or anyone looking to change up their skincare routine, I recommend a few solid steps to get your skin care regimen started.

  1. Makeup Remover- this is crucial when you wear makeup.  It will remove the layer of makeup, allowing your cleanser (from step 2) to actually cleanse your skin, and not your makeup.  Look for a makeup remover that will remove your face and eye makeup in one go!  This will save you time and money!
  2. Cleanser- A cleanser will really deep clean your skin and remove any last traces of makeup.  I always recommend using a proper cleanser AFTER your makeup remover.  A makeup remover is not a cleanser.  When your skin is properly cleansed, your serums and moisturizers will really be able to sink into your skin and do their jobs.
  3. Toner- While there are many different toners on the market, choosing one that is right for your skin type is crucial.  They can remove any last traces of dirt, prep the skin for serums and moisturizers, hydrate, and control oil.  You name it, there is probably a toner that does it.  If you are oily, look for a toner that contains salicylic acid.  If you are normal to dry, look for a toner that has hydrating and radiance boosting properties.
  4. Serum- Serums are the hot new thing right now.  Applied after toner, and before your moisturizer, they act as a booster in your skin care regimen.  Serums come in tons and tons of different formulations- from glow boosters to fine lines and wrinkles fighters, to pore minimizers.  Do you HAVE TO HAVE A SERUM?!  No, but trust me, you will want one.  And with so many different options, you can really find one that is perfect for your skincare concerns.  If you really feel brave, layer up some serums for maximum results!
  5. Moisturizer- a moisturizer is very important, even if you have oily skin, because it keeps your skin nice and hydrated throughout the day, and over time will help to slow down the aging process.  When your skin gets dry or thirsty, fine lines and wrinkles set in.  If you have oily skin and fear that moisturizers will make it worse, there are some great oil free moisturizers that keep oil at bay throughout the day!
  6. Sunscreen- my final must have is a sunscreen.  Sunscreen is extremely important and something you want to wear every single day.  I know it can be a hassle sometimes, but the SPF will protect your skin from the sun, which is a huge cause of pigmentation issues and fine lines and wrinkles.  Take the extra minute and apply a quick layer of SPF.  Your future self will thank you (or yell at you if you don't do it.  So do it).
Now that you have the basics down, lets talk about the different skin types:  Knowing your skin type is important when you pick out skincare products- as lots of times products are meant specifically for oily, dry, combination, or normal skin types.

If you tend to get shiny throughout the day, or have noticeably oily skin, your skin is oily.  If you have dry patches or your skin looks tired and dull, you have dry skin.  If your skin is both dry and oily, meaning dry on certain areas and oily throughout your nose and forehead, you have combination skin.  If your skin is neither oily nor dry, you my friend have a normal skin type.

If you have oily skin, your biggest concern is keeping your face as shine free as possible- but this doesn't mean you shouldn't use skincare products.  I know it can seem that adding more serums and moisturizers on top of your oily prone skin is making the problem worse, but with the right products, it will actually help to prevent the oil in the first place.  Here are my recommendations for oily skin!

oily skin picks

  1. KORRES Pomegranate Makeup Remover Wipes for Oily Skin.  These will gently remove your makeup, dirt, and oil without clogging your pores, helping to prevent future breakouts.
  2. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay- This cleanser cleanses the skin while unclogging pores and removing excess oil.  The Red Clay draws out toxins in the skin helping to balance out your complexion.  It also reduces sebum (the stuff that clogs your pores) production to help keep your skin acne free.  In general, anything with "clay" in the description will help with oil control.
  3. Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner- when you have excess oil, look for key words such as clarifying and purifying.  These mean the products will help to control excess oil production and future breakouts.  This particular antiseptic toner by Kate Somerville fights bacteria and has exfoliating properties to help keep pores unblocked and lighten discoloration from acne.
  4. Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum- this serum is great for keeping your skin shine free throughout the day.  Acting as a booster in your skincare regimen, it will add that extra protection to fight off oil production.  Overtime, this product can also help in minimizing the look of pores, control sebum production, and fight off future breakouts.  A great option for those of you scared to try a serum for your oily prone skin!
  5. Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer- this moisturizer will leave your skin with a nice matte finish, and like the other products listed above, is great for oily skin.  It will not leave your pores congested and lays beautifully underneath makeup.

If you have dry skin, it is important to pick products that will help add extra moisture and radiance to your skin.  Look for key words such as illuminating, moisture-rich, radiant, glow, etc.  By adding moisture to your skin, not only are you helping to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, but it will also help your makeup go on evenly and smoothly.
dry skin picks

  1. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm- this balm is super moisturizing and will take off your makeup with complete ease.  Its non-drying formula will never make your skin feel tight or "stripped" of moisture.  A great option for those with dry skin.  You can also use this to remove eye makeup as well!  
  2. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser- this gentle cleanser is great for those with dry skin because it does not strip the skin of moisture.  Instead, it is rich with amino acids and other "good for you" ingredients to help keep skin looking hydrated and radiant.  
  3. Murad Hydrating Toner- when you have dry skin, spray on toners generally work the best, as opposed to toners you rub on with a cotton round.  Spray on toners are packed with ingredients that help to lock in moisture, like this particular one by Murad.  The mist is cooling on the skin and preps it for further treatments.  
  4. Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Serum- a personal favorite of mine, this serum is great for those days when your skin needs a little pick me up.  It adds immediate radiance and moisture to the skin, without feeling heavy or greasy.  A staple in my skincare regimen.  It also works great in conjunction with the Kate Somerville Dilo Oil.
  5. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief- this moisturizer, like the name states, is perfect for dry skin because it instantly replenishes skin with 24 full hours of hydration.   Great for plumping up those fine lines and wrinkles and bringing radiance back to dry, dull skin.  This is another personal favorite of mine, along with the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask.


If you do not have oily or dry skin, you are in the category of "normal skin."  When picking out products, you are pretty much free to choose whatever your heart desires, but in particular, look for products that say "for normal skin types" or "for all skin types."  I fall in the category of having normal skin and here is my current skincare routine!
normal skin picks!

  1. REN Cleansing Balm- I use this as my "first cleanser" to remove my makeup. It works great at getting rid of every last trace of makeup, including waterproof eye makeup!  Generally I work this into dry skin, and then steam my face a few times with a hot wash cloth.  
  2. Kate Somerville Daily Detox Cleanser- this is a great gel based cleanser that makes my skin feel super clean, without stripping it of moisture.  Even though I do not have oily skin, I do sometimes have pesky breakouts around my chin and this cleanser helps keep those at bay because it does have acne fighting properties in it.  Sometimes acne cleansers can be very drying if you are not oily but still suffer from breakouts, so this cleanser is a perfect choice.  If you are not acne prone, I recommend Kates Gentle Daily Cleanser.
  3. Kiehls Ultra Facial Toner- this toner is great for normal skin types.  It keeps skin hydrated, while prepping for serums and moisturizers.  It also acts to remove any last traces of dirt your cleansers might have missed.  I have been really happy with this toner and will definitely repurchase.  As a second toning step, I also mist on the Rose Spray by Fresh.  This is an extra layer of hydration that works well with the Kiehls toner.
  4. Clarins Double Serum- While this is a new addition to my skincare routine, I have come to the conclusion it is an awesome multi-tasking serum.  It works to minimize pores, fight early signs of aging, plump up fine lines and wrinkles, and keep skin hydrated and balanced.  In just a few uses, I have already noticed a difference in my skin.  Pricey, but worth it.
  5. Kate Somerville Age Arrest- the newest moisturizer by Kate Somerville, this product is great for both day and nighttime use.  It keeps the face hydrated and radiant, without a greasy residue.  It also looks great underneath makeup.  Overtime, it will help with preventing fine lines and wrinkles- keeping your skin looking as young as possible for as long as possible!
I hope you guys found this helpful!  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!  And let me know what your favorite skincare products are!  I love trying new things!


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  1. Super choices...I'm needing to re-stock my facial skincare items :) xx

  2. i need the first aid beauty cleanser so bad! :O

    Pudding Monster

    1. Yeah its great! Let me know what you think of it when you get it! Thanks for reading!

  3. I am a Dermalogica freak but i am slowly introducing other brands in to my daily skincare routine.
    I am starting to realize that as long as you use a quality product and stick to a routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizering properly you cant go wrong

    1. I agree! I haven't tried any Dermalogia products! I will have to put those on my list. Thanks for reading!

  4. Great informative post! I definitely need to rework my skincare routine for the warmer weather ahead and grab a good gel moisturizer. Can't decide between Etude House or Missha though.

    Arielle from Tangled Musings

  5. Love the article but there is something confusing me. I use PCA Skin, Adore and Knutek MD products. What I have been told by the companies and my estheticians is to apply toner before the serum. I do have dry, sensitive skin (maybe this is the reason). Have you tried it this way or heard of anyone else using the products in this order? I like how my skin feels after but maybe I will benefit more by using it your way...? Your opinion is appreciated. Thank you.