Yeah yeah, we know the basics of skin care — moisturise daily, protect from the sun, don’t smoke, drink plenty of water, yada yada yada. But what are the finer points for different types of skin?
Goldilocks would love this skin type: not too oily, not too dry, but just right. You’re blessed with no imperfections or visible pores, either, and your skin positively glows . . . lucky you. Just stick to the basics — get plenty of sleep, because that’s when the skin regenerates, stay hydrated, and moisturise daily. But you don’t need to be too fussy with what kind of product you use because your skin is pretty resilient to whatever’s thrown at it.
Large pores, visible blackheads, glistening forehead — oily skin begins in adolescence and can endure into adulthood, especially when it’s hot and sticky. Men with oily skin should look for one magic word on their skincare products: “noncomedogenic” (no idea how to pronounce it, but it means it doesn’t clog your pores). If pimples are a problem, resist the urge to pop them and scar your face — instead, fight breakouts with a full face cream containing bacteria-destroying benzoyl peroxide rather than a spot treatment. Your bathroom cabinet also needs to contain a cleanser with pore-cleansing salicylic acid on its label, as well as products containing sulphur to absorb the excess sebum (which isn’t as gross as it sounds).
Your tiny pores are hard to spot, and your skin is less elastic, possibly appearing red, creased, rough, or flaky — especially when it dries out in the afternoon, or when your skin gets older or more weathered in the sun (SPF 30+ is your friend). Dry skin is sensitive to many perfumed ingredients so use gentle products — that includes soap, detergents, and skincare products — and avoid drying yourself out too much in piping hot showers. When you’re in the pharmacy, look for rich ointments and creams rather than thinner lotions, and keep an eye out for words like ‘mild’ and ‘gentle’ rather than ‘acid’ and ‘sulphate’.
The red, itchy cousin of dry skin. The best thing sensitive skin sufferers can do for their grooming routine is figure out the source of the irritation and eliminate it — there’s a good chance it’s something you’re using in the bathroom so experiment with new products marked ‘skin friendly’ or ‘sensitive’, free of fragrance and alcohol on the ingredients list. Sensitivity is different for every person but cutting out scented soaps and skincare products is going to be a reliable start.