What's Your Skin Type?

What's Your Skin Type?
Knowing your skin type is a crucial step when it comes to finding the best beauty products for you and building your skincare routine. There are many things that can affect how your skin looks and feels, including your environment, the time of year, stress levels, diet and hormones, and your skin type can change over time.

How do you know what your skin type is right now? Well, there’s a very easy trick. Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser, gently pat dry and leave your skin bare for around 30 minutes. Have a look in the mirror, noting how your skin looks and feels.

We’ve compiled a speedy guide to identifying your skin type below. Don't forget you can also pop into your local Space NK store where our expert beauty advisors can help you build the best skincare routine for your skin.


If your skin feels tight and looks parched with visible pores, then your skin is dry. You will constantly feel like you need more moisture, and environmental factors such as cold weather might make symptoms worse. While it’s important to hydrate from the inside out (drinking plenty of water and consuming water-rich foods such as cucumber and pineapple), a good skincare routine can make all the difference.

Gentle exfoliation once or twice a week will get rid of any dry surface skin to ensure hydrating serums and moisturisers can properly penetrate the fresh surface of your skin. hyaluronic acid is your new best friend; the ultra-hydrating ingredient can hold up to a thousand times its own weight in water. We also recommend looking out for formulas that contain squalane and ceramides to help nourish and lock in moisture.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, £ 265,00 is one of our bestsellers and has long and short chain hyaluronic acid for longer lasting hydration. If you’re on a tighter budget, look to Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum, £ 33,00, which helps to smooth out dehydration lines. For an overnight hydration hit, try Kora Organics Noni Glow Sleeping Mask, £ 50,00 which works to give thirsty skin a good drink while you sleep.

Looking for a full skincare routine? Check out our dry skin product recommendations.


Oily skin is recognisable thanks to its shiny appearance – especially on the T-zone – and congested-looking pores. Excess oil will appear throughout the day, and breakouts are to be expected. On the plus side, oily skin often ages more slowly than those on the dry side, as it has more natural moisture, so is less prone to wrinkles.

Exfoliating is essential to prevent a build-up of oil in the pores; a liquid BHA is ideal for everyday use as it does not contain harsh granules. Try using a little of Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, £ 12,00 on a reusable pad once a day.

It’s a common misconception that creams and oils are always counter-productive for oily skin, but it’s important not to strip your skin of moisture. Instead, pick water or gel-based products (such as or Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel, £ 49,00) that are light enough not to weigh down skin but nourishing enough to stop any dehydration in its tracks.

Face oils can really help too. Stripping away your skin’s natural oils with heavy exfoliation can have the opposite effect and cause your skin to overproduce them to replenish its moisturising barrier. Opt for a clarifying formula such as the Sunday Riley UFO Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, £ 25,50, which contains salicylic acid to gently loosen blocked pores. For on the spot treatment, try Votary Blemish Rescue Oil – Tamanu and Salicylic, £ 35,00.


Usually consisting of normal-oily skin on the T-zone with normal-dry areas around the cheeks, combination skin is out of balance. Unlike oily skin, combination skin will tend to have noticeable shine on the nose and forehead rather than all over. Combination skin can be particularly frustrating when it comes to picking products, as different areas of the face require different treatment.

Vitamin C is a great ingredient for all skin types, particularly combination skin as it helps to hydrate, brighten and boost. The best vitamin C serums and creams, including BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner, N/A and Medik8 Daily Radiance Vitamin C SPF30, £ 59,00 can be used daily. Opt for a light face cream or gel formula to give your skin plenty nourishment without overloading the oilier areas.

Multi-masking is a good technique to employ. Once a week, use a mud or clay mask like along your T-zone to draw out impurities and treat oily areas. At the same time, apply a hydrating mask, like Mario Badescu Hydrating Overnight Mask, N/A, to your cheeks and any drier areas.


Red, reactive and itchy are common features of sensitive skin, which tends to be naturally thinner than other skin types. As a result, the moisture barrier is weaker and requires more support. Look to ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and niacinamide to help hydrate, nourish and strengthen your skin.

Kate Somerville’s DeliKate range is ideal for sensitive skin. Kate Somerville DeliKate Soothing Cleanser, £ 38,00 helps to gently cleanse without stripping the skin. Look to Ren Clean Skincare Evercalm™ Redness Relief Serum, £ 50,00 to help ease redness and itching, and support your skin barrier.

SPF is a daily essential for all skin types, especially sensitive skin which can burn more easily. We recommend choosing a zinc formula to minimise any irritation, such as Ultra Violette Clean Screen Sensitive Skinscreen SPF 30, £ 32,00. Always do a patch test before using new beauty products.

Looking For A Personalised Touch?

Pop into your local Space NK store where our expert beauty advisors can help identify your skin type and select the best skincare products for you. If you can't go into store, check out our Skincare Matches tool. Using your previous purchases and a quick skin quiz, we can identify the products that will suit you best in seconds.

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Posted: Monday, 27 February 2023

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