Building the Right Skincare Routine for Your Skin Type

by The First Refresh

There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to skincare. How your skin looks and feels depends on its type (oily, dry, sensitive, etc.) and what you put on it. Climate, season, stress and diet also affect people and the various skin types differently. If you’d like to see an improvement in your skin, a bit of trial and error may be necessary, but to reduce the “error”, have a chat with a beauty therapist about the best products and treatments for your skin. Here’s an overview of the best way to handle the most common types of skin.

Dry Skin

What is dry skin? 

Skin may be dry because it naturally doesn’t produce enough oils, or may be caused by environmental factors, like heating, air conditioning, too-frequent washing with hot water or harsh products, or chemicals such as the chlorine in swimming pool water. Dry skin is often flaky or itchy and is rough in texture. Skin may also be dry because it isn’t exfoliated as often as it should be. Dry skin is often said to “age” more quickly than oilier skin.
How to treat dry skin daily:

While the products and processes you use on dry skin will depend on what’s causing it to be dry, in general it’s important to moisturise dry skin properly. Use a water-based moisturiser often, rather than a thick oily moisturiser, as the latter can clog pores. Use a moisturising overnight face mask for intensive hydration. Avoid washing your face or showering in very hot water. If you are able, turn your air conditioner or heater to a lower setting.

How to treat dry skin at the salon:

As part of your facial, beauty therapists can apply hydrating masks and moisturisers, and exfoliating scrubs or peels that are best suited to your skin type. You should leave the salon with a dewy feel on your skin.

Oily Skin 

What is oily skin?

Skin may be oily because it naturally produces too much sebum, or because you’re using products that are too rich for your skin. Excess oil can lead to congestion (black heads and white heads) and makeup may smear or rub off your face quicker than you’d like. The good news is that oilier skin types tend to age more slowly than dry skin because fine lines are less noticeable.

How to treat oily skin daily:  

Use an oil-free face wash morning and night, and avoid thick moisturisers. Gel moisturiser is good because it provides a moisture boost without any heaviness. Use a clarifying mask (such as a clay mask) a couple of times a week, as well as a face scrub/exfoliating peel every couple of days. When possible, skip the face makeup as this can add to congestion.

How to treat oily skin at the salon: 

Microdermabrasion and facial peels are great for oily skin types as they can help clear congestion. Beauty therapists may apply deep cleansing masks, such as clay masks that dry hard. You should leave the salon with smoother, brighter skin without the oily sheen.

Combination skin

What is combination skin?  

As it sounds, combination skin is skin that is oily in some places and dry in others, or oily and “normal”. Often, the cheeks are normal or dry and the forehead, nose, and chin are oily. Compared to dry skin and oily skin, combination skin may sound great. But it can be quite difficult to manage because it can be hard to find products and processes that treat both problems at the same time.

How to treat combination skin at home:  

You may need to do some mixing and matching with your moisturiser and masks. That is, don’t put the same product all over your face. Wash with an oil-free cleanser (gel cleanser is ideal as it won’t aggravate oily or dry areas) and then apply dabs of a couple of different moisturisers to the different parts of your skin. The same goes for at-home treatments like masks. Some brands sell packages of masks with products for different parts of the face.

How to treat combination skin at the salon:  

Let your beauty therapist know that your skin is combination, as they may see a shiny forehead and reach for the oily skin products too hastily! Unlike dealing with this type of skin at home, beauty salons should be well equipped for combination skin as they will have lots of different types of product on hand. You should leave the salon with facial skin that feels more balanced.

Sensitive skin

What is sensitive skin?  

Sensitive skin can be oily or dry (or a combination!) Many people may experience sensitivity to intensive skincare products or those that contain many chemicals, but if you have very sensitive skin, even relatively mild or natural products may cause irritation and a burning sensation. Sensitivity can lead to breakouts, redness, swelling, itching, or drying out, depending on what is causing the sensitivity.

How to treat sensitive skin at home:  

Sensitive skin can be tricky to handle because it may seem like you’re always having to discard products you react badly to. If possible, get hold of sample size products or sachets before purchasing a full-size bottle or tube. Do spot-tests first, before slathering a new product all over your face. Stick to skincare products that are all natural and unscented. These are less likely to cause irritation. Also keep your skincare routine simple: the fewer products you use on your skin, the less likely it is to become irritated. You do want to make sure that makeup and daily dirt is removed thoroughly though, or you’ll face breakouts and congestion. Stick with a mild gel or cream cleanser and warm water, and be careful with any masks or peels you apply. 

How to treat sensitive skin at the salon: 

Always let your beauty therapist know if you have allergies to any products because you won’t necessarily be able to check the labels at the salon as you might at home. Opt for a salon that uses natural skincare brands.

So there you have it! Our top tips for all skintypes - if you think we’ve missed you out, get in touch with us at, our skincare experts would be delighted to chat.