Introduction

When you walk into a store, or click online to buy your grooming products, you don’t need to pay any attention to what’s on the label, or the expert advice. It’s all about getting in, and getting out, with the cheapest ‘get the job done’ products under your arm. Your only buying them because that magazine said you should and after all, it’s just a moisturiser and they’re all the same anyway, right? Wrong. If only it was a simple as that.

As you all know, grooming is an essential part of looking good, and choosing the right products is a vital cog in the grooming machine. Every man’s skin falls into one of five ‘skin types’, each with their individual characteristics and requirements. If you don’t use products tailored to your skin type, then you run the risk of stumbling at the very first grooming hurdle. Not only will inadequate products cease to combat potential problems, but they could make existing troubles far worse. Think of it in fashion terms, you wouldn’t buy a small t-shirt if you’re an extra large, so why should skincare be any different.

We’d all love our grooming products to be ‘one type suits all’, that would be perfect wouldn’t it? But until the geeks at Super Science Skincare Inc. bring out their wonder range that suits every skin type, you’ll have to make do with the FashionBeans skin type guide to help you along your way.

Normal Skin Types

Characteristics:

  • Generally problem free with minimal spots or blemishes.
  • A fresh and even skin texture.
  • Small pores.
  • Good skin elasticity and moisture.
  • Feels smooth and comfortable after cleansing.

What Next?
Before you lock the bathroom cabinet, having a normal skin type doesn’t mean you can put your feet up and abandon a skincare regime all together, there’s still plenty of work to be done here. Continue to follow the daily basics of cleansing and moisturising but when choosing your moisturiser make sure you choose something lightweight so as not to overload your skin.

Oily Skin Types

Characteristics:

  • Prone to spots, blackheads and pimples.
  • A thick, course texture.
  • Greasy problem areas (normally the T-zone – forehead, nose and chin).
  • Larger, open pores.
  • Skin feels greasy or shiny throughout the day.

What Next?
To combat oily skin it’s best to stick to a three step daily routine. Firstly use a cleanser twice daily to help keep skin clean and fresh, but don’t be tempted to go for something harsh and industrial strength otherwise you will only strip the skin of its natural oils and make the problem worse. After cleansing, using a toner like the Biotherm Homme T PUR Intense Lotion helps to tighten pores and prevent future blockages.

Completing the hattrick of solutions, it is essential that you don’t shy away from moisturiser, but rather choose one specifically tailored for oily skin, otherwise you risk a total oil overload. I would also recommend investing in a face mask such as the Anthony Logistics Deep Pore Cleansing Clay Mask, as when used once or twice a week products like this are great for drawing out impurities and further tightening pores.

Dry Skin Types

Characteristics:

  • Prone to dry, flaky areas.
  • A thin, dull texture.
  • Feels dry and rough to the touch and is easily irritated.
  • Very fine pores.
  • Feels especially tight and uncomfortable after cleansing and shaving.

What Next?
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Coping with dry skin is all about replenishing the moisture that your skin is naturally short of, so choose a high quality moisturiser like the L’Oreal Men Expert Turbo Booster Moisturiser to help quench your skin’s thirst.

However, don’t abandon your cleansing routine thinking that it will further dry your skin as a gentle face wash without harsh chemicals will do just as much for your cause as a high quality moisturiser. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and take extra care when choosing your shaving products as gel is likely to be better than a cream at providing moisture and adequate razor glide.

Sensitive Skin Types

Characteristics:

  • Easily irritated by external factors.
  • Reacts to certain fragrances and alcohol based products.
  • A tight texture, often uncomfortable or red to the touch.
  • Can react badly to certain foods, sun or wind exposure and stress.
  • Particularly prone to shaving irritation.

What Next?
To combat sensitive skin, it’s key to avoid all of the factors that cause it to be sensitive in the first place. This means veering away from over exposure to the elements like sun and the cold and steering clear of additives like ‘lanolin’ and biological detergents. You also can add harsh chemicals, powerful scents and alcohol based products to your list of things to avoid like the plague.

Before I start sounding like your mother, enough of what you can’t do, here are some pointers to help you on your skincare quest. Be sure to look out for things like ‘dermalogically tested’ and ‘fragrance free’ on your product packaging. It’s also an excellent idea to patch test any new products on the another area of your body (ie. your wrist) before exposing them to the skin on your face.

Combination Skin Types

Characteristics:

  • A combination of characteristics from two or even three of the other skin types.
  • Occasional dry areas on the cheeks and forehead.
  • Some oily areas, normally the T-Zone.
  • After cleansing some areas feel tight.
  • Other areas will appear greasy or shiny by midday.

What Next?
You would think that combination skin would make choosing products very difficult, but luckily there are many products with multi-benefits, making them suitable for combination skin. Dermalogica Active Moist is a daily moisturiser that is lightweight enough so as not to clog oily areas, but full proof enough to quench dry areas.

As different parts of your complexion are likely to have different needs, in some cases you may even need to choose two products, an oil free moisturiser for your T-zone and a regular moisturiser for the rest of your face. Overall, try to stick with a regular cleanse and moisturise routine, but avoid products that are too harsh, or too heavy and your combination skin should remain trouble free.

Conclusion

Before you rush out and buy your next supply of grooming products, take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. Not in a ‘self help’ Paul McKenna kind of way, but just take time out to study your skin type, and decide whether the products you’re using are the best available for you and your skin.