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How to Determine Your Skin Type & Needs

How to Determine Your Skin Type & Needs

Even if you’re new to the big, wide world of skincare, you’ll no doubt have seen phrases like ‘sensitive skin’, ‘oily skin’, and ‘combination skin’ dotted throughout beauty editorials and product descriptions. But what do they actually mean?

Essentially, while everybody’s skin is unique, there are roughly five different ‘types’ of skin, which are commonly referred to as ‘skin types’. Did you know that the first classic skin types - oily, dry, sensitive, and combination - were first described in the early 1900s by Helena Rubinstein? A Polish immigrant, she went on to develop one of the very first global cosmetics companies!

She was a great marketer, and developed luxury packaging for her products. In fact, the reason that she came up with these skin types was so that she could ‘diagnose’ and ‘treat’ them with her products. 

Although it seemed basic at the time, and has often been overused, we still use skin types today to recommend products and ingredients to help tackle different issues. 

Finding out which skin type you have, alongside any skin concerns, can help you to work out which products will work the best for your skin and help you to achieve your skincare goals. 


 If your skin type is ‘normal’, it means that your skin has a smooth texture, is neither too dry nor too oily, and is relatively blemish-free, so doesn’t necessarily need any specific treatments outside of a regular skincare routine. 

To maintain normal skin, we recommend:

SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser Cream, €35.00

 SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, €160

Obagi Hydrate Moisturiser, €60


Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50, €57



If you have sensitive skin, you may suffer from patches of redness and irritation, or a feeling of tightness. Sensitive skin is reactive, and might ‘flare up’ at stimuli that wouldn’t have as much of an effect on normal skin. This means that sensitive skin requires gentle products which help to repair the skin’s protective barrier, without being too harsh.

 To help with sensitive skin, we recommend:

Obagi Gentle Cleanser, €68.00

SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal b3 , €125

iS Clinical Sheald Recovery Balm, €64



Many people experience periods of dry skin, usually caused by external factors such as central heating or cold weather. However, others may find that they have dry skin all or the majority of the time. If your skin type is dry, it may feel tight, rough or itchy, or even appear scaly. Dry skin requires gentle care and lots of hydration to ensure that it doesn’t crack or become sore.

To help with dry skin, we recommend:

Skingredients PreProbiotic cleanse, €29

iS Clinical Hydra Cool Serum, €100

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2.4.2, €145

Heliocare Fluid Cream SPF, €35


If your skin type is oily, you may notice that it looks well-hydrated, but may feel greasy or slippery to the touch. This is due to excessive oil production in your sebaceous glands, and is relatively common in people in their teens and twenties. Oily skin can contribute to certain skin conditions, such as acne, but can be managed with cleansers and products which help to reduce oil production.

To help to manage oily skin, we recommend:

Obagi CLEZIiderm cleanser, €55

SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF, €160

Obagi Hydrate, €60

Heliocare Oil Free Dry Touch Gel SPF 50, €35


Combination skin is, as the name suggests, a combination of other skin types - namely oily skin and dry skin. If you have combination skin, you may have both oily and dry areas on your face. For example, you may have excess oil in your T-zone (your forehead, nose, and chin), but dry or normal skin on your cheeks. This skin type can benefit from using plenty of hydrating products, as well as products, such as cleansers, which can help to tackle excess oil.

To help with combination skin, we recommend:

Skingredients PreProbiotic Cleanse, €29 alternated with Obagi clenziderm cleanser, €55

iS Clinical Hydra Cool Serum, €100

Obagi Hydrate Moisturiser, €60

Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50, €57

To find out more about your skin type and how to build your ideal skincare routine, book a personalised consultation with Dr. Laura Clinic here!

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