Oily - Visible, large, open skin pores. Skin feels greasy. Shiny skin. Blackheads. Use foaming cleansers, toner, and gel or oil free moisturiser. Consider a weekly cleansing or clarifying mask.
Dry - Skin feels tight and dry, chapped and flaky. Fine lines and wrinkles. Use a cream cleanser and a rich cream moisturiser. Consider a weekly moisturising mask.
Combination - Symptoms of oily skin as above around the chin, nose and forehead (called your T-zone). Symptoms of dry skin elsewhere. Look for products dedicated to combination skin, or treat the different areas of your face with the different products suggested above.
Normal - If none of the above applies to you, chances are your skin is perfectly normal! Follow the recommended routine using a foaming cleanser and a light moisturising lotion.
Sensitive - Your skin reacts badly to chemicals and pollutants with rashes, blotches, breakouts etc. We recommend using all natural products. The About Face and earthskinfoods line of products are particularly suited to you.
Recommended Daily Routine
Regular soap can dry out your more sensitive facial skin and strip it of its natural oils. Look for a dedicated soap free facial cleanser suited to your type of skin. Foaming and gel cleansers and non soap face bars are better for oily skin, lotions for normal or combination skin and cream cleansers more suitable for dry skin. Morning: Wash your face each morning before shaving, it's an easy thing to do in the shower. Evening: Wash your face before sleep each night to clear the skin of the day's build-up of pollution and oils.
Tone (for oily skin)
Toners are alcohol free astringents that help to close large pores and remove excess oil. Apply morning and evening after cleansing.
Today's moisturisers provide a range of benefits to the skin, from antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, E etc.) to anti-aging effects. They protect your skin from dryness in winter and the sun in summer. At the same time they deliver essential moisture to the skin to keep it supple and fresh. Heavier creams are suited to dry skin, lotion for normal or combination skin, and gel or oil-free ones are best for oily skin.
Morning: Ensure your day moisturiser contains SPF or add some sun cream to it, particularly in summer. Sun damage is the single most important factor in aging your skin. Moisturise in the morning after you've shaved. Moisturiser should be applied after you have applied your post shave balm both over the shaved area and to the other areas of the face. Use a dedicated eye cream if you have puffiness or dark circles under the eyes.
Evening: Moisturising at night helps your skin rejuvenate as you sleep. You can get dedicated night moisturisers.
Recommended Weekly Routine
In short, exfoliation is the removal of the build up of dead skin cells on your face. This is something that should be done weekly, after you cleanse your face. Exfoliators or face scrubs usually contain fine granules that physically do this task. Some contain a weak acid that does the same job. Both aid in promoting new skin to come through and the absorption of the nutrients from your moisturiser. It is also ideal to make you feel fresher and cleaner. An added bonus is that exfoliation prior to a shave will result in a better, smoother shave. Follow the product's instructions and avoid using the exfoliator or scrub around the eyes.
Masks are not just for women and should be used by men too. There are face masks for different skin conditions to achieve particular results, whether it be hydrating, clarifying, moisturising, combating problems and so on. Most masks are commonly made from clay or glycerine. They provide a deep down cleansing action and particular masks may have a deeper moisturising effect. Follow the manufacturers' instructions and avoid the eye area.