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The Guide

Identify Your Skin Type Before You Treat It

by Matthew Taylor Ruggieri on October 24, 2012.

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Before you go spend your paycheck on an array of creams and cleansers, you need to learn a bit about your skin.

The thing is, we don’t all have the same skin type. A product that works for your friend might not work for you. But once you understand your own skin type, choosing the right products and establishing an effective routine will become a whole lot easier.


1. Oily Skin Type

Skin becomes shiny and greasy throughout the day and pores are visibly large.

What to Do:
Use a cleanser with salicylic acid to unclog pores and reduce oil production and don’t skimp on moisturizer—your skin is producing oil because it isn’t properly hydrated. Pick one that’s oil-free.

We recommend Billy Jealousy’s Bar None($18) as a cleanser for very oily skin types.


2. Dry Skin Type

Skin feels tight and rough and sometimes flakes or turns red from irritation.

What to Do:
Soothe and nourish skin with a face cleanser that has hydrating essential oils. A gentle scrub used a few times a week will help skin shed dead, flaky cells. A rich moisturizer, plus a a weekly hydration mask, will boost your natural glow. Dry skin is a hotbed for fine lines and wrinkles, so look for products labeled as antiagers.

Give Billy Jealousy’s White Knight ($20) a shot as a cleanser for dry skin types because it is extremely gentle.


3. Normal Skin Type

Skin has an even tone and texture and pores are small.

What to Do:
Find a routine that works and stick with it. Use a general cleanser and moisturizer daily and exfoliate a few times a week to prevent the buildup of dead skin.

Give Baxter of California’s Daily Face Wash ($15) a shot as a cleanser for normal skin types because it battles the oils and debris from daily activities.

4. Sensitive Skin Type

Skin is easily irritated by products and prone to occasional breakouts or rashes.

What to Do: Prevent irritation by sticking with gentle products that are fragrance-free and have all-natural ingredients. Skip the tough scrubs, too.

Give Urth’s Face Wash ($32) a shot as a cleanser for sensitive (as well as combination) skin types because it is gentle, yet also moisturizes the skin.

5. Combination Skin Type

Forehead, nose, and chin areas tend to be oily, while cheeks and eyes are dry.

What to Do:
Follow the basic guidelines for normal skin, but add a weekly clay mask to just the oily T-zone areas. Use a heavier eye cream under the eyes and on cheeks and a lighter moisturizer for the rest of the face.

Give Urth’s Face Wash ($32) a shot as a cleanser for combination (as well as sensitive) skin types because it is gentle, yet also moisturizes the skin.

Decide on a routine and commit to it morning and night (like brushing your teeth). It takes at least two weeks for skin to benefit from a product routine. It’s like working out- nothing happens overnight, but with regular use you should start to see results.

Taking the time to learn about your skin and committing to a simple, daily regimen will not only improve your skin’s appearance but will leave you confident in your ability to select the products your skin actually needs.

In Store:

Baxter of California Grooming Lotion Baxter of California Grooming Lotion
A light hold, low shine lotion that gives hair and beards manageability and softness.
The Motley Palo Santo Anniversary-Edition Cologne The Motley Palo Santo Anniversary-Edition Cologne
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This vitamin-enriched, oil-free, very water- and sweat-resistant lotion offers superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and absorbs quickly without greasy or heavy residue.

Matthew Taylor Ruggieri

Men's skincare expert at The Motley. Dreamer of the golden dream. Fan of Bob Dylan, Jean-Luc Godard and Richard Avedon.