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What are skin types and do they matter?

Is figuring out your skin type as easy as you think? It can be easy to mix up your skin type, meaning you reach for skin products that aren’t going to help or could even make your skin worse. And with the ever changing environmental conditions and skincare habits, how often should you be checking whether your skin type is different? Here we share everything you need to know.

What is a skin type?

Skin type is determined by both genetics and external factors, such as environment, weather, and what skincare is used. Based on these, there are the five common skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination (both oily and dry skin) and sensitive. This can change over the years, or even weeks as hormones fluctuate, so it’s important to keep an eye on how your skin type develops. 

How do I work out my skin type?

Whilst your skin is ever-changing, a simple day test can usually help with giving an estimate as to what type of skin you have. Simply go through a normal day as you usually would, and before you do your evening skin routine, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my skin feel oily and look shiny? → Oily Skin

  • Do I have an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) but matte cheeks? → Combination skin

  • Does my skin feel tight and look flaky? → Dry Skin

  • Do I often have inflamed skin with redness and itchiness? → Sensitive Skin

  • I don’t have any of these symptoms. → Normal Skin

Skin Type vs Skin Concern 

Common skin concerns include EczemaAcneRosaceaAgeing and Dullness. Looking at your skin from this point of view can make it easier to shop for products as they will be targeted to these skin concerns, e.g. blemishes, dryness, or ageing, rather than the typical skin types. For dull and flaky skin, reach for our Hero Facial Oil, for more blemish-prone skin, enjoy our Ally Blemish Recovery Oil.

By Sarah London Hero Facial Oil

The Problem of Misdiagnosis

In a world of self-taught virtual skincare experts, it can be confusing to know what products to use and when. This often leads to reaching for potent and aggressive skincare that can cause more damage than harm.

Our advice? Be gentle. No matter what your skin concern, nothing can be treated with brute force.

Start with something simple and effective, like our 3-Step Essentials, and then go from there. Often a simple routine is far better and can solve your skincare woes without the need of splashing out on hundreds of different products. 

It does take time and patience to feel confident in knowing your skin type and concerns, especially as they vary from season to season. We recommend keeping a skincare journal, where you can note down any changes in your skin, as well as what products you’re using and any environmental factors you suspect might be behind it. Often winter can bring about dry, flaky skin, whilst summer can trigger breakouts or redness. It’s all down to you as an individual.

The good news? No matter your skin type, the entire By Sarah London range is suited to you. We make sure that we formulate for all skin types and concerns so you can shop your routine hassle-free.


Join our Newsletter to receive our latest news, arrivals and skincare tips straight to your inbox every week. All content © BY SARAH LONDON. All rights reserved.

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