One of the biggest barriers to getting going with skincare for men is not knowing where to start. There are lots of washes and creams out there 'for men' but does that mean that the product is right for all men? The short answer is 'no'. There is no one-size-fits-all skincare routine for men. Choosing the right set of products for you becomes a lot more simple when you know where to begin, and we begin with your skin type.

This is everything you need to know to discover your skin type so that you can find a skincare routine that helps to improve your complexion.

What is a skin type?

A skin type is a simple set of criteria that help to determine the state of your skin. Your skin type can be created by both genetic and environmental factors. What you eat, how much water you drink, you much sunlight you get, how often you swear, how much pollution there is where you live and what you put onto your skin are all examples of factors that may impact your skin type.

Changing what you eat and drink, how often you exercise, and what you put on your skin can alter your skin type.

There are five main categories of skin type:

  • sensitive

  • normal

  • dry

  • oily

  • combination

Why does skin type matter?

Your skin type should dictate how you treat your skin and what products you use. If you use a heavy moisturiser on oily skin or a harsh exfoliator on dry skin, you may end up exaggerating your skin type. You could worsen skin conditions and develop a negative affiliation with skincare if you use the wrong products for your skin type.


Let's take a look at the symptoms of each individual skin type to see if you can understand which category you call into.

Sensitive skin

If your skin gets irritated easily, you may have sensitive skin. This can present either an oily or a dry reaction which can cause some confusion when identifying your skin type. Either way, it can cause uncomfortable, irritated skin and even allergic reactions.

Normal skin

First up, all skin is normal skin. This phrase, however, describes skin which is neither oily nor dry. If you have an even complexion and don't often get blemishes, you would describe your skin as 'normal'.

Dry skin

If your skin feels tight after you wash it, you may have dry skin. Externally, this can present as a rough texture, red patches, scaley or even flakey.

Often dry skin is caused by environmental factors like not drinking enough water or dry air, but this can also be caused by conditions such as eczema.

Oily skin

If you have visible, open pores and shiny skin, you probably have oily skin. In many cases, this is caused by hormonal imbalances and can cause breakouts or inflammation.

Combination skin

A combination of oily and dry skin. If your t-zone (nose, chin and forehead) is shiny, whilst your cheeks are dry or red then you can combine skin. This is a very common skin type.

Now you know your skin type, you can find the best products and routines for your skin.