MUA Insider Look: Skincare & Skin Types

I often get asked about skin care, either because people point out my skin or they figure I know something about it now that I am a makeup artist. And I do, not as much as a dermatologist obvi! But I know enough.  In this post I will tackle some of the most common questions I get asked. I hope this helps!


Q: How do I tell what kind of skin I have? Oily? Combo? Normal? Dry?

A: For some of us figuring out what kind of skin we have is easier than for others.  There are a few factors that can help you determine what skin category you MOST LIKELY fall into.

Dry skin usually has smaller pores, feels dry to the touch, and people with this kind of skin usually describe their skin as feeling “tight.” Drier skin usually lacks shine as well.  Often times people with drier skin need to moisturize in layers or use heavier or creamier face lotions. This skin type usually deals with fine lines.

Oily skin is on the other side of the spectrum.  Usually upon touching it your fingers might feel greasier, pores are larger as they are producing far more sebum.  This skin type often struggles with finding makeup that won’t “slide off” or make someone look “sweaty.” People with oily skin can sometimes deal with overproduction of oil that leads to acne or blemishes.

Combo skin is as the word implies “combination” meaning it has attributes of both a person with dry and oily skin. Commonly people with this skin type are drier on the outside of their face (and around the mouth) and oilier on their t-zone (top of forehead, down the nose and chin and on the apple of their cheeks).  This type of skin’s biggest concern is balancing between over and under oil production in certain areas.

Sensitive skin can be any of the types above but usually deals with a lot of redness, rosacea, dryness and itching or burning. If you have sensitive skin the best bet is to use products with as LITTLE ingredients as possible and usually organic as to not cause a breakout.

Normal skin is normal! Congrats! You’ve won the genetic lottery! Your pores are the right size, you create the right amount of oils.  You’re like PERF! Okay so seriously, people with normal skin should work on MAINTAINING their normal skin.

Skin is mutable, it can change depending on a wide of different factors. Some of the most common triggers for skin changes include, new products, stress, the environment, etc. 

Q: I’m in my 20’s and don’t have a skin care regimen? Should I and what should it consist of?

A: I get this question A LOT.  The most important thing to remember in your twenties (especially early twenties when we can’t even remember at what time we have class) is that the SUN is your biggest nemesis.  Water is your friend and keeping makeup on while you sleep is the equivalent of being hung over for a midterm (unless you function better when you’re hung over!).

In your twenties you really should use the right lotion (hydrate the face from the outside), drink a ton of water (hydrate your face from the inside), wear a GOOD amount of SPF (even when it isn’t sunny, the sun is like the sneaky ex-boyfriend that shows up unexpectedly), and remove the makeup after your day is over.

Later on you can worry about retinol and all that fun stuff!


Q: What skin care brands do you recommend?

A: I hate recommending without really getting to know some background history first. Remember when your dealing with makeup or skin care products, you are essentially dealing with CHEMICALS and active ingredients, meaning what may work for me may not work for you.  Things like family medical history, allergies, lifestyle and your diet can play important roles on what works for your particular skin.

Now, as to what I do USE on myself. I have a rule (I try to abide by as much as possible):

Try to stick to products with few ingredients (the longer the list the more you gotta worry about), make sure the ingredients are things you can pronounce (I don’t wanna put triadelmethelyne acidic retinaidis [not a real word, don’t google it.] on my face).  Keep your skin care simple, to the point and potent.

I opt for oil-free, non-comedogenic, “made for sensitive skin” products. I love Neutrogena & Olay from the drugstore.  Another fantastic drugstore brand for me is Aveeno.  As for higher end, I love Kiehl’s, Origins, Clinique and Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Peels (from Sephora).

If you have any cool skin care tips please feel free to share with the community (also mention what kind of skin it’s for)!