How to Build Your Skincare Routine Based on Your Skin Type

Sep 29 2022

woman with dark hair and beautiful, clear skin
Everyone’s skin is different. One-size-fits-all products hardly ever work for people with most skin conditions, and it’s because your skin needs tailored products and solutions. Building a skin care routine can seem hard, especially if all your friends have similar routines that don’t work for you. If you’re struggling to come up with a routine that makes a difference in the way your skin looks, it’s going to take some research and some work.

Step 1

The first step to building the skin care routine for you starts with defining your skin type. Remember: not all people will fit into these neat little definitions. These should serve as a guideline for finding the right products for you based off of your skin’s needs.


Skin Types

Your skin can be categorized in one of four basic types:

  • Normal
  • Dry
  • Oily
  • Combination


Normal skin is exactly what it sounds like: normal! The skin isn’t overly oily or dry, it is relatively free of blemishes and discolorations, and requires minimal but consistent care. Typically people with this skin type can buy a wide variety of makeup and skincare products.


Dry skin is known to be flaky, cracked and even red and tender. Dry skin is almost always sensitive skin. Buying makeup and skincare products proves to be a bit of a challenge, not because there aren’t products out there but because the skin is easily irritated or made drier by product use.

Dry skin requires attentive care. Dry skin tends to be dull, so moisturizing and brightening products are key.


Oily skin types produce an excess of sebum that builds on the skin throughout the day. Oily skin requires special care products and makeup. The T zone (across the forehead and down the nose) is usually the oiliest area of the face. This skin type typically struggles with acne more often than other skin types.

This skin type thrives on mattifying products and foundations.


The combination skin type combines one or more of the previously mentioned types. The skin may suffer from dry patches throughout but an oily T zone, an oily T zone and normal skin everywhere else or normal skin with an occasional dry patch.

This skin requires knowledge about its combined types, so make sure to do your research! Utilize the skincare professionals who are at your disposal to learn more about your skin type.

red headed woman with clear skin

Step 2

Visit an esthetician, dermatologist or both! Don’t battle skin problems on your own. Dermatologists are doctors trained to assist you with skin issues and recommend appropriate medications or treatments. They can help with skin conditions and problems that range from minor to severe.

Estheticians can lend a hand to you in finding the right at-home skincare products and even treat you to a variety of services that can help you heal or resolve skin care issues. Facials are one example of a service that can help your skin shine (or mattify) in the just the right way.

Both types of professionals can help you determine which products are right for you. If you are taking any medication for any condition, topical, oral or injection, it is vital that you consult your skincare professional before attempting to work any new product into your skincare routine.

Step 3

Now is the time to build your routine (after consulting your dermatologist or esthetician).

Normal Skin

Congrats, you have the easiest skin type to work with! Create a cleansing routine that removes all of your makeup to prevent breakouts, and occasionally treat yourself to a facial! Depending on your skin care goals, you might want to focus on firming and lifting your skin, increasing your radiance or brighten dull areas. No matter your age, all of these goals and types of routines can benefit you! It’s never too early to start on an anti-aging regimen.

For makeup, you’ve got your pick of products. Choose brightening foundations and highlights to illuminate your skin, or try a full coverage look with a bold matte eye to go extra sultry. The options are endless! SPF is your BFF, so don’t forget to include sun coverage in your routine.

Oily Skin

Look for products that mattify the skin and keep oil under control. Avoid “brightening” and “dewey” makeup products. Though it might seem counterintuitive, but oily skin does need moisture. We are big fans of Aveda products (obviously!) so we encourage you to check out the Botanical Kinetics™ line to help balance the oil on your skin.

If you struggle with acne (you’re not alone!) then it’s important to utilize acne treatments within your routine. We recommend the Outer Peace™ line for calming redness and prevention. The best tip we can give you is: don’t touch your face, and don’t pick or pop blemishes. Try to cut greasy and sugary foods out of your diet to help you prevent acne from forming. Also make sure to wash your face once to twice a day, but avoid over cleansing. If your face is reacting to your washing routine, try to cut back.

Always use an SPF, either beneath or on top of your makeup. No matter your skin type, sun damage can cause harm to your delicate skin now and cause major problems later.

Dry Skin

Create a skin care routine that infuses moisture into your skin, and stay away from acne prevention and treatments if you can. Words like “mattifying” indicate that the product is likely to cling to the dry patches on your face. Hydrate your skin with the moisturizing Botanical Kinetics™ All Sensitive™ line.

Like the other skin types, don’t be a stranger to SPF!

Combination Skin

Combination skin types can be tricky to nail down a routine for. You may have to combine several elements of all regimens listed above. Make your dermatologist and esthetician your best friends because you’ll need support in your journey to creating the right steps to caring for your skin. One thing to note that is important to matter your combined skin type, SPF!

woman in a towel applying skincare treatments

Book a Facial

To speak with an esthetician-in-training, book an appointment at one of our student salons or spas! Our students provide a variety of facials under the supervision of licensed professionals. Our students are excited to help you determine your skincare needs!

Do You Love Skin Care?

Does the thought of building skin care routines and helping others perfect their regimens sound like fun? Do you enjoy spa days, facials and other skin care treatments? You should check out a career in esthetics! The field is ever growing! The Douglas J Aveda Institutes offer Esthiology programs at all six of our locations! Contact your nearest campus today to learn more about getting started.

Read More About Skin Care and Esthetics

Click here to read our blog “Career Dreams: Esthetician
Click here to read our blog “7 Ingredients to Healthy Winter Skin”.