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Face masks for different types of skin: dry, oily, sensitive and combination

Face masks are the core of any skincare routine. These products are specifically made for different skin types and provide the nutrients needed to keep skin looking its best.

In this guide, we’ll help you identify your skin type, explain the causes of problem skin, how to take care of your skin and suggest the best home remedies and face masks that can keep your skin healthy.

In this guide:

Skin type

It’s quite common to be born with one type of skin and then see it change to another over the years due to internal and external factors such as age, weather and illness.

Generally speaking, there are 5 skin types:

  • Dry skin
  • Oily skin
  • Sensitive skin
  • Normal skin
  • Combination skin

Your skin type may change over time due to diet, hormones and weather.

Dry skin

Having dry skin means that you may need to use a deep and rich moisturizer to improve your skin barrier. Dry skin feels tight and must be cared for properly to make sure it maintains its elasticity.

Some people are born with dry skin while others develop dry skin because of the climate or the environment in which they live. You might even develop dry skin simply due to age or even because of medication you are taking.

Signs of dry skin

  • Skin feels tight, especially after taking a shower
  • Skin feels gritty or rough
  • Flaky skin, especially in cold weather
  • Red patches on your skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Bleeding skin

If you have some or all of these symptoms then you may be prone to dry skin. Taking care of your skin starts with following a balanced diet and choosing the right products to soothe your skin, keeping it well-hydrated and moisturised.

Causes of dry skin

Age: As you age, your skin will likely become more sensitive.

Diet: Eating too much spicy food can make your skin sensitive.

Weather: Extremely hot and cold weather can make your skin sensitive.

Products (shampoos, creams, etc.): Harsh products that contain chemicals will make your skin sensitive and itchy.

Hydration and dehydration: If your skin is dehydrated, it might become extremely sensitive. you need to drink enough water every day (2 – 3 litres).

Genetics: You may have been born with sensitive skin

Common health conditions: Some skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis can make sensitive skin worse.

Routines: Look for soothing and natural ingredients that won’t make your skin itchy or dry.

Heating: Avoid spending time in extreme heat as it can inflame sensitive skin. Cold weather can also make your skin red and more sensitive.

Chlorine: Use proper protection if you’re going to spend time in a pool. Chlorine strips sebum from the skin and could make it dry and itchy. Consider pre-pool moisturisers and lotions. Certain sun creams can be effective protection against chlorine.

Sleep: Irregular sleep will create imbalance and may make your skin more sensitive.

Allergies: Allergies are common in people who have sensitive skin.

Cause Further information
Age
  • Most people will develop dry skin as they grow older.
  • Oil glands naturally start to produce less oil as you age.
Diet
  • Not following a healthy diet can cause skin to become extremely dry.
  • If your food doesn’t contain enough healthy fats, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, your skin will feel dry and itchy.
Weather
  • Heat causes water loss that affects the way your skin looks.
  • Spending more time in the sun without protection will cause your skin to become extremely dry.
  • Wind will make your skin dry in the winter.
  • If you live in a dry climate, you can use a humidifier to keep your skin healthy
Products (shampoos, creams, etc.)
  • Certain products contain harsh chemicals that strip your skin of oil.
  • Make sure that you use oil-based products to clean your skin and remove your makeup.
  • Your creams should be rich and infused with natural oils to promote skin moisture.
Dehydration
  • Dehydration is a common cause of dry skin.
  • You should drink between 2 to 3 litres of water every day.
Genetics
  • If your parents have dry skin, there is a chance you may experience the condition.
Common health condidtions
  • Health conditions like dermatitis can cause skin to become extremely dry.
  • Eczema is another condition that makes the skin dry, itchy and inflamed.
  • Some medications can make your skin dry.
  • If you’re trying to fight off cystic and chronic acne you may experience very dry skin.
Routines
  • Washing your skin too often can strip it of necessary oils.
  • Use products that contain botanical extracts and natural oils to keep your skin nourished.
Heating
  • Too much heat can make your skin dry because it leads to water loss.
Stress
  • Stress causes your hormones to go out of balance.
  • Adrenaline causes you to sweat more, which causes increased water loss
Chlorine
  • Chlorine is a harsh chemical which can cause skin damage after extensive contact
  • If you are a regular swimmer, you may be impacting the condition of your skin
Sleep
  • When you don’t sleep properly, your skin’s PH level will change.
  • This can make your skin extremely dry.
Alergies
  • Regular allergies cause moisture loss and can make your skin dry and flaky

Face mask of dry skin

Mud packs especially help with this type of skin. In mask form, mud will help hydrate and exfoliate the skin.

Other tips:

  • Try honey and banana masks
  • Look for face masks that infuse your skin with natural oils and moisturizing factors
  • An avocado sheet mask will make your dry skin more moisturized

Recommended product

Sugu Avocado Moisturising Sheet Mask - €4.00

Avocado is naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants which deeply nourish and soothe skin. Formulated to deliver intense hydration to dry or dull skin, it leaves your face feeling soft and looking radiant. Sheet masks are super nourishing.

The cotton sheet acts as a barrier to prevent the formula from evaporating, so the skin can absorb three times more goodness than a traditional liquid mask. Super fun, effective and quick to use!

  • Ideal for dry and combination skin
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Suitable for vegans
  • Not tested on animals

Oily skin

Having oily skin does not mean you don’t need to use face masks or moisturisers. Your skin actually produces excessive oil or sebum due to a lack of moisture. Therefore, you need to make sure that your oily skin is properly nourished. This will control the oil production and keep it looking healthy.

Most people tend to develop oily skin by the time they hit puberty. This may cause teenage acne, which usually resolves after a few years. If you have oily skin, you are advised to clean your skin using the most appropriate products for oily skin, such as The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask 50ml - €6.99.

Signs of oily skin

  • Skin looks shiny or greasy
  • Skin looks shiny after you’ve spent some time in the sun
  • Skin feels rough
  • Large pores, especially on the cheeks and nose
  • Pores with whiteheads or blackheads
  • Make-up soaks into the skin and doesn’t last for long
  • Cysts appear under the skin that don’t seem to resolve

Causes of oily skin

Age: Teenagers usually have oily skin and this can cause acne breakouts The older you get, the less oil your skin may produce. .

Diet: Some types of food can make your skin feel oilier. Dairy products, fried food, alcohol and too much sugar can worsen the condition of your oily skin.

Weather: The sun can cause you to sweat and produce more oil, especially in the summer. Humidity promotes the production of sebum or extra oil, which can make your face look shiny.

Products (shampoos, creams, etc.): Soaps and cleansers that remove extra oil can actually make your skin look and feel oilier. You should look for special products that control oil production to keep your skin healthy.

Hydration and dehydration: If you’re not drinking enough water, your skin will try to compensate for the lack of moisture by producing more sebum. You should drink enough water every day (2 – 3 litres).

Genetics: Some people have oily skin due to genes passed down from their parents.

Common health conditions: Lack of vitamin B can make your skin oilier. As you start taking contraceptive pills, you may notice that your skin produces more sebum.

Routines: Washing and cleaning your skin too much can damage your natural skin barrier.

Heating: Too much heat can dry out your skin. Your skin will try to keep itself moisturised after any loss of water by producing more sebum.

Stress: Stress causes your hormones to go out of balance. Adrenaline causes you to sweat more, which causes increased water loss. Cortisol is a stress hormone and it will increase oil production. Try to reduce stress wherever possible.

Sleep: Improper sleep will increase the level of cortisol in your body, thus increasing oil production.

Allergies: During the allergy season, you’ll probably experience more breakouts because of an increase in your oil production.

Cause Further information
Age
  • Teenagers usually have oily skin and this can cause acne breakouts
  • The older you get, the less oil your skin may produce.
Diet
  • Some types of food can make your skin feel oilier
  • Dairy products, fried food, alcohol and too much sugar can worsen the condition of your oily skin
Weather
  • The sun can cause you to sweat and produce more oil, especially in the summer
  • Humidity promotes the production of sebum or extra oil, which can make your face look shiny.
Products (shampoos, creams, etc.)
  • Soaps and cleansers that remove extra oil can actually make your skin look and feel oilier
  • You should look for special products that control oil production to keep your skin healthy.
Hydration and dehydration
  • If you’re not drinking enough water, your skin will try to compensate for the lack of moisture by producing more sebum.
  • You should drink enough water every day (2 – 3 litres)
Genetics
  • Some people have oily skin due to genes passed down from their parents
Common health condidtions
  • Lack of vitamin B can make your skin oilier.
  • As you start taking contraceptive pills, you may notice that your skin produces more sebum.
Routines
  • Washing and cleaning your skin too much can damage your natural skin barrier.
Heating
  • Too much heat can dry out your skin.
  • Your skin will try to keep itself moisturised after any loss of water by producing more sebum.
Stress
  • Stress causes your hormones to go out of balance.
  • Adrenaline causes you to sweat more, which causes increased water loss
Chlorine
  • Cortisol is a stress hormone and it will increase oil production
  • Try to reduce stress wherever possible.
Sleep
  • Improper sleep will increase the level of cortisol in your body, thus increasing oil production.
Alergies
  • During the allergy season, you’ll probably experience more breakouts because of an increase in your oil production.

Face mask tips for oily skin

  • Use charcoal or clay face masks to remove excess oil. These also remove blackheads and help to clean clogged pores.
  • Following a healthy diet will help keep your sebum levels in check.
  • Don’t try to extract blackheads on your own. This should be done by a professional to avoid scarring.
  • Use a gel face mask. It absorbs fast and doesn’t increase the oil production in your skin.

Recommended product

The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask 50ml - €6.99

The Inkey List clay mask can help to draw out impurities, is gentle and non-drying, so perfect for all skin types as a deep clean once to twice per week.

  • Contains kaolin clay to help remove impurities
  • Includes smectite clay to absorb excess oil and unclog pores
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Is paraben-free, fragrance-free, cruelty-free

Kaolin help to:

  • 1. target skin impurities
  • 2. remove skin impurities
  • unclog pores
  • even skin tone

Sensitive skin

Dealing with sensitive skin isn’t easy. You need to be extremely careful with the products and techniques you use.

Sensitive skin can also be oily and dry. It reacts with products differently and can develop different symptoms. If your skin is extremely sensitive, you should check every product by using a patch test before using it on your skin. This will make sure the mask doesn’t cause an adverse reaction.

Signs of sensitive skin

  • Your skin is red or bumpy — this is usually a sign that you’ve reacted negatively to a product that you’ve used.
  • Skin flaking and peeling — after irritation, the skin might turn red and then brown. Eventually, it peels, leaving some dark marks.
  • You’re prone to acne breakouts — your breakouts are different from the ones people experience with oily skin because they can be very tiny whiteheads that appear under the skin
  • Your skin feels itchy and burns.
  • Pores with whiteheads or blackheads
  • You sunburn easily.

Causes of sensitive skin

Age: As you age, your skin will likely become more sensitive.

Diet: Eating too much spicy food can make your skin sensitive.

Weather: Extremely hot and cold weather can make your skin sensitive.

Products (shampoos, creams, etc.): Harsh products that contain chemicals will make your skin sensitive and itchy.

Hydration and dehydration: If your skin is dehydrated, it might become extremely sensitive. You need to drink enough water every day (2 – 3 litres).

Genetics: You may have been born with sensitive skin

Common health conditions: Some skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis can make sensitive skin worse.

Routines: Look for soothing and natural ingredients that won’t make your skin itchy or dry.

Heating: Avoid spending time in extreme heat as it can inflame sensitive skin. Cold weather can also make your skin red and more sensitive.

Chlorine: Use proper protection if you’re going to spend time in a pool. Chlorine strips sebum from the skin and could make it dry and itchy. Consider pre-pool moisturisers and lotions. Certain sun creams can be effective protection against chlorine.

Sleep: Irregular sleep will create imbalance and may make your skin more sensitive.

Allergies: Allergies are common in people who have sensitive skin.

Cause Further information
Age
  • As you age, your skin will likely become more sensitive
Diet
  • Eating too much spicy food can make your skin sensitive.
Weather
  • Extremely hot and cold weather can make your skin sensitive.
Products (shampoos, creams, etc.)
  • Harsh products that contain chemicals will make your skin sensitive and itchy.
Hydration and dehydration
  • If your skin is dehydrated, it might become extremely sensitive.
  • You need to drink enough water every day (2 – 3 litres)
Genetics
  • You may have been born with sensitive skin
Common health condidtions
  • Some skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis can make sensitive skin worse.
Routines
  • Look for soothing and natural ingredients that won’t make your skin itchy or dry.
Heating
  • Avoid spending time in extreme heat as it can inflame sensitive skin.
  • Cold weather can also make your skin red and more sensitive.
Chlorine
  • Use proper protection if you’re going to spend time in a pool.
  • Chlorine strips sebum from the skin and could make it dry and itchy.
  • Consider pre-pool moisturisers and lotions.
  • Certain sun creams can be effective protection against chlorine.
Sleep
  • Irregular sleep will create imbalance and may make your skin more sensitive.
Alergies
  • Allergies are common in people who have sensitive skin.

Face mask tips for sensitive skin

  • Look for soothing facial masks that contain ingredients like aloe vera. This helps to sooth tight skin and reduce redness
  • Avoid using harsh ingredients like alcohol and acids
  • Keep your hands clean to avoid transferring bacteria to your face
  • Remove your makeup every day using a gentle cleanser which won’t dry out your skin
  • Use sunscreen to protect your skin from burns

Recommended product

Vichy Softening & Soothing Aloe Vera Mask 75ml - €18.00

Every day will feel like a spa day with Vichy masks. Vichy's first mineral aloe vera softening and soothing face mask enriched with Vichy mineralising thermal water. A hydration boost that soothes red, sore skin hurt by dryness. A light, fresh and soothing formula to immediately hydrate and comfort skin.

  • Skin feels softer and is more hydrated.
  • Results in just 5 minutes.
  • Mineralising thermal water leaves the skin feeling invigorated.
  • 100% hypoallergenic. Tested on sensitive skin.

Combination skin

Signs of combination skin

  • Your skin feels dry on the cheeks and is more oily on the nose and chin
  • There are some blackheads or whiteheads on your nose
  • Your face looks shiny in the summer and dry in the winter
  • You experience occasional breakouts, especially after hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy, breastfeeding or before your period
  • Your forehead might be dry or oily while the rest of your face is clear

People with combination skin usually struggle with the way their T-zone looks. This includes their forehead, chin, and nose. Some makeup products might not work because they can be too oily or too dry for the rest of the face.

You should also follow the right skincare routine with regular cleansing and conditioning to make sure that your skin feels and looks healthy.

Causes of combination skin

Age: If you have oily skin, you might develop combination skin with drier patches on the cheeks.

Diet: Avoid eating too much chocolate and unhealthy fats, as these can cause breakouts.

Weather: Wind can make your skin drier in the winter. The summer heat can cause your T-zone to become more oily.

Products (shampoos, creams, etc.): Combination skin needs special products that control the excess oil while moisturising the dry areas. Your current routine may be using the wrong products in the wrong areas.

Hydration and dehydration: Drink enough water, as moisture loss can cause your T-zone to produce more sebum.

Genetics: You could be born with combination skin, which may be evident by larger pores on the nose and cheeks.

Common health conditions: Some medication, like birth control pills, can cause your T-zone to become more oily.

Routines: Use adequate products to clean your skin and remove makeup. They should be perfectly balanced so they don’t over-dry your combination skin.

Heating:Excessive heat can make your T-zone shinier. This can be avoided by using the right moisturisers and face masks.

Chlorine: Sebum removal may exaggerate the T-zone, so think about using barrier creams before entering the pool, as well as appropriate moisturisers post-swim.

Sleep: You should sleep for 6 to 8 hours every day to make sure that your skin feels and looks healthy.

Allergies: Some allergies can make your skin dry around the cheeks and mouth.

Cause Further information
Age
  • If you have oily skin, you might develop combination skin with drier patches on the cheeks.
Diet
  • Avoid eating too much chocolate and unhealthy fats, as these can cause breakouts.
Weather
  • Wind can make your skin drier in the winter.
  • The summer heat can cause your T-zone to become more oily.
Products (shampoos, creams, etc.)
  • Combination skin needs special products that control the excess oil while moisturising the dry areas.
  • Your current routine may be using the wrong products in the wrong areas.
Hydration and dehydration
  • Drink enough water, as moisture loss can cause your T-zone to produce more sebum.
Genetics
  • You could be born with combination skin, which may be evident by larger pores on the nose and cheeks.
Common health condidtions
  • Some medication, like birth control pills, can cause your T-zone to become more oily.
Routines
  • Use adequate products to clean your skin and remove makeup. They should be perfectly balanced so they don’t over-dry your combination skin.
Heating
  • Excessive heat can make your T-zone shinier. This can be avoided by using the right moisturisers and face masks.
Stress
  • Although you don’t experience lots of breakouts, your skin’s condition gets worse when you’re extremely stressed.
Chlorine
  • Sebum removal may exaggerate the T-zone, so think about using barrier creams before entering the pool, as well as appropriate moisturisers post-swim.
Sleep
  • You should sleep for 6 to 8 hours every day to make sure that your skin feels and looks healthy.
Alergies
  • Some allergies can make your skin dry around the cheeks and mouth.
  • You need a soothing face mask to moisturise your skin.

Face mask tips for combination skin

To keep your combination skin healthy, you need to find balanced face masks and creams that help control the sebum production in your T-zone while keeping the rest of your face hydrated and fresh.

Here are some tips for your combination skin

  • Use a pore minimising face mask that removes blackheads and whiteheads from your T-zone. A peel-off mask applied to your T-zone will keep your sebum in check.
  • Your cheeks are usually drier than the rest of your face. You should use a gentle hydrating product that will prevent the formation of dry and itchy patches.

Recommended product

7th Heaven Black Seaweed Peel Off Mask - Special Price 32% off - €1.35

Deeply cleanse & detox your skin with the powerful Black Seaweed Peel Off Mask. This detoxing mask has been specially formulated with black laver seaweed & sea buckthorn berries which work to peel off and remove any excess dirt and oil.

  • Peel-off mask
  • Easy-to-use
  • Contains seaweed & sea buckthorn berries
  • Removes dirt& oil

Normal skin

Normal skin means you aren’t affected by problems caused by other skin types.

However, you should make sure that you’re using appropriate products that suit your skin and provide the needed hydration.

Signs of normal skin

  • You have almost no or very few breakouts
  • Your skin feels smooth to touch
  • There are no visible pores
  • Your skin looks radiant
  • There is no redness and you don’t experience sensitivity with different products

Although your normal skin may feel great, lack of maintenance can affect the way it looks. It is important to use appropriate products that will keep it well-nourished.

Related content

Face masks for skin redness

Face masks for removing blackheads

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