Knowing the difference between skin type and skin concern will help you understand yourself, which products to invest in and how to use them. Ready to simplify the jargon? This Glow Academy lesson is in session!

Skin Type 

Your skin type is handed down to you by your ancestors. In the same way that you might inherit ginger hair or green eyes, skin type is mostly predetermined by your genes. 

There are four skin types: oily, dry, combination and normal. But don’t be surprised if your genetic skin type changes slightly throughout your life! When you’re a teenager, those pesky hormones can lead to oilier skin. Then after menopause, skin might get a little drier. Cold weather or humidity can affect your natural skin type too.

The good news is, this also means that skincare products can help adjust the symptoms of your skin type too! Adding a good moisturiser to dry skin or exfoliating clogged, oily skin can bring balance to what your ancestors gave you. 

Skin Concern

The key difference between skin type and skin concern is genetics. Skin concerns are usually caused by external influences instead, like frosty weather, stress, sun exposure or simply the passing of time (hello laughter-lines!) As we all lead such different lives, these concerns will be different for everyone. Do you recognise any on this list?

  1. Breakouts
  2. Wrinkles
  3. Dehydration
  4. Dark circles
  5. Hyperpigmentation
  6. Sun damage
  7. Eczema
  8. Oversized pores
  9. Redness

You can shop by skin concern here, but achieving life-long great skin has a lot to do with overall balance. If you know what skin type you are, it becomes easier to predict your skin concerns, and restore balance holistically – rather than squaring in on the little issues. 

What skin type am I?

If you don’t know your skin type, ask yourself one simple question: how does my skin look and feel when I first wake up in the morning? Then flick through the bullet points below to find which group you belong to. It’s like a skincare ‘sorting hat’!


  • Greasy feel
  • Shiny appearance 
  • Oversized pores 

Any oily skin types in the house? We feel you! Oily skin comes from over-excited sebaceous glands, which means our skin secretes more sebum than sometimes we might like. This creates major shine-factor and causes skin concerns like blackheads, oversized or clogged pores, and blemishes.

See skincare saviours for oily skin here.


  • Rough, tight or itchy 
  • Dull appearance
  • Red or scaly patches
  • Very small pores

Dry skin freezes up when it comes to producing sebum! Without enough oil, dry skin struggles to retain moisture, which means the skin barrier can crack like an icy lake. This leaves skin vulnerable to skin concerns such as redness, flaky patches, tightness and increased fine lines. 

Discover dry skin defenders here.


  • Dry cheeks
  • Oily nose, chin or forehead
  • Varying size pores 
  • When your cheeks feel like the Sahara desert but your forehead is reflecting light as bright as the moon, combination skin can feel down-right perplexing. But it just means that certain areas need a different kind of love – and that’s totally ok.

    Common skin concerns include rough, flaky patches and a bumpy, blemish-prone T-zone. So take a tailored approach that feels right for you. You could balance areas of tightness with a light facial oil and focus exfoliation on the T-zone. Or, multi-masking was made for you! 

    Normal Skin 

  • Soft and smooth
  • Clear and blemish-free
  • Barely-there pores
  • Normal by name, but definitely not normal for a lot of us! We’d prefer to rename this skin type ‘balanced skin’ – because there really is no normal when it comes to being human. With a happy equilibrium of oil and moisture, balanced skin is blessed with an even texture, radiant glow and blemish-free complexion. Basically our infinite goal when we’re adding those facial oils, toning mists and exfoliating enzymes into our skincare journey! 

    Wild card: sensitive skin! 

    There are lots of different opinions about whether this is a skin type or concern. But putting the blame aside, sensitivity essentially means that your skin barrier gets caught off-guard and irritated easily. If random redness and itchiness sounds like you, keep your eyes peeled for our pH-balanced products and rely on our unscented options – we made them especially for you. 

    Still unsure where to start? Turn to our Skincare Routine Finder to take the quiz and receive a customised routine, based on your skin type and concerns!

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