The Ultimate Routine for Normal Skin

The Ultimate Routine for Normal Skin

Unique skin deserves unique care

When it comes to skincare, most products focus on fixing the problems of overly oily or excessively dry skin. This leaves anyone with “normal” skin searching through products that won’t throw off their balance by stripping or hydrating more than necessary. Luckily, we’ve found a routine and products that are perfect for normal skin types.*

Also, you can check out our routines for dry, oily, and combination skin types for more product suggestions.


What is normal skin?

Normal skin, as its name indicates, is balanced skin that isn’t too dry or oily. If you have normal skin, you’re less likely to face the same problems that other skin types see such as sensitivity or breakouts.

Another way to spot normal skin, other than monitoring its moisture balance, is by looking at the pores: Normal skin has barely visible pores that aren’t tight like dry skin or enlarged like oily skin. However, this doesn’t mean normal skin doesn’t have its own problems.


What does normal skin need? 

Although it’s not as dramatic as other skin types, normal skin can still lean slightly more dry or oily at different times. This might mean needing to keep two products for each step of the skincare routine, or balancing using more and less hydrating products at various steps.

Normal skin can also still face common issues like acne, uneven texture, dullness, or sensitivity.

The thing normal skin needs the most, then, is products with active ingredients that can help manage skin concerns as they appear while avoiding products that’ll harm the skin’s natural balance.

Having a consistent daily skincare routine is also important for maintaining healthy normal skin. We’ve come up with a routine and some products that will help your skin now, so as you age it stays beautiful.


The Routine


Start and end each day with a gentle, non-irritating cleanser while minimizing abrasive scrubs and damaging stiff-bristled cleansing brushes. Look for products that remove any excess dirt, oil, or impurities without disrupting the skin’s moisture barrier.

If your normal skin leans a little dry or a little oily, there are also a lot of products that can help with both issues without going overboard.

If your normal skin is a little dry, we recommend CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser, La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser, or Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleansing Gel. Alternatively, if your skin leans to the oily side, try CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser, or if it’s sensitive, use Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser or CeraVe’s Renewing SA Cleanser.

If you wear makeup, it’s also important to do a double cleanse. Melt your makeup first with either L’Oreal’s Micellar Water (which is great for sensitive and slightly dry skin) or Garnier’s SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, then finish with your normal face wash.

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For normal skin, toners are great for adding hydration when your skin is feeling a little dry, like in the winter, or for refining and evening out your skin’s texture. A lot of toners are also soothing for when your skin is feeling irritated or inflamed.

For soothing toners, we like Avene’s Thermal Spring Water and Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Alcohol-Free Toner. If you need hydration, check out Dr. Jart+’s Ceramidin Liquid Moisturizing Toner, La Mer’s The Tonic, or Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Acid Toner. Then, if you want your skin to be softer and a little more even, try Grown Alchemist’s Balancing Toner.

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Since normal skin doesn’t need correction when it comes to hydration, serums, masks, and treatments really make a difference. This is where normal skin has the advantage to mix and match products to fix small daily concerns as well as balancing and preventing larger issues.

The major concerns normal skincare treatments can tackle are problems like anti-aging, brightening, or exfoliating.

Ingredients like vitamin C, peptides, and AHAs have amazing anti-aging effects, and if a bit more hydration is needed, look for oils like argan or jojoba, hyaluronic acid, or glycerin. If you’re also battling acne, try out products that boast salicylic acid, AHAs, BHAs, glycolic acid, and tea tree.

For acne, try SkinCeuticals’ Blemish + Age Defense or Peter Thomas Roth’s Max Complexion Correction Pads. Eminence Organic Skin Care’s Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum is great for oil-leaning normal skin as it softens, smooths, and clears the skin as well.

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More than anything though, most normal skin can be improved with texture-refining exfoliation and dullness-battling brighteners. Glycolic or lactic acid and retinol are amazing exfoliators while ingredients such as vitamin C and E, ferulic acid, and antioxidants brighten the skin tone.

We love Elizabeth Arden’s Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum, Natura Bisse’s C+C Vitamin Cream, and Rodial’s Retinol Drops 10% Retinol Rejuvenating Concentrate. AMBI’s Fade Cream and e.l.f.’s Holy Hydration Eye Cream also help to hydrate the skin while improving dark spots or under-eye circles.

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No matter what skin type you have, moisturizers are a necessity for proper skincare. For normal skin, it can help to try to use a lighter moisturizer during the day and a heavier one at night to prevent giving it more hydration than it needs. Also, try to use a moisturizer with SPF to keep your skin healthy and protected for years to come.

If your normal skin is leaning a bit dry, try Eminence Organic Skin Care’s Bright Skin Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, AHAVA’s Time To Hydrate Essential Day Moisturizer, or Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. If it’s oily, try either Yon-Ka’s revitalizing and protecting Age Defense Pamplemousse Creme or Yon-Ka’s invigorating and rejuvenating Age Defense Phyto 58 Creme With Rosemary.

If your skin is irritated, there are also soothing moisturizers like Orlane’s Lotion and Olay’s Total Effects 7 In 1 Normal Day Cream SPF 15.

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Before bed, end your skincare routine with either Olay’s Retinol 24 Fragrance-Free Night Serum if your skin is feeling sensitive, Clarins’ Multi-Active Night Cream if it’s a bit dry, or Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Glycolic Night Cream if you want to improve its texture. For an overall good night cream, use Clarins’ Multi-Active Night Cream for normal to combination skin.

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While hydration is important, sunscreen is the most important step to any skincare routine. If the skin isn’t protected, no amount of creams or serums can undo the damage done to it.

Even if you skip everything else, make sure you wear sunscreen every morning before going out. Even your lips need to be protected (for some flavor, check out Sun Bum’s Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Balm).

There are a lot of different sunscreens that offer a lot of different benefits on top of protection. For example, SkinCeuticals’ Protect Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF 50 tones your skin without clogging your pores, Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is perfect for sensitive skin, Clarins’ Dry Touch Facial Sun Care UVA/UVB 30+ finishes non-sticky and dry, and Sun Bum’s Original SPF 50 Clear Zinc dries invisibly.

There’s also SkinCeuticals’ Brightening UV Defense SPF 30 which is lightweight and minimizes dark spots, as well as CeraVe’s Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 which is lightweight and doesn’t make your skin feel oily. But of course, the best sunscreen is going to be the one that you actually wear every day, so check out all of our face sunscreen options if these aren’t what you’re looking for.

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*Disclaimer: Not all skin reacts the same to different products and ingredients. Check with a professional dermatologist for your specific skin and skin concerns.

For questions, concerns, or article ideas, feel free to reach out to our eCosmetics Beauty Editor directly at