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- Best cleanser for gentle cleansing: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
- Best cleanser for men with normal skin: Dove Men Care Hydrate + Face Wash
- Best normal skin cleanser for hydration: Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
- Best hydrating serum for normal skin: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
- Best anti-redness serum for normal skin: Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Redness Relief Serum
- Best anti-aging serum for normal skin: Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum
- Best repairing moisturizer for normal skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
- Best gel-based moisturizer for normal skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
- Best moisturizer for normal skin with SPF: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30
- Best oil-free sunscreen for normal skin: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen
- Best invisible sunscreen for normal skin: Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen, SPF 35
- Best exfoliant for normal skin: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
- Best face mask for normal skin: Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
- Best soothing skin barrier repair product for normal skin: Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief
- Best hydrating skin barrier repair serum for normal skin: Cocokind Ceramide Barrier Serum
- Best calming skin barrier repair serum for normal skin: Glossier Super Bounce
- Best natural non-foaming cleanser for normal skin: Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk
- Best natural foaming cleanser for normal skin: Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash
- Best natural toner for normal skin: Youth to The People Kombucha Exfoliation Toner
- Best natural sunscreen for normal skin: Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen
So, you’ve got “normal” skin? Lucky you! Normal skin is one of the lower maintenance skin types. It typically doesn’t require much work to prevent excess oiliness, sensitivity, or dryness.
However, there are still some steps you can take to ensure your skin looks and feels its best.
Whether it’s a tried-and-true skin care regimen, how often you wash your hair, or the cosmetics you’re curious about, beauty is personal.
That’s why we rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their tips on everything from the way product application varies to the best sheet mask for your individual needs.
We only recommend something we genuinely love, so if you see a shop link to a specific product or brand, know that it’s been thoroughly researched by our team.
Normal skin may mostly come down to genetics. Just like your eye and hair color, you’re born with certain genes that influence your skin type.
However, hormone levels, stress, too much sun exposure, and certain products can upset the skin’s balance, ultimately leading to a change in skin type.
“A normal skin type is defined as not excessively oily or dry. It has no presenting conditions,” explains Spirithoula Koukoufikis, senior medical aesthetician at Skinfluencer London. “It’s overtly healthy and the sebum and moisture balance of the skin are well-balanced.”
With no major skin concerns to tackle, it can be challenging to know where to begin when creating a skin care routine for normal skin.
There’s no better place to start than with the basics. These include:
- Cleanse twice a day with a gentle, nonfoaming cleanser.
- Moisturize with a light, hydrating moisturizer.
- Protect your skin from sun damage with an SPF of 30 or more.
Koukoufikis recommends a moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid. As a bonus step, you can treat the skin with a serum to brighten, hydrate, or smooth.
Less is more
Koukoufikis says less is more when it comes to creating a skin care routine for normal skin.
“It’s vital to keep it balanced. Don’t use products that strip the skin, as this will encourage it to produce more sebum,” she explains.
Similarly, overmoisturizing can prevent the skin from producing its own natural moisturizing factors.
Once you’ve masted the basics, you can add another step: resurfacing.
“Every skin type has a shedding cycle. It’s important to introduce a resurfacing product to encourage cell turnover to keep skin healthy,” says Koukoufikis.
You can gently resurface the skin using products that contain retinol as well as alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs).
Acne is often most associated with oily skin, but normal skin types can get breakouts too.
This can happen when the delicate balance of the skin is upset, triggering the production of excess oil that clogs pores.
Try the following:
- Spot treat your breakouts with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
- Avoid overexfoliating. Remember, gentle cleansing is key.
- Swap heavier moisturizers for lighter, oil-free options.
- Avoid products containing alcohol.
There are many natural products believed to treat common skin care concerns. Some you’ll even find in your kitchen.
For example, coconut oil can add moisture, and oatmeal calms irritation.
Another natural ingredient you’ll often find in skin care products is rosehip oil, which may help with signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, and mild acne.
Over the counter, you’ll find loads of products that are labeled “all-natural.” However, Koukoufikis believes that pharmaceutical-grade products are much more potent.
“If you buy an all-natural product or an OTC product, they have not been manufactured to the cosmeceutical standard and so will be less effective,” she says.
Good news! You don’t have to spend big to keep normal skin looking its best. There are skin care products to suit every budget.
To get the most bang for your buck, look out for active ingredients and check the dose listed on the packaging. For instance, active ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are usually listed with a percentage.
If you’re investing in drugstore products, Koukoufikis says to make sure your cleanser is gentle. This will keep the skin’s pH stable.
Try to avoid anything overly harsh or drying.
Spoiler alert: the advice for men is exactly the same as for any other gender.
The only difference is that people who shave their faces should follow up with a shaving balm that doesn’t irritate or strip the skin.
“Immediately post-shave, the skin may be more sensitive, so using an anti-inflammatory such as hyaluronic acid and SPF is very important,” Koukoufikis adds.
The biggest mistake you can make with normal skin is to disrupt the balance between oil and water levels.
To maintain this delicate balance, Koukoufikis says you should stay away from harsh ingredients and heavy moisturizers. When it comes to exfoliating, only resurface the skin a maximum of 2 to 3 times a week.
And if you do throw that balance out of whack?
“Monitor the skin carefully,” she advises. “If you experience a breakout, rather than treating the entire facial area, treat only the spot.”
However you choose to look after your skin, it’s important you do so safely.
Koukoufikis advises avoiding harsh chemical peels. Instead, opt for regular facials every 4 to 8 weeks to give your skin a deep cleanse.
And always, every day, no matter what, wear an SPF 30+.
When getting professional treatments, double-check the credentials of the person carrying them out. Look for board-certified dermatologists and medical estheticians.
Now that you know how to care for normal skin, it’s time to choose your products. Below are some of our recommendations.
To curate this list, we consulted ingredients lists, scoured reviews, and asked our staff with normal skin for their recommendations.
Each product has been vetted by our team for medical and business standards. Learn more here.
- $ = under $15
- $$ = $15–$45
- $$$ = over $45
Best cleansers for gentle cleansing
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
- Price: $
- Size: 16 fluid ounces (fl oz.)
- Key ingredients: glycerin, panthenol
Gentle is the name of the game when it comes to normal skin, and this cleanser certainly delivers.
It’s formulated to be ultra-gentle and is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. It’s also pH-balanced so it won’t interrupt your skin’s barrier function. Plus, it contains glycerin, an ingredient known to soften and hydrate the skin.
This cleanser effectively removes dirt and impurities, without being excessively drying. Many reviewers liked its gentle, nonfoaming formula and most say it cleanses without irritating the skin.
Dove Men Care Hydrate + Face Wash
Size: 5 fl oz.
Key ingredients: stearic acid, lauric acid
Suitable for normal to dry skin types, this hydrating facial cleanser is made with lauric acid, naturally found in coconuts.
If you get seasonal dry patches, this face wash may be a good choice for you. It provides a deep-down clean thanks to the inclusion of stearic acid.
Stearic acid is a surfactant. That means it lowers the surface tension of water, allowing it to effectively wash away oils and dirt.
Many reviewers say it cleans their skin without leaving it feeling tight.
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
- Price: $
- Size: 12 fl oz.
- Key ingredients: polyglycerin
With its gentle, creamy formula, this hydrating cleanser from Neutrogena is a good choice for those who don’t want to disturb their skin’s barrier function.
This budget-friendly choice cleanses without stripping the skin of oils and doesn’t include essential oils that can cause irritation. It’s also noncomedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores. It’s also made with a skin-nourishing polyglycerin formula.
Reviewers say it leaves their skin feeling soft, supple, and hydrated. Many said it was a good choice for skin that’s on the sensitive side too.
Best serums for normal skin
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Size: 1 fl oz.
Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, B5
The Ordinary has a cult following thanks to its budget-friendly products that contain active ingredients.
This hyaluronic acid serum has a lightweight formula that’s quickly absorbed into the skin.
As well as containing three different types of hyaluronic acid — known for its hydrating qualities — it also contains the humectant vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid. Humectants attract moisture and give the skin a soft, supple feel.
Reviewers say this serum gives their skin a plumped-up appearance and makes it feel smoother.
Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Redness Relief Serum
Size: 1 fl oz.
Key ingredients: avocado extract, ceramide-5
This milky serum works to support the skin’s barrier health. It contains a blend of plant-based ingredients, including avocado butter and avocado extract. These ingredients add moisture to dry spots on the skin.
It also has a blend of five types of ceramides already present in the skin’s lipid barrier, which means the product can absorb more efficiently into the skin.
The serum can be used to target irritation and redness and can enhance hydration. Reviewers say it gives the skin a dewy glow and a silky feel. Some say it can reduce redness within 3 to 4 weeks.
Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum
Size: 1 fl oz.
Key ingredients: vitamin A, aloe vera
Best for people with normal skin who want to improve the appearance of sun-damaged, aging skin, the Mad Hippie Vitamin A serum uses retinol to target the appearance of discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles.
It also contains hyaluronic acid for added hydration, plus calming aloe vera and oats. Oats offer a soothing effect, while aloe vera forms a thin protective layer over the skin.
Retinol is a powerful ingredient, so go slow with this one. It should only be applied at night, and it’s best to use it every other night to begin with.
Best moisturizers for normal skin
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
Size: 2.5 fl oz.
Key ingredients: ceramide-3, niacinamide
If you have normal skin that’s on the sensitive side, this might be a good product to add to your routine.
Hailed as a great all-rounder by some reviewers, it contains a combination of prebiotics designed to repair the skin’s barrier.
Some say it’s also effective to use on normal skin that’s acne-prone and leaves the skin feeling more supple.
Its fragrance-free formula means it should be gentle enough to use without irritation, although some users warn that it can cause pilling — or doesn’t absorb properly — when layered with other products.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
Size: 1.7 fl oz.
Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, trehalose
This hydrating gel-based moisturizer is free from alcohol, which should be avoided when possible.
It’s designed to replenish the skin’s moisture levels and contains hyaluronic acid for added hydration.
This gel may be a great choice for those who get occasional oiliness or acne, as it isn’t made with heavy oils and has a noncomedogenic formula. This means it won’t clog pores.
According to reviewers, it’s lightweight, you only need to use a small amount, and it absorbs quickly.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
Size: 1.7 fl oz.
Key ingredients: glacial glycoprotein, fountain plant extract
Kiehl’s is a firm favorite among skin care enthusiasts, and their Ultra Facial Cream is suitable for all skin types.
Its lightweight and nongreasy formula make it particularly great for those with normal skin.
The cream aims to offer 24-hour hydration and contains extracts of glacial glycoprotein (aka protein derived from sea glaciers) and fountain plant. Together, these ingredients may help maintain the skin’s moisture balance and improve barrier function.
Reviewers rate the moisturizer’s soft, creamy texture highly, but some dislike the scent.
Best SPFs for normal skin
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen
Size: 1.7 fl oz.
Key ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene
This sunscreen is lightweight and oil-free, which is good news for normal skin. It’s also free from fragrance, which means it’s less likely to irritate your skin.
Many reviewers say it’s worth the expensive price tag.
The formula may be lightweight, but this sunscreen still offers plenty of protection against the sun’s UV rays. It’s broad spectrum and SPF 40 with PA+++ protection, the highest rating available.
Bonus: it doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin.
Reviewers loved that the formula was nongreasy and offered reliable protection against sun damage. Although some reviewers said it caused breakouts.
Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen, SPF 35
Size: 1 fl oz.
Key ingredients: vitamin E, aloe leaf extract
Normal skin types are advised to stay away from heavy formulas. This sunscreen has a lightweight formula that absorbs quickly and has a serum-like texture.
The cream doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin, can be worn under makeup, and (thanks to its noncomedogenic formula) doesn’t clog pores. It’s broad-spectrum and has an SPF of 35.
Many reviewers loved how light the product felt on their skin, although some felt it didn’t offer enough protection against UV rays.
This sunscreen is also vegan and cruelty-free.
Best resurfacing products for normal skin
Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Size: 4 fl oz.
Key ingredients: salicylic acid, green tea
If you have normal skin with occasional acne breakouts, Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant may be a good choice.
The salicylic acid in this product targets breakouts by unclogging pores. It also has a resurfacing effect and can be used as a gentler alternative to face scrubs.
Reviewers praise this product for being a powerful exfoliant and an effective spot treatment. Some say it gave them a brighter, clearer, and more radiant complexion.
As not to disturb your skin’s balance, it’s a good idea to introduce this into your routine slowly, and use it only a few times a week.
Best face mask for normal skin
Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
Size: 1.7 fl oz.
Key ingredients: glycolic acid, vitamin C, honey,
If your skin is looking a little dull, this luxurious mask may help perk it up. It uses glycolic acid, which sloughs off dead skin, and honey, which increases cell turnover.
The mask also contains pumpkin oils to provide a healing effect on damaged skin. As well as revealing a brighter complexion, it’s also designed to smooth the skin’s texture.
Reviewers love the smell! After using the mask, many say their skin looked radiant and refreshed and felt more soft and supple.
Best skin barrier repair products for normal skin
Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief
Size: 1.52 fl oz.
Key ingredients: tamanu oil, seed oil, niacinamide
If you’ve knocked your skin out of balance, this cream — designed to repair the skin’s barrier — may be a good choice.
It contains Tamanu oil to lock in moisture and improve the skin’s texture. Other ingredients include rosehip and safflower, which are great for soothing skin and fighting sensitivity.
It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and free of colorants and fragrance.
Reviewers say they love its earthy smell and how cool and refreshing it feels on the skin.
It’s important to note that this pick isn’t suitable for people with nut allergies.
Cocokind Ceramide Barrier Serum
Size: 1 fl oz.
Key ingredients: aloe barbadensis leaf juice+, squalane, glycerin
Ceramides are an ingredient that locks in moisture and reinforces the skin barrier. This serum contains five different types and is targeted to improve skin barrier function while lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
If your normal skin occasionally skews to the dry side, this serum might be a good pick. It contains squalane which provides hydrating benefits, as well as fatty acids and cholesterol.
Plus, the brand uses mostly plastic-free, recyclable packaging and has a strong sustainability focus.
Glossier Super Bounce
Size: 1 fl oz.
Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5
Glossier is a firm favorite for make-up lovers and skin care enthusiasts alike. Their Super Bounce serum is designed to hydrate, soften, and soothe.
Its fast-absorbing formula contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin b5 that pull moisture deep into the skin.
Glossier Super Bounce can support lots of skin issues and can be a great all-rounder to add to your routine.
It claims to boost elasticity, calm facial redness, and moisturize. Reviewers say it gives them smooth, nourished skin, though some say it’s too sticky.
Best natural skin care for normal skin
Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk
Size: 6.75 fl oz.
Key ingredients: resveratrol, grape juice, AHA
The clue’s in the name: This soothing cleanser has a milky, creamy formula designed to remove impurities from the skin without stripping it of moisture.
It’s certified organic and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties thanks to the inclusion of sesame oil.
Also on the ingredients list are chamomile and calendula, known to soothe and replenish, and vitamin C, a powerful brightening ingredient.
What do reviewers think? Some say it’s great at removing heavy makeup and cleanses without irritation, although some were put off by its strong scent.
Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash
Size: 8 fl oz.
Key ingredients: aloe, white tea, AHA
A good choice for those who prefer a foaming cleanser, this face wash from Ursa Major also has exfoliating benefits thanks to the inclusion of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA).
Normal skin is generally well-balanced, and this product works to maintain that. It balances your pH levels and retains your skin’s moisture levels.
Flip the product over, and you’ll find sugarcane, a natural source of glycolic acid, on the ingredients list. This can brighten and clarify the skin.
The face wash also contains rice seed, an ingredient that’s meant to have a smoothing and moisturizing effect.
Youth to The People Kombucha Exfoliation Power Toner
Size: 4 fl oz.
Key ingredients: lactic acid, glycolic acid, black tea
This toner has a potent formula that contains kombucha black tea ferment, designed to work as a prebiotic. The formula aims to enhance the skin’s natural microbiome, tighten pores, and smooth the skin’s texture.
It may also improve the appearance of oxidative stress, a kind of damage to the skin that accelerates aging by contributing to the loss of collagen and elastin.
Due to its strong formula, this toner is best used at night. It may be too harsh for some skin types, so it’s a good idea to introduce it into your routine slowly.
Some reviewers say it improved the texture of their skin within a week.
Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen
Size: 3 fl oz.
Key ingredients: non-nano zinc oxide
This sunscreen is suitable for all skin types and is a great choice for anyone who wants to use simple, natural ingredients on their skin.
Not only does it have a recyclable and reusable tin, but it’s also free from soy, gluten, and nuts.
The active ingredient in this lotion is non-nano zinc oxide, which provides a shield against harmful UV rays.
With SPF 30+, this sunscreen offers sun protection for up to 80 minutes. It’s also water-resistant and offers broad-spectrum protection.
If you’ve made adjustments to your skin care routine and are suddenly experiencing skin concerns that weren’t there before, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a dermatologist.
They can assess your skin and work out why it’s going through changes.
Still have questions about normal skin? Get the facts below.
Does having normal skin mean I can take skin hygiene less seriously?
It’s easy to assume that with normal skin you’re off the hook when it comes to proper skin hygiene. However, according to Dr. Hassan El Husseini, a dermatologist at Dr. Kayle Aesthetic Clinic, Dubai, this is not the case.
“All skin types need to, at the very least, be well-cleansed twice a day, use moisturizer, and use antioxidants and SPF to maintain their skin health,” he says.
Can I use face scrubs on normal skin or are they too abrasive?
Face scrubs containing grainy materials can be a little too rough on the skin. It may be better to use a chemical exfoliator.
“All skin types have a skin cycle, and dead skin cells need to be sloughed away to enhance radiance. With normal skin, to keep the balance between the oil and water levels, exfoliators should only be used twice a week,” says Husseini.
When it comes to moisturizers, are richer or thinner formulations best for normal skin?
If your skin is feeling a little on the dry side, it can be tempting to reach for a rich, luxurious cream. However, lighter formulas are best.
Husseini adds that you should use a moisturizer every day, but sparingly.
Which is best for normal skin: an oil-based or water-based cleanser?
It comes down to personal preference.
“If you have normal skin, your main goal should be to find a cleanser that keeps your skin’s perfect balance intact,” says Husseini.
It’s a case of finding what works best for you.
How can I add radiance to normal skin?
Vitamin C is your go-to product for radiance. It helps to restore brightness and stimulates collagen production.
Normal skin is well-balanced and typically doesn’t present any major concerns, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp when it comes to looking after it.
A gentle routine that includes a cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF covers the essentials. Serum and resurfacing products can provide additional support for brightening, hydrating, and nourishing.
Victoria Stokes is a writer from the United Kingdom. When she’s not writing about her favorite topics, personal development, and well-being, she usually has her nose stuck in a good book. Victoria lists coffee, cocktails, and the color pink among some of her favorite things. Find her on Instagram.