First, what’s causing combination skin?
As with most skin issues, the cause is different for everyone and is often a result of several factors. Combination skin can be due to genetics, a result of hormonal changes, or it could be a consequence of products you are using that are too emollient or harsh for your skin, causing irritation and breakouts. Since there is no straight answer, it’s important to be attuned to how products are affecting your skin. Sometimes this means using different products on different areas of your face or using fewer products and seeing how your skin reacts on its own.
The two kinds of skin types and how to identify yours
Go easy on the products
Many people are guilty of over-cleansing their faces and using too many products at once. Some products can be too emollient for your skin or are too harsh, causing irritation and breakouts. Experiment with using fewer products and pay attention to how your skin reacts to determine if you really have combination skin or if maybe you’re simply experiencing an adverse reaction to certain ingredients in your products.
Look for products that promote balance
Search for products that are free of synthetic fragrances and irritants such as alcohol and witch hazel. Try using a gel or mild foaming cleanser for oily and dry combination skin and a lotion-based cleanser for dry skin with rosacea and/or sun damage. Look for toners that don’t contain alcohol, witch hazel, menthol or citrus oils as they will be too harsh on your skin.
Use different products in different areas
People with combination skin need to use different products for different areas of the face to keep their skin in equilibrium. Since you are essentially treating two different skin types, it’s important to purchase products that address both the areas separately. This could mean using a mild cleanser and moisturizer on your dry cheeks with a more stringent product on your T-zone designed to cut through the oil.
Exfoliate to promote healthy skin
Exfoliating removes dead skin cells that have built upon the surface of your skin. Using exfoliants on combination skin helps promote cell turnover and reveal fresh, more balanced skin underneath. Try a BHA / salicylic acid or AHA / glycolic acid exfoliating wash to clear out your pores and encourage a fresh complexion.