Caring for combination skin means caring for multiple skin types at once. This is no easy feat when caring for one skin type can already present many challenges. The key is knowing how to treat the different skin types on your face individually and understanding the things you can do to help everything as a whole.
The seven essential combination skincare tips
Create a skincare routine
Just as we need routines in order to accomplish goals and lead a balanced life, our skin needs routines to stay in balance too. Getting in the habit of cleansing, toning and moisturizing our skin in the morning and in the evening helps keep our skin free of breakouts and allows it to get used to the products we use. Find out how to establish a skincare routine.
Pay attention-your products might be the problem
Combination skin has many sensitivities and sometimes your skincare products may actually be the cause of your skin issues. Some products can be too emollient for the skin or too harsh, stripping the skin of its natural oils or clogging pores and causing irritation and breakouts. Experiment with using fewer products, and when you do introduce a new product, pay attention to how your skin reacts to the product over the course of a few weeks to determine if you really have combination skin or if maybe you’re simply experiencing an adverse reaction to certain ingredients. Sometimes giving your face some time to breathe will allow you to determine what the real issues are you need to address.
Target your products
People with combination skin need to use different products for different areas of the face to target the different skin issues at play. Since you are essentially treating multiple skin types, it’s important to purchase products that address the different 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. Or, perhaps, a lotion designed for sensitive skin on an area with rosacea and a lighter weight lotion on oily areas.
Moisture can help, even in the oily areas
Our skin needs moisture to stay hydrated and supple but if you have combination skin you may be tempted to skip the moisturizer on your oilier areas. Instead of skipping it altogether, look for a lightweight moisturizer with SPF. The SPF helps prevent UV damage from the sun and the lighter formula means it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts.
While some areas of your face will get oilier as the day goes on, fight the urge to over-wash your face as this can strip other areas of the natural oils it needs to stay hydrated. It will also cause your oily areas to produce even more oil to compensate. Instead, use oil blotting strips to control oil throughout the day and stick to your daily skincare routine, washing your face in the morning and at night.
Steer clear of harsh ingredients
Harsh ingredients can be particularly drying and damaging for the drier areas of combination skin. Search for products that are free of synthetic fragrances and irritants such as alcohol and witch hazel. Look for milder, water-based toners that don’t contain irritants or citrus-based oils. If the toner contains antioxidants, even better, as these help the skin repair itself and protect against free radical damage. Listen to your skin. In many cases, a toner may only be necessary on your oily T-zone or clogged areas of your face. You may not need it on the drier areas. The same principle applies to cleansers. Avoid foaming cleansers that contain harsh sulfates. Try using lotion-based cleansers for the dry areas of your face and gel cleansers for the oily areas.
Promote cell turnover
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 create a clear complexion.