Combination skin presents people around the world with a skincare challenge. How do you deal with skin that is both oily and dry? Both breaking out and flaking? While it is definitely a challenge, there are some things those with combination skin can do to make their skincare routine easier and their skin clearer.
First things first, establish your skincare routine
Just as we need routines in order to accomplish goals and lead a balanced life, our skin needs a routine to stay in balance as well. Getting in the habit of cleansing, toning and moisturizing skin in the morning and in the evening helps keep it free of breakouts and allows it to get used to products. Find out how to establish a skincare routine.
One size doesn’t fit all
The key thing to remember about combination skin is that no combination skin is the same. There is no one set of steps for everyone. It’s also important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to your face. Since you are essentially treating two different skin types, it’s important to use products targeted for the different areas. This could mean using a lightweight moisturizer on your T-zone and a richer formula on your dry cheeks, or perhaps going over your T-zone with an extra swipe of toner and not using as much on your cheeks. Experiment and find what works for you.
Choose a gentle cleanser
While you will need to address the different areas of your face individually, this will be tricky when it comes to cleansing. That’s why it will serve you to find a gentle cleanser that can satisfy all the skin types on your face. Look for a water-soluble lotion cleanser or a gel-based cleanser that doesn’t leave your skin feeling too tight or too greasy. Avoid cleansers that contain fragrances and irritants, such as alcohol or witch hazel, as this can aggravate your skin, causing breakouts in oily areas and redness in dry areas.
Use a replenishing toner
While many people overlook toners, they can actually be a valuable product for reducing shine and adding nutrients back into your skin. The important thing is to find a gentle toner that is free of alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance or synthetic ingredients. Instead, look for a toner that contains antioxidants, vitamins and other revitalizing ingredients like niacinamide.
Target your moisturizer
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 altogether, but this can actually make these areas even oilier as the skin produces more oil to compensate for a lack of moisture. Instead of skipping it, look for a lightweight moisturizer for the oily areas that is oil-free and a gel or serum-like consistency. For the dry areas of your face, use a richer formula that can help soothe dryness. If you don’t want to bother with two different moisturizers for the day, you can also apply a night cream to your dry areas and let the added moisturizing benefits sink in while you sleep.
One last tip: exfoliate!
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.