Combination skin is essentially made up of two different skin types - oily and dry. People with combination skin need products that are gentle and work for both zones, along with products to spot treat as necessary.
A good anti-aging routine will include:
- A cleanser, toner, a potent serum, and a moisturizer.
- Anti-aging products such as glycolic acid to remove dead skin cell buildup
- Collagen stimulating ingredients such as vitamin C or peptides.
- A daily sunscreen will prevent sun damage to your skin.
This guide will teach you how to create an amazing combination skin care routine to target the signs of aging.
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Your Anti-Aging Routine
Step 1: Cleanse
- Cleansing is important for removing pollutants on your skin that accelerate aging.
- Use a cleanser twice a day in the AM and PM. [Read: How to Wash your Face]
What to Look for in a Cleanser
- A cleanser for combination skin will effectively clean, without over-drying.
- Foaming or gel cleansers containing plant oils for moisture are a great choice because they will effectively cleanse, but won't over-dry your skin.
Step 2: Toner
- Toning helps remove excess oils and finish the job of your cleanser, getting into your pores and prepping your skin for any following skin care treatments.
- Apply your toner after your cleanser. You can apply a balancing toner to your whole face to replenish moisture and a toner containing glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid on your oily zones to prevent breakouts.
What to Look For in a Toner
- Look for a toner that balances sebum production but also contains moisturizing ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate or aloe vera.
- A toner that contains salicylic acid or willow bark will help keep your pores clear.
- Avoid toners containing alcohol, menthol, and synthetic fragrances.
Step 3: Serum
- Serums will absorb into the deep layers of the skin, bringing active, healing nutrients with it.
- Twice a day after cleansing and toning, use a water-based serum that is packed with antioxidants to repair damage.
What to Look for in a Serum
- Look for serums with vitamin C or other antioxidants such as ferulic acid. Peptides are an excellent ingredient for building collagen. Try to find a serum that will help balance oil production or one that is suitable for all skin types.
Step 4: Moisturize
- Apply a moisturizer daily to keep skin from getting too dry.
What to Look for in a Moisturizer
- Look for a moisturizer that is light and won't clog pores. Hyaluronic acid is a good ingredient to look for, as it will help plump your skin and reduce the look of fine lines.
- Peptide moisturizers will help build collagen and keep your skin looking young.
Step 5: Facial Oil
- A facial oil will nourish and moisturize the skin, reducing dullness and wrinkle depth.
- Play around with how you like to use your facial oils. Facial oils can be added to a moisturizer, used before or after a moisturizer, mixed with your serum, or used in place of a moisturizer.
What to Look for in a Facial Oil
- A good anti-aging facial oil will be one that is rich in antioxidants.
- Combination skin does best with non-comedogenic oils (oils that won't cause breakouts).
You Facial Oil
Step 6: Sunscreen
- Sunscreen protects against the #1 cause of aging - sun damage.
- Use sunscreen every day to prevent damage.
What to Look for in a Sunscreen
- Look for a sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and ingredients that won't clog your pores.
- I recommend looking for a tinted moisturizer with SPF, that way you cover the whiteness that zinc oxide can create on the skin.
- A tinted moisturizer with SPF may be moisturizing enough to replace your moisturizer from the previous step. If you are using a tinted SPF moisturizer in place of another moisturizer, apply your facial oil first.
Nightly Retinol Alternative
I don't recommend retiniods because there is too much controversy over their safety, but I do like to use products (exfoliating fruit enzymes) that offer a similar effect to retinol (speed up cellular turnover)
Use your natural retinol alternative every night in place of your serum to refine and lightly exfoliate your skin, leading to brighter, smoother skin in the morning.
Exfoliates remove the dead skin cells that make your skin look dull. They can also speed up cellular turnover, bringing young skin to the surface.
There are two types of exfoliates; chemical and physical. Both remove dead skin cells but with different compounds. Physical exfoliates use small granules such as crushed up walnut shells or sugar, chemical exfoliates use acids or fruit enzymes.
I recommend using a dry powder scrub that you can add to your face wash. If you find that your skin is looking dull, you can give it a light scrub to get your glow back. I don't recommend doing this more than a couple times a week.
Combination skin does well with the chemical exfoliate, glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is one of the most effective exfoliates available for younger looking skin.
Perform a glycolic acid peel once a week to keep your skin looking great. [Learn how to properly perform glycolic acid peels]
A weekly mask will help reduce clogged pores while fighting free radicals and aging, as well as delivering minerals directly to your skin.
Look for masks containing Vitamin C, or other antioxidants as well as minerals. Perform your mask once a week, a few days after your glycolic acid peel.
The above product recommendations should help you get the youthful skin you desire. The most important aspect of combination skin care is avoiding pore-clogging as well as drying ingredients.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, we always answer!