Combination skin is a combination of both dry and oily types. Your "T-zone" is often oily, whereas the areas outside the T-zone are potentially dry and flaky. Combination skin also means that you are probably dealing with fine lines, wrinkles, shininess, and clogged pores at the same time. You may also experience uneven skin tone or large pores on your nose. These characteristics and problems can make combination skin particularly difficult to deal with.
When taking care of combination skin, your goal is to balance oil production, tame breakouts and minimize wrinkles, as well as treat any dry areas. You need to use products that are gentle and work for both oily and dry zones, then spot treat as necessary.
This Page is going to provide you with a specialized facial routine meant for combination skin. It will also link to relevant articles and product reviews.
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Products and Ingredients to Avoid
Ingredients That are good for combination skin
Caring for Combination Skin
Cleansing is an important step that you should do every morning and evening. Dirt, oil, pollution and sweat all stick to your skin and clog your pores. Cleansing is meant to remove impurities, but it shouldn’t completely strip the skin or you will be left feeling dry and itchy.
Cleanse your skin with a mild, fragrance-free product. Look for a gel-based cleanser or a mild, lightly foaming cleanser. Avoid bars of soap or cleansing bars, the ingredients that give soap its solid form can block the pores, dry the skin, and cause irritation.
After you cleanse, it is important to use a toner. A toner will help replenish any moisture lost from washing and prevent flaking and tightness from occurring on the dry areas of your face. It will also help prevent your skin from overproducing oil in your oily areas.
Toning can be a real asset for managing combination skin, helping to remove excess oils and finish the job of your cleanser, getting into your pores and prepping your skin for your moisturizer. Toners are a perfect way to deliver skin nourishing ingredients, they absorb into the skin, taking skin-repairing compounds with them.
Opt for a toner that balances sebum production and contains sodium hyaluronate for hydration. You can then spot-tone oily areas using a toner that contains salicylic acid to keep your pores clear. Avoid toners containing alcohol, menthol, and synthetic fragrances.
Serums will absorb into the deep layers of the skin, bringing active, healing nutrients with it. The word serum is often used to describe a water-based or oil-based product that is concentrated in active ingredients. Here we are talking about water-based serums (we will talk about oil-based serums down below).
The best serums for combination skin are ones that are aimed at balancing oil production, minimizing and unclogging pores, and keeping skin clear. They won't be harsh or overly drying. Look for hydrating ingredients that are light - such as green tea and hyaluronic acid.
A moisturizer will seal in hydration and provide suppleness to the top-most layers of your skin. When moisturizing combination skin, you want a moisturizer that is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and lightweight. If you find that all moisturizers make you break out, try using a facial oil in its place. If you are prone to very dry spots, use a thicker night cream in the evening, avoiding the T-zone.
A facial oil will nourish and moisturize the skin, reducing dullness and wrinkle depth. Facial oils are great at keeping skin's hydration locked in and they have instantaneous skin-smoothing properties. They are a rich source of antioxidants and replenishing emollients.
You can either add a few drops of facial oil to your moisturizer, use your facial oil on top of your moisturizer, or completely replace your moisturizer with a facial oil. Combination skin does best with an oil that won't cause breakouts.
Best Oils for Combination Skin
Sunscreen is an important part of every skin care routine. The sun damages our skin leading to redness, irritation, and wrinkle formation. For combination skin, a lightweight formula with a matte finish is best.
In the morning, use a sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. A tinted moisturizer with SPF is a great choice, it may even be able 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.
Use a mask once to twice a week to clear congestion and oil buildup. Dead sea mud masks work particularly well for combination skin types, because they pull out impurities without over-drying.
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, revealing the fresh, young-looking skin underneath. Exfoliation can be accomplished using chemicals such as acids, or by using physical exfoliates such as bits of walnut shells, oats, or apricot kernels.
Use a gentle physical exfoliate a couple times a week to remove dry skin and keep your pores clean.
Combination skin can use chemical exfoliates such as glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is one of the most effective exfoliates available. Use a product containing glycolic acid every three days. Other acids that are good for combination skin are lactic acid and salicylic acid. These will help keep pores clear and skin glowing.
Read Our Anti-Aging Routine for Combination Skin.
I recommend using a natural retinol alternative - Kypris Beauty Midnight Catalyst - to stimulate exfoliation and cell renewal. An exfoliating enzyme mask used once to twice a week will help keep dead skin cells from building up - try May Lindstrom's Honey Mud.
Combination skin does well using a primer before makeup application, to achieve the best finish. Foundations should be lightweight and nourishing with a matte finish. Look for non-greasy and non-comedogenic formulas rich in antioxidants. Light textures are best, ones that allow the skin to breathe.
Best Organic Makeup Brands For Combination Skin
I hope that this page is a valuable resource to you and that it helps you find relevant articles and products for your skin type. The key to combination skin is avoiding pore-clogging ingredients and spot treating different zones as needed. You may find you need extra hydration on some spots and not others. It can be tricky to find what works. We hope you bookmark this page so that you can come back to it again and again.
You can read more combination skin articles here.
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To Beautiful Skin,
The TBOSC Team