Do you get breakouts and dry patches at the same time? Does your vanity store skincare products for dry skin, acne, and wrinkles? If your answer is YES, then as many other women you’ve been ‘blessed’ with the tricky combo skin type!
As you probably heard before, your skin type can be classified as normal, dry, oily or combination. Your type depends on things such as how much water is in your skin, how oily it is, and how sensitive it is. Having combination skin is complex and requires you to be smart when fighting conflicting skin concerns. When you have combination skin you typically have both an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), and normal or dry skin areas.
#1 Use a Very Gentle Cleanser
Twenty minutes after washing your face, you see oiliness in certain parts of your face and not in others. If you have combination skin, it is best to use a gentle cleanser so that you don’t excessively dry out your skin in the areas that are not oily. Plus, make sure you cleanse your face once or twice daily with a gentle, non-alcohol, gel based cleanser or a foaming facial wash, which will neutralize oiliness without drying other areas of your skin.
#2 Use 2 Different Moisturizers
Caring for combination skin is a bit more complicated since one area of your face can be drier than another. When you use a moisturizer for normal or dry skin, it probably makes your cheeks feel good, but your T-zone looks like you’ve just finished your workout. In this situation, you should purchase 2 different moisturizers: one that’s cream-based to use on drier areas and another one that’s gel-based one for oilier areas. Another tip is to apply an oil-controlling lotion (instead of the gel moisturizer) that specifically regulates sebum flow on your T- zone. You can also try light textured oils to moisturize your face, such as watermelon seed oil, which does not clog pores and assists in the removal of excess sebum, ensuring that the skin is not dried out in the process.
#3 Use a Toner on Oilier Areas
With combination skin, using the wrong toner may turn into a skincare disaster. Typically a very harsh toner will end up drying your dry areas even more and making your skin produce more oil in your T-Zone. What you need is an extra-gentle, alcohol-free toner to help balance and normalize both your dry and your oily zones. You can also always use a toner for oily skin type—but only on the oilier areas—to fight excessive sebum production and mattify your skin.
#4 Exfoliate in Different Areas and with Different Frequencies
Yes, even if you have combination skin you still need to exfoliate periodically because you still want the even tone and smoothness that results from this. But here’s a trick to do it right for your complicated skin type: exfoliate oily areas only once a week and dry areas twice a week. You can try a physical exfoliator like a facial scrub or a cleansing device on your T-Zone and a scrub with finer grains and honey or a light chemical exfoliator for dry patches. Always avoid areas with inflamed acne lesions, since this would irritate them.
#5 Use Spot Treatments
Imagine the following scenario: you wake up with a pimple. You can’t wait to get rid of it, but what do you do? You get the strongest spot treatment available to try to vanish it as soon as possible, right? Wrong! That would turn the pimple into dried out skin. It would peel so badly that concealing it would seem like a new sequel of Mission Impossible. You can still fight a breakout fast, but the key is using spot treatments on the specific area that are not too drying. We would recommend using traditional benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or tea tree oil but in very low concentrations, such as 2%.
Simply put, if you have combination skin, it’s a must to invest in a few extra skin care products and treat your skin the right way and differently on different zones—without overdoing it!