How to Care for Combination Skin the Right Way
If your skin is dry in some areas and oily in others, you most likely have a combination skin type. When you have combination skin, it can be challenging to create a skin-care routine that can address both dryness and an excess of oil. You may find that some products are too hydrating, while others get rid of too much oil, leaving your skin flaky and irritated. Needless to say, having combo skin can be quite a balancing act. To help you achieve comfortable, healthy skin, we’re sharing a few tips on how to care for combination skin and create a routine that works for you.
STEP #1: Cleanse Gently
It’s best to use skin-care products tailored to your specific needs, and this is especially true for combination skin types. Morning and night, use a gentle cleanser to rid your skin’s surface of dirt, excess oils and lingering impurities. It can be creamy or gel-based, so long as it’s non-irritating. We like the CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser. The best type of cleanser for combination skin is one that can cleanse and mattify your T-zone — and other oily areas — without over-drying your cheeks. At night, always remove your makeup with a makeup remover wipe or cleansing water first. This helps ensure that your pores are free from buildup while you sleep.
STEP #2: Balance With a Toner
After cleansing, help to restore your skin’s optimal pH levels with a nourishing toner. Look for one formulated to help hydrate dry skin and minimize oil at the same time, like the SkinCeuticals Equalizing Toner. It’s created for combination skin and refreshes and smoothes your complexion while removing excess residue. We also recommend the Lancôme Tonique Confort.
STEP #3: Moisturize Often
Having combination skin isn’t an excuse to skip moisturizer. Similar to SPF, all skin types need hydration. Stick to oil-free moisturizers that won’t add additional grease to your T-zone. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Mattifying Moisturizer helps to target oil for a dual mattifying and pore-refining action, making it a great base to wear underneath makeup. If you prefer a gel formula, try the Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer.
STEP #4: Protect With SPF
The number-one, non-negotiable skin-care product that everyone should be wearing every day — regardless of your skin type — is broad-spectrum sunscreen. It’s essential to protect skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, even when it’s cloudy outside. If you have combination skin, look for a lightweight, non-greasy option like the Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Sunscreen.
Combination Skin-Care Tips
These four steps — cleanse, tone, moisturize and apply sunscreen — are the best way to care for combination skin on a daily basis, but to up the ante, follow the helpful tips below, too.
Tip #1: Avoid Harsh Soaps
Some soaps are formulated with ingredients that can strip your combination skin of vital moisture. This can trick your skin into thinking it’s dry, leading to hypersecretion of oil. So, not only can harsh soaps irritate your skin, they can also further aggravate your skin concerns.
Tip #2: Blot Away Excess Oil
Store some blotting papers in your purse, at your desk and in your car to help address unwanted oil in a pinch. These papers help temporarily absorb oil and mattify skin without ruining your makeup.
Tip #3 Exfoliate Regularly, But Not Too Often
Exfoliation is a key skin-care step that involves sloughing away dead skin cells from the surface of skin. It helps your complexion appear less dull and also feel smoother to the touch. As for how often you should exfoliate, there’s no universal frequency because exfoliation largely depends on your skin’s tolerance levels. No matter your skin type, you’ll want to avoid over-exfoliating as it can irritate your face. When in doubt, tread lightly and start by trying it once a week and slowly building up to two-to-three times per week, as tolerated. One of our favorite scrubs for combination skin is the Garnier SkinActive Blackhead Eliminating Scrub With Charcoal.
Tip #4: Multi-Mask to Target Different Facial Areas
One of the perks of having combination skin is being able to multi-mask. Multi-masking uses a targeted approach by allowing you to customize the mask you use on different areas of your face. For instance, it may be best to apply an oil-absorbing clay mask like the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask to your T-zone and a hydrating face mask, like the Kiehl’s Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask, onto your cheeks.
Tip #5: Don’t Touch Your Face
This seems easy enough to follow, but you’d be surprised how often your dirty hands come into contact with your face. Hands can carry a lot of germs that can wreak havoc on your skin. Resist the urge to rest your head on your hands at your desk, rub your eyes and, of course, pick at any blemishes. Your skin will thank you.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn