When it comes to skin types, not everybody has the easy to define oily, normal, or dry skin. Some people have inherited combination skin. This tricky skin type poses its own set of unique challenges. Read on to discover the best products for combination skin.
What Is Combination Skin?
Combination skin means having oily skin in some areas of your face and dry skin in other areas. Additionally, there will be a mix of oily and dry areas on different parts of your face. Lastly, the very oily areas of combination skin are the forehead, nose, and chin.
What Causes Combination Skin?
Genetics are the main cause of combination skin. Those with combination skin are aware of the challenges that come with having to balance caring for both oil and dry skin at the same time. Because combination skin is related to genetics, don’t beat yourself up over it. Fortunately, there are many products formulated for combination skin. These products can help deal with the oily areas, while helping the dry areas.
Skin Care Routine Advice for Combination Skin
Here are five critical steps for proper skincare of combination skin.
1. Regularly Cleanse Your Skin
One of the benefits of having combination skin is that you can get away with only cleansing at night or when you need to remove sunscreen or makeup. Be careful to clean gently to prevent the skin from becoming too dry or irritated. Using lukewarm water and a gentle facial cleanser will help to maintain the necessary hydration. Your fingers and a dry towel are enough to clean the skin. Mechanical exfoliants such as loofahs and scrub will only serve to irritate the skin or introduce more bacteria.
2. Integrate an Exfoliation Routine
Proper exfoliation will slough off the dead skin cells and reveal younger looking skin in its place. Exfoliant products differ in the type of acid that they contain, with the two major groups of acids being classified as either beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). BHAs contain the gold standard salicylic acid. This acid is superior for people with acne-prone skin because of its ability to penetrate deep into the pore to remove excess sebum and dirt. AHAs are noted for their ability to boost collagen and elastin production. Ultimately, they are a better choice if your goals are to prevent wrinkles and even out skin tone.
3. Treatment Options (optional step)
Although cleansing and exfoliation are considered necessary steps in the quest for beautiful skin, there are also a variety of optional treatments to consider if looking to prevent premature aging of the skin:
Vitamin C (Wrinkles or Discoloration)
As a topical agent, vitamin C possesses a great number of antioxidant properties. As a skin treatment, vitamin C most commonly comes in the form of ascorbic acid. This acid works to improve hydration in the skin, protect the skin from harmful irritants, brighten the complexion, even out skin tone, and more.
As the technical name for vitamin A, retinol has shown tremendous benefits in the fight against skin aging. Products containing retinol work by visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, firming up the skin tone, smoothing the surface of the skin, and helping to lessen the effects of environmental stressors. Retinol comes in a variety of forms, making it easy to choose a product that is right for you.
Benzoyl Peroxide (Acne)
Consider a treatment containing benzoyl peroxide if you have acne-prone skin. Benzoyl peroxide is found in OTC products (between 2.5% and 10%). It works by clearing dead skin cells from follicles, thereby reducing the possibility of blockages. By preventing blocked pores and targeting the bacteria that cause acne, it will help prevent new breakouts.
4. Use a Moisturizer
An effective moisturizing routine can deliver immense results to people with combination skin if the right product is selected. It is fine to only apply the product to the dry areas of the skin and avoid the oilier sections. Properly formulated moisturizers will not lead to additional breakouts for those with acne-prone skin.
5. Sunscreen for Anti-Aging
No skincare routine is complete without the inclusion of consistent sunscreen use. It is important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This means that the sunscreen is engineered to filter out both UVA and UVB rays. For maximum protection, sunscreen should also have at least 30 SPF. Getting into the habit of liberal sunscreen use will help you avoid premature aging of the skin.
Best Drugstore Products for Combination Skin
Fortunately, you do not have to spend a fortune to take care of your combination skin. There is a myriad of affordable products available at any drugstore. Expensive products do not necessarily deliver better results, so do not discount the many value-driven offerings when experimenting with your skincare routine.
1. Best Cleansers for Combination Skin
Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam
This daily cleanser is designed to pump much-needed hydration back into your skin as cleanses your skin. The cleansing properties go deep into the pores to remove sebum, dirt, and other impurities without drying the skin. Because of this tandem action, the oily parts of your skin are effectively cleansed without losing the necessary hydration for the dry sections. The vitamin B5 in the product also works to regenerate irritated skin.
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
This hydrating cleanser delivers a refreshing cleanse while also ridding the skin of a host of harmful irritants. By keeping the natural protective barrier of the skin intact, you can feel confident that your skin is being treated properly. The essential ceramides lock in moisture while the hyaluronic acid brings more hydration to the surface. Although this cleanser will not over-strip the skin, it will still cleanse deep enough to control the oily areas.
2. Best Exfoliants for Combination Skin
Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid
Follow your cleansing routine with an exfoliant. Notably, this formula is suited for those with acne-prone skin. The active salicylic acid penetrates through oil to properly exfoliate the skin by unclogging dirty pores. As an anti-inflammatory exfoliant, this leave-on product should not be rinsed off. Ultimately, this product will help prevent new breakouts and calm down existing acne.
Alpha Skin Care Intensive Rejuvenating Serum
Containing a concentration of 14 percent glycolic acid, this product is ideal for those who do not suffer from acne. The potent formula works by releasing dead skin cells to reveal healthier skin at the surface. This serum will improve the overall look of the skin by supporting collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and smoothing out skin tone.
3. Best Treatments and Serums for Combination Skin
NuFountain C20 + Ferulic Vitamin C Serum
Like any treatment offered, this serum is optional and is intended for use in helping to prevent wrinkles and fine lines from taking root. The powerful antioxidant properties in this serum deliver a refreshing application. This product is made fresh upon ordering so that you know you are getting a potent serum.
Avene RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream
This optional treatment is a good choice if you are looking to stop skin aging in its tracks. The active ingredient retinaldehyde is clinically proven to be more powerful than even retinol. The intensive cream works hard to smoothe away wrinkles and improve the appearance of dull skin tone. The patented relastide is a pro-elastin that plumps up the skin and gives a dose of radiance to the face. The vitamin E delivers a shot of antioxidant protection against harmful free radicals.
4. Best Moisturizers for Combination Skin
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
This night cream is formulated with niacinamide to help to repair the skin barrier as you sleep. The formula also contains essential hyaluronic acid and ceramides, designed to work together to restore hydration to the skin and lock in moisture. The natural ingredients will not clog pores or cause acne breakouts, giving you peace of mind as you sleep. Because this is a night cream, it does not contain sunscreen. However, its exceptional hydrating capabilities make it an ideal moisturizer any time of the day.
Paula’s Choice SKIN BALANCING Invisible Finish Moisture Gel
This moisturizer is the perfect finishing touch on your nightly skincare routine. The ultra-light formula is ideal for combination skin because it delivers essential moisture without compromising oily skin. A variety of antioxidants restore the natural balance of the skin to refine the overall tone. Although this moisturizer is designed for use at night, it can also be used during the day if combined with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
5. Best Sunscreens for Combination Skin
EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Facial Sunscreen
This broad-spectrum sunscreen is paired with an SPF of 43 for superior protection. The niacinamide and hyaluronic acid work in tandem to encourage healthy skin. This premium product will also not clog pores, meaning it is a good choice for those with oily regions of the face. The tinted formula will blend into your skin tone, leaving your face looking fresh and natural.
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen
Designated as a super waterproof sunscreen, this product is ideal for those who love playing in the sand and surf. Designed to withstand up to 80 minutes in the water without having to re-apply, this sunscreen is ready for any water adventure. The SPF of 50 delivers powerful protection while the hyaluronic acid and citrus essence combine to hydrate the skin and replenish moisture lost to the sun.
How do I know if I have combination skin?
It will become obvious that you have combination skin if it is dry in some areas and oily in other parts. The forehead, chin, and nose are the areas that are most likely to be oily. Additionally, those with combination skin often face forehead acne and nose whiteheads.
Does combination skin ever go away?
Because skin can change as you age, it is possible for combination skin to change with time. Regardless of how your skin evolves over time, an effective skin care routine will ensure that it is always taken care of properly.
How do I know if a product is good for combination skin?
It can be a bit of a challenge finding effective products for combination skin because you will need to balance out all of the tricky issues. Finding products that are labeled as non-comedogenic will ensure that they will not irritate your skin. Take care to make sure that your skin is not overly tight or dry after the cleansing process. Properly moisturizing the dry areas of the skin will help to keep the skin from flaking. In short, with a little research and experimentation, you can find the best routine for your particular skin type.
Best Products for Combination Skin: Summary
Combination Skincare Routine Order:
- Spot Treatment (Optional)