Skin care routine for tricky combination skin
Written by Ann Gavriluk.Updated at 24 Sep 2022
Combination skin is like a tricky face puzzle. Some parts are oily, some parts are dry, and some are normal. Throw in the total dependence of combination skin on the season, age, nutrition, and hormones.
For combination skin, anything and anytime can go wrong. But don’t worry. We got you. See below some excellent skin care tips for combination skin.
How can skin care help combination skin?
The primary key to radiant and healthy combination skin is balance. It is about applying moisturizer to the dry skin cheeks and the particular product to absorb the excess oil to the T-zone.
You may want to listen to your inner beauty Yoda while trying out skincare for combo skin. Use gentle products, not heavy ones. It’s better to underdo the routine than to overdo it. And double cleansing will only make your dry patches drier, not cleaner.
A contradictory tip: do not stick to one specific routine. You can adjust things a little bit, choosing what is best for the time and place.
How to adjust your skin care choices for combination skin
1. Check the season
Spring and fall bring a classic combination of oily T-zone and dry cheeks. Hot and humid summers tend to make the combination skin oilier. And winters bring cold, nasty winds and merciless central heating, making the skin dryer. Keep this in mind when choosing your products for the day.
2. Check the age
Your combination skin can change as you grow more wise and stunning. The more birthdays you have celebrated, the drier your skin can become.
3. Check the hormones
Periods or oral contraceptives can easily mess with your combination skin, making it oilier or dryer than usual. Observe and adjust. Find your balance.
4. Check the diet
We’re not food nazis here, but certain products do make your skin oilier. So, be considerate when you dig into dairy, French fries, salty chips, alcohol, chocolate, or any “sugar coma” goodies.
Best ingredients for combination skin
Sounds like it may cost a fortune to cover all the beauty needs. But fret not. We did the homework and came up with a list.
Niacinamide is like a Holy Grail of combination skin care. If you have to choose only one beauty product to take on the desert island, make sure it contains niacinamide. This only ingredient can retain moisture, reduce pore sizes, regulate oil, protect from the sun, ease redness and treat acne.
2. Salicylic Acid
A loving child of nature and science, created in a lab but derived from all-natural ingredients: wintergreen leaf and white willow. It stands for gentle exfoliation, unclogging pores, and removing blackheads. True savior for an oily T-zone as it controls excessive oil production.
3. Hyaluronic Acid
Is in charge of skin moisture. It is naturally produced within our bodies but decreases in amount with age leaving your skin on a dry side. Thankfully, there are skin care products to fix the problem. Hyaluronic acid will maintain your skin’s moisture levels, making your face soft and smooth yet adding necessary firmness for youthful looks.
4. Glycolic acid
One more anti-acne warrior. This acid works as a natural peeling solution, removing the layer of dead skin cells. It works just marvelously on clogged pores and extra oil. The skin complexion evens out and brightens up. Win-win.
Ceramides are lipids that form the natural skin barrier. They literally hold our skin cells together to lock in moisture and lock out all the harmful elements. Ceramides are essential for healthy skin. Sun exposure, stress, and age can lower our levels of ceramides. Look for skin care products with this ingredient to restore the skin barrier and remove dryness.
A natural peace-maker. Improves the relationship between too oily and too dry skin to find a healthy compromise and balance. What else can a combination skin wish for?
7. Green Tea
Green Tea is one of the ancient beauty ingredients. It naturally reduces skin redness and irritation, brings a healthy glow and even skin tone.
Clay is excellent for oily parts of the combo skin. It absorbs excessive oil and removes impurities and dead skin cells. Clay is also great for skin toning. Use the clay based products consistently to build up even and fair skin tone. Best used in facial masks.
7 Steps of Combination Skin Care Routine
A combination skin care routine is pretty similar to any other skin routine. The only difference is that you should know your problem areas to apply specific treatments. The rule of thumb is to pick gentle products that return moisture to the dry areas without overdoing it and greasing up the oilier skin.
Step 1: Cleanser
Gently wash your face from the nightmares, extra oil, flaky skin particles, and night care products residue. Pick the product with the right ingredients that won’t overdry your cheeks or chin.
Step 2: Toner
Removes any remains of the oily residue from the face. It is also great for hydrating and balancing the pH level. Look for alcohol-free products.
Step 3: Exfoliator (2-3 times per week)
For a fresh face look and thorough cleansing. Use an exfoliator once in a while to gently remove the dead skin cells and bring relief to the dry areas and clogged pores.
Step 4: Serum
Serums are little beauty guards for your skin protection and hydration. Look for a hyaluronic acid component.
Step 5: Moisturizer (Morning & Night)
For combo skin, you’ll need 2 types of moisturizers. Search for lightweight water-based formula for the oily areas and creamy (but not too creamy) for the dry parts.
You can also try to enrich your night moisturizer routine with a face oil for extra valuable emollients.
Step 6: Sunscreen
Unprotected skin overexposed to the sun may show unexpected signs of aging. There is nothing wrong with aging, but we can do it gracefully. Taking preventive measures lets us do just this, and reduce risk of skin cancer as well. For combination skin, choose a lightweight sunscreen with a matte finish and at least SPF 30.
Step 7: Mask (Weekly)
Once per week, have a blast and experiment with different mask. Mix and match. Have fun. Use a clay mask on your T-zone and hyaluronic on the cheeks. Explore to find what is working for you and only you.
Step 8: Experiment
Though consistent skin care is the key to its effectiveness, you can still change your routine based on the circumstances and whims. Listen to your skin, learn from personal experiences, and look for a balanced and calmed skin as result.
Other delicious tips for combination skin
If you feel particularly adventurous, you can make a homemade remedy for combination skin yourself. There are tons of recipes across the internet. Our favorite is a mask based on cucumber juice and honey. Yum!