By Abby Vinas
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What is Combination Skin?
Ever feel like your skin just can’t make up its mind? If you’ve noticed certain parts of your face are dry while other parts are oily, you probably have combination skin.
Of the five basic skin types, combination skin is the most common. Combination skin types have oily areas typically found in the T-zone (including the nose, forehead, and chin), while the cheeks may be dry. The dry areas may have a dull or rough complexion, more visible lines, and almost invisible pores. The oily areas are likely prone to breakouts and have enlarged pores and excess shine.
What Causes Combination Skin?
Like most other physical characteristics, a person’s skin type is primarily determined by genetics so yours is likely the same as your parents’.
Combination skin may also be caused by the products in your skincare routine. For example, a product containing harsh ingredients may irritate and dry out your skin or stimulate oil production in parts of your face that were already oily. Using the right combination of products can help bring your skin into balance by minimizing oiliness and softening dryness.
Skin can change over time, particularly as the seasons change. You may notice that your skin tends to be more oily during the warmer months as the heat and humidity can trigger your skin to produce more oil. Then once temperatures start to drop around the fall and winter season, the cold, harsh weather can negatively affect the moisture level of your skin, resulting in dry spots.
Skincare Routine for Combination Skin
Maintaining a skincare routine for combination skin can be tricky since different areas of your face have different needs, but don’t lose all hope just yet! We’re here to take the guesswork out of building a daily routine and help you achieve balanced, radiant skin.
One thing to keep in mind is that you apply your skincare products in the correct order to ensure you’re getting the most out of your routine. The general rule of thumb is to go from thinnest to thickest, so here’s our step-by-step guide:
Regardless of skin type, you should wash your face every single day. Use a gentle cleanser that helps control oil production but doesn’t cause additional dryness. An easy way to determine if a cleanser is right for your skin is by paying attention to how your skin feels after cleansing. Some people associate skin tightness with being squeaky clean, but your skin should feel soft, smooth, and fresh, not dry or tight.
Some cleansers also contains exfoliants, but if yours doesn’t, be sure to add in an exfoliant one or two times a week. Exfoliation helps get rid of dead skin cells that may be causing clogged pores, breakouts, or dullness.
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Toner helps refresh skin, refine pores, restore your skin’s pH balance, and remove dirt and oil that may have been left behind after cleansing. Many toners may contain alcohol, which fights acne-causing bacteria but can aggravate and dry out the skin. Look for one that’s alcohol-free and contains soothing, hydrating ingredients such as our Dewy Dew facial mist. Dewy Dew works as both a toner and makeup setting spray and is made with Floralux from chlorophyll, rose hip, and witch hazel to help tauten pores, even skin tone and texture, and leave your skin with a little extra glow.
Face masks aren’t just a great addition to your skincare routine, they’re a must-have, regardless of your skin type. Use a vegan face mask every week to treat any skin concerns and help keep your skin healthy and nourished.
Clay masks have some amazing benefits such as drawing out toxins and impurities, brightening dull areas, and refining pores. This type of mask is great for combination skin because it helps restore your skin’s balance rather than leaving it too dry or irritated. Oily areas feeling a little too oily? Go for a clay mask containing tea tree to help control shine and fight acne-causing bacteria. Experiencing some extra dryness? A clay mask made with hydrating coconut will be your skin’s savior.
Better yet, give multi-masking a try! Multi-masking is especially useful for combination skin because it involves using multiple face masks at once, allowing you to address your skin’s different needs. Apply our Hydrating Masque on any dull, dry areas that need some brightening and hydration, then apply our Clarifying Masque on oily areas for some help with battling blemishes and purifying pores.
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Sheet masks can be made from a variety of materials like paper, cotton, or fiber and are infused with powerful ingredients to soothe skin, fight signs of aging, or give you an instant boost of hydration. All you have to do is place the sheet on your face, smooth it out, and relax, making them quick and easy to use.
Whereas traditional face masks are left on for a certain amount of time and then removed, an overnight mask or sleep mask is one you leave on overnight. This type of mask is similar to a moisturizer so it doesn’t stain your pillows or bed sheets. It typically contains ultra-nourishing and intense hydrating ingredients, which work their magic as you sleep. If using an overnight mask, apply it as the last step of your skincare routine and wake up with brighter, radiant skin.
Since combination skin has areas with higher oil production, those with this skin type may also be prone to blemishes, often in the T-zone. These blemishes can include common pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. To help fight these off, a skincare routine for combination skin should include a product such as Treat, our vegan acne treatment gel that is also found in our 3-step Clear Skin Routine. Treat contains 2% salicylic acid to penetrate deep within the pores and clear them of dirt, oil, and bacteria. Tap it over any problem areas and wave goodbye to breakouts!
Add a serum to your routine to deliver concentrated doses of skin-loving antioxidants and nutrients. The best serum for combination skin is the one that improves your skin’s health without further upsetting your skin’s oiliness or dryness. You can also find a serum designed to treat particular issues associated with combination skin such as dullness, dehydration, or fine lines in certain areas. Try adding a hydrating serum containing hyaluronic acid or one packed with vitamin C to help brighten skin and fade dark spots.
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Can’t forget about the eyes! The undereye area tends to become more dry as we get older, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. Nourish and brighten your undereye area with our Eye Will Chill eye gel packed with vitamins, aloe, green tea, spirulina, fennel, and Floralux from chlorophyll to awaken tired eyes and reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles.
Those with combination skin do best with a moisturizer that doesn’t feel too heavy or greasy on the skin but still helps it retain enough moisture. But because combination skin essentially has two skin types, it would be even better to use two different moisturizers to give each part of your face what it needs. Apply a thicker, cream moisturizer to any dry areas, and apply a lighter, gel-based moisturizer to your oily areas.
Finish up your skincare routine for combination skin with one of the most important steps: sunscreen. Your skin needs sun protection all year long, and yes, that includes the cloudy days! Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can pass through clouds, and even snow and water can reflect the sun’s rays.
Not all sunscreens are created equal, so go for one with a thin, lightweight formula. Always remember to wear SPF before leaving the house to help decrease your risk of skin cancer, prevent premature aging, and maintain an even skin tone.
- Dealing with combination skin can be frustrating but do your best to stay educated on the best ingredients for your own skin concerns.
- When it comes to building a skincare routine for combination skin, choose your products wisely! Pay close attention to how your skin reacts to each product in your skincare routine. Remember that everyone’s skin is different so a product that may work wonders for someone else might not do the same for you.
- Consistency is key! Improving your skin’s health is a process so once you’ve found your miracle product, stick with it.
- Keep in mind that your skincare routine isn’t the only way to get healthy, glowing skin. Take a holistic approach to skincare and be mindful of your diet, exercise routine, and daily habits.
Abby Vinas has long been an active member of the holistic health community, advocating in favor of its benefits to both our physical and emotional well-being. Her commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle has made her an authority on self-care practices. Abby is passionate about fitness, nutrition, and proper skincare, and is also an avid lover of avocado toast and dog-petting.