If you have combination skin, you’ll know full well it can be the utter bane of your life. Do you apply a blemish-fighting cleanser or will it aggravate those dry patches of skin further? Do you try and quench the dry parts of your complexion or try and reduce the amount of oil currently seeping out of your pores? It’s a mystery to many of us and frustratingly difficult to treat.
Combination skin is when you have two or more different skin types occurring on your face at the same time. One part may be dry, while your T-zone may be producing excess oil meaning you have to try and treat a number of different problems at once.
While this may all seem a little confusing, think of it like a jigsaw. It’s all about slotting the right products into the right places in order to get the perfect balance and tackle all of your skin’s needs. So essentially this means gel formulas down your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) to deal with excess oil, then creams and lotions on your parched cheeks to pump them with the hydration they’re crying out for.
Here are six products we rely on…
When it comes to cleansing combination skin, go for something that’s really gentle so as not to irritate the dry parts of your face while still emptying your pores of dirt – and if possible, one that includes ingredients to reduce oil production. That may seem like a lot to ask for from one product, but Bioderma Sébium H2O Purifying Cleansing Micelle Solution, £10.50, ticks all of the above boxes. It purifies your skin and regulates sebum (oil) production without drying it out. The secret to keeping every single inch of combination skin happy and healthy.
For the dryer areas of your complexion (probably your cheeks), you need to opt for something super hydrating to quench and care for your skin. La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum, £19, is a gel formula made up of high-performing hydrating ingredients including hyaluronic acid that melts into the skin, delivering long-lasting moisture and rescuing your cheeks from dryness.
To control the shine on your T-zone, a mattifying treatment will have your back – especially if it’s topical. Dermalogica Clearing Mattifier, £43.75, reduces any congestion (which often goes hand in hand with oil) and controls shine. How? A combination of niacinamide (which helps to reduce surface oil and calm the skin), zinc gluconate, yeast extract, caffeine and biotin will purify your skin and inhibit overactive sebaceous activity.
The face mist
Some toning solutions can set oil production into overdrive in order to try and combat the dry parts of your face – which will just complicate things further. Ole Henriksen Grease Relief Facial Water, £21, is an antiseptic toner that won’t dry out your complexion. It contains soothing ingredients like aloe and comfrey extract, both of which reduce any inflammation, leaving your skin balanced, renewed and soothed with any shine kept at bay.
The pore minimiser
You’ll probably be pretty familiar with your pores by now if you have combination skin. When our skin produces excess sebum our pores become heavier and in turn, end up clogged. This leads to a multitude of problems, including dead skin cells building up and almost ‘stretching’ the size of your pores, making them appear bigger until they’re emptied. So if you’re noticing that your oily skin is having an effect on your pores, reach for a pore minimiser like Clarins Pore Minimising Serum, £27. It works to slow down the amount of oil your skin is producing, which will in time reduce the appearance of dilated pores.
As oil leads to dead skin cells building up in our pores, a weekly face mask that draws everything out will work wonders for your skin. Good Things Pore-fectly Clear Charcoal Face Mask, £5.99, will purify your complexion by pulling out impurities (thanks to the charcoal), hydrate your skin and rebalance oil levels.