Your Go-To Cleansing Routine for Combination Skin
Do you feel as though you have two distinctly different skin types on your face? If one area gets shiny and sometimes has blemishes and large pores, while the other is shine-free and free of skin issues, you likely have combination skin. It may sound complicated, but combination skin is actually one of the most common skin types. There are many products out there specifically designed for combination skin, which should make it easy for you to curate a skin care regimen and care for your skin. Here are our tips to care for combination skin.
Step #1: Test If You Have Combination Skin By Doing The Blotting Paper Test
If you’re not 100 percent sure whether you have combination skin, you can find out by doing a simple test with blotting paper. Gently dab several sheets of blotting paper on your forehead, cheeks and nose, then check to see there is oily residue on the paper. A lot of oil residue indicates that you have overly active oil glands in that area of your face. If there is a small amount of oil left on the blotting paper this means your skin is balanced and you probably have a small amount of oil in your skin. If the blotting paper is completely dry, this means you have dry skin. Make a mental note of where each area starts and ends. If the amount of oil residue is different on each area of your face, you likely have combination skin.
Step #2: Choose the Right Cleanser for You
It’s very important for those of us with combination skin regulate sebum and oil production along the T-zone. Double check the products you own to make sure they say non-comedogenic which means they won’t clog your pores. Avoid products that are too emollient a.k.a. creamy or greasy as this may lead to clogged pores. At the same time, you don’t want to use products that can increase oil production or further dry out your dry areas. It’s helpful to steer clear of alcohol and fragrance, which can dry out the skin and activate even more oil production.
The best cleansers for combination skin are ones that will remove build-up and dirt but won’t disrupt the balance of your skin’s natural oils. Try a cleanser for combination skin or a gentle cleanser formulated for all skin types, like Garnier The Gentle Sulfate-Free Cleanser. We recommend a cleanser like Garnier SkinActive’s Clean+ Balancing Daily Exfoliator infused with grapefruit and pomegranate to help soften and clean your skin. It’s also formulated with salicylic acid, which gently removes dead skin cells from skin’s surface and exfoliates your skin to give you fresh-looking skin.
Toner can be helpful in regulating oil and balancing PH on combination skin. If your T-zone is oily do not use a toner with alcohol to dry it out. That will only cause your skin to produce more oil which isn’t what you want. Use a balancing toner that does not interfere with your skin’s PH but instead refreshes and restores your skin. Since your cheeks are dry, steer clear of using toner on these parched areas.
Step #3: Find a Hydrating, Oil-Free Moisturizer
Next use a hydrating moisturizer that is oil-free — it will give your dry areas necessary moisture while regulating T-Zone oil production.
Step #4: Exfoliate At Least Once A Week
Dead skin cells mixed with oil from skin pores are a breeding ground for blemishes. Regularly removing dead skin cells from skin’s surface will ensure that your skin doesn’t get congested. Use a gentle exfoliator formulated with fruit enzymes which will help resurface skin.
Step #5: Use Antioxidants
Retinol (a form of Vitamin A) is a great antioxidant in the fight against oily T-zones. Look for it in a serum to use before you apply a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Step #6: Don’t Touch Your Face
While it’s tempting to touch your face from time to time to make sure it’s not oily, do not touch it! Your fingers are oily and/or dirty and touching your skin increases the likelihood of transferring bacteria onto your face. Also do not pick or try to unclog your pores with your hands under any circumstances.