Combination skin is one of the more common skin types. It is technically a mix or two or more types at once, but the general rule for most skin is that some areas are a bit more oily or dry than others on many faces. This makes proper treatment for skin something of a haphazard affair where a product good for one area might be less suited to aid another. That can cause problems. As a result, taking care of combination skin often feels like a balancing act where we’re trying to help the most parts of our skin at a time while working against any potential negative effects to the areas that aren’t benefiting. The situation is incredibly frustrating to those of us who try so hard to help our skin be as healthy as it can. Fortunately, it isn’t that difficult to work towards properly caring for combination skin. You’re just going to have to invest a little more time than you might if you had a more consistent skin type.
It is important to stress that some skincare tips are universally useful. Combination skin needs to be regularly protected by sunscreen just as much as every other skin type. It might even be a little more important in some cases given it means some parts of your skin might actually be highly susceptible to the sun while others are more resistant. Fortunately, combination skin doesn’t change the general rules for sunscreen. You’ll need to find one that offers broad spectrum protection that is at least SPF 30 to protect your skin. We recommend increasing the SPF rating to 50 if you’re in your 40s or above simply as a protective measure as skin begins to noticeably thin. Additionally, you’re better served by looking for sunscreens that include active ingredients like zinc oxide. This means the sunscreen is a physical blocker. These sunscreens entirely reflect UV rays rather than just absorbing them and thereby provide the most thorough protection.
Given combination skin’s potentially wide spread of traits, it is best to err on the side of caution in most cases. This means favoring less potent exfoliating products to help clean and protect your skin. A chemical exfoliation product is the best in this case. We recommend sticking to ones that utilize beta-hydroxy acids such as glycolic or citric acid to help clean your skin. These are effective, but skin friendly options that don’t put excess strain on sensitive skin. You’ll most frequently find these products as easily spread gels meant to be left on for a little while to achieve their purpose. The active ingredients in these products are necessary for getting the job done as they help to dissolve and break up clumps of dead skin cells, oils, and grime that can get caught in your pores. Avoid using products with salicylic acid, if you can, as that ingredient could potentially be too harsh for the more sensitive sections of your skin and cause problems.
Moisturizing combination skin is an admittedly difficult proposition if you have mixed areas of dry and oily skin. The proper level of moisturizer for one will inherently cause problems for the other by being too much or too little. We have to find a way to balance these extremes when working to protect combination skin. As a general rule, a water-based gel product is going to serve combination skin the best. Gels aren’t quite creams and as a result have a lower chance of causing problems for oily patches while still being thick enough to cling and provide the moisture necessary to protect dry skin. They need to be water-based to further this goal. Oil-based gels will quickly cause problems for oily patches if you’re not careful. You should expect to apply this kind of moisturizer a few times a day for maximum effectiveness. It may take a little experimentation ti find the right amount for your skin.
Caring for combination skin is a headache-inducing task sometimes. Conflicting skin types have always been frustrating, but we’ve found ways to cope with the challenge. Overall, you need to be both gentle with and protective of your skin to ensure the best results. Proper steps to protect it will let it heal and remain as healthy as it can on average while being gentle will ensure products don’t overly upset a delicate balance. We can’t say that there won’t be problems as you work out this balance, but when you finish you’ll know your skin better than before.