Many of us are seemingly in a quest to remove the heavy makeup off the face when back home after a soiree and find behind it flawless and immaculate skin or else to go out for everyday errands without any makeup when short of time yet feeling very confident and capable to turn heads. Some girls were born with ideal skin and even the puberty period could not affect their skin negatively, while others suffer such skin problems and disorders as acne, rosacea, seborrheic eczema, breakouts, flaking, inflammation and so on and so forth. One of such facial skin problems comes to be the combination skin, a problem that has touched 80% of the population all over the world. We are here to help you balance your combination skin using the correct skincare regime and the right products!
The name of combination skin speaks for itself, i.e. it brings about a combination of oily and porous T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and dry, flaky cheeks, temples and at times even under eye areas. If your combination skin has reached some critical state, making a dermatologist appointment is a must of course; otherwise it is quite feasible to take care of your skin on your own at home after arming yourself with some information and a bag of tricks on how to balance combination skin.
What You Should Know About Combination Skin
Though combination skin is rather considered to be one of several skin types (the other types imply normal, oily, dry, sensitive), it might beget real skin problems and even disorders. To be more precise, if your combination skin is not given adequate attention, the oil glands that make your T-zone oily and shiny, might get activated within some period of time thus bringing forth some blemishes, pimples or blackheads, while the dry parts might become a risk zone for rosacea or inflammation, as well as wrinkles and accordingly premature aging.
The combination skin should not necessarily combine oily and dry parts in equal proportions but rather appearing in misbalance depending on the weather. In winter dry skin becomes more bothersome, while in summer oily-creepy problems come to the forefront and accordingly your skin treatment package might at times undergo some changes.
Combination skin problems might emerge during the puberty period when teenagers and young people under 25 face some hormonal imbalances, while after 25 all these problems might fade away but also accompany that very person through her whole life.
How to Determine Your Skin Type
Determining your skin type whether it falls under normal, oily, dry, sensitive or combination category is quite simple a procedure. You just need to wash your makeup-free face with gentle cleanser and pat dry it. After two hours when your face skin returns to its natural state, you can check its type by dabbing your face with a tissue. If the tissue touch on your T-zone brings into view oily spots while the other parts of your face show normal to dry signs, then you have landed on the right place. You have combination skin and you definitely need to balance it.
What Causes Combination Skin
Combination skin type is more often not described as genetic problem. But it can also be an acquired problem during teenage years when the testosterones are being produced at high level and also when we face some stressful situations in life or when we apply wrong makeup products and even when we go under unhealthy diet. It will be wise to stay away from cholesterol-rich spicy sour dishes, junk food, pizza, as well as alcoholic drinks and coffee, instead including in your diet fresh vegetables and fruits and of course water as universally recognized panacea.
Tips for Balancing Combination Skin
Balancing the combination skin requires certain steps from you regular routine that will gradually bring your skin to a normal state. There is no fixed period for that; it is rather individual. It is surely practical enough to apply 2 in 1 products that will all at once suppress the oil glands opening the pores and will moisturize the dry and flaky spots on your cheeks making them silky and smooth. But in some cases you just need to split the dry and oily parts and take care for them separately. The daily combination skin balancing process is not that much simple but rather time-consuming including several phases that should alternate each other in a certain order not to tell about those weekly procedures in between.
Step 1: Cleansing the skin
Start with cleansing the face. You should cleanse it twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. It is recommended to apply lightweight gel-based or foam products and then gently massage the face with cotton balls or even tiny sponges on the oily parts for some exfoliation effect. It is mandatory to select a cleanser free from any kind of comedogenic ingredients like almond, coconut or peach pit oils, butyl stearate, isopropyl myristate, lauric acid, acetylated lanolin or isopropyl isostearate. The existence of these ingredients in the cleanser will clog up the pores on your T-zone while simultaneously causing irritation on dry, flaky areas.
Natural means based on herbs and fruit acids will best fill the bill here opening the pores, reducing oil and making the cheeks soft. Finish off washing the face with cold water and never with warm one, as it might make the oily parts even oilier and the dry ones even drier. Exclude any bar soaps, as well. You might get your hands at Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser that is perfect for any skin type or the budget friendly CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.
Step 2: Toning the Skin
After cleansing the face you should buckle down to apply toner on your combination skin that comes to be as the best tool to even out the skin, to balance PH, to unclog the pores and to cut down the sebaceous excretions. Mind not to pick a toner containing alcohol or menthol, instead choose one including anti-inflammatory and moisturizing ingredients like panthenol, bisabolol and various herbal extracts. Additionally a good toner should be free of any sharp fragrance. You can choose between Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris and Lancôme Tonique Confort, both of them coming as super soothing and hydrating means.
Step 3: Moisturizing the Skin
The third step to balance your combination skin is to moisturize it with special lightweight creams, gels or fluids. However, here you will need to acquire two moisturizers – an oil-free lightweight one for your T-zone and a more nourishing and heavier option for your dry skin parts. But here you should also differentiate between day and night moisturizers. Overall, try to choose products containing anti-inflammatory ingredients like chamomile or salvia and natural oils of macadamia, sesame and Shea butter and in no case mineral oils as they might lead to pore clogging. You can give a try to Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion that is for combination skin more prone to dryness or else carry on searching for your skin-type-appropriate moisturizer.
Aside from daily cleansing-toning-moisturizing procedures, combination skin also needs to be exfoliated 1-2 times a week. But here also you should handle your oily and dry parts in different manners. Apply a sponge to T-zone and massage the skin for 2-3 moments to unclog the pores while for dry skin use cotton balls and massage the spots more gently only for a minute to remove the flaky layers off. After the exfoliation it is contradicted to go outside for 1-2 hours as the after-resulted micro traumas might get infected very easily when interacting with air. You have another option here – to make an appointment with your cosmetologist for Enzyme peeling that will deeply cleanse your skin and will remove the dead cells off the skin.
2. DIY Nourishing Masks
Nourishing masks are also included into the combination skin balancing package to be used twice a week and additionally it is recommended to change the mask every other week. The nourishing masks are surely offered by the leading cosmetics companies, but take a little piece of advice from us to give your preference to homemade masks. Here are a couple of DIY nourishing masks that will absorb the oil on your nose, chin and forehead at the same time hydrating the skin of your cheeks and temples.
Cleansing Yeast Mask
You will need to mix in a bowl 2 tsp. of yeast with 3 tsp. of hydrogen peroxide, 3% to a homogenous substance. Immediately after applying it to your skin with very thin layer and staying in that state for 10-15 minutes rinse the substance off the face with cotton balls soaked in fresh lukewarm tea. This amazing mask is ideal for cleansing the face and bleaching the blackheads on the oily parts, while also soothing the dry areas.
Whitening Mask with Parsley Juice
This magical mask is recommended for combination skin with some wrinkles and dull appearance, perfectly toning, vitaminizing and whitening it. What you need here is 1 tbsp. of parsley juice, 1tbsp. of milk and 1 tps of lemon juice. First mix parsley juice with milk, then add lemon juice to the mixture and apply the liquid to the face either with special sticks or with a cheesecloth soaked in it. In 15-20 minutes rinse the face with lukewarm salt water.
Cleansing Grape Mask
Mash black or red grapes and add defatted yogurt to it. Apply the substance on the face and keep it for 20 minutes. Then rinse it with cotton balls soaked in lukewarm black or green tea. This ideal-for-combination-skin mask will exfoliate the flaky parts and will simultaneously narrow pores on oily areas.
Photos courtesy of Vogue