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Notes on Combination Skin

Combination skin is a very common skin type. People with combination skin will often have an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) but are balanced to dry across their cheeks. The skin is the largest living organ and is constantly in flux and susceptible to change due to both external factors (such as seasonal shifts) and internal factors (like hormone levels) so it’s important to tailor your products and routine to adapt to these factors. Creating a skincare routine for combination skin is about creating harmony between the skin’s natural oil-water balance.

It’s all about balance
Healthy, balanced skin loves routine and rarely likes surprises. Build a simple, easy-to-follow skincare routine and adhere to it morning and night. A bare-bones routine should include cleansing to remove impurities (oil and gel cleansers are great for combination skin), a lightweight targeted serum (look for products with hyaluronic acid, Vitamin B and Vitamin C), and a balancing water-based moisturiser, always followed with an SPF during the day. Incorporate exfoliating into your routine with ingredients such as BHA based products to penetrate deep into the skin’s surface to gently promote skin renewal. BHAs keep excess oil at bay by unclogging pores, while also hydrating and smoothing the skin. Remember to keep it straightforward and simple tweaking your routine and products slightly depending on the seasons.

Multi-mask to multi-task
There is no blanket approach to treating combination skin, begin with defining which areas are oily and which are more balanced or drier to determine what products your skin needs and where to treat appropriately. I like to take a targeted approach to combination skin to treat the different areas based on their needs, multi-masking is a great way to do this. Applying different masks to different parts of the face can help to combat all of your concerns in one relaxing hit. For example, for an oily T-zone try an enzyme-rich or clarifying clay mask to gently unclog pores and coax out impurities. For areas that are on the drier side apply a nourishing and hydrating mask to quench and plump the skin.

Avoid harsh, moisture stripping ingredients
We don’t want to strip the skin of its naturally occurring sebum but rather control and find balance. For combination skin types avoid harsh active ingredients, alcohol and fragrance as they can damage the skin’s barrier function and irritate the epidermis, causing oily areas to become even oilier and dry areas to become even drier as the skin naturally attempts to overcompensate for what has been taken or added to it.

There are amazing treatments you can do both in-clinic and at home to help regulate oil production for optimal skin health such as balancing facials, multi-masking, microdermabrasion and LED light therapy.