• The two sides of combination skin

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    combination skin skincare advice
    Combination skin (or mixed skin) is probably the most difficult type of skin to deal with, due to its dual nature: both oily and dry. This condition is usually described as “oily, shiny zones alternating with patches of dry skin”.
    Caring for such a type of skin can be difficult and most of the usual ingredients in a bottle cannot work two ways. The combination skin needs a bit of extra care and a special regimen. Follow the usual three steps of complete skin care – cleanse & tone; repair; hydrate, but keep in mind the type of each portion on your skin and apply the appropriate treatment. Sometimes you’ll need to treat the two types of skin separately.

    Let’s sum up the main types of skin, depending on how oily/dry they are:
    Normal skin – smooth, even skin with no oily areas; feels comfortable
    Oily skin – skin all over the face is shiny and has enlarged pores, prone to comedones or breakouts
    Dry skin – usually dull complexion with fine lines & wrinkles and small pores; feels tight and can get flaky
    Sensitive skin – oily, normal and dry skin can be sensitive too. Usually dry skin is the most exposed to this condition; feels tight, is prone to allergies, rashes and flushes easily
    Mixed / Combination skin – both oily and dry, usually oily in the T zone (middle section of the forehead, nose and chin) and dry on the cheeks; alternating zones that present different conditions.
    The proper treatment of the combination skin type should not target exclusively “one side” of the problem because this could easily cause an imbalance of the other zone. For example, targeting the oily T-zone and using skincare products that wash away the oil all over your face, could cause severe dryness to the pre-existent dry zones.
    Best way to go in this case is using alternating treatments. Luckily, there are many products that also offer a combined solution.

    In the cleansing step, avoid soap and use astringent toners only in the T-zone which will help reduce the oil and shine. The most suitable cleansers or toners are gentle, foamy and plant based, they don’t leave the skin feeling dry. It is also helpful to exfoliate regularly and remove the dry cells buildup in the dry areas and the pore clogging ones in the oily zones. Exfoliators should be gentle and non abrasive; the most recommended ones in this case are based on ingredients like Lactic Acid or BHAs (beta hydroxyl acids) which are usually milder exfoliators than AHAs.
    Moisturizing is a must, even for the oily areas. Use light, water based moisturizers all over the face, do not use the oil based ones that provide greasy hydration (this is usually for aging and mature skin). Moisturizing is key to a balanced complexion. There are moisturizers specially designed for combination skin and they can be used on both dry and oily areas. The ideal moisturizers are light and non greasy, have antioxidants and skin nourishing ingredients . This formula can also help sun damaged, dull combination skin. Serum-type moisturizers, which are light, clear, water based formulas, are ideal for combination skin. They reduce shine and provide moisture at the same time. If you need sun care, use a sun-block moisturizer with a minimum SFP 15.
    Once a week, it is recommended that you use peeling masks in your T -zone or an all over mask based on clay. This has oil absorbing properties and gently cleans the dry areas, helping to reduce occasional blemishes and unclog pores.
    Your combination skin might change in time and could become normal or dry. Proper care will bring the oil production close to normal and will maintain a healthy smooth skin. The basic nourishing ingredients in skincare, vitamins and antioxidants, work very well with T-zone formulas and help maintain optimum cell functions in the targeted areas.

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