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The Ultimate Skincare Guide for Combination Skin ----- Back

03.01.20 - Knowledge

The Ultimate Skincare Guide for Combination Skin

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Words by Antoinette Barnardo

With an oily T-zone and dry patches in your cheeks and jawline, combination skin is a conundrum for dermatologists to tackle, much less the average individual like you. Should you go for oil-free products to prevent worsening an already shiny T-zone? But if you do, then your dry patches are just going to worsen which might result in unsightly flaking and peeling. 

We've come up with the ultimate guide to creating a skincare routine specifically for combination skin. It focuses on hydrating dry areas of your face while reducing sebum in the T-zone. Read on to find out what this skin type needs. 

What Is Combination Skin?

Combination skin is defined as having oiliness only in the T-zone (i.e. your forehead, nose, and chin) but experiencing dryness in other parts of your face, such as the cheeks, eye area, and jawline. 

Since this skin type has two different skin needs, oiliness and dryness, it's often difficult to choose the right skincare products or ingredients that deal with them at the same time. 

Moreover, it's easy to mistake true oily skin types with combination skin since both skin types produce excess oil in the T-zone. To help you figure out if you have combination skin or not, these are the common symptoms: 

  • Your T-zone appears shiny a short while after cleansing, but your cheeks and jawline do not. 
  • Moisturisers meant for normal skin types keep your cheeks and jaw area soft and hydrated, but cause your T-zone to appear extra oily. 
  • You often deal with breakouts and mild flaking at the same time. 
  • Blackheads and whiteheads are present on your face. 
  • The pores in your T-zone appear more visible than those in other parts of your face. 
  • You have occasional bouts of dandruff. 

If you find yourself nodding "yes" to more than one of these points, chances are you're Team Combination Skin. 

The Ideal Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

Now that we've identified you do have combination skin, it's time to build the ideal skincare routine for it. This routine consists of products that serve a dual purpose — hydrating dry skin and regulating excess sebum production. 

1. Use a Gentle, Low-pH Cleanser

Look for a gentle cleanser with low pH levels to protect your acid mantle, a thin film with a slightly acidic level of pH 5.5. This will help to promote a healthy skin barrier which prevents dryness and regulates excess oil production. 

Try YORA's Clarify Face Cleanser, a gentle cleansing gel that uses glycolic and salicylic acids to remove dead skin cells and dry flakes for a smoother complexion. It also contains witch hazel, a botanical extract that has astringent and antibacterial properties to soothe dry skin and treat acne. Green tea is also added to control excess sebum on your oily T-zone. 

2. Opt for an Alcohol-Free Toner

Nix the idea of going for a toner with alcohol in it. While you may think having "squeaky clean" skin is the ideal end goal, this could backfire on your already shiny T-zone and dry cheeks. 

Most of the time, excess oil production is a sign that your skin is dehydrated, which causes it to overproduce sebum to compensate for this lack of moisture. Since alcohol is naturally dehydrating, it will remove every trace of oil from your skin. This will, in turn, exacerbate the oiliness and dryness. 

What you should do instead, is to opt for an alcohol-free toner with skin-balancing benefits to satisfy both oily and dry areas. 

3. Choose the Right Exfoliant

Combination skin face mask: Revitalise Face Polish

An oily T-zone increases the risk of clogged pores, blackheads, and breakouts — all issues that can be dealt with by using a good dose of exfoliation. At the same time, exfoliation will slough off the build-up of dead skin cells to keep the peeling and flaking at bay. 

Choose an exfoliant that targets both congested pores and dryness, like YORA's Revitalise Face Polish. It's formulated with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) to clarify your pores and exfoliate dead skin. At the same time, it has PENTAVITIN® to keep your dry areas moisturised. 

4. Apply a Lightweight Moisturiser

While we are on the topic of moisturising, a lightweight gel moisturiser is your best bet. It hydrates your dry cheeks without worsening the excess sebum on your T-zone. 

According to a 2016 study in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, moisture-retaining humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and panthenol are most ideal for combination skin. These substances are lightweight and can attract water from the surrounding air to keep dryness away. 

Squalene, an emollient, is also recommended for combination skin, thanks to its non-comedogenic and antibacterial properties. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that squalene is also used to treat dry skin disorders like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Moreover, it does not leave behind an oily residue, which makes it ideal for applying on your T-zone.

It's also a good idea to avoid moisturisers that contain occlusives since they sit atop the skin's surface. Given that occlusives create a hydrophobic barrier to stop transepidermal water loss, they have the potential to clog pores and cause breakouts. 

5. Try Multi-Masking

If you still haven't heard of multi-masking, this practice involves applying more than one type of mask on your face at the same time. The beauty of it is that you get to treat different skin needs in one go, a boon for those with combination skin. 

Use a charcoal or clay mask like the Clarify Face Mask on your blemishes and oily areas. The Australian white clay and activated charcoal in it will deep-cleanse clogged pores and absorb excess sebum. The added salicylic acid also treats blemishes in the T-zone while bamboo beads gently slough off dead skin for a smoother and more radiant complexion. 

At the same time, apply a hydrating mask on your dry patches. While the Revitalise Face Mask is an overnight gel mask, it can double up as a moisturising wash-off mask in this instance. Formulated with T.R.U.E. Active Complex that contains traditional Chinese herbs, this mask hydrates the skin and minimises fine lines. 

6. Layer on the Right Serums

Give your skin a boost with serums that contain the right skincare ingredients for your skin type. AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid will minimise visible pores in your T-zone. If you're acne-prone, go for salicylic acid, which is great for blemishes and breakouts. For an all-round player, consider using a serum with retinol in it as vitamin A is suitable for all skin types. 

7. Put on Sunscreen

Like every other skin type, a broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must-have for combination skin. Choose a physical sunscreen that contains zinc oxide as it's known to be photoprotective, soothing, and anti-inflammatory, a 2014 study by the Dermatology Research and Practice points out. Moreover, physical sunscreens are less likely to irritate the skin. 

To help hydrate the dry patches on your cheeks and jaw, opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains moisturising ingredients like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid. Last but not least, make sure your sunscreen of choice has an SPF of 30 or more. 

8. Include an Anti-Ageing Eye Cream

If you have combination skin, it's likely you also experience dryness around your peepers. To prevent fine lines from appearing in the eye area for as long as you can, anti-ageing eye creams are a definite must in your routine. 

Go for an eye cream with hydrating ingredients like YORA's Define Eye Contour. It's made with a proprietary blend of PRIMALHYAL 50 and PrimalHyal™ 300 to intensely hydrate while minimising the appearance of fine lines. On top of that, it has seaweed extract to reduce the appearance of dark circles for a smoother eye contour. 

Other Skincare Tips for Combination Skin

There are a few other essentials you can use to balance out your combination skin during the day. 

  • Keep blotting papers in your handbag or work drawer so that you can blot off excess oil at any moment. 
  • Use a face mist like YORA's Refresh Face Mist to hydrate the dry areas on your face whenever needed. 
  • If you feel your dry cheeks need extra moisturising, apply a few drops of facial oil. The Replenish Face Oil keeps your skin soft and supple, but without the oily residue. 

Combination Skin — No Longer a Skincare Puzzle

To manage combination skin, tailor your skincare routine to accommodate two different skin types — oily and dry. You can easily achieve this by choosing skincare products that are suitable for all skin types. Also, be extra mindful when reading the ingredient labels to make sure they cater to both types of skin needs. Go for non-comedogenic ingredients to prevent breakouts and blemishes. 

Use the right skincare products to take care of different areas of your face. Your T-zone will become less oily while your dry patches will no longer flake and peel as they used to. You may even be mistaken as Team Normal Skin in no time. 

Words by Antoinette Barnardo

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