I fall into the combination skin camp. It’s dehydrated, feels dry in parts and I’m graced with an oily t-zone. In my teenage years I had acne, and since then I’ve just been a bit skincare obsessed (I’ve got a whole category dedicated to skincare if you fancy a read). When your skin is oily, dry, normal and dehydrated all at the same time, navigating skincare is quite honestly a bit of a nightmare. I find my skin gets worse in the colder months, and I’m constantly trying to keep it hydrated without being overloaded with product. I thought I would talk through some of my current staples in my routine to try and combat my combination skin, and get it back to feeling more balanced. Over the past few years I’ve had a solid routine and found products that really work.
For years I used to think I just had oily skin, I didn’t realise it was also completely lacking moisture (basically screaming for it) and I was continually stripping it with clay masks. Doing this only makes it worse, and your skin starts to produce even more oil to overcompensate for being dehydrated.
Definitely avoid harsh soaps, and usually foaming cleansers are bad news (I know some have been formulated to be not so stripping, but they’re few and far between). Try and go for a cleanser that’s gentle and won’t strip the skin, but at the same time you want to make sure you’re cleansing your skin of any makeup/ grime (apologies couldn’t think of a better word) from the day.
For me a good cleanser is key (I’m definitely not one of the lucky ones that can sleep with makeup on and get away with it). I’m just about to run out of the Erborian Milk Resurfacing Cleanser* and I’ve absolutely loved using it. One of the main ingredients is Sesame milk which helps improve the quality of the skin texture and hydration. It works well as a second cleanser, leaving my skin nice and hydrated before applying other products.
To remove eye makeup I stick with my trusty Garnier Micellar water, I’ve used this for years and it removes everything easily and doesn’t irritate my eyes at all. I’ve been using these bamboo cotton pads for the past 4 months, so much more sustainable than single use pads and they’ve lasted so well in the wash.
Every morning and night I use the Pixi Glow Tonic straight after cleansing. It contains 5% glycolic acid, which is a small amount but enough to get you started with using more active skincare. This toner leaves my skin glowy, clear of blemishes and my overall complexion looks clearer without feeling stripped of moisture. It’s affordable but has amazing ingredients that work! Honestly I repurchase this over and over again (I’m also on the Pixi PR list, so they do send me some occasionally). One thing to note with this, I mean you should always wear SPF anyway, but definitely after using an acid based product as the skin is more sensitive to UV rays.
Another ingredient that’s perfect for combination skin is Hyluronic acid. It’s another one where I actually see results when I add it into my routine, and it works wonders at keeping my skin hydrated. An affordable one that’s amazing is The Inky List Hyaluronic Acid Serum. The formulation contains 2% hyaluronic acid, which for £5.99 is bloody good. If you’re new to Hyaluronic Acid I definitely recommend trying this first.
Another favourite I’ve just started using is L’Oreal Revitalift Hyluronic Acid Serum* If you have dehydrated but oily skin you need a hyluronic acid based serum in your routine. This is what changed the game for me. This serum is lightweight and absorbs into the skin almost instantly. I’m not sure this is worth the £24.99 full price, but it is often on offer which then I do think it’s worth picking up.
I know for a lot of us with oily skin, the thought of applying oils feels odd, but actually they can be the best thing for oily skin. The Clarins Blue Orchid Treatment Oil* is probably the product I’m most excited about for those of us with combination skin. It’s formulated to help increase hydration and keep skin balanced, which is exactly what it does. I use this in the evenings and have noticed a huge difference since doing so. My skin doesn’t feel tight like it used to and I wake up with clear skin (bar the hormonal breakouts) most days.
Last but not least, a moisturiser is still a staple if you have oily skin. I love Clinique Moisture Surge and I’m just about to run out of my second pot. It’s a gel-cream formula that sinks into the skin without leaving any greasy residue. This combined with the hyluronic serum is amazing to hydrate, plump and add glow without being a product overload. I apply the majority of to the outside of my face and work my way in, just to not overload my t-zone with product.
I hope you’re in the oily/ dehydrated skin camp you’ve found this useful. I’ve been using these products for a good while now and they’re working wonders for me.
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