8 Things You Need To Know If You Have Combination Skin

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"Combination skin is skin that has areas that could be described as oily in combination with drier area, although due to the distribution of the oil secreting (sebaceous) glands of our face, we all have combination skin to some degree," explains consultant Dermatologist Dr. Justine Hextall. "In some individuals, I feel that skincare regimes cause areas of dryness and sensitivity, hence the term combination."

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When you have combination skin, it can be hard to navigate the skincare aisle and form a skincare routine that targets your oily zones, while simultaneously hydrating drier patches. Here, Justine explains what you need to know…

1. Check you have the right routine

"It is very tempting to use heavy, often alcohol based cleansers when oiliness is a concern. The issue with this is that the skin barrier can become unbalanced and become inflamed, dry and in fact often produce more oil in areas to compensate. This may be referred to as 'combination skin' when, in fact, it is unbalanced skin as a result of the wrong skincare regime."

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2. Opt for a gentle cleanser

"I recommend a gentle wash, that matches the skin's natural pH, such as The Harley Medical Group's DermaQuest Essential Daily Cleanser. When skin is rinsed, it should feel calm and hydrated not tight. This skin-friendly approach stops the over production of oil to compensate. A light moisturising lotion keeps skin hydrated without being comedogenic (a tendency to cause blackheads by blocking the pores of the skin)."

3. Invest in a serum

"A serum is always recommended as an active treatment to protect skin and help the cells to regenerate. I favour antioxidants to protect the skin against daily stresses such as pollution and UV exposure. Serums are light, often water-based and well tolerated. After the serum has been absorbed, a light moisturiser (preferably a lotion or hyaluronic acid gel) should be applied to keep skin hydrated and maintain that glow."

4. Exfoliate – but sparingly

"Exfoliation is helpful to remove dead skin cells and excessive oil. I recommend this no more than twice a week and often a hot flannel rubbed firmly over the skin will effectively remove any build up on skin. I also recommend having a professional treatment every four weeks, where possible."

5. Got acne? Use a light vitamin E cream

"The same rules apply. A gentle wash stops the skin becoming to dry and sensitive. Salicylic acid in washes and masks work to breakdown the build-up of skin and oil in blocked follicles, and also soothe skin. Benzyl peroxide again helps to unblock pores and reduce inflammation. Interestingly studies have shown that benzyl peroxide reduces vitamin E in skin a natural antioxidant so I always recommend applying a light vitamin E cream when treating acne."

6. Calm and hydrate dry, flaky skin

"Again, gently exfoliate skin once or twice a week. Apply a calming and hydrating mask, looking for ingredients such as vitamin E, glycerin, salicylic acid, calendula and aloe vera. Remember it may be your cleanser that unbalances your skin. Try a cleansing lotion, rinsing with a mineral water spray such as Avene Eau Thermale."

7. Have a mattifying balm for shiny t-zones

"Personally, I recommend Dr Feelgood Mattifying Balm by Benefit. This balm removes shine and minimises pores in oily areas. Skin looks smooth and flawless without appearing dull and powdery, perfect for combination skin."

8. Keep foundation coverage light and minimal

"Avoid heavy coverage and powder based bases as oily bases may exacerbate acne and powder compacts will highlight areas of dryness and make skin appear dull and lifeless. I love Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, it is light and lifts skin reflecting light away from problem areas giving the illusion and clear hydrated skin."

From: NetDoctor

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