Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Style > Beauty

How to Take Better Care of Your Combination Skin

Combination skin can be really tricky to take care of. You have to find out which parts are dry and which parts are oily and then treat those sections accordingly. If you deal with combination skin, you’re not alone! Combination skin is the most common skin type. Luckily, we have the low-down on how to identify your combination skin, how to treat it, and a few products our skin experts recommend. Get ready for your healthiest skin yet!

Identify your combination skin

Combination skin occurs when you can see sections of the face that are oily and tend to have more acne and sections of dry patches. Mia Fiona Kut, founder of Luna Nectar, a 100% natural skincare company, says “Some traits of combination skin [are] when you apply a serum or cream to moisturize, some areas of your face feel as if it has absorbed the product, but other areas feel greasy or oily. Another test is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser, then let it dry. Are some parts of your face tighter than others? Scope out the pores on your nose – are they more dilated? Do you have both blackheads and dryness on your face? If so, you have combination skin!”

Vance Soto, Owner of the OleHenriksen Face/Body Spa, echoed Kut’s words. He says, “Some of the most common traits we see in my spa OleHenriksen Face/Body Spa are oily T-zone and normal to dry elsewhere, enlarged or more pronounced pores on your nose, and dry areas over the cheeks, jawline and hairline.”

Using our skin gurus’ guidance, you can definitely identify if your skin type is combination. Looking for those different areas on your face will help you to know how to take care of your skin.

Practice a skincare routine that’s right for you

Making sure your skincare routine is on point for your skin is essential. If you’re not sure where to start, there are some basic foundation steps to follow. Founder of SkinEscens, Veronica Devine, says “We need to cleanse the skin twice daily…A cleansing wardrobe is key to [tackling] combination skin.”

Kut also stressed the importance of a good cleanser. She suggests staying away from fragranced and harsh, chemical-based products. This goes for toners and hydrators as well; pretty much anything going on your face should be fragrance free with relatively few, simple ingredients.

Soto chimed in with the suggestion of using the OleHenrikson Balance skincare linewhich he says are “the perfect skin care products for this skin type…Balance is essential to even, radiant, healthy skin.” Bonus – it’s all available at Sephora!

So now that we have a cleansing routine, we need a couple extra skin treatments to make sure we stay in tip-top shape.

Both Kut and Soto strongly suggest an exfoliation twice a week or once a week depending on how your skin reacts to exfoliating. Soto says, “If you’re more dry and sensitive, then [exfoliate] once a week.”

He added “Exfoliation is key to deeper penetration of your lotions and potions and radiant glowing skin. Our Pore Balance Facial Sauna Scrub is perfect containing volcanic sand, glycolic and lactic acids, and neemseed oil.”

Related: How to Choose the Right Exfoliation Method for Your Skin

Finally, of course, a sunscreen is essential. Soto says, “Sunblock is a non-negotiable!” and he’s absolutely right. Sun Bum sunscreen is a collegiette favorite because it smells amazing (like bananas and coconuts and the beach) and is coral reef safe! Checking to be sure your sunscreen is safe for marine life is a great way to contribute to the environment. Sun Bum can be heavy sometimes though so if you’re not going to be baking in the sun and are looking for a more light-weight, every day sunscreen, definitely try out Glossier’s Invisible Shield or Panacea’s daily SPF. Using a daily sunscreen is super important because it not only protects you from terrible sun burns but also blocks you from long-term skin damage and wrinkles.

When you find your perfect routine, stick to it!

Prevent breakouts and skin damage

Aside from your essentials, there are a few things to help you prevent a skin disaster. Each one of our skin specialists pointed out different things you can do to take care of your radiant skin.

Devine says, “Remember, our skin is the largest organ we have. Taking a mind, body, soul approach to lifestyle choices is as important for overall wellbeing, as it is for overall fantastic skin tone and texture!”She continues with these suggestions, “If you break out, for example, avoid dairy (it contains hormones which have been proven to trigger acne if you are prone to pimples), wash your pillowcases every few days (breeding ground for bacteria!), drink plenty of water for hydration from the inside out. The better you take of YOU, the better your SKIN will be.”

Kut agreed, suggesting an “inside out” method:“Nourish yourself inside for healthy skin on the outside–exercise, eat foods rich in essential fatty acids, and practice stress-relieving activities such as meditation or yoga, as stress plays a big role in the condition of your skin.”

She added, “We find that heat brings on an especially oily T-zone. Have some powder handy, and if you want to go au-naturel, arrowroot powder really does the trick.” Try this powder recipe that combines cacao powder, cinnamon powder, and arrowroot powder for a natural, perfect finishing powder!

Soto is right on board with indulging in skin self-care! He has three pro-tips for us:

1. Drink plenty of water every day.

2. Take a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil and suspend into a sink full of warm water. Perform hot towel compresses and create a mini spa treatment. Light a candle and perform your favorite mask.

3. Grate a cool cucumber into a paper towel to release the active enzymes and create a “burrito” placing over the eyes for 15 minutes and relax. Again, all about balance and taking care of you first! Especially wonderful for those with dry and sensitive skin.”

Hopefully you’ve gained some insight and helpful tips for taking the best care of your combination skin. Go forth with your healthy, glowing skin!

Marisa Pieper is a student at Arizona State University studying Communication, Fashion, and Marketing (digital & traditional). She loves to discuss the latest style and beauty trends while also reporting on things that are important to her!