Your forehead is shining like a mirror? Your nose is oily thirty minutes after cleansing your face? Your cheeks, however, feel rather tight? Recognise this?

Chances are, you have what is called a “COMBINATION SKIN”.Combination skins are skins that have oily as well as dry parts. This can be extreme, like in my example above, especially during certain seasons.

Now what exactly is a combination skin? A combination skin is generally a skin with an oilier T-ZONE (forehead, nose, chin : like a “T”) and dryer cheeks. This condition is not temporarly, but ongoing and people with combination skin can sometimes have EXTREME differences between different parts of their face, especially during seasonal changes or extreme temperatures (summer – winter).

Often, choosing the right skincare will be horribly difficult, because in fact, you have TWO SKIN TYPES instead of one, and who wants to buy two cleansers, two toners, two creams etc.?

However, with some good understanding of your own skin, things don’t have to be so complicated.

Generally, combination skins ask for BALANCE, which can be achieved by picking up the right, gentle and non-agressive products, that your skin really needs.

As you will know from my previous articles, no skin type benefits from harsh cleansing products.You can not “degrease” oily skin, but you can try to clean your face well and gently. So choose a mild cream or milk-type cleanser, and an alcohol-free, hydrating toner.

For the oilier zone (T-zone) an occasional CLAY MASK (white clay) will be good, to deep-clean the pores. Apply twice a week during a few minutes and rinse off, using a washcloth.

Serum-wise, there’s really no difference with other skin types: spend your money on a good serum with ANTIOXIDANTS, RETINOL (vitamin A) and HYALURONIC ACID. Or buy two and use them alternatively.

Creams can be more difficult to choose, but I’d say ; go for LIGHT HYDRATION in summer and something more NOURISHING for your cheeks during the winter. During summer, a good serum & sunblock might be all you need. Or you can use a cream for you cheeks and eye contour only.

FRUIT ACIDS can be beneficial for both dryer and oilier parts of your skin, but in general I think you will want to use them on the oilier zones on a daily basis. Acid toners are excellent, but so are AHA creams.

As I have a real combination skin myself, here are a few of my favorite products:

Cleansing:Clarins Lait N/O Skin, Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser, Clinique Facial Soap Extra Mild, l’Occitane Shea Cleansing Milk.

Toning:Clarins Lotion Iris , Klapp Bèta-Glucan Toner, Lancôme Tonique Douceur, Darphin Intral Toner.

Fruit Acids/AHA’s:Lotion P50 Biologique Recherche (strong, not for sensitive skin !), Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Toner, Klapp ASA Care Cream.

Serums:Leegeehaam Hyal B5 Serum, Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum, Hydraluron Serum, Biotherm Detox serum,  Night Repair by Estee Lauder or Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule by Missha.

Creams:this is a bit more complicated, because season, lifestyle and stress will determine how dry or oily your skin is. Generally speaking, my idea is to go “light” again, or , in this case, use 2 creams, especially in the winter. A lighter one on the T-Zone and a more emollient one for the cheeks. Nice ones: Estee Lauder Daywear Normal/Combination & Nightwear, Cattier emulsion & cream (dry skin). Chanel Hydra Beauty Series.

A particularly lovely type of product to use when you need moisture with no oil, are the “ESSENCES”. We don’t really know these in Europe, but Korean women (and men) swear bij them. An essence is something between a gel-like serum and a moisturizing toner. Kind of a “gel-toner” if you like. Rich in moisture, but without any oily feeling. Lovely, lush. Good ones : Missha Time Revolution Essence, Klairs Unscented Toner, Cosrx Hyaluronic  Hydro Power Essence. Time to do an article on Korean skincare, anyway….

You can use these essences as an extra step, or when you want to avoid a cream on oilier zones. Or to supply your cheeks & eye contour with extra moist when it’s needed. You can also use it instead of a toner, but I would personally never save on moisture care products for my skin.

Where to buy?

Korean Skincare : Little Wonderland (Webshop)

Mad Hippie : Natuurlijk Zuiver (Webshop)

Cattier : Natuurlijk Zuiver (Webshop) or DI (Belgium)

Darphin : some perfumeries and Depositaries

L’Occitane : have their own shops

Klapp: Depositaries (Beauticians’ brand)

Other Brands : Perfumeries and Department stores

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