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An Easy, Effective Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

Updated on December 30, 2015
Most people with combination skin break out in the "T Zone," pictured here, and have dry skin on their cheeks and the sides of their nose. However, combination skin can appear in any pattern, depending on the person.
Most people with combination skin break out in the "T Zone," pictured here, and have dry skin on their cheeks and the sides of their nose. However, combination skin can appear in any pattern, depending on the person. | Source

Combination skin is a tricky beast. It's oily in some places and dry in others, and generally characterized by acne in some spots and dry skin in others. It's important to work on treating your whole face, but products that are perfect for one section of your skin might be wrong for another.

That's why it's important to use products on your entire face that won't bother either your dry or your oily skin, and to use a few others only in certain places. Combining the two, you can have great skin with under five minutes of work in the morning and at night, and without breaking the bank.

Morning Routine

  • When you wake up, wash your face with cool water and a gentle cleanser, like Cetaphil for Normal to Oily Skin.
  • Pat your skin dry--don't dry it vigorously, just clear off any loose water--and apply a lightweight moisturizer, like Curel Fragrance Free. A thin moisturizer is lightweight enough that it won't cause your oily spots to break out, but effective enough to keep your less-oily parts from drying up over the course of the day. All skin needs moisturizer, oily or not. If oily skin is under-moisturized, your body compensates by producing more oil, which is the last thing you want.

  • Sunscreen. Sunscreen is vital, no matter the weather. You can choose either a physical or a chemical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens have a more matte feel and don't degrade under sunlight like chemical sunscreens do, but chemical sunscreens are generally cheaper and easier to find and don't leave a white cast like some physical sunscreens do.
  • To combat the white cast, physical sunscreens such as Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40 are colored medium-beige and rubs in nearly translucent. It also has a lovely texture, kind of like a mousse. A good chemical sunscreen is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50+, which feels light on your face and, as the name implies, is completely sheer. Whatever kind of sunscreen you use, remember to use a quarter teaspoon--which is more than it sounds like!--to protect your entire face.
  • After your sunscreen dries, you can apply any makeup you like to wear. Sunscreen should always be the final step of your skincare routine, after all other skincare products and before any makeup.

For More Help

The Skincare Addicts subreddit is a great place for routine advice, product reviews, and general skincare support.


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