Putting together a skincare routine for combination skin can be difficult. After all, so many products cater to dry, oily, or sensitive skin. Therefore, if you have combination skin, browsing the shelves might make you feel lost or confused. Thankfully, at Poko, we know exactly what to do. If you're a little mystified about how to put together a proper skincare routine, fear not!
We want to tell you all about combination skin - what it is, how to tell if you have it, and how to put a routine together. While all skin is good skin, combination skin requires a little more attention, just because there's no one-size-fits-all routine. In fact, even the best skincare for combination skin might fall short - especially if you haven't done your research. So, from the top, here's how to put together a skincare routine for combination skin.
What is combination skin?
Before we help you put together a skincare routine, we should first establish what exactly combination skin is. Generally, you might be aware of the three main skin types. These consist of:
- Dry skin, where your skin can feel tight after washing.
- Normal skin, which is generally problem-free.
- Oily skin, where your skin can start to feel oily very quickly, even after washing.
By now, we know that our skin generally isn't relegated to these types. For example, we now know about ageing skin, dehydrated skin, and sensitive skin. However, when it comes to combination skin, it's important to pay attention to the three different skin types on our list. This is because combination skin is simply a combination of two of the other skin types.
Therefore, this simply means that your skin can be either dry and normal, or oily and normal. Plus, while this might seem like an oxymoron, combination skin can also be oily and dry at the same time. Combination skin can occur in different ways; your forehead might be dry, but your cheeks and chin might be on the more oily side. It's important to take all these things into account, when coming up with a skincare routine for combination skin.
How do I know if I have combination skin?
To properly care for your skin, it's extremely important to know your skin type. While you can make an appointment with a dermatologist, you can also figure out your skin type at home. Our favourite method is to simply wash your face, and wait for the results. Gently cleanse your face with your favourite cleanser - and then wait for 30 minutes. While you wait, hit pause on the rest of your skincare routine; we want the skin as bare and natural as possible for this test.
Once the 30 minutes are up, take a good look at your skin. If it still feels dry and tight, then it's likely that you have dry skin. Conversely, if your skin looks a little shiny, then you have oily skin. Your skin could also be completely clear, clean, and supple - which means that you have normal, perfectly balanced skin. However, if your skin is a combination of these things, then it's likely that you have combination skin.
If you think you might have combination skin, look out for an oily forehead and nose. This is, after all, a tell-tale sign of oily skin. You should also pay special attention to your cheeks and chin. If you do have combination skin, then your cheeks and chin will look and feel dry. In extreme cases, these areas can feel tight, or appear flakey - especially when compared to the rest of your skin.
Regardless, if your chin or cheeks differ in appearance from your forehead and nose, then it's very likely that you have combination skin. Now that you know you have combination skin, it's time to come up with the perfect skincare routine!
What's the perfect skincare routine for combination skin?
If you're aware of your skin type, it's likely that you'll want to know all about the best skincare for combination skin. However, every skin type is different. For example, you might have an oily forehead, but dry skin under your eyes. In this case, you'll probably need a moisturising eye cream to gently hydrate the area under your eyes. Your forehead, on the other hand, might need lighter, less occlusive skincare products.
Conversely, someone with dry-normal combination skin might need a different skincare routine. Therefore, while there's no general skincare routine for combination skin, you can definitely come up with one that works for you. All it takes is a little research, a little experimentation, and you'll have the perfect skincare routine before you know it. However, to ensure that you aren't going in unaware, we've put together a set of guidelines. If you're looking for some daily skincare for combination skin, this is what you should know!
A skincare routine for combination skin is all about balance!
Trying to balance combination skin can definitely be a little difficult. At first, you might have to address different areas specifically. For example, you might want to use a hydrating moisturiser on your dry skin areas. However, you'll want a lighter option for more oily areas. In this situation, it can be tempting to go with quick-fix skincare products, or products with harsh ingredients. That's right - put down the coconut oil and slowly back away from it.
Instead, consider this: when your skin is balanced, it's less likely to exhibit extreme behaviours. This means that balanced skin might not be as oily as unbalanced skin. This also goes for dry skin; when it's balanced, it's less likely to feel tight, or look dry and flakey. Therefore, the first step of coming up with a simple skincare routine for combination skin is to simply focus on balance.
Here's a little secret - trying to balance combination skin actually all comes down to hydration. That's right; we all need certain levels of hydration. If your skin is dry-oily, it needs moisture. While hydration might seem crucial in caring for dry skin, it plays a role in helping the more oily areas, too.
Many people assume that oily skin shouldn't be moisturised, as this can make things worse. However, if you don't hydrate your skin - regardless of its type - it will produce even more oil. This can make your skin look oilier than before, exacerbating the situation. With that said, opt for lighter moisturisers; too occlusive or heavy, and this can cause an oily sheen. Additionally, try a facial oil as a surface moisturiser before heading to bed. This helps hydrate your skin, sealing the moisture in. Over time, this will help reinforce your natural moisture barrier, helping your skin stay balanced.
Change happens, and that's okay
When looking at skincare for combination skin in the UK or Ireland, you'll have to take the weather into account. By now, you'll know that the weather, and the changing seasons, can definitely affect your skin. Many people experience oily, sensitive skin in the summer, and dry, dull skin during the winter. If you have combination skin, you'll want your skincare routine to address these changes. However, this is merely one changeable factor in your skincare journey.
In fact, other factors like stress, ageing, and personal changes can cause a change in your skin. After all, with combination skin, the slightest deviation from your routine can inspire some... interesting changes. Don't fret, we've all been there. Instead, remember that you can't really avoid these changes, and that for the most part, change is completely normal. Instead of focusing on how to tackle these issues, simply give your skin some time to adjust.
However, you can also help your skin along. For example, if you're experiencing changes due to the weather, or transition seasons, observe what it needs. Your skin might get even more dry and flaky during the winter, which means that it needs more moisture and hydration. In this case, swap your regular moisturiser for a gentle, yet deeply moisturising option. Stay away from occlusive options, as this can irritate your already sensitive skin. Instead, look for a moisturiser packed with soothing, hydrating emollients - like our Light Hydrating Moisturiser.
With combination skin, skincare is all about experimenting
Earlier, we mentioned that there's no, "best skincare routine for combination skin", as our skin can differ from everyone else's. This means that to formulate a step-by-step skincare routine for combination skin, you'll have to experiment a little bit. By trying out different products, different active ingredients, and different combinations, you'll be able to find what really works for you.
For example, your skin might be dry-normal, which means that you'll work to address dry patches. Here, active ingredients like hyaluronic acid could come in handy. You'll also want to reinforce your natural moisture barrier, which will keep your skin hydrated for longer. However, if you have oily skin, you'll want to look into light, non-occlusive serums. If your serum or moisturiser is too thick, it might hydrate your skin, but it'll also make it look even more oily. Additionally, this could further exacerbate your skin-related issues by clogging your pores and causing breakouts.
By now, you'll know that skincare routines for combination skin are all about balance. Therefore, to find the perfect products, you'll want to buckle down and do some research. Look for skinfluencers, TikTok gurus, or YouTubers with a similar skin type. By emulating their skincare routines, you might find products or routines that work for you. However, if your combination skin errs on the more unique side, speak with a dermatologist or a licensed aesthetician. More often than not, they can point you in the right direction, and help you take better care of your skin.
As with every other skin type, consistency is key!
While trial and error is key to finding your combination skin holy grails, it's just as important to stick to what works for you. Once you find a skincare product that works give it time to work its magic. Add it to your skincare routine, and be consistent with how and when you use it. Sure, it might be tempting to come up with a skincare cocktail - especially while trying to figure out the right order.
For example, if you're using our Soothing Serum to help with breakouts and access oil production, don't switch it out or mix it with other skincare products after a couple of weeks. Instead, be consistent with your skincare routine, and you should see positive changes over time. If the results aren't immediate, don't switch products right away because with any good skincare, you need to give at least 6 weeks to see the results.
Instead, with a little time and patience, you'll see a difference. After all, with skincare, the journey matters. Why not take that to another level, and use your PM routine for a little TLC? Take your time cleansing your face, before applying your skincare products - this could help you relax after a long, stressful day. Plus, it'll help you familiarise yourself with your skin's texture and tone. Therefore, you'll be able to note any positive changes as they happen!
Ultimately, a combination skincare routine is all about you
If you have combination skin, certain conditions will crop up more frequently than others. Therefore, these conditions - excess oil production, flaky skin, a compromised moisture barrier - might all take precedence over other, minor conditions. Due to this, your skincare routine should target these specific combination skin issues. You'll want to try out active ingredients, daily alternatives, and treatments that will help address them.
As all skin is different, it's difficult to pinpoint a perfect skincare routine for combination skin. Instead, it'll take some trial and error, changing your products, and checking in with your skin until you're happy with the results. However, remember not to give up - the journey to good, healthy skin is a worthwhile one. With enough time and research, you'll come up with the best skincare routine for you, and you'll never look back!