#MyLittleSkincareProject - Combination Skin # 1

1 Sept 2013

A month into #MyLittleSkincareProject and it's time to discuss combination skin! Combination skin is when your skin has more than one skin type. Sometimes my skin definitely falls under the combination category, as it can often be dry, dehydrated, oily, along with a few blemishes. As a skincare adorer, I talk to a lot of people about skincare, products, skin types, treatments etc, and the majority of people I have experienced have had combination skin. How many of you think you have combination skin, or have at some point been a combination skin type? I know I have, and I bet a few of you can say you have too. Those of you who have combination skin will recognise some of the main traits of combination skin. You could have anything from a couple of these points, to a combination, some may even be severe. In those cases it's always best to seek medical advice - don't feel like you have to suffer in silence, often specific medications can help. If you have combination skin, read on to hear the skincare stories of my combination skin type bloggers. Always get a skin consultation to be sure before self-diagnosing if you are unsure, as you could end up using products for the completely wrong skin type! 
  • Combination skin is one of the most common skin types
  • Combination skin can have an oily t-zone
  • Combination skin can be prone to breakouts and blemishes
  • Combination skin can often be dry in areas in the Winter, such as cheeks
  • Combination skin can sometimes be sensitive to specific ingredients
Nuala has combination skin

"My skin seems a combination of all other skin types. I get oily around my T-zone, but the rest of my face usually feels dry. Sometimes my skin behaves itself, but there are occasions (usually before I have a nice event to go to) when I'm breaking out like crazy. I don't get spots often, but when I do, they are large and painful and can take up to a fortnight to clear. Being in my early 30's means that I need products that are not only suitable for combination skin, but also products which fight the signs of ageing. I am quite lucky, because my skin looks younger than my years. However, I used to be a heavy sunbed user which has completely ruined my skin. My skin is covered in freckles and age spots, which I am really self conscious about and I never, ever leave the house without a full coverage foundation on. I have tried various creams and serums that claim to fade dark spots, however sadly they did not really work for me. My skincare routine is pretty straight forward. In the morning I use Bioderma on a cotton pad to cleanse my face, then I use an anti-ageing moisturiser formulated for combination skin with built-in SPF, before I cake on the slap. In the evenings I always make sure to properly cleanse; first I remove most of my makeup with Bioderma, then I use a hot cloth cleanser. I'm a massive fan of hot cloth cleansers because they work really well to cleanse and exfoliate the skin in one easy step. After my hot cloth cleanser I will use a facial wash and once I'm happy that my face is completely clean, I apply a serum, an eye cream and a night time moisturiser. When I was younger I always used toner before applying my moisturiser, but this is a step I often skip now because of laziness more than anything else. I can be quite fussy when it comes to skincare and I prefer high end brands for my moisturisers and eye creams. I know high end skincare can be very expensive, but I think a good day and night moisturiser and eye cream will last me ages, so they are definitely worth investing in. I'm quite relaxed about ingredients in products when I am using brands that I trust, such as Clarins, Origins or Clinique. I will always go for a product that is anti-ageing and suitable for my combination skin, too. With my cleansers I'm not as fussy and I am happy to use a high street eye makeup remover, because I have found them to be just as good as the high end ones. I don't think I will ever be completely skin confident and although I have ruined my skin through prolonged sunbed use, I am pretty grateful that I don't look like a shriveled prune. I can wear high coverage foundations to disguise everything I don't like; which is cheaper than botox!"

Hayley has combination skin

"I like having combination skin; it sits right in the middle of not being drastically oily or desert dry, occasionally it'll sway one way or the other depending on the season or if I've added a new product into my routine, but day to day my skin is a good mix and easy to manage and keep healthy. It can be hard to get to grips with at first, but once you get your daily routine right it's simple and you'll never look back. My routine is heavily Liz Earle based, Liz Earle's skincare products cater for various skin types meaning I can use the cleanser I love while at the same time, keeping my combo skin happy! Different bits of my skin need different amounts of attention; my nose gets those classic, flaky dry bits around it (attractive), so I'll use a heavy cream there, like E45 which does the job. My t-zone gets oily so here I'll use a serum followed by the Liz Earle Skin Repair Light Moisturiser. During the summer I may opt for something a little more heavy duty, like a mattifying moisturiser, but either way when wearing makeup it'll always be followed by a swish of powder; not too much though, as I like a healthy glow but just enough to reduce the blinding gleam. The biggest problem I face with my skin is spots. This is a battle I've been fighting for the last few years; the problem areas occur in the more oily areas of my face. I have tried numerous spot treatments but have found the biggest help to be a consistent day and night routine and not overloading my skin too much. I like to keep it simple and have a few key products which I use, that I know 100% work for me. This also makes it easier when travelling, nobody likes lugging around hundreds of lotions and potions. Am I completely happy with my skin? No. I don't know if I ever will be. Sometimes no amount of treatments and cleansers can change what you naturally have, however I know that I'm giving my skin exactly what it needs and it's in the best condition it's been for the last five years. I'm Casper pale, spotty, and my skin won't agree on being just one thing, but it's the skin I've got to live with my entire life, so I've learnt to embrace it, respect it and take freaking good care of it!"

Angelica has combination skin

"I've had combination skin for as long as I can remember, but in my teenage years my skin was a lot more difficult to deal with than it is today. My t-zone used to be incredibly oily and my cheeks were very dry and sensitive, often leaving them looking rosy and something I despised. I struggle with an oily t-zone today but it is manageable. My cheeks however, probably cause me more difficulties as, especially in the Winter, they can be incredibly dry and sensitive; sometimes I even get patches of eczema. To deal with my variety of skin issues I have a targeted routine for each of my skin types with products for my t-zone and different products for my cheeks. Whilst I use the same makeup remover, cleanser and serum on my face, the rest of my routine can differ across my face. For instance, I like to use an exfoliating toner but sometimes it isn't suitable when my cheeks are especially dry, so I only use it across my t-zone and use a gentle, hydrating toner elsewhere. Similarly, in the mornings I like to use different moisturisers across my face. I use a light, gel moisturiser, usually one aimed at mattifying the skin, on my t-zone whilst I use a heavier cream moisturiser elsewhere. However, in the evenings I like to use a nourishing moisturiser and/or an oil across my whole face to keep my face hydrated to help try and restore balance to my skin. Since I began a more targeted skincare routine, one which took all of my skin issues into consideration, I have noticed improvements. My skin is more manageable, I get eczema far less often and my cheeks are considerably less rosy. My skin is certainly not perfect but it is far more manageable than ever before, and easier for me to wear makeup, too. No longer do I struggle with dry skin that was visible through foundation and concealer, that caused my makeup to flake throughout the day. In addition, although my t-zone still gets noticeably shiny throughout the day, it isn't so oily any more as to cause foundation to slide off of my face! Also, for the first time in my life, I feel confident in my own skin. The most obvious sign of this new confidence is that I don't feel as though I have to conceal my skin. My best advice is to opt for natural alternatives where you can find them - for instance, rose water makes a lovely toner or witch hazel for oilier areas of the skin, and to remember your skin is unique. Practice makes perfect and more often than not you'll stumble by chance into a great skincare routine. When you find what works for you, stick to it!"

Thank you Nuala, Hayley and Angelica for sharing your personal skin stories with us! I also asked on Twitter for you lovely readers to tweet me your top tips for combination skin and I've included them all below! Thanks to everyone who tweeted us their tips for dealing with combination skin.

@GagaAboutBeauty said... Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser all the way!
@Treasure_E_M said... I try to target the areas that are dry with specialist dry skin products, and use combination skin products to finish.
@Lianne84 said... Lush's Angels On Bare Skin is my saviour!
@Sera_McDaid said... Keep it simple.
@_Dani_Elle_ said... Angels On Bare Skin from Lush is great for balancing out the skin.
@Helen_Henderson said... Surprisingly, I find oils really help to balance out my skin, especially something like Clarins Lotus Oil.
@DrugStoreDream said... Moisturise!
@BeautifyBeth said... A good exfoliator! I use cleanser and exfoliator in one, by using the cult favourite, Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish!
@SophieLBradley said... Mixing and matching skincare in different areas always helps! Not always relying on 'combo' skin products.
@LilyDoble said... I use a heavy cream at night and an oil-free based one for the day - best of both Worlds!
@StephaniesLook said... It's okay to use different moisturisers to suit different purposes on your face; using an oil control moisturiser on the t-zone and one for dry skin on the cheeks or any dry patches. 
@YouButPerfect said... Use different products on different areas of the face; moisturisers, masks and foundation depending on your skins needs.
@ADPR_CL said... Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. My skin is always changing and this really worked for me!
@BeautAndBiryani said... Use a facial oil now and again as a treatment, even on the t-zone!
@Josharmastray said... Use a clay mask to remove impurities etc from the skin, followed by an overnight hydrating mask to keep the skin plump.
@MissEmmaLou_ said... I find that a gentle mask (nothing too heavy) helps to moisturise my dry areas, but doesn't make my oily areas too bad!
@CatDicko said... Use a mask once a week to even the skin tone and reduce oil - the REN Detox Mask is great for this!

I hope you are enjoying the #MyLittleSkincareProject posts as much as we are! Next week we will be talking normal skin for all of you lucky lovelies out there who have normal skin we all lust after! If you have any tips on how to look after or make the best of normal skin, be sure to meet me your top tips to @Tattooedtealady to be included in next Sunday's post! If you have combination skin, why not leave your skin stories below?

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