We might be bias, but to us skin health is the crucial first step in every morning ritual. Having healthy skin affects our appearance, and it impacts our overall health and wellbeing. Importantly, in turn it impacts our self confidence and our ability to get the best out of ourselves. The good news is, starting and maintaining healthy skin is really easy – like 5 minutes a day easy!
The first step to effective skin health is to understand more about our skin type. Once we know if we have normal, dry, oily or combination skin we can then tailor a simple yet effect daily ritual to perform the fundamentals and address any additional personal skin challenges we may face
Each skin type comes with its own set of special needs and requires effective and tailored skincare to cultivate skin health and overall confidence
In this comprehensive guide we explore what combination skin-type is, what causes it, and how to effectively care for it
What is Combination Skin?
Combination skin is exactly as it sounds; your skin sits somewhere in between the common skin types; normal, dry and oily
The T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) tends to be oily, while the rest of the face ranges from normal to dry. Combination skin can show up in the form of area-specific blackheads, breakouts, large pores and red patches. It can also show up with dry cheeks and flaky skin, and noticing some skin sensitivities
Usually we inherit combination-skin (genetic), but there are also occasions when our skin type can change, in the short or medium term, and usually because of environmental factors such as local/seasonal climate effects, diet, hormones, stress, as well as using skincare that is either irritating or not suited
The good news is; by understanding your skin’s specific needs we can customise a daily routine to support and improve combination skin
What Makes Combination Skin Better?
Having combination skin often feels like you’re battling two very different issues at once. And with different requirements for different areas of the face comes uncertainty and difficulty in choosing the right products to use
The best way to work with combination skin is to address all of your skin concerns in the one routine; a harmonious approach utilising products that balance pH levels and manage your overactive oil glands without irritating the dry areas, maintain hydration and effectively nourish the skin. Here are the important daily approaches:
Use a gentle cleanser every single day. In the morning to wake up the skin, and at night to cleanse away the days impurities. Look for a pH-balanced cleanser, ideally formulated with natural ingredients, to effectively yet gently remove impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils. The Hunter Lab Charcoal Cleansing Stick utilises charcoal and green tea to deeply cleanse and remove impurities while softening and nourishing the skin. If you’ve worn makeup or an SPF throughout the day, consider double-cleansing to make sure the skin is appropriately clean
Moisturising is crucial for combination skin – a really good moisturiser will help balance the skin’s oil production, which is important in both the dry and oily parts of the face. Look for a lightweight, water-based moisturiser. Don’t be put-off by moisturisers containing effective natural oils; these won’t make your skin more oily – they’ll do the opposite.
Consider increasing your moisturiser use in winter and less-so in summer to combat environmental changes that occur in combination skin. In winter the skin can becomes drier due to cold weather and wind, indoor heating and hot showers. The Hunter Lab Daily Face Fuel is a lightweight, nutrient rich daily facial moisturiser that includes natural ingredients such as passion flower, wakame extracts and macadamia seed oil to nourish your skin without irritation, making it perfect for combination skin
Use Sunscreen Daily
Sunscreen is a must for all skin types, including combination skin. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s wearable every day. At night, don’t forget to cleanse, so that the skins pores don’t clog up with the greasy residue some SPFs leave.
Exfoliating once or twice a week will help to remove dead skin cells and unclog the pores. While combination skin isn’t as sensitive as dry skin, it’s still important to avoid strong facial acids or over-exfoliating. Look for a gentle exfoliant that contains natural ingredients and always moisturise after exfoliating, such as the Cleansing Facial Scrub
Take the time to Mask-up
A weekly face mask is not just a beautifully relaxing self-care moment – it effectively works to cleanse your pores a little deeper than your daily cleanser. Look for a high quality natural mask, like the Hunter Lab Charcoal Mud Mask, which is super effective yet gentle on the skin. This mask contains activated charcoal that removes impurities, and aloe vera, vitamin A and E to hydrate, soothe and nourish your skin. Simply apply to clean, dry skin and leave on for 10 minutes. Apply a moisturiser once you’ve rinsed it off with water. You’ll never feel softer skin!
What Makes Combination Skin Worse?
When you have combination skin, the wrong product or specific ingredients can quickly transition your face into the oily or dry skin categories. There are several factors that can exacerbate the qualities of combination skin worse; look out for the below:
Using harsh cleansers that strip the skin of its natural oils can and will irritate combination skin. Avoid cleansers that contain sulphates, alcohol, and other harsh ingredients. Gentle and effective cleansing won’t compromise your skin’s natural barrier
Overusing Skincare Products
Using too many products can overload the skin and make combination skin worse. Stick to a simple skincare routine that includes a cleanser, moisturiser, and sunscreen, plus a weekly exfoliant and mask
Using the wrong products
Treating combination skin with harsh products can stimulate sebum production, often causing more oil production in the T-zone. It can also aggravate dry skin, making it particularly flaky and irritated. Keep your skincare simple, natural and gentle
Skipping sunscreen can lead to sun damage, which can worsen combination skin. It can also lead to premature ageing and an increased risk of skin cancer. Using sunscreen every day will protect your skin from harmful UV rays
Using Heavy Moisturisers
Using heavy moisturisers that sit on the skin can clog the skin and throw out its balance. Look for lightweight moisturisers that provide hydration without clogging pores
The best ingredients for combination skin
It’s important to choose skincare ingredients that hydrate and nourish your combination skin without causing excess oil production. Some of the best ingredients for combination skin include hyaluronic acid, which is a powerful humectant that attracts and retains moisture in the skin, and niacinamide, which can regulate sebum production and improve skin texture. Antioxidants like vitamin C can help protect your skin from environmental stressors and support collagen production, leading to brighter and firmer-looking skin. The Hunter Lab Marine Healing Essence is a daily skin treatment that helps reduce inflammation and free-radical stress. Formulated with 97% naturally derived ingredients, it features microalgae, bladderwrack and wakame marine extracts to help calm, soothe and heal, Advanced Mushroom Complex to reduce inflammation, and Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid to balance pH levels and hydrate
A daily routine for Combination Skin
Combination skin requires a balanced approach that addresses both oily and dry areas of the skin. With the right skincare routine and products, you can achieve healthy and radiant-looking skin that makes you feel your best
1. Cleanse (Morning & Night)
The right cleanser will depend on your unique type of combination skin, as you might have more oiliness or more dryness as the seasons change. In general, look for a gentle cleanser and combine with lukewarm water to wash your face both morning and night.
2. Tone (Morning & Night)
A toner is essential for combination skin. Hunter Lab’s Marine Healing Essence is designed to calm irritated skin and reduce redness, balance the skin and provide a much-needed boost of moisture. Apply to dry skin immediately after cleansing morning and night.
3. Exfoliate (2-3x Per Week)
Using an exfoliator is one of the best ways to reduce T-zone buildup and acne. There are two types, physical exfoliators which uses beads to physically scrub away build up, and chemical exfoliators which a more gentle-on-the-skin option for those prone to irritation.
4. Moisturise (Morning & Night)
Moisturising is one of the most important steps for combination skin. Use a lightweight moisturiser in the morning and apply after cleansing and toning. At night, use a richer option that will renew skin while you sleep.
5. Face Oil (Night)
A nutrient rich face oil is a great solution for combination skin, especially those that are balancing and hydrating. You can use it at night and apply after your moisturiser, or mix the two together.
6. Sunscreen (Morning)
A high SPF is the best way to protect skin and prevent premature ageing and wrinkles. Apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every morning at least 20 minutes before going outside.
7. Use a Mask (Weekly)
A mask can help reduce congestion in the T-zone. Opt for a clarifying formula that cleans without stripping away essentials nutrients or moisture and apply at least once a week.
Make Your Ritual a Habit
The best way to get results from your skin care routine is to be consistent. Keep on top of your daily routine and you’ll get your tricky Combination Skin under control in no time at all.