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Post in Beauty Advisors

Confused about Skin Care for Combination skin

I have Combination skin and I'm so very confused about how to care for it! Moisturizers, night creams, day creams, retinol, eye cream, microdermabrasions, blah blah blah. They all mean the same to me! I know they do different things but I can't figure out what order to use them in and if you can use two different products together. Like I would like to use a retinol at night but I also like using moisturizer at night. Can I use both? Right now I do the same steps in the morning and at night: I wash my face with an acne cleanser then I moisturize with a moisturizer that has salicylic acid in it. I'm getting fine lines around my eyes and I want to use an anti-aging cream but there are sooooo many! My head spins when I go down the skin care aisle. I probably look like the girl from the Exorcist. So my question basically is what should I use on my combination skin in the morning and at night when I want to control the oil, help erase fine lines and start preventative anti-aging products?

Re: Confused about Skin Care for Combination skin

Do you have acne?

Re: Confused about Skin Care for Combination skin

I breakout a lot in my T-zone. It's not an all-over acne.

Re: Confused about Skin Care for Combination skin

If it's not actual acne that you have but more minor breakouts that you suffer from on occassion (minor ranging anywhere from 1-10 pimples/blemishes at a time, to actual acne being 12+ at any given time), try to use a targeting treatment along for the blemishes/breakouts.


Since you have combination skin, try a gel based cleanser as gels help break down oil better than a thick, creamy cleanser. Boscia's Detoxifying Black Cleanser helps use charcoal to draw out and control excessive oil while purifying pores and is packed with antioxidants to combat free radical damage. This can help with controlling the oil so your blemishes don't occur as often, but isn't solely made for acne to where you might be overdrying your skin.


Next, try a spot treatment on the blemishes, below is some good reference info on common acne ingredients:

If your blemishes tend to be red, swollen, and sensitive to the touch, I would recommend a low dosage, benzoyl peroxide treatment like Neutrogena's On the Spot Treatment that has 2.5% BP. BP introduces oxygen into the pore to clear trapped oil and bacteria, be sure not to over use or overdose on a higher percentage like 5% or even 10% as too much can lead to overdrying of the skin.


If your blemishes are hard, pustular whiteheads that you want to be rid of quickly, try a treatment with sulphur like Murads spot treatment. The sulphur dries out the whitehead so that portion is diminished and the problem area is minimized. You can apply sulphur treatments up to 3x a day, but start slow, again, too much can over dry skin.


For your general round up of blemishes, salicylic acid is the way to go as not only does it rid skin of bacteria, but it also helps to shed dead skin cells and layers that can build up and emphasize the look of break outs. Murad's acne line is enriched with SA, and Boscia's Willow Bark Treatment uses willowherb and jojoba as a more natural form of SA to treat breakouts.


A good basic eye cream to start with is Clinique's All About Eyes, it's got a good mix of ingredients to hydrate the delicate area, help depuff, brighten, and start combating the signs of aging.


Be sure to have a day moisturizer with SPF, Boscia makes some that are oil free and light weight while Peter Thomas Roth has a mattifying lotion with SPF as well if you want something to combat the oil in the t-zone.

Re: Confused about Skin Care for Combination skin

I saw that you posted this in the Skin Care category and the Ask the Experts category, for future reference, try not to post duplicate or similar threads in various categories to prevent confusion for users as to which thread to respond in. This will also assist you in keeping better track of answers and responses you recieve and prevent the forum itself from being cluttered with the same threads.


Aside from the combination skin portion, you also mention retinol and acne based products, but then question anti-aging.


In terms of skin care, if you're lost and don't know where to start, take a read of the below. I recently posted it in another skinc are thread where another user was questioning the use of products and feeling overwhelmed. This will help break down the general products and classes of items in the skin care world so you can decide if toners, treatments, and extras like masks, peels, and scrubs are necessary or gauge how imporant they are to you. From there you can have a better grasp on a regimen itself so you can find products that fit to your needs.


As for a breakdown if you feel lost of overwhelmed in the skin care world, have a look:


1. Cleansers

Cleansers help break down surface oils, bacteria, pollutants, and in general debris from the face to prep skin for proper and ultimately full utilization and absorbtion of treatment products. Without proper cleansing, the skin holds onto sweat, dirt, smog, and other invisible particles that can clog pores, promote cellular degeneration, can cause issues. Cleansers come in a variety of formulas from bar soaps, gels, oils, waters, and creams. As a general rule of thumb, gels are good for oily skin as when mixed with water it can break through oil faster than a thick cream based cleanser, creams are better for drier skin types as they help infused moisture to the skin. Oils (botantical/plant based ones) help break down things like long wear make up amazingly and mimick the natural essential oils your skin needs compared to synthetic manmade oils. Cleansing waters are very gentle on skin and bar soaps, depending on the formula can be suited for different skin types. Now again, those are general rules of thumb, so just because your skin isn't oily doesn't mean you can't use a gel. Keep in mind to look specifically at what a formula is designed for and the ingredients it has.


2 Toners

Toners aren't absolutely necessary in a skin care process, but if you prefer to utilize one you can. Toners help to restore and maintain the pH level of skin along with giving the skin a more refreshed sensation after cleansing. Many toners use soothing botanicals, moisture infusing particles, or ingredients to help start treating skin (some acne lines have toners with witch hazel as it's a natural astringent and helps with oil control).


3. Treatment

Treatments are where your eye creams and serums fall into. Any item that pinpoints or targets a specific factor, treats a specific issue, falls into the treatment category. Now it's not necessary to overwhelm and cake on a handful of treatments, as more doesn't always mean better or more results. Learn and research about ingredient and product knowledge, learn what works together well so you won't end up with two treatments that counter act one another and cancel each other out. Treatments are also where the highest concentration of active/potent ingredients are, so if you're looking to invest or get the most bang for your buck, go the treatment route. Serums fluids that absorb into skin quickly and deliver a high dose of active/treatment ingredients to skin to target issues ranging from acne, fine lines, wrinkles, pore size, sagging skin, and dark spots. They range from feeling like thicker gels to thin liquids. Spot treatments can also look like cream or lotion. Eye treatments come in any range from gels, lotions, creams, to rollerballs and are designated and designed for use around the orbital bone/under eye area rounding up to the brow bone/ridge. Your lids are very delicate and sensitive, avoid applying product to lids directly unless specified safe by a product.


*The user I posted this to questioned serums mostly, but for you, you make mention of acne based products, acne based treatments be it spot treatments, creams, etc. would fall into this category as well*



Moisturizer types range from gels, fluids, lotions, to thicker creams, Moisturizers impart and infuse moisture back into the skin after cleansing and treating. It imparts ingredients that have a main goal of ensuring hydration is achieved so skin isn't parched and left vulnerable. It also acts as the last step to "seal in" the benefits of the steps done before. Day lotions moisturizers generally are infused with  SPF ranging anywhere from 10-30 on average while night ones do not contain SPF levels. There are instances where a product is without SPF and can be used night or day, but is best mixed with SPF for day time use to still provide UV protection. Night moisturizers generally tend to be a bit richer as you're at rest rather than active, so it gives your body more stable time to repair and regenerate. Day moisturizers are lighter as they are meant to be layered with make up and can holdup to activity and elements.


5. SPF

Though SPF is sometimes tied into day moisturizers, it's not always the case. Separate SPF can be mixed in and should be applied to the body. Mixing SPF numbers does not lead to adding, so if you wear a lotion with SPF 15, but your foundation says it also has SPF 15, you are not wearing 30, you are still wearing 15. Be aware the most cosmetics with SPF will not give you the true coverage stated as one simply does not wear and layer on enough of a cosmetic grade SPF to reach the level stated, instead, rely on a sunscreen/sunblock applied before your make up, or look for a SPF in your day moisturizer.


6. Exfoliators

Exfoliators are weekly treatments that can be used anywhere from 1-3x a week depending on skin type. For excessively dry skin, one can exfoliate more, but always start the process slow at once a week and see if you need to bump it up from there. Exfoliating takes surface cleansing to a new level by attacking and breaking down layers of dead skin better than a cleanser alone. Exfoliating relies on either chemical or physical exfoliants to do the job. Chemical exfoliants are ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, lactic acid, or glycolic acid. Though they sound rough, they generally are fruit enzymes, milk proteins, and salicylic acid which not only help break down surface layers, but also helps promote healthy cellular regeneration to help with the development of newer, healthier skin cells. Physical exfoliants range from jojoba beads, sugar polymers, to very fine, micro crystals or particles and are exfoliants you can actually feel a texture on your skin. Avoid actual sugar granuals or crushed/ground up fruit seed powder as those particles are rough in texture and can scratch and inflame the skin. Exfoliators can help boost circulation to skin, improve skin tone, brighten the complexion, rid dry/dull patches, and help boost the efficiency of your treatments better as there are less dead skin layers delaying products from being absorbed quicker.


7. Masks/Peels

Masks and peels fall into a specialty category like exfoliators as they are not often performed. Generally masks and peels are used a few times a month, anywhere from 1-3x. Masks can help draw out impurities, impart moisture, and infuse beneficial properties into skin while peels are better suited for intensive brightening, evening, softening of skin/wrinkles/lines, and improving overall texture.



Re: Confused about Skin Care for Combination skin

To me it sounds like you have oily skin not combination. I see that you didn't mention anything about dryness and main concern was controlling the oil, It's fine to use retinol at night because that's really the only time to use it and during the day you need an SPF to help protect your skin, because it's sensitive to the sun even on cloudy days. I would say the Boscia black detoxifying line would be a good straight regimen for you to be on. Piling 500 producs on your skin is going to make it worse and you also wasting alot of money doing that. I would do the Boscia routine in the day and the retinol at night and if you need some moisturizer if your skin gets dry at night use the hydration gel. And leave out the salicylic if you can. Hope this helps!


Re: Confused about Skin Care for Combination skin

Hi, I completely understand. There are so many skin products that seem all the same! I too have combination skin that can be tough to manage sometimes. I would recommend using the Clinique 3-Step Skin Care System, Types 1, 2 Dry to Dry Combination. I contains a gentle cleansing soap to rid the face of dirt. Also, it contains clarifying lotion and dramatically different lotion. The dramatically different lotion is probably my favorite moisturizer of all time. I think that it would be great if you have any dry spots. Also, instead of using retinol and moisturizer at night I would recommend any anti aging moisturizer that does both. For example, I think the clinque Youth Surge Night Age Deceleration Moisure for Combination Oily to Oily would be great for your skin. It moisturizes as well as help wrinkles to fade. Also, to help your oil control for when your putting your make up on in the morning or something I would advise Urban Decay's De-Slick in A Tube Mattifying gel. All you have to do is apply it to the oily spots like the T-zone and it absorbs the oil giving a youthful gleam. Also, if you are on the go and the oil acts up I would advise blotting sheets. They are pretty inexpensive and all you have to do is quick dab and the oil is gone! I always carry these in my bad in case my face starts getting all shiny. I hope this helped a little! Good Luck!

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