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Post in Combination Skin

Yesterday I found out that I have combo skin

I need help to get started with my skin care, I used products that were not for my skin type and now I have acne and very visible pores 

Re: Yesterday I found out that I have combo skin

@Ozy01  I also have combo skin, though mine's mostly dry. Combo skin can be tricky: gotta keep it well hydrated (even the oily parts, since oily skin can also become dehydrated) and moisturized without swamping the oily zone. To start, try a simple routine: 


1. Makeup remover (PM, if you wear makeup) - can be pretty much any oil cleanser, micellar water, cleansing balm, etc. For eye makeup, I use Paula's Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover (the liquid, not the ineffective wipes). For nearly everything else, I use The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm 5 oz/ 150 mL . 


2. Gentle cleanser (PM, & maybe AM) - you might be able to wash just once a day, preferably at night. However frequently you wash your face, you'll want something that doesn't strip your skin or give you a "squeaky clean" feeling, no matter how greasy your oily zone is. 

My PM cleanser is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar. It's the bar version of the popular CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, which could also work well for you. Since I shower at night, I use the bar on my body and face (I have dry body skin). Also consider Paula's Choice: visit their site and browse their cleansers. You can buy samples or travel sizes of many of their products to test. 

In the morning, I either use Paula's Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser (a very gentle no-lather cream cleanser) or simply wipe my face down with a wet plush microfiber cloth, depending on what my skin needs. 

3. Acne treatment(s) - this depends on what kind of acne you have, but the usual go-tos are salicylic acid (BHA), benzoyl peroxide, and a retinoid (retinol, retinaldehyde, tretinoin, adapalene, etc.). Of those, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids are the most effective. Also consider azelaic acid. 

Benzoyl peroxide: mercilessly destroys acne-causing bacteria. Can cause irritation (usually lots of little red bumps that don't itch) if used heavy-handedly, and this stuff will stain clothing and sheets. But consider Paula's Choice CLEAR Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide 2.25 oz/ 67 mL for starters. That's a product I wish I could use (I'm allergic to benzoyl peroxide 😞 : my reaction goes beyond the typical red bumpy irritation some folks get). If you find your skin doesn't tolerate a leave-on product, you can try a wash-off product; the only one that comes to mind right now is PanOxyl. 

Retinoid (I recommend applying this after your moisturizer, and only after your skin's used to the rest of your new routine): generates new skin faster. Can also speed up the acne process to purge crud from your pores. The first I retinoid think of for acne is adapalene, sold OTC as Differin or La Roche-Posay Effaclar. (I've even seen a Walgreens generic version of adapalene.) Or you can get Rx strength adapalene from a dermatologist or your primary doctor. A derm might prescribe tretinoin instead, or recommend an OTC retinol product—and there are tons of retinols on the market. I currently use a retinaldehyde product, but one of my starter retinoids was The INKEY List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL . Paula's Choice also makes some retinol products worth considering. 

I recommend holding off on a retinoid until your skin's used to the rest of your new routine. That'll reduce the chance of irritation, since retinoids can be very irritating during the first month or use. Then you can start using a retinoid once or twice a week for a few weeks, and gradually increase frequency. You can also apply a retinoid over your moisturizer to help buffer irritation and ensure your skin's well hydrated and moisturized. 

Azelaic acid: not only does it attack acne-causing bacteria, it also gradually fades post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH, the dark spots left behind by acne) and acts as an antioxidant. I alternate between Paula's Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster 1 oz/ 30 mL (also contains a bit of BHA) and The Ordinary Azelaic Acid 10% Suspension Brightening Cream 1 oz/ 30 mL . You can also get a 20% azelaic acid Rx from your doctor. Azelaic acid plays nice with retinoids and BHA, so I often layer it with either of those. 

BHA (salicylic acid): well-known hater of acne-causing bacteria. Is oil-soluble, so it can sink past your skin's natural oils and get down into your pores to degunk 'em. (AHAs—glycolic acid, lactic acid, etc.—are water-soluble, not oil-soluble, so they typically can't get down into your pores.) BHA can also exfoliate (remove dead skin cells from the surface of your face), and it's anti-inflammatory. I rotate through several Paula's Choice BHA products, including Paula's Choice CLEAR Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid 4 oz/ 118 mL , PC's 4% BHA, and Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting BHA 9 Treatment 0.3 oz/ 9 mL (which is stronger than most folks need). Many people love Paula's Choice Mini Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 1 oz/ 30 mL . Also consider The INKEY List Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Blemish + Blackhead Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL . 

4. Moisturizer - apply to damp skin to seal in extra hydration. I could list a few pricey options, but several drugstore moisturizers work as well as or better than their expensive counterparts and contains better ingredients. 

I use Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer each morning and night on my whole face. Its main moisturizing ingredients are squalane and ceramides. It moisturizes my dry zones without making my oily zone feel like a grease pit. A similar product is CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion (can be used day or night despite its name), which also contains niacinamide, a good ingredient for pore size maintenance among many other things. 

Some folks love CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, which is more occlusive than the 2 options I just mentioned: it contains dimethicone and petrolatum, 2 good moisturizer ingredients. (Petrolatum is the most occlusive skincare ingredient available. Contrary to popular belief, petrolatum doesn't smother skin, stop skin from "breathing," clog pores, put toxins into your bloodstream, cause cancer, or whatever else the "clean beauty" crowd claims. It's fantastic for dry skin. Dimethicone tends to work better for oily skin than dry skin.) If my face is in red itchy bad reaction mode, I use Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Relief Cream which is a body lotion. You could also look at some Paula's Choice moisturizers at their side (Sephora doesn't carry many of them). 

5. Broad spectrum sunscreen that's at least SPF 30 (AM) - apply each day your skin's exposed to sunlight (even if you're indoors or in a car) and reapply every couple hours, regardless of weather or season. 

Which one you like depends on personal preferences: chemical vs. physical/mineral vs. hybrid (all 3 types are effective); matte vs. natural/radiant vs. dewy/glass skin finish; tinted vs. invisible vs. "a white/gray/purple cast doesn't bug me." A reliable option is Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++ 1.7 oz/ 50 mL , an invisible chemical sunscreen that gives me a natural finish. I also like Saie Sunvisor Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 35 , a tinted mineral sunscreen with a radiant finish, as well as OMI Verdio UV Moisturizer Essence SPF 50 (chemical, radiant/glowy finish) and Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50 (hybrid, dewy/glass skin finish). I'm not super fond of mattefying sunscreens, so I can't think of one to recommend. 

Try that routine for a month and then reassess your skin. Then you can decide if you need to add additional skincare steps or tweak your products. 

RE: Yesterday I found out that I have combo skin

1) Fresh- soy face cleanser (tbh reducing my use of cleanser helps my complexion in the winter months when i’m more dry) 2) Fresh- rose deep hydration face cream at night 3) MOST IMPORTANT: either Dr. Dennis Gross- alpha beta extra strength daily peel OR Drunk elephant- TLC framboos glycolic night serum This is my current routine after trying many many sephora products. I also really love tiber river rebel w/o a cause mu remover in place of cleanser. I’ve found this to help with everything but cystic acne 😕 I have no solution for that yet!
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