My skin has been acting up this winter. I get small pimples around my jaw line and cheeks, sometimes even my forehead. Usually my skin is fairly smooth but a bit oily so this is a whole new scenario for me. Based on the area where the problem occurs I figured it must be a classic T-zone problem: areas around it are not getting enough hydration and start to develop sebum which blocks my pores. Ouch!
Hydration has always been tricky with oily skin. After reaching 30 my skin has started to dry a bit so I'm no longer using the harshest of mattifying skin care. But apparently I still need some adjusting. I have not used dry skin products in my life, so this took some research.
1. Understand the problem
If you have oily skin and have ever tried to use products designed for dry skin you know the combination is a nightmare. Heavy creams feel awful, block the pores and cause all sorts of issues from redness to blackheads and pimples. The trick is to find a product that gives hydration and not moisture. Combination skin isn't really in need of products that “lock moisture into the skin” ie. form a layer on top of the skin surface that prevents hydration from evaporating. Instead we need a product that intensly hydrates, delivers the hydrating agents deep into the skin and help skins' own functions.
The ultimate hydrator is hyaluronic acid. It retains moisture like no other ingredient. Reach out for Biotherm Aquasource Everplump range or the new L'Oreal Hydragenius products.
2. Maximize and optimize while you sleep
During the day combination skin looks nice and fresh with a simple basic moisturiser. If you try to treat the dry areas heavily in day time you risk getting oily skin before noon and might also experience problems with getting your makeup to stay in place. Night time is when you want to treat the dryness and wake up with soft and plump skin. You might want to switch you night cream to a more nourishing one during the winter months any way, but the real saviour is a sleeping mask that you use topically to dry areas. Whatever you do, don't apply extra layers of regular moisturizer to offset the dryness, it will just end up blocking your pores and result in impurities (which is exactly what's happening on my skin now...)
My all time favorite is the Lancôme's overnight mask. It's so soft and luxurious and still not too heavy on my skin. A really good drugstore option is the Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream.
3. Help out your skin during the day
Did you think that face mists were only for hot summer days? Actually, they are most beneficial during the cold and dry months – after all they exist to hydrate our face when moisture is hard to find. It took me a while to realize this, some how it feels more intuitive to sprizt on some when it's hot and when I'm freezing the last thing I need is a cold spray. But there are some pretty spectacular winter options out there.
Kiehl's Cactus Flower mist is great with its essential oils. And the scent is divine! Flower-based mists are also great in winter, for example the Jurlique Rose Water mist which is designed to soften the skin.
Combination skin can be tricky as it changes over time and seasons. Luckily testing and reviewing products for combination skin comes naturally for me!