Guestober | Caring For Combination Skin

I’m Abi. I’m 28 and I have the skin problems of a teenager - it’s greasy, I get spots and it is unpredictable from one day to the next, never mind one season to the next. I spent most of my twenties waiting for the day when I’d have normal skin and I didn’t get spots, but (spoiler alert) that day never came. In fact, the more I read about how to help my skin, the more I realise that there’ll probably never be a time in my life when I don’t have issues.

Woe-is-me tale aside, you’re probably reading this (and Beka’s blog) because you deal with similar issues. The best way to deal with difficult skin is to share the knowledge and find what’s best for you, which is why I’ve pulled together my knowledge from experimenting with all sorts of products for you. Moisturising Many people with greasy skin turn to products like Clearasil to help dry it out, thinking that greasy skin needs to be beaten into submission with what I can only imagine to be some sort of acid (I’ve used Clearasil, that’s always what it felt like). If you can’t tell from my wording and the subtitle - this is not the case. Greasy skin, if dried out radically, will compensate by producing more oils to rehydrate itself. And so a horrible cycle begins. I use 2 different moisturisers depending on the time of year or how my skin feels, there both No7 by Boots. One is lightweight and the other is an early defence anti-aging one which slightly heavier. I like both of these products because they fall on that fine line of moisturising enough to keep my skin in check, but not so heavy that they sit on my skin and make it oily again. One that did that for me was by Vichy, I had high hopes but it ended badly. Unfortunately, moisturisers are something you have to experiment with, but a good idea of what works for a few different people might help. Cleaning I’ve called this section cleaning because I think washing would be a little untrue. An overly strong face wash can do some serious damage. My worst experience was because of Clearasil (hence the above mention) which led to me having to go makeup free for 3 weeks and dab the oil from my skin at least twice a day at work - it was that bad. Now, I’ve again created an odd little routine here because too much of one way of cleaning my face upsets its overly delicate balance. I have 3 techniques which seems like a lot but each has a purpose. Technique one is usually a morning wash and I used DHC Cleansing Oil. If you’ve never ventured into cleansing oils, now is the time and this is the oil. Honestly, I’ve tried a few other brands (mainly to try and cut cost) but nothing comes close. Grab a sample bottle and see what it can do. Technique two is good old cleanse, tone and moisturise. I use this to remove makeup or as a general care routine at the end of the day. This, I have found, helps to rebalance my skin after makeup and helps with my large pores. I wouldn’t do this for every face wash because I think toner would start to be too harsh, but in moderation is helpful. I use Simple because it’s affordable and as free from crap as possible. Technique three is gentle face wash and an exfoliating pad. With combination skin, no matter what I do, I end up with dry bits somewhere. This exfoliating happens approximately every other day, sometimes less, to keep dry patches at bay. Makeup I used to think of makeup as the thing that camouflaged my bad skin and I never considered how it might be contributing to it. There are two things to look out for here - primers and foundations. It might seem obvious to you now but it took me ages to consider the impact of these base elements of makeup. With primers, we’ve got our work cut out with greasy skin, because most of us have large pores as well. So, here’s the challenge - find a primer that doesn’t make skin oily while being substantial enough to hide big pores. It feels nearly impossible, but I genuinely think I’ve found something - NYX Cosmetics Pore Filler. I swear by it. It really does make a difference to pore appearance and with the right foundation it keeps oiliness at bay. I’m wary of oil reducing or shine reducing primers as I fear they may contain drying chemicals that will set my skin off rather than assist with shine. Now, foundation is the one skin related item I play around with. I genuinely think I’ve yet to find my one and only which is why I do this, but I have a few foundations to recommend that are pretty darn good at what they do. Firstly, there’s No7 Beautifully Matte which is a winner for price, colour match and but not quite for consistency. I’m not completely in love with it because I think the consistency is a tad off for me; a little powdery and thick so I don’t think it sits quite a nicely as it could, but overall I’d recommend. Next up is L’Oreal Infallible foundation. The range has had amazing reviews and the price is flipping good. It falls down on colour match as there’s like 5 shades, and in terms of consistency, it’s thin but that’s alright because it can be built up a bit. Lastly, is Estee Lauder Double Wear. It’s pretty expensive but the colour match is pretty good and the consistency is really nice. Not to mention the wearability is brilliant, unlike No7. Each of these foundations work well with Pore Filler and help keep oily skin at bay. One that works badly with oily skin and this primer is Dermacol. My skin gets greasy and then the makeup gets patchy. It may be because they recommend use of their own primer with it, or it may be the thickness of the makeup, either way it’s a hard no for me. So, I hope my pains and gains have given you a few avenues to pursue in your combination skin journey. It’s a hard road and we travel it together. If you have any tips or tricks hit me up on @AbiBumbles.