If your skin is dry in certain areas and oily in some areas, then what you have is a combination skin type. And what you need to take care of your face is to use the best face exfoliator for combination skin.
Having two different skin types can often feel like you’re up against a battle you can’t win. Your cheeks are as dry as a desert while your forehead, nose, and chin are quite oily.
Balancing your skin and finding the right products is quite difficult, especially if you’re shopping around for exfoliators. You want something heavy enough to handle the flaky spots on your cheeks while also non-drying at the same time.
It seems impossible, but finding the right face exfoliator for your skin type is not a daunting task at all. Knowing what products are available for you and with the correct information, you’ll have a balanced, beautiful skin in no time.
- What’s A Combination Skin?
- What’s The Cause Of My Combination Skin?
- What Products Can I Use?
- Proper Skincare Routine For Combination Skin Type
- Things You Need To Consider When Looking For An Exfoliating Product
- How Do I Know If I’m Using The Right Exfoliator For My Skin Type?
- Our Top Pick for The Best Face Exfoliator For Combination Skin
- #1 Biore Daily Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser for Combination Skin
- #2 Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Tamarind and Purifying Micro-Pearls
- #3 Touch Glycolic Acid Face Wash – Exfoliating, Non Drying & Foaming AHA Cleanser
- #4 Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash
- #5 Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator
- #6 Farmacy Exfoliating Face Wash – New Day Gentle Exfoliant Grains
- #7 Grown Alchemist Polishing Facial Exfoliant – Pink Grapefruit & Glucomannan Extract
- #8 Pixi Beauty Glow Peel Pads Advanced Exfoliating Treatment
- #9 L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser
- #10 Medik8 Pore Refining Scrub Dual Action Exfoliator
- #11 Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub Grapefruit Oil
- #12 L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask
- #13 The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha 2%
- #14 Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA 8% AHA Liquid Exfoliant
- How To Exfoliate Your Skin
What’s A Combination Skin?
Combination skin simply means you have dry skin in certain areas of your face and oily skin in other areas. You’ll typically have a mix of dry and oily zones on various sections of your face. Usually, your t-zone will be slight to very oily.
No matter which area and part of your face are dry and oily, the solution you need to take to lessen the issue will be the same.
What’s The Cause Of My Combination Skin?
Several factors can cause combination skin, and in most cases, you’ll inherit if from your mom and dad. However, the daily skincare products you’re applying may make the problem even worse or may even be the culprit.
As you may have already known, any products that include harsh that aggravates your skin will cause some areas of it to dry out inevitably. Additionally, it will stimulate oil production in some parts of your face that were already oily, especially in areas around your nose.
Use the wrong products, and you’ll end up with combination skin. And although you’ll still see some amount of oiliness in your skin, using the right face products will reduce skin dryness and roughness. You’ll almost immediately see improvement in your skin when you use suitable products.
The dry areas on your face will be soft and smooth, while the oily zones will be less red and oily. Plus, your pores will be minimized as well.
What Products Can I Use?
Not all products are created equally. What works for someone you know may not work for, and vice versa. How an exfoliator and other skincare products work will depend on how naturally dry or oily your face areas are.
At the end of the day, it will all boil down to taking care of each part of your face separately. So for dry areas, do not use those with matte-finish or oil-absorbing ingredients. They may work well on the oily zones, but applying them to the oily areas of your face will make them even oilier. For this reason, you need to keep things separate.
Make sure to go for products with formulas that are lightweight and yet effective for your oily zones. Look for a liquid, thin lotion, or gel with rich and potent beneficial ingredients. The key to balancing your combination skin is understanding where and when to layer your favorite products.
Additionally, avoid anything that contains ingredients that not only harsh but skin-aggravating as well. Every part of your day or night skincare routine should not be irritating. Applying any product on your skin with stimulating products such as fragrance will make the problem even worse. The last thing you want is to have an extreme case of combination skin.
Proper Skincare Routine For Combination Skin Type
Use an effective gentle water-soluble cleanser to remove makeup, impurities, and dirt effectively. Your goal is to make sure your skin will not feel greasy, tight, or dry. Consider using a soft brush if your face needs extra cleansing.
Apply a non-irritating, soothing, and hydrating toner packed with antioxidants and skin-rejuvenating ingredients. A toner with good formula can aid in nourishing your dry skin while minimizing its oiliness.
Use a non-abrasive and gentle exfoliator to help your skin shed off dead skin cells. It will lessen your oiliness and smoothes dry, flaky or rough skin. It will also unclog your pores and leave your skin with a healthy glow.
Protect your skin from the sun during day time with an SPF 30 sunscreen. Choose a product with an extremely light formula and soft matte finish for your combination skin. Do not forget to apply a booster or nourishing serum first before the sunscreen.
Moisturize your entire face during nighttime to calm your skin. It will also lessen any excess oil on the surface of your skin while improving the dry areas.
Try to avoid touching your face as much as you can. Your hands hold plenty of dirt that are invisible to the naked eye. You’ll clog your pores if you transfer those to your face.
Additionally, if you have to constantly deal with excess shine, make oil blotting sheets you friend. They’re cheap, and you can easily fit them in your bag. It’s one of the quickest ways to remove excess grease in the middle of the day. They can absorb oil temporarily without destroying your flawless makeup.
Things You Need To Consider When Looking For An Exfoliating Product
Exfoliators have various concentrations. They also differ in methods and require several applications.
There are many exfoliating products on the market today, which can overwhelm you. Additionally, they are categorized by the following factors:
1. Mode Of Action
The process of exfoliation is simple. It gives your skin cells a nudge to increase their shedding rate. Exfoliators have two types:
This type has a formula which uses ingredients such as sugar, oatmeal, or seeds to get rid off dead skin. Its benefits are:
- It can treat the visible layers of your skin.
- It can increase the natural exfoliation rate of your skin
- Instantly smoothes your skin.
- It can help treat both visible and deeper layers of your skin.
- Using it regularly will intensify its effects.
- It can increase the natural exfoliation rate of your skin.
- Provides collagen-boosting, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial benefits.
- It doesn’t need maintenance.
These types of exfoliants have a lot of differences. Knowing them can help narrow down on which one will be the most effective at treating your skin issues.
Chemical exfoliation is the easiest and quickest exfoliation. On the other hand, a physical exfoliator is an excellent choice if you’re after an instant smooth skin.
However, what you choose will still depend on your preference. If your combination skin is coupled with acne, the better choice is a chemical exfoliant. Physical exfoliators can worsen the inflammation of your skin.
2. Skin type formulation
You can choose from numerous exfoliants, but the most common ones are the following:
- Scrub particles like finely ground seeds, powdered rice, and jojoba wax beads.
- Enzymes like papain or bromelain, which are extracted from papaya and pineapple.
- Lactic acid
- Glycolic acid
- Salicylic acid
Exfoliator products don’t usually come with a label, and some are more suitable for specific skin types. For your combination skin opt for salicylic acid and avoid glycolic acid.
All exfoliators have their strength like with coffee. For example, if your skin is tolerant and mature, you would want to go for a more potent exfoliant.
The determining factors of a physical exfoliator’s concentration are:
- Exfoliant type
- Your application
On the other hand, chemical exfoliators are more straightforward. The more of it you use, the stronger its effects are.
Make sure to choose the right concentration for your skin type. You also have to consider the results you want and your usage habits. Take note that exfoliants with higher concentration should not be used frequently.
How Do I Know If I’m Using The Right Exfoliator For My Skin Type?
Here are some tips to find out if you’re using the best face exfoliator for your skin:
1. Base your choice on the type of your skin.
Since your skin is both oily and dry in some areas, choose a less harsh product. However, make sure that it is strong enough to remove debris that’s clogging your pores such as dirt and oil.
2. The number of times you need to exfoliate.
The strength of your face exfoliator and skin type will determine how often you need to exfoliate. Oily skin requires daily exfoliation, while dry ones only need one to two times a week. Two to three times a week is the most ideal for combination skin. Do not over-exfoliate or your skin will get irritated, leading to accelerated aging.
3. Choose your face exfoliator carefully.
You have many options on the market. Unfortunately, stumbling across ineffective and unsafe products is very easy. Do your research first or choose from one of the best face exfoliators for combination skin on our list to be on the safe side. Also, if you’ll buy online or your local drug store, choose those with a low acid concentration. The ideal is 2% salicylic acid or 10% glycolic acid.
Our Top Pick for The Best Face Exfoliator For Combination Skin
#1 Biore Daily Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser for Combination Skin
Having combination skin means your T-zone is quite oily while your cheeks are a bit dry and require exfoliation. The solution for this is the Biore Baking Soda Pore Cleanser with baking soda being the star ingredient.
The powerful cleanser can remove all the dirt clogging your pores. It also possesses a gentle exfoliating ability to slough off any dry and flaky skin from your cheeks. The areas of your face will have the much-needed cleansing power without over-drying it or making you oilier.
#2 Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Tamarind and Purifying Micro-Pearls
If you’re like most people who like how a physical exfoliator feel in their face, then you’ll love the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser. The exfoliator utilizes very small micro-pearls to scrub away your dead skin cells physically.
However, it feels gentle on your face as it foams in a creamy lather. It will provide your skin with the healthy essence of tamarind while refining the oily areas of your face. Furthermore, its formula includes micro-bio-ecolia that can help maintain the natural moisture barrier of your skin.
The face exfoliator is a superb choice for your combination skin. Not only will it cleanse your skin, but it will also leave it feeling soft and silky afterward.
#3 Touch Glycolic Acid Face Wash – Exfoliating, Non Drying & Foaming AHA Cleanser
Touch Glycolic Face Wash is the perfect face exfoliator for your combination skin with acne. The chemical exfoliator contains glycolic acid to shed your skin. Your skin will not experience redness as if you would use a physical exfoliator.
Also, its formula contains chamomile, aloe vera, and green tea to help soothe any inflammation or angry skin. Plus, its low pH formulation means your skin will be able to maintain its delicate balance.
#4 Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash
Looking for a way to achieve a vibrant, healthy, and clear skin? If you want to turn around your dull combination skin, the Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash is for you.
The skin exfoliation is a mixture of fantastic ingredients such as beta hydroxy and alpha hydroxy acids. The combination will provide you with a deep-layer and topical exfoliation. This will result in an instant much more radiant complexion.
And the best thing about the product? It’s not only fragrance-free and paraben-free but vegan and cruelty-free as well. So it’s also perfect if you have sensitive skin.
#5 Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator
Give your exfoliation routine a refreshing twist with Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator. The natural exfoliator combines sweet orange, mint, and grapefruit to provide you with a smoother complexion. It also contains natural micro-grains to slough off dead skins without drying your skin.
The effective combination skin face exfoliator has a whipped formula. Its composition or perfectly, natural round corn beads will gently exfoliate your face and polish it without irritation. Your skin will be hydrated while leaving it looking healthy, clear of impurities, and silky-smooth. It is 97% made from natural ingredients, so its the best choice if you’re an earth lover.
#6 Farmacy Exfoliating Face Wash – New Day Gentle Exfoliant Grains
Farmacy New Day Gentle Exfoliating Grains contains rice bran powder, green tea, marshmallow, carrot, and cranberry seeds. The company combines advanced technologies with age-old wisdom to create a bioactive, irritant-free skincare formula. It can slough off dead skin cells while absorbing any excess oil from your skin, leaving it radiant and fresh.
Moreover, it contains a unique variant of Echinacea Purpure, which has a potent concentration of phytochemical Cichoric Acid. The ingredient is a powerful natural antioxidant which can help firm and protect your skin. It does this by slowing down those enzymes that destroy collagen. Your skin will feel calmer and smoothe after application.
#7 Grown Alchemist Polishing Facial Exfoliant – Pink Grapefruit & Glucomannan Extract
Grown Alchemist Polishing Facial Exfoliant is a skin-polishing, gentle exfoliant. It’s ideal for everyday use to remove your dead skin cells gently while stimulating cell regeneration.
The best face exfoliator for combination skin only uses certified botanical ingredients such as pink grapefruit and peppermint. Your skin will look smooth, radiant, and ready for moisturizing. On the other hand, its Konjac and Glucomannan ingredients can absorb impurities and oil. Thus, you’ll also have well-balanced, rejuvenated skin.
Its formula is also rich in Vitamin C Flavonoids, which can improve the appearance of your skin. Peppermint leaf leave and Polyphenols will leave your skin soothed and calm. The product is vegan, non-toxic, and cruelty-free as well.
#8 Pixi Beauty Glow Peel Pads Advanced Exfoliating Treatment
The highly effective Pixi Beauty Glow Peel Pads contain glycolic acid. Your skin will be healthier, more radiant, and brighter over time. The effect is intense, but it will help minimize your pores. Additionally, it will also lessen your breakouts and fine lines while evening out your skin tone.
The convenient combination skin exfoliant is rich with aloe vera and vitamin E to nourish and soothe your skin. Meanwhile, its formulation of rose water and retinyl palmitate revitalizes, hydrates, and promote collagen production.
#9 L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser
L’Oreal Revitalift Bright Reveal is a daily facial scrub and cleanser. It has a formula that contains gentle micro-pearls and glycolic acid to exfoliate impurities and dullness from the surface of your skin.
You’ll instantly see that your skin looks more radiant. Regular use will also even out your skin tone over time. However, make sure to apply sunscreen afterward since glycolic acid can increase the sun sensitivity of your skin. Keep in mind that it’s never too safe to take additional measures when it comes to protecting your face from the sun.
#10 Medik8 Pore Refining Scrub Dual Action Exfoliator
Medik8 Pore Refining Scrub offers a unique three-way attack on your oily and dry skin. It comes with biodegradable, gentle jojoba particles for sloughing away dead skin and even your make up. Its salicylic acid ingredient, on the other hand, will reduce any redness, inflammation, and redness from your acne.
The dual-action exfoliator can transform your skin completely. It even contains AHA and L-Mandelic acid which can penetrate your pores deeply for further exfoliation. All you need is a pea-sized amount for radiant, soft, and flawless skin with minimized pores. Its velvety formula can also enhance the receptiveness of your skin to your overall skincare routine.
#11 Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub Grapefruit Oil
Rather than use chemical elements, Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub is packed with plant-based active ingredients. It’s a highly effective physical exfoliator, perfect if you’re serious about exfoliating your combination skin.
You’ll see the best exfoliator for combination skin do its magic on your oily, bumpy, and dry, flaky skin instantly. Thanks to its spherical ruby crystals incorporated on its ingredients, you can get rid of grime and dead skin cells effortlessly. You’ll be left with a soft and smooth skin without the soreness. However, it’s kinder if your skin is damp, so make sure to splash some warm water on your skin first before application.
#12 L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask
L’Oréal Pure-Clay Face Mask is formulated with red algae. The face exfoliator and mask can help remove oil, dirt, and impurities building up on your skin. Its exfoliating power can slough away dead cells from the surface of your skin and smooth out any imperfections.
The ideal application is three times a week. You’ll immediately see a difference in the texture of your skin. It will appear more refined and smoother to the touch. Make sure to apply it evenly on your dry skin and leave for at least 10 to 15 minutes for the best results. Rinse thoroughly using lukewarm water, and then pat dry.
#13 The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha 2%
The Ordinary Lactic Acid is an AHA or alpha-hydroxy acid chemical exfoliant. It will help remove your dead skin cells and renew your skin with little to no effort on your part. Simply apply it on your face, let it settle, and wait for it to do its magic.
Its lactic acid ingredient can also help improve the unevenness of your skin tone and texture. Furthermore, it encourages cell regeneration to provide you with a clearer, softer, and smoother complexion. The serum is lightweight and contains Tasmanian pepper berry, which for soothing and hydrating your skin during exfoliation.
#14 Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA 8% AHA Liquid Exfoliant
If you want a daily and gentle, leave-on formula, put Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid Exfoliant right on top of your list. The chemical exfoliant will slough away your dead skins while minimizing and clearing your pores. The result is a radiant, more even skin tone. It may also reduce any visible wrinkles and fine lines.
Its salicylic formula mimics the process of natural exfoliation of younger skin by aiding it to shed excess layers. It does this while also clearing and unclogging your pores.
Use it one to two times a week after you cleansed and toned your face. Make sure to apply a broad-spectrum of sun protection when using the product during day time.
How To Exfoliate Your Skin
You may need a mix of chemical and physical exfoliation. However, do not use them on the same day to prevent skin irritation. Apply a moisturizer right away if you feel your skin is dry after the exfoliation process.
As mentioned above, exfoliation methods come in two types. Brushes and facial scrubs are types of physical exfoliation. On the other hand, chemical exfoliation involves skin peels and acids.
For physical exfoliation, the tools you may consider using are the following:
- Exfoliating scrub. You can apply this directly to your skin in a circular, gentle motion. After applying it, wash your face using warm water.
- Exfoliating brush. Usually, this tool is a bristle brush which you can use on your face or body. It can help get rid of dead skin cells. While some are meant for dry brushing, there are some that you can use as a body wash or facial cleanser.
- Exfoliation sponge. Use this tool if you want a gentler means of exfoliating your skin. You can lather it up with soap or body wash with warm water when you’re in the shower.
- Exfoliation glove. If you’re having difficulties gripping a sponge or brush, use an exfoliator glove instead. You can also lather it with body wash or soap when you’re in the shower.
Chemical exfoliation can either be the following:
- AHA or Alpha-hydroxy acid. Lactic, glycolic, citric, and tartaric acids are some examples of AHA. It will break the bonds holding your dull, dead skin cells apart on the surface of your skin. As a result, your skin will shed dead particles naturally.
- BHA or Beta-hydroxy acid. Salicylic is a good example of BHA. It’s best if your skin is prone to acne.
Do’s And Don’ts To Remember When Exfoliating Your Combination Skin
The majority of your exfoliation should focus on your T-zone area. Always follow the process by applying a moisturizer heavily on dry areas and lightly on oily areas.
Here are some useful general tips when exfoliating:
- Moisturizing will replenish any moisture removed from exfoliating. So don’t forget to apply it every time.
- Avoid over-exfoliating or your skin may flake, peel, or become red.
- It is best to avoid exfoliation if you have cystic or chronic acne since it may irritate it even more.
- If you’re experiencing effects that are not normal, stop using the product and consult with a dermatologist right away.
Always remember to exfoliate safely using the best face exfoliator for combination skin. Do it one to two times and week, and ultimately at least every other day if necessary. It’s not required for most skin types to exfoliate every day since it can cause further skin irritation.