You may have heard of the importance of exfoliating your skin. But what products should people with combination skin use?
Continue reading to learn more about this skin type, as well as the best exfoliators for combination skin.
Table of Contents
What is Combination Skin, and Why You Need to Exfoliate
Combination skin is a skin type where some areas are more dry, while other areas are more oily.
Typically, oily areas are around the nose, chin, and forehead (the t-zone), while the cheeks are more dry.
Exfoliation is key for combination skin, here are the facts:
- It removes debris that may clog pores, and reveals brighter, more even-toned skin.
- Over time, it also promotes the production of collagen, which helps the skin appear more youthful.
The best exfoliators for combination skin will effectively remove excess sebum, debris, and dead skin cells without irritating or drying out dry areas of the face.
Types of Exfoliators
Before diving in, it is important to understand the two methods of exfoliation:
- Chemical exfoliating products contain beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) and/or alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs).
- When applied to the skin, these exfoliants slough off anything that is holding dead skin on the surface.
- Physical exfoliation involves manually getting rid of dead skin cells.
- This involves using a tool with an abrasive surface, such as a loofah, sponge, scrub cleanser, or towel.
For combination skin, chemical exfoliation is preferred on the face, as it is more gentle. Whereas physical exfoliation is excellent for exfoliating the rest of the body.
How to Choose the Right Exfoliator
When looking for the best exfoliator for combination skin, it is important to assess your unique needs. As stated above, chemical exfoliants are made of BHAs or AHAs.
- AHAs are ideal for people who want to treat hyperpigmentation and fight the signs of aging. They work on the surface of the skin.
- BHAs are ideal for people dealing with acne and blackheads. They are oil-soluble, and work deep in the pores to unclog debris.
With that in mind, assess your skin concerns and goals before choosing the right exfoliator.
Best Exfoliators for Combination Skin
If you’re looking for an effective exfoliation product, these are the best exfoliators for combination skin.
1. Best for Acne: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
Those with acne-prone combination skin will benefit from this BHA exfoliant. This product contains salicylic acid (a BHA), which unclogs pores and reveals smoother skin. The 2% concentration is effective but still gentle on the skin. It is lightweight, therefore quickly absorbing into the skin. This means you won’t need to worry about shine or a greasy feeling in more oily areas.
2. Best for Anti-Aging: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion Exfoliant
This lotion contains an 8% concentration of glycolic acid (an AHA), providing effective exfoliation and benefits while still hydrating the skin. In addition to the AHA, the formula contains antioxidants and plant oils that smooth, calm, moisturize, and soften the skin. The powerful anti-aging formula reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while brightening dull and uneven skin.
3. Best Korean: Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum
This serum contains an 8% concentration of glycolic acid. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells to reveal smooth and even-toned skin. Additionally, the formula contains papaya, which brightens and acts as a retexturizer, as well as ingredients that are hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial.
4. Best Drugstore: Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal Lotion
This is one of the best exfoliators for combination skin that you’ll find in drugstores. It has a 10% concentration of the AHA glycolic acid, which lifts away dead skin cells. The formula is also free of parabens and fragrances, so you don’t need to worry about irritating more sensitive areas of the skin.
5. Best Body: Dove Gentle Exfoliating Nourishing Body Wash
The rest of your body needs exfoliation as well, and this gentle body wash does the trick to reveal smooth and moisturized skin. It contains naturally-derived nutrients and cleansers that help to exfoliate the skin while keeping it hydrated. The formula is free of parabens and sulfates, and is also cruelty-free.
6. Best Physical: MY Konjac Sponge
If you are looking for a physical exfoliating tool for the body, this is a great option. This konjac sponge effectively exfoliates the skin. It is made with activated charcoal, which helps to further cleanse and draw out impurities in the skin. This sponge can be combined with any body wash to create an exfoliating cleanse.
How to Use an Exfoliator When You Have Combination Skin
Learning how to use an exfoliator for combination skin is simple, keep these tips in mind:
- Chemical exfoliators may be used daily both morning and night
- However, your skin may need exfoliation less often
- Try using an exfoliator every other day, and then build up your usage if it seems necessary
- Physical exfoliators on your body can be used more often, as this skin is less fragile
Combination skin fluctuates, particularly when the seasons change. Therefore you may need to adjust your use of exfoliating products, using them less or more as the seasons change.
Keep track of your skin, and make adjustments to your routine as you see fit.
How do you exfoliate combination skin?
On the face, combination skin should be exfoliated using chemical exfoliating products. AHA products are excellent for those fighting hyperpigmentation and signs of aging. BHA products work great for those prone to acne and blackheads. These products may be used on a daily basis, but some people with combination skin may find that they work best used a few times a week.
How often should I exfoliate my combination skin?
This will vary from person to person. Those with combination skin may use a gentle chemical exfoliant on a daily basis. However, some may find that they only need to exfoliate a few times a week. Start with a few times a week, and then build up from there if it seems necessary.
What is the best exfoliator for combination skin?
Chemical exfoliants work the best for exfoliating combination skin. They are gentle on the skin, but still effectively remove debris, unclog pores, and reveal smooth and even skin. Physical exfoliants are more aggressive, therefore better suited for exfoliating the body.
Summary: Best Exfoliators for Combination Skin
- Acne: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
- Anti-Aging: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion Exfoliant
- Korean: Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum
- Drugstore: Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal Lotion
- Body: Dove Gentle Exfoliating Nourishing Body Wash
- Physical Tool: MY Konjac Sponge
The Bottom Line
Exfoliation is a key part of any skincare routine. Those with combination skin will benefit greatly by adding an exfoliator to their routine.
In short, the right exfoliators will remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and reveal brighter skin, without over drying or causing irritation to the skin.