What if ”Baby, it’s cold outside” is a song dedicated to you by your skin in a frosty winter place? Cold weather demands a skin care routine different from warm or hot weather.
If you notice skin breakouts, acne, spots, dryness, or sensitivity, you need to modify your current skin care routine.
Continue reading to know more about the proper winter skin care routine for combination skin.
What Is Combination Skin?
Combination skin is just one of many skin types. It is characterized by an oily T-zone region on the face, including the forehead, nose, and chin, (1) and a dry or normal U-zone, including the cheeks, temple, and jawline. (2)
The T-zone (oily areas) appears shiny and greasy, is prone to acne, and usually has large pores. (3)
Combination skin has larger or plentiful sebaceous glands in oilier regions. Oily skin is associated with larger pores and acne. (4)
The U-zone (dry areas) appears scaly, flaky, rough, or itchy, which is caused by a lack of moisturization.
Dry skin may lead to pruritus (a term for itchy skin). It may have elevated chances of skin infections. (7)
Winter Skin Care Routine for Combination Skin
Here are the proper morning and nighttime skin care routines for combination skin during winter.
Morning Skin Care Routine
A proper morning skin care routine includes the following steps.
Liquid facial cleansers are the most fruitful and effective cleansers for compromised and sensitive skin. (10) They have an acidic pH and high washability and act as a moisturizer, making them an ideal choice for facial cleansing. (10)
The gentle nature of facial cleansers doesn’t result in sebum overcompensation and doesn’t harm the skin barrier. Cleansers give deep pore cleansing and control acne-related symptoms. (11)
If your skin is oily or acne prone, use a salicylic acid-based cleanser. Salicylic acid acts as a peeling agent, treating lentigines, melasma, acne vulgaris, photodamage, and freckles. (12)
Follow these steps to use cleansers on your face:
- Tie your hair back before cleansing your face for easy cleansing of your hairline pores, which may have clogged due to hair oil or products.
- Wash your hands before cleansing to avoid the transfer of dirt or impurities to your face.
- Use lukewarm water to wet your face for an even and smooth spread of the cleanser.
- Take a coin-sized amount of cleanser, and apply it to your face, hairline, neck, and jawline. Be careful around your mouth and eyes.
- Gently massage the cleanser in circular motions on your face and neck using your fingertips.
- Rinse your face thoroughly and gently with lukewarm water. You can also use a washcloth. Avoid hot water.
- Pat your face dry. Avoid pulling or rubbing your skin.
Toners are referred to as second cleansing agents for removing makeup residues after regular cleansing or excess sebum to prepare the skin for nourishment.
Toners tighten the skin and prevent exposure to toxins in the air or other pollutants. Some toners contain sage, ivy burdock, geranium, witch hazel, and essential oils. (14)
For oily skin, witch hazel is the primary toner ingredient. It is a natural astringent and has anti-inflammatory properties that remove excess oil. (15)
Sebum-absorbing ingredients are incorporated in cosmetic products and toners for oily skin. (16)
Follow these steps to apply toner to your face:
- Wash your face with a mild cleanser to remove dirt and makeup.
- Pour toner on a cotton ball until it feels damp but not soaked.
- Apply it to your face and neck to remove leftover impurities.
- Follow up with a moisturizer or other skin care products.
Note: You can also spray toner on your face for hydration.
Serums are lightweight lotions or gel-based moisturizing products. They penetrate deep into the skin and deliver active ingredients.
Including serums in your skin care routine (cleansing to moisturizing) is an effective and well-tolerated way to treat photodamaged skin. They improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. (18)
Follow these steps to apply serum to your face:
- Exfoliate and cleanse your face, and apply toner.
- Apply a small amount of serum to your face and neck using your palms or fingertips.
- Wait for 5 minutes to allow the serum to be absorbed.
Moisturizers are topical products used to increase and restore the skin’s water content. Occlusive moisturizers create a barrier, reduce transepidermal water loss, and prevent evaporation.
This barrier replenishes the stratum corneum’s water content through deeper epidermis and dermis layers. (19)
The face is prone to environmental stressors, such as extreme weather (hot and cold), dust, arid conditions, UV rays, humidity, and pollution. Hence, it is crucial to include face moisturizers in your daily skin care routine.
Many moisturizers are noncomedogenic and nongreasy and provide aesthetic and maximum skin benefits. Using silicone-based moisturizers for oily skin is recommended.
Other ingredients such as oil-absorbent compounds (talc or kaolin) are added to moisturizers to lessen the skin’s shiny appearance.
Undereye creams are lightweight formulas that reduce pigmentation, puffiness, and dry lines and restore firmness. They are moisturizers with fewer effects than other daily moisturizers. (20)
Follow these steps to apply moisturizer to your face:
- Take a small amount of moisturizer on your palm.
- Put five dots of the moisturizer on your face, one on the forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose.
- Massage your face using your fingertips.
Free radicals generated from the sunlight cause changes in the skin. Sunscreen has antioxidant properties and counteracts the effects of these free radicals.
An ideal sunscreen must provide complete protection from the sun and solar radiation; its agents must be photostable, nontoxic, chemically inert, safe, and nonirritating.
For acne-prone, oily skin, gel/spray-based sunscreen is suggested. New sunscreens containing microfine particles are now available and are effective and safe. (21)
Follow these steps to apply sunscreen to your face:
- After cleansing your face, take a sufficient amount of sunscreen on your finger and apply it to your face and neck.
- Cover all your facial region and neck, from the hairline to the back of your head.
The primary purpose of cosmetics is to add beauty and provide skin protection, comfort, and safety. (22) Corrective makeup is considered to complement specific dermatological procedures to minimize downtime. (23)
For people suffering from facial dermatoses such as freckles, melasma, and pigmentation, foundation is highly recommended and it can enhance their quality of life. (24)
Using makeup remover oil (25) is crucial for combination skin to clear facial oil.
Follow these steps to apply light makeup to your face:
- Wash your face and apply a moisturizer to hydrate your skin.
- Apply a primer.
- Put small dots of light foundation across your face using your fingers. Evenly blend the foundation using a brush.
- Apply a concealer on any blemishes.
- Use a setting powder to set the concealer and foundation.
- Put on a slight blush.
- Keep your eye shadow and makeup simple.
- Color your lips.
- You are good to go!
Nighttime Skin Care Routine
A proper nighttime skin care routine includes the following steps.
1. Makeup remover
Makeup removers make your skin makeup-free by unclogging the pores. The oil-in-water nanoemulsion plays a significant role in efficacious cosmetic formulations such as facial cleansers, makeup removers, and antiaging products. (26)
Clear your eyeliner and foundation using tea seed oil. Tea seed is a stable remover. A study found that 60% of it removed foundations significantly more than others. Plus, it doesn’t cause skin irritation. (27)
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the skin’s outer layer. It is believed to improve the skin’s appearance, but it’s not for everyone. It could harm your skin if not done correctly.
Mechanical exfoliants and chemical exfoliants are two types of exfoliants. The former remove dead skin cells using a sponge, scrub, or brush; the latter gently dissolve dead skin cells using chemicals such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids.
People with acne-prone, dry, sensitive skin must use a mild chemical exfoliator and a washcloth. Mechanical exfoliators could harm this skin type.
4. Facial masks
Facial masks are popular treatments for skin quality improvement. (29) Use them once a week on your face.
5. Serum and moisturizer
Nighttime moisturization is best for your skin. The moisturizing creams and emollients smoothen skin, maintain skin hydration, and break the dry skin cycle. (30)
Additional Tips for Combination Skin
The following are some nifty tips for combination skin:
- Hyaluronic acid, glycosaminoglycan (GAG), and glycerin are key molecules in skin moisture. They can retain and bind water molecules and improve skin hydration. (31) (32) Moreover, hyaluronic acid is suitable for dry skin.
- Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces skin lipids, (33), and, along with nutrition, influences essential oil production. (34) It alleviates any negative impact of water deficiency on growth. (35), and it regulates oil production.
- Pyruvic acid effectively treats acne vulgaris and excess sebum disorders. (36) It may benefit oily skin.
- Lactic acid (sodium lactate) is a popular natural moisturizing complex for the skin and is considered an ideal moisturizer. (37)
- Moisturizing creams and emollients break the dry skin cycle and keep the skin smooth. (30)
- Shea butter treats issues such as dry skin, eczema, rashes, burns, and wrinkles. (38)
- A gel-based cleanser bar is suitable for oily skin. Lotion/cream-based ones are suitable for normal to dry skin. (39)
- Green tea-based topical cosmetics are beneficial for oily skin. (4)
- Oil-based creams have a thicker consistency than water-based lotions. They are effective moisturizers. Ointments have a greasy texture and help prevent transepidermal water loss. (7)
How Can You Tell If You Have Combination Skin?
You can tell if your skin is a combination skin type in the following ways:
Larger, noticeable pores
What are the things to avoid on combination skin?
Avoid the following products and habits on combination skin:
· Avoid alcohol/oil-based cleansers, as they can irritate your skin.
· Avoid sleeping with your makeup on; remove it all before hitting the sack.
· Avoid touching your face throughout the day as it transfers oil, dirt, and bacteria to your face. Touch your face only when indulging in your skin care routine (cleansing, moisturizing, or applying sunscreen).
Is lukewarm water suitable for combination skin?
Lukewarm water is less irritating to sensitive skin and does not leave it vulnerable.
Lukewarm water hydrates the skin (42) and removes sweat and dirt. It treats dry skin and doesn’t strip away the skin’s oils (fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides), healthy fats, and sebum, which are crucial for adequate skin barrier functioning and protection.
Thus, lukewarm water treats combination skin.
As combination skin is dry and oily, a proper skin care routine in frosty weather is crucial.
Follow a proper winter skin care routine for combination skin meticulously and forget having skin worries this winter!
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