For years, I lived life believing I was team oily skin. It wasn't until a fateful trip to Sephora that I would discover the reality of my combination skin type. To be honest, I'm still not sure what combination skin means. Why such a vague term, anyhow? There are infinite questions that come with the territory, one of them being how to deal with combination skin during fall season.
Cast aside those PSL dreams for a moment and let's talk skincare. "Combination skin is a term that generally refers to those who find they are oily around the T-zone (areas that include the forehead, nose and central chin) but may be dry around the cheeks, mouth, and outer chin," Dr. Perlmutter at the New York Dermatology Group tells Bustle over email.
Mother Nature really does affect your skin. "As the weather gets cooler and drier, the skin tends to follow suit. The skin will be less hydrated due to the drier air and for this reason, many people may need to adjust their skin care routine to find a new balance for their changing skin conditions," Dr. Perlmutter explains.
As you prepare for cozy knits and Halloweentown marathons, don't forget to also revamp your skin ritual, fall edition. Dealing with combination skin year-round is already a battle on its own, but fortunately tackling the issue this autumn is not as complicated as it looks. Keep these tips handy and your skin will thank you.
1. Avoid Over-Exfoliating
According to Dr. Perlmutter, over-exfoliating can irritate dry and oily areas of the face. Because you have to combat against two kinds of skin types, tread lightly when it comes to scrubbing off that dead skin.
2. Use Gentle Cleansers
Forget about face washes doused in chemicals and ones with infinite ingredient lists. Instead, Dr. Perlmutter recommends using gentle foaming cleansers that will not be too harsh on the skin.
3. Stick To Oil-Free Moisturizers
This one is a no-brainer — you already have to fight off an oily T-zone, so packing on greasy formulas might only worsen your skin condition. Dr. Perlmutter advises those with combination skin to use oil-free moisturizers, especially during the fall when the weather tends to be dry. There's no excuse to skip out moisturizer, folks!
4. Never Forgo The SPF
"Always use SPF," Dr. Perlmutter also reminds me. I mean, this one should already be part of your daily routine — after all, sun protection is important for healthy skin. Even though it will be fall, the degrees aren't exactly in the triple digits anymore, and you're no longer on vacation mode, that doesn't mean you should skimp on the SPF.
5. Take Care Of Your Self
When I asked Dr. Perlmutter on what her number one tip was for maintaining combination skin, she had one obvious — but often overlooked — answer. "Be sensitive to the way your skin behaves and adjust your skin care accordingly. Maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated can all effect your skins behavior," she says. So, heed the advice: eat well, sleep well, and drink plenty of water to keep you and your skin hydrated.
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