Start with a gentle cleanser:
Always wash your face with a gentle, water-soluble cleanser to prevent irritation and dryness. If you have oily and dry combination skin, a gel-based or mild foaming cleanser will be perfect. If you have dry skin and rosacea with sun damage, a lightweight lotion cleanser is ideal. Regardless of the texture it must always be gentle! A good cleanser never contains any irritants or fragrance and is the first step towards controlling combination skin.
Avoid bar soaps or bar cleansers of any kind, regardless of their claims. The ingredients that put bar cleansers in their bar form can clog pores and are always too drying and irritating for any skin type.
Use a toner to repair skin:
If you use a toner, it must not contain any irritants whatsoever that includes alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, fragrance (synthetic or natural), or citrus oils—all of which frequently show up in toner formulas!
Only use toners that are filled with a healthy dose of skin-repairing ingredients such as skin-identical ingredients, antioxidants, and cell-communicating ingredients.
Protect from sun damage:
Sunscreen must be used every day, year-round if you want to prevent and stop wrinkles and other signs of aging skin! If you have oily skin prone to breakouts, your foundation and pressed powder can provide the sun protection you need. If you have sensitive skin and rosacea, choose sunscreens with only titanium dioxide or/and zinc oxide as the active ingredients.
Exfoliate to remove built-up skin cells:
With regular use of a beta hydroxy acid (BHA/salicylic acid) product or an alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs, such as glycolic acid) product in a texture appropriate for your skin type (gel or liquid for oily, blemish-prone skin, or lotion for normal or dry skin), you will uncover the normal, healthy skin hiding underneath.
BHA is especially helpful for normal, oily or blemish-prone skin because it not only exfoliates the surface of skin, it also exfoliates inside the pore to reduce pore size, unclog pores, and kill acne-causing bacteria. BHA is also a must for anyone struggling with blackheads and enlarged pores!
Special concerns require special products:
If you are prone to blemishes, besides using a BHA exfoliant, applying a product with benzoyl peroxide will target and kill acne-causing bacteria. For mild to moderate acne begin with a 2% strength and then depending on how your skin does, you can increase to a 5% strength.
Spot-treat the different skin types on your face:
Apply moisturizers in lotion or cream form to dry areas.
If you have oily and dry skin apply a matte finish foundation, but apply a hydrating primer/serum to the dry areas first.
If your eye area is the driest part of your face, then you can use a rich, creamy moisturizer or serum around that area of your face. For the less-dry areas of your face, you can use a lotion-textured moisturizer, and for the oily areas your toner will be enough to keep skin healthy in those areas.
Be sure to avoid getting lotion and cream moisturizers on the oily parts of your face because it will absolutely make them look and feel greasier.
Choose only the best products:
Purchase products loaded with antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, emollients, and ingredients that mimic the structure and function of healthy skin. (Learn more about how to choose products here.)
Make sure products are packaged in an opaque, airtight container (no jars) to keep the antioxidants and other air-sensitive ingredients stable and bacteria-free.
For many skin types, if the products you use are well formulated you may find lighter-weight serums, lotions, or gels may be all your skin needs to look and feel radiant, smooth, and younger.
If you have very dry skin in some areas and dry skin in others, then an antioxidant-rich serum paired with an emollient moisturizer will work great.
Start with a gentle cleanser: