9 Essential Skin Care Tips for Oily, Dry and Combination Skin

The path to a perfect complexion is far from one-size-fits-all: what you need to do depends on the type of skin you have. If you’re unsure what category you fall in, do this test suggested by Julie Lindh, a New York-based aesthetician and skin care consultant: “Wash your face and wait a minute before putting on any moisturizer,” she says. If it feels tight all over, you have dry skin. Only tight in a few areas, like your cheeks? You have combination skin. And if it doesn’t feel tight anywhere, you have oily skin.

Once you’ve identified complexion, use the following personalized skin care tips to get glowing.

If your face is oily…

  • Use a powdered sunscreen. “You have to protect your face from the sun, but moisturizing sunscreens can make you look shiny and clog pores,” says Dr. Rebecca Kazin, the medical director of Johns Hopkins Dermatology and Cosmetic Center. A powder sunscreen, which you apply like foundation, provides coverage without adding greasiness -- and you can reapply without messing up your makeup.
  • Blot, blot, blot. “You don’t want to constantly be putting on face powder to conquer shine,” says Kazin. Stash blotting paper or tissues in your purse, and dab your nose, forehead and chin throughout the day.
  • Embrace acid. “Products made with acids can decrease oil production while helping with fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots and acne,” says Kazin. “Use a cleanser that includes salicylic or glycolic acid. And at night, apply a lotion with retinoic acid.”
  • Exfoliate! “Dead skin and extra oil clog pores, bringing on blackheads,” says Lindh. “That’s why you need to exfoliate twice a week in the winter, and three times when it’s hot and humid out.” (But avoid scrubbing more often, which can generate more oil production.) Don’t want to invest in another product? Try this skin care tip: Dip wet fingers in baking soda and use that to scrub off the dead skin.

If your face is dry…

  • Opt for creams, not lotions. “Moisturizers that come in a pump bottle have to be thinned out,” says Kazin. Instead, buy the ones that come in tubs, which are thicker and creamier.
  • Get a super-moisturizing sunscreen. “Using [a moisturizing sunscreen] on top of a moisturizer in the morning will do a lot for dry skin,” says Kazin. Or try a moisturizing foundation with sunscreen.
  • Go for a low dose of acid. Using a serum or lotion with retinoic acid can improve the appearance of your skin, but too much of the ingredient can irritate dry skin. Kazin recommends looking for products with 0.05 retinoid, and rubbing it on in the evening. Try exfoliating once or twice per week in the winter and up to three times in the summer.
  • Pile on the products at night. “While you’re sleeping, your skin is hard at work repairing itself,” says Lindh. “So before you go to bed, put on a thick, creamy moisturizer and a moisturizing serum. And one night a week, try sleeping with a moisturizing mask on.”

If you have combination skin…

  • Have a split personality. “When you have some areas that are dry, and others that are oily, you need to have two different skin regimens depending on what area you’re treating,” says Kazin. “For example, usually the T-zone is oily and the cheeks are dry, so use extra moisturizer on your cheeks and a lighter product on the oily parts.” You may need to try out a mix of the skin care tips above.

Photo by Kimia Zarifi on Unsplash

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5 Daytime Fall Makeup Trends

Take a cue from nature: As the leaves start to change color, so should your makeup palette. And this season, fresh faces, strong brows and autumn shades, like jewel-toned eye shadows and wine-colored lips, are having a moment. So consider updating your regular daytime look with one of the following fun fall makeup trends. With my tips, you’ll look fresh and gorgeous in no time.

Fall Makeup Trend No. 1: Peacock-shade eye shadow

This summer has been about bright pastels, so I’m excited to transition to the jewel tones of fall. And this season, the shades of a peacock’s plume -- emerald green, sapphire blue and amethyst purple -- are popular. Some high-fashion looks have featured a mix of all three!

My favorite way to wear this trend: A new twist on the classic cat-eye. Dip an angled liner brush in water and then into a sapphire-hue shadow. Use as a makeshift eyeliner to get a pop of color without going overboard.

Fall Makeup Trend No. 2: Merlot mouths

The runways for fall featured dark merlot lips. While the colors on the catwalk were uber-bold, you can make the trend wearable for daytime by opting for a rich lip or cheek stain. Instead of swiping on the shade, use a lip brush to paint on a violet-maroon lipstick. Then apply a tissue to your open mouth and lightly peel it away. This takes off a layer of pigment without smudging, creating a much more subtle look.

Fall Makeup Trend No. 3: Understated skin

Forget bronzer and caked-on faces. This autumn’s skin regime is all about being fresh-faced and understated. For lighter coverage, skip the concealer and choose the right foundation for your skin type: If your skin is starved for moisture, an oil-based foundation will keep you from cracking. Does your face tend to get shiny? Opt for a water-based product. All skin types will look silky smooth with a silicone-based foundation, but be prepared to blot off shine with a tissue as the day goes on and the silicone resurfaces.

If you’re like me and only have uneven skin tone in a few spots, you don’t need to slather foundation all over your face. Mix equal parts foundation and a light lotion with the same base ingredient as your foundation (oil for oil-based foundations, water for water-based ones, etc.). Apply this blend to the under-eye area and any red or splotchy patches.

Fall Makeup Trend No. 4: Metallic nails

Metal hues, like gold, silver and bronze, are popular this fall, including shimmery, metallic nail polishes. For a playful daytime look, paint your nails a muted base color. Then accent it with an ore-hue French manicure crescent.

Fall Makeup Trend No. 5: Bold brows

I consider brows the punctuation marks of our faces: They give life to facial expressions and communicate how we’re feeling. As someone born with a uni-brow, I was bummed about my luck until Brooke Shields became an icon.

Fortunately, bold brows have come full circle again. It really doesn’t take much to follow this fall makeup trend. If you have full brows, keep them defined and groomed; fill in any sparse spots with dark shadow. But if you have pale or slim brows, consider shading them in: Using a folded tissue, follow the edge with a brow marker and draw the shape of the brow you’d like to achieve. Lightly fill in the shape. For even more definition, take a small eyeliner brush and flick in strokes of eyebrow shadow to mimic the shape and direction of your individual brow hairs.

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