Balancing Combination Skin

You can strike a balance with combination skin...

It’s hard to know where to start when addressing combination skin. We often wonder if we should be using products for oily skin to address the T-zone or products that hydrate the skin to help nourish the dry areas, especially on the cheeks. We get caught trying to treat 2 skin types when in reality we have only 1: unbalanced. The main cause of unbalanced skin, unfortunately, is using too harsh products. If our skin is oily we tend to want to handle it with products that leave our skin feeling “squeaky clean, ” but if a product is too harsh, it strips the skin of all its oils and dries the complexion. Then the oil glands produce more oil to compensate so the parts of the face with more oil glands (forehead and around the nose) become even more oily and the parts with less glands (cheeks) become dry. While the most important thing you can do to improve combination skin is to find a gentle cleansing routine that doesn’t over dry or strip the skin, here are few more suggestions for how to re-balance combination skin.

We think we need something harsh to get in the nooks and crannies and destroy all the dirt and bacteria. This mentality is SO off base and absolutely detrimental to the health of the skin.

  1. Avoid dual purpose products: Yes, it’s wonderfully convenient to have an SPF in your makeup or moisturizer, but the fact of the matter is any SPF clogs the pores and when it’s combined with other skincare or cosmetics it does so even more. Sunblock is the easiest on the skin when it is applied over a barrier creating SPF-free moisturizer, such as ÀTOI’s Day Creams.
  2. Cleanse thoroughly with gentle products: We may not want to admit it, but when choosing skincare products there’s a tendency to use the same mentality as when we are choosing bathroom cleaning products. We think we need something harsh to get in the nooks and crannies and destroy all the dirt and bacteria. This mentality is SO off base and absolutely detrimental to the health of the skin. Instead, go for gentle products, such as ÀTOI’s Cleansing System, that treat the skin, and cleanse multiple times in a row with ÀTOI’s superb Cleansing Milk, at night so that with each cleanse you reach deeper into the pores without irritating them.
  3. Don’t over exfoliate: The skin produces oils as a way to protect itself. While exfoliating once in a while is excellent for the skin, doing it too often can strip the skin and cause an overproduction of oils.
  4. Drink water: Balancing the skin from inside is just as important as balancing it from the outside. The best way to re-balance the system is to drink more water. Here at the ÀTOI office we love Neo Alkaline Water because the PH in the water helps calm the system as well as hydrate.
  5. Avoid animal fats: Dairy is so hard on the skin, especially cheese. It actually enlarges the pores, coarsens the skin and contributes to oiliness. It’s fine to have some once in a while, but if it’s a staple in your diet, it will likely take its toll on the complexion.
  6. Enjoy fruit for breakfast! Fresh ripe pineapple, kiwi and mango are all excellent for reducing pore size, however, since they’re high in acidity, it’s important to limit them. For best results, enjoy your skin-healthy fruit bowl 1-2 times a week and wait 30 minutes before eating any additional breakfast.

Re-balancing combination skin is completely doable if one treats the issue as a whole. If you’re not sure where to start product-wise, here’s a little guide. If you are combination and...

  • Prone to redness, start with ÀTOI’s Soothing Line
  • Broken out, start with ÀTOI’s Clarifying Line
  • Have mature skin, start with ÀTOI’s Nourishing Line.

If you have any questions or need help getting started, give us a call at 212-929-2182 or email We’re here to help you fall in love with your skin!