This blog post dedicated to my friend Denise. She's a working gal in the fast pace fashion industry, rising blogger, and an amazing friend/shopping companion. Like most combination skin girls, she's searching for a cleanser that will not just do the job but also balance her oil-prone areas with the dry areas. It's a hard balance to strike.
Combo skin is kind of like living in middle of a post global warming epidermal climate hazard. Parts of your skin (the oily t-zone equator) is the complete opposite to your chin or cheek area (the South Pole). While the t-zone is producing oil like a Exxon Mobile pump, your cheeks are dry like the Mojave Desert. What's a girl to do?
Balance. Balance is what you need and balance is what you shall seek.
Balance your oils to bring your face into a united state.
Here are a couple of options to try:
1. Oil Cleansers - great night time cleanser and make-up remover
Oil cleansers are a great way to break down make-up and emulsify your oils. Oil fights oil contrary to conventional wisdom. Shu uemura has a great anti-oxidant oil cleanser that will remove all make-up including waterproof mascara without over-stripping your skin. The standard Anti-oxidant Fresh Cleansing Oil comes in a green tube; the High-Performance Balancing Cleansing comes in a pink tube for oily/acne-prone skin skin. I have tried both and have not noticed a difference between the two formulations.
Note: Shu uemura oil cleansers contain extracts of mineral oil. It's probably not the best thing to put on acne-prone skin but it won't hurt you either.
2. Foam Cleansers - for that squeaky clean feel
Origin's Checks and Balances Foam Cleanser is great for balancing the dry regions with the oily regions. Broad leaf kelp extract discourages excess oil production while the wheat protein balances and protects dry zones. Note: pretty much anything with kelp, sea weed, marine-plant based substances will help mattify your skin. The plus side about Origin is their 100% organic ingredients free from parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, and synethic fragrances. This cleanser leaves your skin squeaky clean, a little too clean in my opinion, so be sure to follow with toner.
3. Cetaphil - a good bang for your buck
Cetaphil is a trusted brand by dermatologists for decades. The daily facial cleanser for normal to oily skin gets the job done for a fraction of department store prices. Though the product does have a kinky chemical smell and contains paraben.
4. Ren - Mayblossom and Blue Cypress Facial Wash
I'm a huge fan of this organic, bio-active based skincare company. "Ren" in Swedish means clean and clean this cleanser does and does well! The balancing formula is especially designed for complexions prone to T-zone oiliness. Blue cypress decongests the skin and minimizes pores while Salicin (a natural derivative of Salicylic Acid) prevents breakouts. Mayblossom is full of flavonoids and anti-oxidants--always good for anti-aging. I just ordered this cleanser on Sephora.com. Ren is a relatively small company so my local Sephora store does not carry it. It is a pricey $32 cleanser but well worth the investment if it works. Fingers crossed. Hopefully the product will reflect the good reviews.
5. Ole Hendrickson On-the-Go Vitamin C cleanser
Like Ren, Ole Hendrickson is a great organic line free from sulfates, petro-chemicals, and GMOs. This cleanser will orange extract gives a Vitamin C boost to your skin. It's super foamy and has a strong citrus scent. Don't use it if you find the scent overempowering. Some people describe it like a orange dishwashing detergent.
Keep in mind that there are many cleansers to try--far too many. I suggest getting a sample if possible and using the product for at least three days, day and night, and observe your skin's reaction. Often cleansers and many skincare products take time to work and deliver the results you want. Your face might turn oily the first time but overtime your skin may balance out, working in accordance with the product. Be patient but don't be afraid to try something and not like it. I don't know how many times I've taken a product back because it wasn't working for my particular skin. Doesn't matter if it's a 5-star rated product. If it's not working for YOU, take it back. I cannot stress enough how important it is to listen to your skin.
Lastly, don't forget a toner after washing your face! But that's for another post...
Good luck on your search for the HG cleanser!
Stay balanced and stay clean,