Stories from Skin-Care Tips

How to Pick a Product If Your Skin Is Oily *and* Dry, According to a Derm

Zoe Weiner

Zoe WeinerJanuary 16, 2020

Whether you’re dry or oily, the cardinal rule when choosing any skin-care product is to make sure it works for your skin type. But what the heck are you supposed to do if you’re… both?

According to board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, that’s actually the case for most people, and finding the right product isn’t as complicated as you might think. The way we talk about skin care makes it seem like you should fall seamlessly into only one skin category, but that’s not actually the case. “We don’t all fit perfectly into one skin-care bucket, which is why ‘combination skin’ is the perfect skin-care descriptor for most of us,” she says. “Some people skew more toward the oily side, while others are more dry, but in general we all have patches of oily skin in some places and dry skin in others.”

All of this begs the question: If you’re dealing two skin types at the same time, how the heck are you supposed to find ingredients that work for both? In the latest episode of Dear Derm, Dr. Gohara lays out the info on exactly that. The trick? Understanding which areas are which, and targeting your products appropriately. Take moisturizer, for example: “You use lipstick on your lips and eye shadow on your eyes, so why can’t you use a heavier cream on the dryer parts of your skin, and a lighter lotion on the parts that produce more moisturizer?” says Dr. Gohara. Or, if you want to stick with a single product, click above to see what she suggests.

As far as cleansers and exfoliants go,  you’ll need to take a bit of a different approach. For Dr. Gohara’s advice on how to round out your combo skin routine, click the video above, and consider all (or in this case, both) of your skin-care problems solved.

No matter what type of skin you’ve got, this is the magic number of times you should be exfoliating every week. Plus, this is  the serum that Dr. Gohara calls “the little black dress” of any skin-care regimen. 

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