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Finding products that won't harm combination skin is tough. Products meant to hydrate can cause acne in oil-prone spots such as your T-zone. Acne fighting products can irritate dry skin, resulting in flakiness, redness and even blackheads. Moisturizers are frequently too heavy for combination skin, so it's best to stick with a serum that will gently hydrate rather than providing deep, intense hydration that may make oily patches worse. There are some products that will help clarify and soften skin without causing damage.
The Difference Between a Serum and Moisturizer
You might think that a serum and moisturizer have similar benefits -- and you're right. They both help moisturize skin, but they work best for different skin types. A moisturizer has deep, hydrating properties and deposits nutrients into your skin, but also covers it with an emollient. If you have combination skin, you might not want something as heavy. Instead, a serum will deposit nutrients into your skin and provide minimal hydration that will help both the oily and dry parts of your face.
For a Makeup Base
Some women miss the crucial step of applying primer before makeup. This seriously cuts the lasting power of your makeup and allows it to easily fade or smudge. If you don't want to use a primer, you can use a skin-brightening serum to give you a healthy, natural glow and help keep your makeup in place. "Cosmopolitan" recommends Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum. This formula gives you a non-greasy base for makeup that's perfect for both the oily and dry parts of your skin.
For an Even Skin Tone
Women with combination skin often have dry, red blotchy spots and shiny, oily spots. You might find that the area around your nose is red with dryness while the rest of your skin looks normal. Instead of applying a foundation to cover up your uneven skin tone, use a serum to repair it. "Allure" recommends INA Crystals White Gold Restoring Night Serum, which contains vitamin E to help heal damaged cells and de-stress overworked skin.
For a Bright Complexion
Women with combination skin often have two different complexions: dull, dry skin and slick, oily skin. The products you use to remove oil and dirt can create excess dead skin throughout the day that builds up and leads to a dull appearance -- not to mention, your dry skin could probably use a pick-me-up. "Allure" recommends Nars Brightening Skin Serum, which contains ingredients that soothe overworked skin and, over time, help repair the damage that leads to dullness.