So many think that if you have dry skin you need a better moisturizer, and if you have oily skin you need to be better about removing your make up at night. It's okay to be confused. There is a lot of misinformation.
You know what? The same thing that causes oily skin also causes dry and combination skin.
The culprit is a bad cleanser. A bad cleanser (usually made from a synthetic detergent) is one that strips your face of its natural oils. We'll get more into that in a bit.
Change Your Cleanser
Everyone is genetically predisposed to make more or less Sebum (naturally occurring oils you skin produces to stay healthy). So when you use a synthetic detergent-based cleanser that strips your face of all of its oils, your skin panics and either produces too much or not enough oil to compensate (depending on your genes).
The easiest way to identify a bad cleanser is by looking at the ingredients. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is the most common ingredient in harmful synthetic cleansers. It's a detergent and it's too harsh for your face. In general, anytime you come across ingredients you don't recognize, use the Skin Deep database to look them up. If they're a detergent or a surfactant, don't use them. Or, go by this simple rule of thumb: if the ingredients aren't plant-based oils and herbal extracts, don't use the product. And if you don't see sodium or potassium hydroxide (used to turn oils into soap) on the label, know that what you're using is an oil-stripping synthetic cleanser.
A good cleanser, on the other hand, will gently wash and hydrate without challenging the pH of your skin. After you use it, your skin won't feel "tight" or dry. Instead it'll feel smooth and nourished, even before you apply a serum or a moisturizer.
When you stop stripping your face with detergents, your skin will balance and heal itself in other ways as well.
Now, we know a good cleanser is hard to find, but there are a few things that you should always look for. It should be soap-based, and it should be pH-adjusted for your skin (~6.2 pH). You may have to email the company to find out the pH of the cleanser you have. (Ours is a 6.2.) And like I mentioned before, the ingredients should only include saponified oils and herbal extracts.
Adjust the pH of your skin after exposing it to overly alkaline tap water, and nourish it with a nutrient dense moisturizer.
After you get a good cleanser, you want to make sure that you have a toner without any alcohol or astringents (no, don't use witch hazel or apple cider vinegar) and a natural pH in the low 6's. Our toner is 100% Pure Rosewater.
Then you'll want to use a nutrient-rich moisturizer made with oils that have high profiles of naturally occurring vitamins. We really like the Argan, Kukui, Grape Seed, Apricot Kernal, Meadowfoam, and Borage Oil. It's also very important that your moisturizer not have irritating ingredients that will keep your skin oily or dry.
Stop irritating your skin with cheap ingredients.
Just go ahead and get rid of all the skincare products in your bathroom containing Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Alcohols, Waxes, and nasty emulsifiers and preservatives that you can't pronounce. Every one of these will irritate the heck out of your skin. Cosmetic companies use these ingredients because they are inexpensive (10 cents/gallon) and to extend the shelf life for 2+ years, not because they are good for skin. And they're in everything, so be sure to check your foundations and makeup too.
Everyone, no matter what state their skin is in, can have balanced skin. But you have to stop using the ingredients that irritate it in the first place.
This is the way to truly balance your skin. Depending on how oily or dry your skin was to begin with, it might take a couple of months or it might be as quick as two weeks.
It's really that simple!