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As a mixed race womxn with formerly acne-prone skin, it’s an arduous task to find products to support my combination skin type. Elixirs formulated with certain oils cause breakouts while other oil-free products fail to deliver the moisture balance my skin thoroughly craves. Ugh. Working with skin that’s both greasy in certain areas and dry in others can be frustrating, but with the right products it doesn't have to be.
Important factors to consider when cultivating a routine for combination skin of the mixed-race variety are levels of sensitivity, propensity to breakouts, and what ingredients are appropriate for your specific texture. Some oils, like coconut, can actually cause more breakouts if you’re not careful. I know this sounds like an overwhelming process, but I’ve made it my mission to assemble a handbook for those in need. If this is you, read on below for 11 holy grail products that will offer real results for your skin's health.
This potent, yet delicate formula is made with rosehip, pomegranate, and sea buckthorn oil ideal for dry patches but won't leave the rest of my face feeling greasy. With combination skin, it's best to use just a few times a week. Additionally, it helps even skin tone and texture by working on acne scars and discoloration.
Urban Skin Rx is a champion for melanin-rich skin—which is refreshing as many brands on the market still don’t take our needs into account. Urban strives to create accessible, clinical strength, diverse skincare and their three-in-one combination skin cleansing bar is my favorite of the bunch. Its versatility is the main selling point, as it can be used as a daily cleanser, mask, and/or exfoliant. Rough, dry, or blemish-prone skin will drink it up.
Farmacy Beauty products have completely mastered proper moisture balance. This oil-free gel moisturizer uses a blend of hydrating acids and refreshing botanical extracts to give skin a natural, warming glow. It also helps calm redness, reduce irritation, and remove any build up from environmental pollution. So, basically, it’s the finest skin detox and refresh out there.
Who better to understand the skin care needs of POC than Beija Flor Naturals founder Stevonne Ratiff. She dealt with issues like hyperpigmentation and the battle to find natural products catered specifically to womxn of color—which eventually inspired her to create her own products. The brand’s Amazon Antioxidant Treatment bathes skin in moisture, reduces breakouts, fades scarring, and treats conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
First Aid Beauty’s exfoliating pads are the treatment you need, like, yesterday. The lactic and glycolic acid gently removes dead skin, tones, and leaves your skin glowing (and won't irritate sensitive skin). Every time I use them I'm left with a silky, renewed complexion—and a smooth, clean canvas for makeup.
Naturopathica is a Byrdie favorite for so many reasons, but their Calendula Essential Hydrating Cream tops the list. Calendula extract has anti-inflammatory properties that help dry or sensitive skin and all the product formulas are based in herbal healing practices. There’s a reason why it’s one of their top-selling products, just saying.
Desiree Verdejo was fed up when she created Hyper Skin. She yearned for a line of products that would alleviate hormonal acne and stubborn dark spots, but the products she tried always came up short. When all else fails, build your own effective, multicultural-focused solution, right? One of Hyper Skin’s star products is this serum, as it is packed with vitamin C and E, as well as turmeric for glowing, properly soothed skin.
When your skin is both oily and dry, finding the right serum can be tough. This one is perfect for combination skin as it works to hydrate (hyaluronic acid) and nix congestion (AHAs) at the same time. It’s also non-comedogenic, which is key for skin that overproduces oil.
Bloomeffects' Dutch Dirt Mask takes multi-tasking to a whole new level. It's both an exfoliating scrub and purifying mask wrapped up in one. It offers antioxidants, hydration, and amino acids, as well as exfoliation and an increase in cell turnover. It's tingly but oh-so satisfying.
Buttah Skin Care is another brand that speaks directly to my soul, as it targets the issues men and womxn of color face on a daily basis. Any time you experience dryness, discoloration, or acne, hit the refresh button with this AHA/BHA rosewater toner. It balances out your complexion using chemical exfoliation as well as lavender essential oil and aloe.