Here’s the thing: Chances are you have combination skin if your skin is slick with sebum along the T-Zone – that means the forehead, nose and chin – and bone-dry and dessicated elsewhere. Quite the confounding combo, eh?
Happily, there are a ton of calming concoctions on the market to stabilise skin that’s out of sync. Presenting a rapid-fire run-through of a trio of my favourite balancing beautifiers, for your perusal and prospective purchase, please:
IDS Oil-Control Toner, $62
Not too thrilled about traditional toners? You’re missing out, man. The latest trove of toners have been cleverly rejigged and remodelled as skin-softening treatments in their own right, with the ability to comfort, contour and condition.
Take IDS Clinic’s crackin’ good Oil-Control Toner, for instance. This awesome alcohol-free astringent is suffused with soothing tea tree oil and anti-inflammatory actives for redness reduction, and feels fantastic on fatigued skin at the end of an exhausting workday.
Top tip: I like dabbing this “neat” along my pimple-prone jawline as a preventative nightly treatment; I’m also fond of decanting it into a facial spray bottle for use as a makeup-setting and mattifying mist.
Oh, and here’s another trick that should please the penny-pinching budget Barbies out there: Skipping cotton pads provides you more bang for your buck. Using cotton to swipe on your toner is such a waste, really. I recommend warming up a few drops in your cupped palms, then pressing it into your freshly cleansed face. Hands still damp? Spread the wealth and rub any excess into the nobbly nook of your elbows.
Porcelain Balance Hydraclear Gel, $108
If you’re kiasu like me, feel free to follow up with an additional acne-alleviating treatment gel, which can double up as a hydrating lightweight lotion in its own right. I’m mighty pleased with Porcelain’s Balance Hydraclear Gel, which is awash with willow bark and witch hazel extracts, both of which work in tandem to temper stress-induced splotches.
Also good to know: This gel is billed as being pH-balanced, which basically means the solution is
slightly acidic in nature, hovering between the 5.4 to 5.9 on the pH scale – which is a good thing, because your face fares best when it’s slightly “sour”, so to speak. Indeed, experts even suggest that an acidic pH value can play a part in preventing pimples and enlarged pores.
Sidebar: Try sticking this gel together with the rest of your skincare in the fridge; like I discovered with scents, this neat storage trick makes them go the extra mile, and is especially handy for cooling ruddy complexions.
Ettusais Oil Block Stick, $25
Mad for matte? Make for this makeup multitasker if you can’t abide tedious eight-step regimes: It’s a primer, pore perfector and light hydrator in one. I like warming up a generous glob between my fingertips– I’ve found that this allows for easier application of this creamy stick – then patting it into bare skin as a blemish-blurring base; on good skin days, this alone should suffice.
If you’re an exceptionally greasy gal, simply slap on a serum and skip your regular moisturiser if you like; this J-Beauty salve’s spectacularly smooth consistency is comforting beyond belief – like a balm on troubled skin, really. Glide it on over your forehead and nose and you’re just about good to go.
Even more intriguing is this subtly tinted product’s uncanny knack for reading as radiant on film; no small feat for something that purports to squelch shine as well. And yes, it makes good on its titular “oil block” promise: My kwali complexion was comfortably satiny after a night’s worth of cavorting on the dancefloor!