Beauty Clinic: Combination skincare advice
Q. I have combination skin, with an oily/shiny T-zone, dry cheeks plus I get spots round my chin, which seems to be hormonal. What skincare do you recommend and is there anything else I can do? A. This is a common problem and quite tricky to deal with. The most important thing, according to beauty expert Sharon McGlinchey, founder of MV Organic Skincare, is not to be lured into buying those heavily advertised cleansers for acne, which often contain benzoyl peroxide. ‘They over-stimulate your skin,’ says Sharon. ‘They strip it of natural oils, leaving it squeaky clean for the morning but by lunchtime you have an oil slick running down your face.’
Firstly, she says, feel grateful for that extra oil because it will keep your complexion line-free. Okay, you may find gratitude a bit hard to conjure up so here’s Sharon’s advice for helping your skin: ‘the magic product is jojoba oil. In fact, it isn’t an oil, it’s a liquid wax, which is highly compatible with the skin. It’s virtually identical to sebum – the lipid produced by your skin. Jojoba “tricks” your skin into rebalancing itself.’
Using pure jojoba (pronounced ho-hoe-ba!) helps any touchy skin, whether it is dry/sensitive or combination. Simply cleanse as normal then, while skin is freshly damp, put a drop of jojoba in each palm, and gently massage into your face from your forehead down to your neck. (While two drops sounds meagre, Sharon swears it is enough to penetrate moist skin.)
If your skin is sensitive, Sharon (who specialises in sensitive complexions) suggests using an organic jojoba such as her own MV Organic Skincare Pure Jojoba - but if it’s pretty resilient then you may not need to be quite so 'picky'.
To help the dry patches on your cheeks, try a dab of moisturiser, such as Sharon’s wonderful Rose Soothing & Protecting Moisturiser, beloved of make-up artists and stars including Emma Watson, who admits to having an ultra-sensitive skin.
As far as your hormonal acne is concerned, two things: firstly try to follow a low GI diet with as little sugar in all its forms as possible (anything with –ose as an ending, including fructose, so avoid fruit juices and smoothies, as well as grains and processed foods). Balancing your blood sugar is key for all hormonal disruptions and also for skin health. A good book is The Healthy Low GI Low Carb Diet by Dr Charles Clark & Maureen Clark, £8.99 (currently £6.47 on Amazon).