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How Do I Choose the Best Mask for Combination Skin?

Kathleen Howard
Kathleen Howard

Combination skin is skin that is dry in some areas and oily in others. Since different areas of combination skin have different needs, choosing a mask for this skin type can be difficult. To choose the best mask for combination skin, look for one that addresses the main issue you are currently experiencing. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, choose a mask that will specifically treat these issues. It is also possible to find or create combination skin masks that treat dryness or several different skin problems at once.

The easiest way to choose a mask for combination skin is to select one based on the problem you are currently experiencing. If certain areas of your face are very oily, select a clay mask or oil-absorbing mask to tighten your pores and pull excess oil from the skin. To treat breakouts, look for a combination skin mask that contains acne-fighting ingredients, like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and sulfur. These masks can be applied to the entire face or directly to your oily and acne-prone areas. While commercial facial masks are typically more convenient, a homemade clay or oatmeal mask might also be able to reduce oil and dry acne.

A woman removing a peel-off facial mask.
A woman removing a peel-off facial mask.

Another issue that people with combination skin often experience is dryness. If you are currently dealing with areas of very dry or flaky skin, look for facial masks that will add moisture to these areas. Hydrating masks that contain natural oils and moisturizing agents, like shea butter and aloe, will generally be the most effective. Moisturizing masks can also be made at home using common household ingredients. To make homemade facial masks, combine ingredients like honey, yogurt and cucumber to hydrate and soothe the skin.

A person looking to treat acne should find a skin mask that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
A person looking to treat acne should find a skin mask that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

It is also possible to make or purchase a multipurpose mask for combination skin. Combination skin products are typically created to reduce oil and acne, while hydrating the face. If you want a mask that delivers intense moisture or uses potent ingredients to target acne, combination skin care products might not always be the best choice. These products are better for people who have healthy skin but want to cleanse their pores and enhance their complexion. People with areas of severe acne or dryness will want to use a mask that concentrates on treating their specific problem.

Exfoliating masks are also beneficial for people with combination skin. These masks contain exfoliating agents like alpha hydroxy acids and fruit extracts that remove dead cells from the surface of the skin. Exfoliating masks for combination skin can be used to smooth dry areas and reduce oil, which makes them great for combination skin. To keep the skin from becoming dry or irritated, remember to moisturize immediately after using an exfoliating mask. When used as part of your regular skin care routine, face masks can be an effective way to improve both the health and appearance of your skin.

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Discussion Comments


@ZipLine-- Masks with salicylic acid or glycolic acid are actually quite good for getting rid of dead skin cells. I use a glycolic acid facial mask once a week for this purpose. It doesn't feel like it does anything when it's on my face but I can see that my face is clearer and brighter after using it.

These are called chemical exfoliants. Glycolic acid is actually made from fruit enzymes. Think about papein, which is an enzyme in papaya. It's used to soften meat. Similarly, glycolic acid softens skin cells so that the dead cells can be shed, revealing new cells. Of course, using these too frequently will cause problems. They can irritate the skin. About once a week seems fine for me but those with sensitive combination skin may want to use it less frequently.


I think I disagree with the article about using face masks with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and sulfur for combination skin. I think that these might be too strong for this skin type. Clay masks are great, especially if they have a moisturizer in it. So are peeling masks. They clean the skin gently.


Combination skin is probably the trickiest skin type. It's difficult to find products that work for combination skin. Products made for dry skin are too moisturizing for combination skin whereas products made for oily skin are too drying. And face masks are usually suitable for one of these skin types.

Over the years, I've discovered that gel-based masks are really the only ones that I can use on my combination skin without problems. These are not oily, so they don't cause acne and they are not drying, so they don't make skin taught and parched afterward.

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    • A woman removing a peel-off facial mask.
      By: anna karwowska
      A woman removing a peel-off facial mask.
    • A person looking to treat acne should find a skin mask that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
      By: badmanproduction
      A person looking to treat acne should find a skin mask that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.