There should be a user manual for combination skin. With a perpetually oily T-zone and dry cheekbones, picking products can get complicated.
The struggle is especially real when trying to choose the right cleanser. An oil-control formula sucks all of the moisture out of the areas of your face that are already dry, and a hydrating one will make you even shinier.
As someone with combination skin, most cleansers I’ve tried either leave my face feeling too clean and tight, or over-moisturized to the point that I break out. Sure, you could try using two kinds of cleansers, but Aesop has created a more efficient solution. The brand’s new In Two Minds collection is a trio of skincare staples intended to balance this skin type’s polarizing traits.
The line’s cleanser ($49; aesop.com) is a gel-based formula that you rinse off. It has salicylic acid and witch hazel to decongest clogged pores, and soothing sage leaf to prevent it from stripping skin. Usually my face is so oily when it get up in the morning that it looks like I just came from running a half-marathon. This cleanser immediately washes away shine, but doesn’t dry out or irritate my skin. Since I’ve switched to it two weeks ago, I’ve noticed that my T-zone—one of my major problem areas—is significantly less oily, whether or not I’ve just cleansed.
My skin’s more calm, and honestly, I am, too. In addition to melting the dirt and makeup off of my face, the formula’s subtle aromatherapeutic scent helps clear my head of any first-world stress.
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It took Aesop three years to develop the effective formula. “Our approach to combination skin is to address its complexity, rather than focusing on a single aspect such as sebum production,” says Dr. Rebecca Watkinson, Aesop’s Innovation & Research Manager. “In Two Minds is effective in addressing the multi-faceted nature of combination skin by gently cleansing, normalizing sebum production, soothing irritation and providing lightweight hydration without overburdening the skin.”
I know what you're probably thinking: $49 is steep for a cleanser. I get it, but after years of a trying a ton products that don't really work, it's hard to put a price on a cleanser that gives you an oil-free T-zone.