People with combination skin can sometimes feel like they're fighting a losing battle with their faces. Their foreheads, noses, and chins tend to be incredibly oily. But their cheeks? Drier than the Sahara Desert. So that can make shopping for products difficult, especially when we're talking about exfoliators. You need something that's non-drying, but heavy-duty enough to fix the flaky patches on your cheeks. Luckily, choosing the best exfoliator for combination skin isn't all that difficult — if you know what you're looking for.
There are two types of exfoliators: physical and chemical. A physical exfoliator is when a formula uses things like oatmeal, sugar, or seeds to slough off your dead skin. Chemical exfoliants use acids to dissolve dead skin and unclog pores. Alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid are the two most well-known types of chemical exfoliants. It's a matter of preference which you reach for. But if your combination skin is also dealing with acne, a chemical exfoliant is probably a better bet, since physical exfoliators can exacerbate inflammation.
If you're still unsure of where to start, don't worry — you'll find four of the best exfoliators for combination skin, below. Just remember to always exfoliate safely. Start by doing it once or twice a week, and eventually work your way up to every other day if need be. Daily exfoliation isn't necessary for most complexions and can even wind up further irritating your skin.