Ask Dija: How often should I exfoliate, steam and mask?

There is not a one size fits all answer as everyone has a different skin type with differing concerns. So I followed the question with my own question, as you do.

How would you describe your skin type and what age group do you fall into?

Answer: Combination skin, early 20’s.

Combination skin tends to have an oily T zone – forehead, nose and chin – and dry/normal areas on the cheeks. The pores tend to be larger on the T zone which produce more oil and shine on the surface of the skin. Early 20’s would fall into the young skin bracket, so we’d expect supple, plump and firm skin.

In addition to your CTM routine I would recommend the following.


A steam will warm up your face to open pores and dislodge dry skin and you can do this on a daily basis whilst cleansing with a flannel. Simply run hot water over the flannel (as hot as your hand can stand without scalding, we don’t want any burns!), wring and lay on your face. (make sure its not too hot, again I worry about scalding!) This is a an extremely gentle steaming method, but highly effective. Leave super-duper steams to your facialist who by the way you should be seeing on a monthly basis. If you aren’t, start now because all skin types benefits from a deep clean!


You need to exfoliation to remove dead skin cells that have been dislodged through your gentle steam and are just hanging on. Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant is perfect for combination skin and all time favourite. Its rice based enzyme scrub so its gentle enough to use everyday. Gritty exfoliators are a big no-no as they’ll only vex your skin.


When it comes to masks,  I don’t subscribe to a one size fits all mantra. I truly believe with combination skin you have to tackle the different areas in isolation and there’s nothing strange or extravagant about using two different types of masks.

On the T zone a clay based mask is best. This will soak up oil straight up out of the pores to purify and help mattify the skin. Depending on how oily your T zone is every 2 – 3 days should suffice. One of the best for general day-to-day maintenance is Garnier Pure 3 in 1 Wash-Scrub-Mask which contains kaolin – the oil absorber.

On dry cheeks or other generally dry areas, you want something that’s going to moisturise and hydrate your skin deep within. 1 or 2 times a week should be fine. I would recommend something along the lines of Weleda Wild Rose Intensive Facial Masque. It will brighten any dull skin and balance moisture levels.

See products here.

Having said this, it really very important to pay close attention to your skin and listen to it. Feed your skin what it needs and set your own standard for your personal skin care.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hafsa Issa-Salwe
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 01:29:32

    I have combination skin and never really thought to use different masks for the different parts of the skin. You learn something new each day!


    • Dija
      Jun 27, 2012 @ 05:36:36

      Every day is a school day. Lol! Never be afraid to use different masks to target particular problems. Thats the way to achieve the best results, skin is not always the same around the body or even on face.


  2. Trackback: Hero Product: Garnier Pure 3 in 1 Wash+Scrub+Mask « Dija's World
  3. royalpriestess
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 19:54:49

    Knowledgeable advice, but how do you determine what your own skin type is?


    • Dija
      Jun 28, 2012 @ 06:52:59

      Hello, thanks for stopping by. There are usually 4 skin type classifications.
      Normal – clear and even in colour/tone. Does’t feel dry or tight. Plump and supple. Very rare to have this type of skin once puberty kicks in.
      Dry – the oil glands in the skin produce very little lubrication and skin doesn’t hold moisture well. It can feel tight, be flaky and sometimes fine lines.
      Oily – open pores, shiny and sometimes the skin can look sallow. Its said oily skin will have less wrinkles in later life 🙂
      Sensitive – can feel tight, often red/blotchy, thin and can be flaky sometimes. Can be very reactive to products.

      Combination skin is when you have one or more of the above skin types and a LOT of people fall into this category.

      The best way to find out what skin type you most likely are, first look at the size of your pores. The oilier your skin, the larger looking the pores. Drier skin tends to have smaller, tight pores. Look at how shiny the skin gets after washing. If it quickly gets a ‘glow’ you may be oily rather than dry.

      Whats the texture? Is it smooth or rough to touch? Dry skin tends to be rough due to the flakes and patches. Whereas oil makes the skin smooth. Acneic skin can feel coarse/bumpy.

      How plump is your skin? Dry skin will suffer from lines, esp. around eyes and lips. This means the elasticity of the skin is slacking. Is your skin becoming looser. Usually evidence of dryness or increased skin maturity.

      Paler skin also tends to be more sensitive and thinner, so care must be taken with it.

      This is just a quick overview of skin types and a face to face consultation would give you a more in depth analysis. Do you have a facialist? They should be able to determine your skin type more accurately or Dermalogica do ‘Face Mapping’ at their approved salons, which will tell you were you fall in.

      Please do let me know if this information was helpful to you x


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