Skin that’s free of obvious issues (what some call normal and others combo) tends to be oily along the T-zone and dry on the cheeks, so you need to pick products with dual functions.
Use a mild glycolic acid or gentle nonsoap wash that won’t strip away too much oil but will still help eradicate dirt and dead skin cells trapped in pores.
To buy: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, $12 at drugstores.
3 of 21Plamen Petkov
Normal or Combination: Day Lotion
A featherweight, oil-free moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher does the job for every area of your complexion.
To buy: Bioré Nourish Moisture Lotion SPF 15, $7 at drugstores.
4 of 21Plamen Petkov
Normal or Combination: Night Treatment
Creams with retinol or alpha hydroxy acids help unclog pores and improve fine lines. “Apply sparingly only where you see blemishes or creases,” says Amy Wechsler, a New York City dermatologist.
To buy: Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, $22 at drugstores.
5 of 21Greg Marino
Normal or Combination: Troubleshooter
Since the T-zone is prone to clogged pores and hence blackheads, spot-apply an oil-absorbing clay mask to your forehead, nose, and chin once or twice a week.
To buy: Kiss My Face Pore Shrink Deep Cleansing Mask, $13, amazon.com.
6 of 21Greg Marino
Normal or Combination: Who Knew?
Toners often get a bad rap, but they can be the perfect antidote to a shiny T-zone. Blot on only as needed to nix the greasies.
To buy: Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Daily Facial Towelettes, $5.50 at drugstores.
7 of 21Greg Marino
Your Skin Type: Oily
Your main goals: Keep pores clear, and don’t overdry, which can result in rebound greasiness. But don’t forgo moisturizing products—just be sure they won’t cause blemishes.
For a deep clean, wash morning and night. Consider using a power brush, says Elizabeth Hale, a New York City dermatologist. The latest versions come with pads infused with salicylic acid cleanser to stop breakouts.
To buy: Neutrogena Wave Sonic Power-Cleanser, $16 at drugstores.
8 of 21Greg Marino
Oily: Day Lotion
Although your skin might not require much extra moisture, it does need the protection of a broad-spectrum sunscreen year-round. Look for an oil-free lotion with SPF 15.
To buy: Garnier Moisture Rescue Lightweight UV-Lotion SPF 15, $8 at drugstores.
9 of 21Greg Marino
Oily: Night Treatment
Oily skin tends to be hardy and can tolerate potent ingredients. Use a retinol night cream to “dry up sebum and firm skin,” says Wechsler.
To buy: Derma-E Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate Wrinkle Treatment Crème, $13, vitaminshoppe.com.
10 of 21Greg Marino
Spot-treat the occasional blemish with a gel or a lotion that contains salicylic acid. It will absorb surface oil and help pimples heal faster.
To buy: Avon Clearskin Professional Invisible Blemish Treatment, $12, avon.com.
11 of 21Greg Marino
Oily: Who Knew?
Antidandruff shampoo kills oil-stimulating yeast on the scalp, and when it trickles onto the face, it can even slow sebum production there, says David Bank, a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York.
To buy: Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo, $5 at drugstores.
12 of 21Greg Marino
Your Skin Type: Dry or Mature
To care for this type of complexion, add as much moisture as possible, since your skin doesn’t produce adequate oil. And work to repair age-related damage (wrinkles, discoloration).
Choose a rich, creamy formula, and smooth it on with a wet washcloth to exfoliate gently. If your skin is extremely dry, cleanse only at night. In the morning, just splash your face with warm water.