Having combination skin — that is, a face that's oily in some places but dry in others — won't exactly kill you. It's not really an affliction so much as it is a state of being. And that might explain why even though the dermatological type is the most common kind of skin out there, there aren't many good systems to treat it.

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But in April, Aesop released just such a system when its chemists unveiled In Two Minds. The range is designed to address the complexity of treating both types of skin at once, and to bring the skin to a healthy equilibrium in three simple steps: cleansing, toning and moisturizing.

It took Watkinson and her Melbourne-based team three years to perfect the formulas.

"Each of the products works together to gently cleanse combination skin, normalize sebum production, soothe irritation and provide lightweight hydration without overburdening the skin," says Dr. Rebecca Watkinson, Aesop's innovation and research manager.

bottles of aesop grooming products
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It took Watkinson and her Melbourne-based team three years to perfect the formulas, all of which use of witch hazel — an ingredient commonly used in toners. They focused in particular on getting the cleanser, which doubles as a gentle chemical exfoliant, just right.

"Cleansing is an important first step in caring for combination skin. It is crucial to use a mild cleanser that does not strip or aggravate the skin," Watkinson says. "Our In Two Minds Cleanser is a gel-based cleanser containing salicylic acid and offers gentle yet thorough cleansing, removing excess sebum without aggravation."

Other ingredients that pop up in each product, like chamomile and lavender, hydrate and calm the skin without adding oily buildup. The toner balances the skin’s pH levels and helps clear away any residue the cleanser might leave behind, getting the skin ready for the herbaceous hydrator. Aesop suggests using just two pumps of this lotion as a finishing step to protect the skin against age-accelerating environmental wear.

And while the idea of a three-step regimen for combination skin isn't exactly new, until now it's more or less required hunting the aisles of a drugstore for three separate products — or paying a dermatologist to recommend them for you. In Two Minds makes it easy to get an effective, end-to-end system all in one place.

  • Cleanse: Gel-based formula cleanses without drying
  • Tone: Mild astringent soothes the skin and removes impurities
  • Moisturize: Lightweight lotion absorbs quickly

    Buy Now: $128

    This story is part of the GP100, Gear Patrol's annual index of the 100 best products of the year. To see the full list of products or read this story in print, check out Gear Patrol Magazine: Issue Eight, available now at the Gear Patrol Store.