Facial skin falls into five categories: normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination. While common, combination skin is challenging to manage. Optimal facial care requires understanding whether your skin is dry, normal, or combination. So, let’s explore what combination skin entails for proper care.
What is combination skin?
Many wonder about the specific needs of combination skin. This skin type combines oily and dry characteristics on different facial areas. Typically, the T-zone appears slightly oilier than the rest.
Classification of combination skin
Combination skin results from the blend of two primary skin types: oily and dry. However, some individuals might exhibit a more pronounced tendency toward either oily or dry skin. The preferred care routine will vary accordingly.
Understanding this property helps in balancing the two skin types and maintaining overall skin health, preventing common skin conditions.
Oily combination skin
Characterized by excessive oil secretion, especially in the central T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). During the summer, this skin type appears oily and sticky, similar to regular oily skin. However, in colder seasons, it tends to become drier on the cheeks, leading to peeling and redness.
Dry combination skin
In contrast to oily combination skin, the dry combination skin type tends to experience dryness on the cheeks or peeling around the nose and chin in colder weather. During the hot season, the cheeks remain significantly dry, while the T-zone exhibits reduced oiliness.
So, how can you identify this persistent skin type? Find the answer right here.
Recognizing combination skin
In addition to comprehending what combination skin entails, understanding how to recognize it is crucial in determining your skin type. Combination skin can be identified by:
- Oily skin in the T-zone due to excessive oil production.
- Large pores in the T-zone: This area, rich in sebaceous glands, often enlarges to release oil, resulting in relatively larger pores compared to other areas.
- Dry skin in areas outside the T-zone: Cheeks and eye areas tend to be very dry, potentially flaky, while the T-zone remains highly oily. Managing combination skin requires more attention during weather changes.
These are the initial signs. To confirm, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Thoroughly cleanse and wash your face.
- Step 2: Avoid using any facial products for 2 hours.
- Step 3: Carefully observe the skin, particularly the T-zone and cheeks. If the T-zone is oily with enlarged pores and small acne, while other areas appear dry, lackluster, and occasionally slightly flaky, you likely have combination skin.
What causes combination skin?
Like other skin types, combination skin can be influenced by genetics, similar to inheriting hair color, skin tone, and physique from your family.
Impact of external factors
Weather changes and exposure to dust are common external factors that can lead to dull, oily T-zones and dry cheeks in individuals with combination skin.
Improper skincare practices, such as aggressive face washing leading to skin abrasion and loss of moisture balance, can result in skin damage. Additionally, excessive cosmetic use can inadvertently stimulate increased sebum production, particularly in the T-zone area.
Diet significantly impacts your skin. Limit the consumption of oily foods, sweets, and alcohol if you notice skin degradation, puffiness, acne, or premature aging. These dietary habits are known culprits in causing skin issues.
Caring for combination skin is no easy task; it presents a challenge for anyone aspiring to have beautiful skin. Without proper and cautious care, the skin is prone to damage and potential allergic reactions. Let’s explore the simple steps for oily skin care below to help balance oil production and maintain a healthy, clean state!
The standard process of caring for combination skin
Evening care for combination skin
Step 1: Makeup removal
Effective makeup removal is crucial in eliminating excess oil, dirt, and makeup foundation from the skin’s surface. Therefore, daily makeup removal is essential for achieving a perfectly clean skin surface.
- For oily combination skin: Opt for an emulsifying makeup remover, avoiding products containing mineral oil to prevent pore clogging.
- For dry combination skin: Choose a product that provides necessary moisture without leaving a greasy residue.
Step 2: Use a facial cleanser
Merely removing makeup isn’t sufficient for thorough skin cleansing as makeup removers might not reach the sebum deep within the pores. Thus, an additional cleansing step is necessary, involving the use of a milk or gel cleanser. The ingredients in facial cleansers formulated for oily skin effectively cleanse the skin and regulate oil secretion.
Depending on whether you have dry combination or oily skin, select an appropriate cleanser for your skin type.
- For oily combination skin: Opt for a cleanser with natural ingredients like green tea, apple, etc., with a pH ranging from 5 to 5.5, avoiding high alkalinity.
- For dry combination skin: Choose a gentle, moisturizing cream cleanser without exfoliating particles or harsh detergents that might harm the skin.
Step 3: Use toner or rose water to balance the skin’s pH
Toner or balancing water is an essential step for balancing and moisturizing the skin, post face-wash, suitable for all skin types. Additionally, toner aids in clearing residual dirt and sebum from the pores, effectively minimizing their appearance. Opt for a toner specifically designed for oily skin to derive maximum benefits.
If your combination skin is prone to acne, select a toner product line featuring natural herbal extracts like centella asiatica, lettuce, and tea tree.
Step 4: Exfoliate
Combination skin often experiences clogged pores due to excess oil and exposure to external factors like dirt and sunlight. Consequently, oily skin tends to accumulate dead skin cells, potentially leading to pore blockage and acne. Hence, regular exfoliation is vital. Consider exfoliating your combination skin 2-3 times a week to maintain skin clarity and smoothness.
Step 5: Apply a mask
During hot summer months, combination skin tends to produce excess oil in the T-zone, necessitating the use of oil-control and skin-moisturizing masks, such as those containing green tea, avocado, oats, or egg white. Conversely, in cold winter conditions, combination skin tends to become notably dry, requiring additional moisturizing masks like an aloe vera mask, fresh milk mask, or Vitamin E mask.
Furthermore, applying a mask is an effective means to nourish the skin, prevent aging, and promote skin whitening.
Step 6: Moisturize your skin
To maintain hydration and nourishment, it’s essential to moisturize combination skin both during the day and at night. There’s a common misconception that oily skin should not be moisturized. However, this notion is inaccurate. In reality, excessive oil secretion is often a sign of skin dehydration and insufficient moisture. Consequently, the skin’s oil regulation can be adversely affected. Increased oil secretion is the skin’s attempt to compensate for the lack of hydration.
Therefore, it’s crucial not to overlook this step if you have oily skin!
Additionally, for those dealing with issues such as acne, pigmentation, scars, or dark spots, consider including a specialized cream in your skincare routine before applying regular moisturizer.
Daytime care for combination skin
Daytime care for combination skin requires three essential steps: cleansing, moisturizing, and protection. Follow these uncomplicated steps:
- Step 1: Cleanse your skin with a suitable cleanser.
- Step 2: Apply toner.
- Step 3: Moisturize your skin.
- Step 4: Apply sunscreen.
Ensure you apply sunscreen daily to safeguard your skin from the detrimental impacts of the environment. Remember, neglecting this crucial step can compromise the effectiveness of your preceding skincare routine.
Notes for caring for combination skin:
Hydration is key:
Ensuring adequate water intake helps maintain proper skin moisture, cell plumpness, and enhances circulation, promoting healthier skin.
Avoid harsh cleansers:
Steer clear of products containing sulfates, alcohol, or soaps, as these can strip the skin of its natural oils. Opt for a gentle cleanser that doesn’t cause abrasion and provides ample moisture.
Maintain a balanced diet and exercise routine:
Regular exercise not only alleviates stress but also improves blood circulation, supplying oxygen and essential nutrients for smoother, more radiant skin.
Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for healthy and glowing skin. Incorporate plenty of green vegetables and fruits while limiting consumption of fatty foods, fast food, spicy dishes, and sugary treats.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Adequate and timely sleep aids in regulating oil production and prevents premature skin aging, promoting a youthful complexion.
Manage stress levels
Prolonged stress can trigger excessive oil secretion. Cultivate habits that promote emotional balance, such as positive thinking, leisure activities, and relaxation with soothing music, to ensure overall well-being and healthy skin function.
Opt for natural-based facial cleansers
Choosing mild cleansers derived from natural ingredients is ideal for individuals with combination skin. These cleansers effectively cleanse oily areas without overly drying out other regions. It’s advisable to use a gentle cleanser 2-3 times daily for a thorough cleansing to eliminate accumulated impurities.
Exfoliation aids in unclogging pores in oily skin and facilitates deep moisture penetration in dry areas, enhancing the skin’s absorption of nutrients. For combination skin, gentle exfoliation 2-3 times a week with mild exfoliating products is recommended to eliminate dead skin cells without using harsh acidic or active products on the face.
Moisturizing for the skinAccording to skin experts, you should use different moisturizers for each facial area when you have combination skin. Specifically, use a cream with high moisturizing properties for dry skin and use a low moisturizer for oily skin to balance moisture on the skin, helping the skin to stretch and smooth.
Hands harbor unseen bacteria and dirt, making frequent facial contact a potential gateway for bacteria to enter the skin through the pores, leading to acne. Therefore, it’s advisable for everyone, especially those with combination skin, to minimize touching the face with hands.
Utilize oil blotting paper for facial skin
Oil blotting paper is an effective product that temporarily removes the oily layer from the skin without affecting makeup. Many working professionals use oil blotting paper to absorb excess oil in the T-zone, making it a convenient solution. It’s recommended to keep a pack of blotting paper on hand for quick touch-ups.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.