Some people tend to get confused when skin care products for both extremes of the spectrum (dry and oily) do not provide the results they hope to get. Certain areas of the face remain dry and rough to touch, while other areas become slick and greasy with oil. There are also chances that you could be struggling with fine lines and clogged pores or uneven skin tone and texture. If your skin health matches these conditions, you may have a combination skin type.
What Is Combination Skin?
The primary trait of a combination skin type is the presence of both oily and dry skin. Most likely to affect the face, your “T-zone” (forehead, nose and chin areas) will exhibit higher levels of sebum (natural oil) production while the surrounding areas become dry and flaky. These conditions can occur simultaneously or when there is a change in weather conditions.
What Are The Signs Of Combination Skin?
1) Some areas of your face are oilier than others, even after washing.
2) Normal skin moisturizer helps your cheek areas but makes your T-zone oily.
3) You have enlarged pores on your nose but not on your cheeks.
4) Acne breakouts and dry patches occur simultaneously.
5) Your skin reacts to weather changes, oilier in hotter climates and dry in colder ones.
6) The dry and flaky areas are tinged yellow with a layer of inflamed skin under it. This is a case of seborrheic dermatitis.
Also Read: How To Reduce Skin Inflammation?
What Are The Causes Of Combination Skin?
It is important to note that extreme lifestyle or product changes can bring a variety of skin conditions to manifest.
1) Hormonal imbalance due to metabolic changes or medications, which upset the biological balance.
2) Hereditary, including the chances of having a combination skin type. As with most physical traits, your skin type is influenced by your genetic makeup.
3) The excessive oil content in your T-zone is due to overactive sebaceous glands that produce the essential oils required to keep your skin hydrated. The high quantities of sebum can be produced due to stress or hormonal shifts.
4) Clogged pores can aggravate the T-zone making the body produce more sebum. If left unchecked, it can lead to other skin conditions (acne, rosacea etc.). The dry areas are unable to use external sources of hydration which complicates the issue even further.
5) Skin products with harsh and abrasive chemical ingredients dry the skin further, which in turn make the glands in certain areas work excessively.
Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Oily Skin?
Combination Skin Care Routine
There is no strict clinical treatment for combination skin. Balance the varying conditions of your skin with the most appropriate skin care routine, depending on the symptoms you experience and you will be able to have the gorgeous skin tone and texture you desire.
1) Using a water-soluble cleanser will help clean the build-up of dead skin cells, debris, impurities, and residue from products, without drying the skin or compromising its elasticity.
2) Use of a low strength toner, ideally with natural replenishing ingredients and antioxidants. This will avoid any extra oiliness or dryness in the affected areas.
3) Using a leave-on exfoliant is the safest way to ensure there is no damage to your skin, from the abrasion of conventional exfoliation methods. Dead skin will shed naturally and skin texture improves by unclogging the pores and smoothing out dry skin while controlling the oil content.
4) Regardless of your skin type, always protect yourself from the UV rays of the sun with a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Choose a light cream with a matte finish for combination skin. If you use a serum for your dry skin areas, apply a layer after using that for effective protection.
5) Applying a night cream in combination with a serum or gel applied to their respective oily and dry skin areas will go a long way in improving the overall skin texture and tone. Nutrients are replenished and these products have an anti-oxidizing effect which helps with any fine lines and wrinkles that develop along with the clogged pore problems common with combination skin.
6) Occasionally use a face mask to improve your complexion. A multi-mask is the most suitable for combination skin types.
7) Blot excess oil as frequently as possible to keep the pores open. Particularly in the middle of the day. It has the additional benefit of not ruining any effort put into the makeup you used for your look for the day.
It is important to pay attention to the state of the affected area. While it can be cumbersome, combination skin requires targeted spot care.
How To Treat Combination Skin?
The skin care routine may sound like a full-time job, but there are lifestyle tips that can help you manage it better.
1) Avoid using soaps on your face as they directly irritate and aggravate the symptoms of combination skin.
2) Moisturize often but in the right areas and with a light cream. The aim should be to hydrate dry skin while having a matte effect on the oily areas.
3) Your hands inevitably come in contact with several surfaces during the day. Try to avoid touching your face, to stop the transfer of bacteria and other debris which can aggravate your skin.
4) Store your skincare products in cool and dry place. The lowered temperature will help with inflammation and redness when applied.
5) Some cleansers need to be used at different times of the day for maximum effectiveness. Use a foaming cleanser in the morning to reduce the oil level and a cream cleanser at night to hydrate the skin.
Problems Of Combination Skin
Due to the polar opposite conditions with combination skin, there is a tendency to see,
1) Clogged and enlarged pores around the nose and forehead.
2) Shiny and oily skin in your T-zone.
3) Dry skin that flakes outside the T-zone.
4) Areas like the cheek and neck are more sensitive to skin cleansers.
5) Medication for acne can dry the skin further during colder times of the year.
6) The retinoids in anti-aging products can break the skin barrier causing bouts of inflammation.
As a result, it may be difficult to find products to suit your skin type. This can also be an issue for the scalp area which may lead to dry and damaged hair or an increase in hair shedding.
Combination skin often stumps individuals when it comes to skin care. Knowledge is truly power and the best source will be a dermatologist. Apart from recommending an ideal routine to follow, they can also suggest topical creams or oral medications to help combat your specific range of symptoms.