How to Care for a Combination Skin Type
What is Combination Skin?
Combination skin can be characterized as having two or more different skin types on the face. Typically, the cheeks and eye area are dry and flaky, whereas the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) is oily because there are more sebaceous (oil) glands in this area. They also tend to be more active in combo skin, which creates a shiny appearance, clogged pores, and even breakouts.
What Causes Combination Skin?
Genetics play a significant role in determining your skin type. So, if one of your parents — or even grandparents — were acne-prone and battled shine, it’s likely that you will too. Factors that can aggravate combination skin include the weather (some people produce more sebum in warmer, more humid climates), fluctuating hormones, and certain skincare ingredients. Many people make the mistake of using harsh products, thinking that they will help control oil. In reality, they are stripping the skin of its natural oils, which causes the skin to produce even more oil as a self-defense mechanism while drying out the other parts of the face even further.
How Can You Tell If You Have Combination Skin?
- Determining your skin type can be tricky, but you must know which type you have so that you can treat it appropriately. You know you have combination skin if:
- About 20 minutes after cleansing your face, you start to see a sheen in your T-zone while your cheeks remain dry — maybe even flaky.
- After you apply a moisturizer, it sinks into your cheeks but remains greasy in your T-Zone.
- You have visibly large pores in your T-Zone — especially in the nose area. It’s likely that you also have blackheads and whiteheads because of oil, dirt, and dead skin cells trapped in the pores.
- While you may experience breakouts in the oily areas, you’re simultaneously battling dry patches on the rest of the face. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of a combination skin type.
- It’s not uncommon for those with combination skin to have dandruff on their scalp — especially if they exhibit substantial dryness on some parts of their face. This association is typically more common with women.
Skincare Routine for Combination Skin
Those with combination skin may struggle to find the right skincare routine because they need to treat two different skin types at once. Finding the best products for combination skin can take a little trial and error to strike the right balance.
- Use a Gentle Cleanser: Use a gentle face cleanser day and night. As mentioned, harsh ingredients (and over-cleansing, for that matter) will only make oilier skin produce more oil while drying out other areas even more. Opt for a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser that doesn’t foam. Keep in mind that there’s no miracle cure to reduce pore size. In fact, no evidence proves it’s even possible. What you can do is make them appear smaller with proper cleansing.
- Exfoliate Regularly: Again, don’t reach for an aggressive formula. Go for a gentle scrub or an enzymatic exfoliant that dissolves dead skin cells instead of sweeping them away — especially if you’re experiencing breakouts. Exfoliating can help clear out the clogged pores in oily sections of the face while making it easier for moisture to penetrate the skin in dry areas. You should exfoliate about two times a week.
- Incorporate a Serum: An overproduction of oil can create an inflammatory response, resulting in swelling and (or) irritation. Since the skin becomes thinner as we age, the inflammation can become exasperated. Along with neutralizing skin-damaging free radicals, correcting the signs of age, protecting against the sun, brightening and toning, and helping the skin repair itself, antioxidants are also natural inflammation blockers. Hyaluronic acid is a great combination skincare ingredient because it provides moisture without adding any oil.
- Moisturize Correctly: Moisturizing combination skin can be tricky, and depending on the severity of your dry areas, it may be easier to use a light-weight, water-based, oil-controlling moisturizer in your T-Zone and a more rich formula in your dry areas. When crafting your combination skin routine, you’ll likely have to do a little experimenting to see what works best for you.
- Always Wear Sunscreen: No matter what skin type you have, sunscreen is an absolute must. Did you know that sun exposure is responsible for 90% of the visible changes that happen to the skin — especially wrinkles? Every time you head outdoors (even on rainy days or in the dead of winter), apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. No sunscreen can provide complete protection from UVB rays. Still, you can take additional measures such as wearing protective clothing and avoiding direct sunlight during the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest and most dangerous.
- Don’t Forget About Your Eyes: The delicate skin around the eyes is one of the first places to show signs of age — it’s also one spot that oiliness can’t help. There’s evidence that lines around your eyes pop up regardless of skin type so give your peepers some TLC with a gel or gel-cream formula that targets fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness (caffeine is king.)
Soften Fine Lines and Wrinkles: It’s likely that the drier areas of your skin may show fine lines and wrinkles before the oiler sections such as the forehead. Lines tend to be more prominent on the lower half of their face due to collagen loss (the skin loses collagen at a rate of one percent per year) and other intrinsic and extrinsic factors. We’re talking about fluctuating hormones, oxidative stress, glycation, sun exposure, and lifestyle habits. Of course, that doesn’t mean oily skin will always be completely wrinkle-free.
Soften your fine lines and wrinkles with SiO’s skin-smoothing patches. They’re the perfect needle-free remedy to hydrate, plump, and rejuvenate your skin. SiO patches are made of medical-grade silicone, so they comfortably hug the skin, gently compressing it to stay flat and smooth, which minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The best part? You’ll see results in just a few hours! Even better, they also work on a progressive level with regular use.