How to Get a Handle on Combination Skin

While oily or dry skin may present problems of their own, there is probably no more difficult skin to deal with than combination skin.

Those with combination skin will have dry skin on parts of their face, and oily on others.

The most common pattern for combination skin will result in the forehead, nose, and chin being oily, but the cheeks being dry. The area that is oily is often called the T-Zone.

This can make it hard, not only when choosing a moisturizer, but also when deciding on what soap or face wash to use.

Genetics will determine whether you have combination skin, and it will probably only become noticeable as you head into your teen years.

Characteristics of Combination Skin

It actually isn’t too difficult to tell that you have combination skin, and some of the most common traits of this skin type will probably be all too familiar to you.

Those with combination skin will often find that their nose and forehead will become shiny looking shortly after washing, while their cheeks are still dry, and perhaps even flaky.

Acne and pimples will usually occur in the oily zones of your face, while the drier areas will be blemish free.

Trying to keep each part of your face healthy can be difficult if you have combination skin, but suggestions on Facing Acne might help steer you in the right direction. 

Embarrassingly large pores, signs of overactive sebaceous glands, will be present on your nose, particularly, while the pores on your cheeks are of normal size.

Treating the T-Zone for oiliness can leave the rest of your face too dry, so that it looks dull and lifeless.

The weather can actually cause more problems with combination skin – if you’re experiencing a hot spell during the summer, the oily areas will likely look even oilier as your sweat glands also become more active.

Likewise, cold weather and the dry indoor climate during the winter can make your dry areas even more stressed, sometimes to the point of actually cracking.

The dry areas of your face will often show signs of aging, such as lines and wrinkles, before the oily portions do.

Oddly enough, dandruff is often associated with combination skin. And, as with the different zones on the face, some parts of your scalp might be dry and producing falls of dandruff while others may be oilier and make your hair look greasy shortly after washing it.

How to Take Good Care of Your Combination Skin

Yes, it is true that caring for combination skin really can present challenges, but a bit of extra effort to manage this rather difficult skin type can help you to achieve the complexion you want.

Finding out what can make a visible difference in your combination skin can make this ‘techy’ skin type much easier to live with.

Because it will be basically impossible to use one type of cleanser on your T-Zone and another on your dry spots, it’s best to rely upon a mild, unscented facial cleanser. 

Because of the difficulties with acne in oily areas of your face, stay away from oil based cleansers and use water based cleaners. Glycerin products or gels are good choices here.

Even if your oily spots are breaking out, resist the temptation to wash your face more than twice a day.

Washing your face too much can be counterproductive for both the dry and oily parts; dry spots will be made even drier, and the sebaceous glands in the oily areas will over-produce oil and sebum to make up for what they perceive is a lack of proper skin protection.

You will obviously need a moisturizer to maintain the condition of your skin, and here is a place where you can rather easily use two different products without problem.

To keep your dry areas of the face properly moisturized, use a light, oil based moisturizer – it’s not really difficult to keep this from the oilier spots, just make sure that you rub it in completely so that it cannot spread to your T-Zone.

For the oily places, use a water based moisturizer, preferably a lotion that will not clog your pores and cause acne.

Choosing a good exfoliator will also provide benefits to your combination skin.

An exfoliant will work not only to remove the excess dead skin cells from the dry parts of your face, but also help to clean out clogged pores and remove excess oil from your T-Zone. Tend towards the gentle exfoliators, rather than abrasive ones.

The Bottom Line

All of the above suggestions can help you to manage your combination skin without too much fuss and bother, but also remember to get adequate rest every night and eat a balanced diet.

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