Combination skin commonly refers to oiliness in the T-zone (across your forehead and down your nose), with dryness on the cheeks.
Not all combination skin looks and feels the same. You may have the oily T-zone and dry cheeks, or you may not. Instead, you may have patches of dryness and areas of oiliness. You can distinguish these as follows:
- Dry Skin – feels tight, looks and feels rough, can be flaky, and is often dull. (1)
- Oily Skin – looks shiny or greasy, with large pores, blackheads and occasional or persistent pimples. (2)
The trick to combination skin, is to target specific treatment to the specific areas of dryness and oiliness separately. In other words, you may need to treat the dry patches with products specifically geared for dry skin, and treat the oily parts with products that target oily skin.
Tips for Combination Skin
Apart from using targeted skincare when needed, there are a few guidelines that apply to both dry and oily skin types.
- Use fragrance-free skincare products. (3)
- Do not use any products that contain alcohol as it can irritate both dry and oily skin. (4)
- Both oily and dry skin needs exfoliation to remove excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. Lactic acid is a relatively mild exfoliant that also has hydrating properties. (5)
- Use a high SPF sunscreen every day. (6) This is especially important if you are using a lactic acid exfoliant because it increases the sensitivity of your skin to sun exposure. (7)
- Moisturize your skin daily. Look for a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid, in either a gel or cream base (whichever feels better on your face). Hyaluronic acid hydrates your skin without being too heavy or greasy which could aggravate oiliness. (8)
You may need to try a few variations and combinations of skincare products before finding the right fit for your unique skin needs. If, however, your over-the-counter skincare products aren’t achieving the goals you’re looking for, make an appointment with a dermatologist (skin doctor) for professional help.