The Beginner’s Guide to Combination Skin Care

Updated on April 22nd, 2021
Combination Skin care tips

Looking after our skin means finding a skincare regimen that works for our skin type. But what happens if we have combination skin? In other words, our skin ticks both the dry and oily boxes. Well, there’s no need to fear.

Although caring for combination skin is not always the simplest, it’s still possible to find a regimen that simultaneously combats shininess and dry patches. It doesn’t matter if our oiliness isn’t in the “usual” T-zone, if we experience dryness in random places, or if we have other issues like larger-looking pores and breakouts [1].

The approach is similar, no matter what our combination skin feels and looks like.

What causes it?

Our skin type is genetically determined, and we cannot actively alter our skin type. But the hormonal fluctuations and aging process can cause skin changes.

As we age, the skin usually becomes less oily and drier [2]. Contraceptives and hormone-driven factors, like periods and, can also affect our skin. As can our diet, the weather, and our current skin care regimen — mainly if we’re using harsh products.

Are there different types?

There’s no set formula for combination skin: Everyone is different. However, combination skin commonly refers to dryness on the cheeks and oiliness in the T-zone. The glossy look is a result of a high concentration of oil glands [3]. Pay attention to your skin to draw out its diverse needs.

Signs of oiliness include:

  • larger-looking pores
  • shiny skin
  • whiteheads
  • blackheads

Dryness, however, can mean:

  • redness
  • flaking
  • a tight or rough feeling

Some individuals with combination skin may also have skin sensitivity. This means they develop stinging, burning, or other reactions when trying to apply to skin care products [4].

[Read: 7 Life-Changing Skin Care Secrets]

Combination Skin care tips:

Are there any general guidelines?

When caring for our skin, it’s essential to remember that we’re unique. What acts for others may not work for us. This is strikingly correct when it comes to combination skin. It ’is one of the trickiest skin types to look after, as various parts of the face tend to require multiple techniques.

But no matter what type of combination skin we have, here are a few pointers to get us started.

1. Divide and conquer

Unfortunately, we may not be able to care for our entire face in one go. Instead, split your face into its numerous types (dry, oily, etc.) and treat each appropriately. Matte-finish ingredients and reserve oil-absorbing and  for oily areas

To minimize excessive oiliness, we’ll want to use skin care products that mattify skin and absorb oil. The only issue is that these kinds of products can disturb dry areas, so make sure you are precise in your application. Dab them onto the required areas, rather than rubbing them all over the face.

[Read: Home Remedies for Oily Skin]

2. Reserve emollients for dry areas

  • Similarly, we’ll want to apply moisturizing products to dry places only.
  • If they come into touch with oily patches, they can cause them oilier.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match
  • Assess your skin daily and change your regimen to fit.

For instance, if you are having a day when the skin is irritated, cut down on skincare that is dehydrating and apply moisturizers adequately. You may also only use specific treatments once every seven days or alternate between multiple serums.

3. Identify when to layer — and when to skip it.

While layering products, the usual belief is to start with thinner, water-based formulas before moving on to oil-based thicker ones.

However, certain areas of our face may not take too kindly to, or even require, this approach. Some ingredients, like AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), can benefit your entire face. It’s generally fine to layer a rich hydrating product on top of dry areas in those cases. Oily parts of the face, however, will benefit from a more lightweight approach. And for sensitive skin: The fewer you apply, the better.

Avoid products with extreme fragrance or other irritants. Any product that includes harsh ingredients like alcohol or fragrance can irritate both oily and dry skin. Dry areas can become drier, while oily parts can produce more oil, possibly leading to breakouts.

[Read: How to Get Rid of Dry Skin]

4. Opt for non-comedogenic products

So, we know that our products aren’t classed as irritants. Next, we need to check whether they’re likely to clog our pores. To avoid aggravating acne-prone and oily skin, try sticking to non-comedogenic potions and lotions. But do not just go by the claims printed on the bottle.

Check the ingredients list for big culprits, like lanolins and isopropyl myristate, along with helpful additions, like sunflower oil and hemp seed oil.

5. Stay hydrated

Besides applying hydrating products to your skin, it’s necessary to ensure you are drinking plenty of water every day. Hydration can help prevent flaky, dry skin and stop the skin from excessively producing oil.

Although there is still a question mark surrounding the association between water intake and hydrated skin, having at least eight cups of water daily is suggested.

Bottom Line

We should remember that patience is key when caring for combination skin. Finding the proper routine can be complex, and it can take a good 30 or 60 days before we see any results. But using the correct products in the appropriate areas, both morning and evening should get our skin in the finest possible shape.

If you think like things aren’t going the way you expected, and you have the means, you might look at booking an appointment with a dermatologist

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