skin care for combination skin
Skin Type Spotlight

Skin Type Spotlight: Combination Skin

November 3, 2020

In the next blog for the series of skin type spotlight blogs we’re doing, we’ll be looking at proper skin care for combination skin.

We’ve gone through several skin types and how to care for different common skin types. In this next blog in the series, we’ll be looking at how to care for another common and complicated skin type: combination skin.

What is the combination skin type?

People with the combination skin type typically have oilier t-zones, with dry skin around the rest of the face—but the definition of combination skin isn’t limited to that. People with combination skin can also have a combination of acne-prone and sensitive skin or even acne-prone and dry skin. 

When you have combination skin, you’ll notice different signs on different parts of your face; for instance, if you have an oily-dry combination, you’ll notice the signs of dry skin we’ve previously discussed—tightening around the eyes and the mouth, as well as flaking, itchy or irritated skin in other parts of your face, and signs of oily skin on your forehead, nose and part of your cheeks (the t-zone)—larger pores and a little bit of shine within an hour after showering. You may also be more prone to acne in the oily areas.

What should people with combination skin focus on?

People with combination skin should focus on balance instead of on separate treatments for the different areas of the face. Using two different formulations can irritate your skin even further. Your focus should be on balance—restoring the balance of your skin so that it’s evenly healthy and supple all over. 

Another thing you should focus on is spot treatment. Because you have different skin types in one, using concentrated spot treatments as part of your skin care routine is the best way to address different issues without having to do two separate routines for different areas of your face. 

Skin care tips for people with combination skin

The tricky part about choosing products for combination skin is finding a balanced product that will be gentle enough for your dry skin, but also balancing enough to address the oily areas. Here’s a routine that you can follow: 

  1. Use a gentle gel cleanser. A gel cleanser is gentle and hydrating enough not to irritate dry skin, but it’s also formulated not to aggravate oily skin. You can switch to a cream cleanser if your skin gets too dry. 
  2. Use a toner that balances out your pH. A witch hazel toner is perfect for combination skin because it rebalances your skin’s pH level, allowing moisture in the dry parts of your skin while helping fight the oil production on your t-zone. It also helps control your acne if your t-zone is acne-prone.
  3. Spot-treat problem areas. Because you’re dealing with distinctly different skin issues, you should use serums and ointments to spot-treat each issue. An AHA/BHA serum is good for addressing acne breakouts, while you can use hydrating formulas with glycerin, dimethicone, or hyaluronic acid to soothe and hydrate dry spots. 
  4. Use a lightweight moisturizer. Oil-based moisturizers aren’t recommended for people with combination skin because it might make the t-zone worse. Instead, opt for a lightweight moisturizer with hyaluronic acid or ceramide for moisture. 
  5. Go for a zinc oxide-based sunscreen. It gives you a matte finish, which helps keep the shine at bay while protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 
  6. Use a retinol serum at night. Retinol is good for either oily or dry skin, making it a perfect treatment for your nighttime skin care routine. 

You’ll need to go through trial and error to figure out the right combination of products for your skin, but as long as you’re focused on balance, you’re going the right direction. Once you do find a combination that works for you, stick to your routine religiously and you’ll see your skin become healthier in no time. 

Watch out for our next blog in this series, where we’ll be discussing care for sensitive skin!

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