If you have combination skin, your skin is never happy. When you use products designed to treat oily skin, your "dry areas" are aggravated, turning red, irritated, and itchy. When you use products designed for dry skin, your T-zone becomes oilier and you break out.
Trying to balance your Jekyll and Hyde skin type can really seem like a mystery.
What is Combination Skin?
It's just as it sounds: combination skin is having oily skin in some areas of your face, and dry areas in others. The oily areas tend to cluster in the forehead, nose, and chin region, otherwise known as the "T-zone". The rest of your face tends to be dry and maybe flaky.
As frustrating as it is, it's the most common skin type out there. If you have combination skin, chances are:
- You see oiliness on some parts of your face soon after washing it.
- Using a moisturizer for normal skin makes your T-zone oily, but the rest of your face feel really good.
- The pores on your nose are much larger than the pores elsewhere.
- You have dandruff.
- You can breakout and have dry patches all at the same time.
- The weather dictates how oily your T-zone gets.
- You have flaky areas inside your T-zone.
- You have a hard time finding products that work: some make you breakout, while others leave you dry.
What Causes Combination Skin?
Most likely, your genetics are to blame for your combination skin. The skincare products you choose to use can be a major contributing factor, too. Products that contain harsh or irritating ingredients will cause some areas to dry out, while oil production will be stimulated in others.
How to Care For Combination Skin
When it comes to what products to use, if you're looking for the magic answer, you may not find it here, as there's no one-stop-shop or one-size-fits-all solution. You may have to care for different parts of your face differently. But it mostly comes down to trial and error.
- Avoid any products that contain harsh or skin-aggravating ingredients. Steer clear of sulfates, alcohol, fragrances, soap, and harsh chemicals. Also stay away from petroleum-based moisturizers like mineral oil in your lotions and foundations, since they're pore-clogging.
- Potent, concentrated amounts of beneficial ingredients in products with a gel, thin lotion, or liquid texture usually work well over the entire face, so you may need only a more emollient moisturizer over the very dry areas.
- Topical products containing probiotics have the ability to soothe skin on a cellular level and balance out the skin's microbiome. They're very gentle and usually work well for all skin types.
- Protect your skin from UV damage with a gentle SPF 30 sunscreen.
- Eating a diet rich in probiotics can affect the health and appearance of your skin. They stabilize the lining of your intestinal walls to combat inflammation and harmful bacteria, improve skin clarity, eliminate dryness, and enhance anti-aging effects.
- A diet that includes fatty acids from salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed can help to moisturize from the inside out without clogging your pores. Not a fan? Take a fish oil supplement.
- Exercise to get the blood pumping, and practice stress relief, since stress can make your skin more reactive.