You might be wondering; “combination skin?” “Is that even a thing?”
The answer is; Yes, it is!
It is very possible for you to have oily skin and dry skin at the same time.
But before I go further, I just want to stay it is not so big a deal and it is not as complicated as it seems.
This article is a step by step guide. I would walk you through what skin combination is, help you figure out if you have it and determine ways to deal with it. First we begin with:
What is a combination skin?
As the name implies; when you have combination skin, it means that you have two skin types; oily and dry skin.
The first thing you need to know is that combination skin only occurs on your face. Every face has something called the “T-zone”. But if you have combination skin, when you draw the T shape across your face, you would realize every part within the T shape tends to be oily while parts outside are dry.
I mean: when you have combination skin, your forehead, your nose down to your chin are usually oily while your cheeks are dry.
How do I know I have combination skin?
It’s quite easy. There are some pointers that should help.
- First, You know you have combination skin if the concept of T-zone applies to your face. To determine this, you need a large blotting paper. Clean your face with a gentle face cleanser. Do not add any facial products. Leave your face for an hour. Then, place the blotting paper across your face. Press gently with your hands for a minute or two. When you remove it, you would realize the “T” shape on the paper.
- If you notice that you have dry and flaky skin in some areas of your face and clogged pores in other areas at the same time, you definitely have combination skin.
“I take good care of my skin. Why do I have two skin types?”
Combination skin is not about whether or not you take good care of your skin. So don’t worry, it is not anything you did or didn’t do.
Usually, combination skin is caused by an imbalance in your skin. Hormonal changes can be a factor.
So if you are undergoing puberty or pregnancy, you are prone to having combination skin. Genetics, menopause, and stress are also major factors that cause combination skin.
Your T-zone becomes really oily because these factors trigger your sebaceous glands in those areas. They begin to produce more sebum than usual. This makes it easier for your skin pores to get clogged.
Is this permanent or can it be treated?
Combination skin may not be permanent and it can be managed.
If it is hereditary, then you might have to perfect the art of managing it. But if it is caused by hormonal imbalances that last for a period of time, for example pregnancy or puberty, there are chances that it might be gone as soon as balance is regained.
Now that I have combination skin, does this mean I have to buy products for both dry and oily skin?
However, it is normal that this is the first solution that comes to mind. But if we are being truthful with each other, you will admit that it can be really stressful buying two of all skin care products.
Moreover, there is no way to ascertain where oily skin starts and where it ends. You could mistakenly apply the product for oily skin on the dry area of your skin.
The good news is that there are skin care products that are for all skin types. There are also skin care products that are specifically for combination skin types.
Look out for products with ingredients like glycerin, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid and hyaluronic acid. Basically you need mattifying ingredients and ingredients that absorb oil from your skin.
You might notice that during dry seasons like harmattan, your skin is predominantly dry because of the weather. Even the T-zone becomes normal. During this period you can use dry skin products.
Similarly, if you notice that during seasons when the weather is hot, your skin becomes excessive oily and even the dry part becomes normal, you can use oily skin products during this period.
So what exactly can I do to manage this?
First take a deep breath. You can continue with your daily basic skin care routine. All you need to do is make slight changes.
Use mild soaps or face cleansers
Make sure you use mild soaps.
Most soaps could be harsh and dry out your skin even more. If you can’t find a mild one or aren’t sure, look for cleansers that suit all skin types.
Watch out for ingredients like alcohol or sulphate and avoid them. They are harsh for your skin.
You could also go natural. You can cleanse your face with natural ingredients like honey, milk, cucumber, apple cider vinegar or pomegranate juice. Not only do they cleanse, they give a calming effect to your skin.
It’s very mild and works for ALL skin types.
It controls oily skin and also moisturizes dry skin.
This is the PERFECT soap for combination skin!
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Exfoliation involves the removal of dead skin cells. It also unclogs skin pores.
It is necessary that you exfoliate twice or thrice weekly.
While exfoliating, concentrate on the T-zone area. For combination skin, avoid exfoliants in form of scrubs. Instead opt for a gel or water-based exfoliant.
You can also go natural. You could use milk, ground coffee or honey to exfoliate your skin.
Pause for a minute and Relax
It is normal that when you carry out your daily activities, you get stressed out. However, stress affects your skin.
You need to create ways to relax. Read a book. Listen to music. Watch TV. Whatever works for you is cool.
Stress increases signs of aging and causes an imbalance in your body system. So make sure you find ways to relieve stress.
Remember that the sun is not your skin’s friend
Ultra violet rays from the sun do a lot of damage to your skin. It is advisable that when you go out and the sun is shining bright, you put on a cap or a hat.
Also make sure that your body is well covered to avoid direct contact with sunlight. Remember to take an umbrella with you.
Also use sunscreen; preferably one with an SPF (sun protection factor) that is above 30. This would prevent skin burns. It also serves as an anti-aging agent.
Get a toner
A toner should be inclusive in your daily skin care routine. It is good for your skin because it shrinks large skin pores in your T-zone. It also helps to even out any imbalance in your pH levels.
Get a toner that is suitable for all skin types.
You can also try green tea and apple cider vinegar on your skin. They are good alternatives.
Keep your hands still
Stop touching your face!! (yes, I’m shouting!)
This might not be easy because you probably do it without even being conscious of it.
However, you need to make conscious efforts to stop it. It is easy for your hands to pick up dirt and when you touch your face, you transfer both dirt and germs to your face.
You do not need a scientist to tell you that this is bad. Dirt clogs your skin pores, which in turn creates a much more oily T-zone.
Make blotting paper your companion
Wherever you go, make sure you have blotting paper with you. Whenever your face becomes oily, use a blotting paper to dab gently on your face. This way, your face stays oil free and you do not smear your makeup.
Anything else I need to know?
Right now? Not really.
With all this information, you should be able to effectively manage your combination skin properly.
You see? It’s not so big a deal after all!
You do not have to go out of your way to make life altering changes.
Try out these simple tips and soon, you just might forget you ever had combination skin.
Cheers to a beautiful skin ahead!