Are some parts of your skin oily and greasy, while other areas feel normal or even dry? If so, then you probably have a combination skin. As the name suggests, combination skin is part oily and part dry. Typically, the oily areas consist of the forehead, nose and chin also known as the T- zone while the cheeks and areas around the eyes are comparatively dry. The T-zone has also all the characteristics of the oily skin while the cheeks feature the traits of the dry skin.
The Tissue Test
The tissue test helps to find out if you certainly have a combination skin. When you get up in the morning perform this test. Take a tissue paper and press it against your face. If there’s oil on the tissue in the T-zone area but no oil where the tissue touched your cheeks, this shows that you have a combination skin.
Dr Sharmila Patil, well known Dermatologist from Fortis Hospital says, “Often when combination skin is talked about, an oily T-zone and dry areas on the rest of the face, like the cheeks, is often discussed. By definition, combination skin is skin that has more than one type of skin condition. Different combinations exist such as:
- Oily T-zone, dry, or normal cheeks
- Dry skin and areas affected by rosacea
- Acne prone areas and dry or normal areas
- Dry or normal areas and areas affected by eczema”
Causes of combination skin
Your skin gets oily when your sebaceous glands produce excess sebum, causing it to build on your skin.
There are several factors that cause combination skin, lets understand more about them.
Hormonal changes can lead to the changes in the skin types. Teens and young adults generally have oily skin, as an individual ages hormones changes and the oil production may decrease. Hormonal changes caused due to birth control pill, menstruation can make the skin oilier in some areas.
Climatic changes can aggravate combination skin. Hot and humid weather can make the skin oily while dry and cold weather can cause the skin to lose moisture and makes it dull in some areas.
Lipids also play an important role in combination skin. When lipids are not evenly spread throughout the skin certain areas become soft but oily and certain areas remain dry and rough.
Caring for combination skin:
Combination skin needs to be managed as you would treat two different skin types. It needs special care to balance the oily and dry areas on the face.
Dr Patil says, “An ideal skin care product to cleanse combination is one that is gentle, still removes excess oil and exfoliates the skin.” Some simple ways to manage combination skin are
- Cleansing: Use a mild cleanser or a gel cleanser to clean your face. Use the cleanser to not more than 2 times a day.
- Moisturize: Moisturizing your skin is important for every skin type. For combination skin you can choose 2 different moisturizers, a mild for the T-zone and heavier one for the dry areas. Dr Patil suggests, for dry areas, a moisturizer rich in emollients is needed. For sensitive skin fragrance-free moisturizers are ideal. It is also good to use a daytime moisturizer that has at least SPF 15 to protect your skin.
- Exfoliate: Exfoliate the skin regularly to remove dry and dead skin. It is important to exfoliate the skin as dead skin cells build up and block the pores that causes blemishes and black head.
- Sun screen: Protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun by using an oil free sun block.
- Toner: Toner should be used in the T-zone area and avoided over the dry areas. A mild toner would prevent any rebound oiliness.
- Try a mask: A clay mask can be used over the oily areas and a moisturizing mask over the dry areas.
- Make up tips: While applying makeup, it is best to choose the products that are best designed for combination skin.
Dr Patil says, “The perfect skin care product for combination skin more than likely does not exist. However, a combination of products to treat combination skin may work best. It is vital to pay attention to the way your skin reacts to a cleanser, moisturizer, and any other products you use. If irritation occurs, stop using the product and consult your dermatologist.”
Caring for combination skin is not very easy but with a little care and attention to the problems areas, you can keep your skin fresh and glowing.