Proper skin care for combination skin is best described as a delicate balancing act.
Aging and Wrinkles
Introduction to Sun Protection
Tanning and Burning
Winter and Summer
Skin Types - Combination Skin
Combination skin is a separate category of skin type which can have its own problems.
Combination skin is neither 100% dry, or normal, or oily. It's instead a mixture, or blend, that's characterized as normal and oily skin, or skin that's oily and dry. In other words, like the old song you may have heard, combination skin is 'a little bit of this, and a little bit of that'.
The common denominator in either type of combination skin is the presence of oily areas so care must be taken not to further aggravate these areas. Usually, it's the areas with the highest concentration of oil-producing glands – the face, chest, shoulders and the back – that are oily. Other body parts have fewer oil glands which is why they're either normal or have characteristics of dryness.
The cause of combination skin really has to do with oil-producing glands that produce more oil than normal. Dryness is primarily caused by the environment, age and the breakdown of the intracellular matrix.
Most people know whether they have combination skin just by looking at it. The areas that appear shiny likely will have some amount of pimples and/or blackheads. Makeup and other cosmetics usually won't last through an entire day without re-application. Dry areas flake and appear dull and may feel irritated.
Skin care for combination skin
Proper skin care for combination skin is best described as a delicate balancing act. You don't want to over-moisturize the oily areas, which mainly include the 'T-zone' or you risk waking up with an explosion of blemishes dotting your face. And likewise, you don't want to apply products formulated for oily skin to the areas that aren't oily or you risk waking up with skin that feels taut and scaly, especially around the eyes and mouth. So what's the proper way to care for combination skin?
Cleansing twice daily with warm water and a gentle cleanser is most important. This helps to remove dead skin cells, dirt and excess oil so they don't block pore openings. Follow with a toner that's either water-based or glycerin-based after cleansing to help remove remaining residue. Periodic exfoliating is recommended to remove any remaining dead cells so new skin can take its place. It helps keep skin looking fresh and radiant. Be sure to look for skin care products that aim to balance the different skin types.
For oily-normal skin, you want to keep skin hydrated, but dry in the areas prone to excessive oil. Choose moisturizers that are water-based rather than oil-based, making sure to apply sparingly to oil-prone areas. Spot-treat blemishes as necessary. Benzoyl peroxide products are very effective. Apply cosmetics designed to absorb oils, like powders or dab with oil-absorbing tissues as necessary.
For oily-dry skin, moisturizing dry areas with emollient-based products is important to keep skin feeling fresh. The eyes may need an even heavier moisturizer and if so, just be sure to keep it away from the T-zone.
And never forget the importance of applying sunscreen. Fortunately, many foundations and powders now do double-duty as both make-up and sunscreen!