A Guide to Combination Skin

Creative Commons License photo credit: Bombone Combination skin is an entire, separate skin type all in its own. Combination skin is neither completely normal, dry, or oily, but rather a mixture of each of those types, sometimes depending on the type of year or the climate in which one lives.

Usually, the oiliest parts of the body will be those that have the highest number of oil-producing glands and besides the face, include the back and shoulders and the chest area. The rest of the body has far fewer sebaceous, or oil, glands and therefore, may be prone to dryness.

The real cause of combination-type skin actually lies within the sebaceous glands within the skin that create more oil than necessary. The dry end of combination skin usually can be blamed on the environment, or one’s age as when we grow older, the body’s natural ability to keep the skin hydrated declines.

Most of us can easily tell if we have combination skin just simply by looking in a mirror as the dry portions will have telltale patches of flaky skin, and the oily section will more than likely have a few blackheads, pimples, or blemishes. Women with combination skin will also usually have a hard time keeping makeup in place throughout the day without reapplying.

Caring for Combination Skin

With combination skin, properly caring for the skin is often rather tricky as it’s important to keep dry areas amply moisturized, while keeping the oily parts of the skin clean and free from blemishes. Products that are designed for oily skin shouldn’t be used on dry skin as they will only make the problem worse, and may actually cause the skin to peel and crack from the extra dryness. So how is one to know what’s best for combination skin with the many different products available and the ever changing condition of this type of skin?

Start by cleaning the skin twice a day with lukewarm water, never hot, and always be sure to use a cleanser that doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients in order to keep the skin it’s cleanest and free from dead cells and dirt that will clog the pores. You may also want to use a toner after cleaning the face that’s either water or glycerin-based as well as regularly exfoliating the skin to completely remove the dead skin cells and ensure that newer, healthy ones will grow in their place.

When caring for normal/oily skin, it’s important to keep the skin well hydrated, but not too much in the areas prone to excess oils. Try using moisturizers that are water-based, instead of oily, and always use sparingly, if at all, in the oil-prone areas of the face and skin. For treating blemishes and pimples, products containing benzoyl peroxide are rather useful. Also, choose makeup that’s designed to absorb excess oils, and keep the skin as clean as possible to keep oils from clogging the pores.

For dry/oily skin, keep the dry portions amply moisturized with products rich with emollients. The areas around the eyes may also need extra moisture, but be careful to keep your moisturizer away from the classically oily T-zone, which is the forehead, nose, and chin.

Always remember the ever important aspect of using sunscreen, even on days that seem overcast or cloudy. Luckily, most brands of makeup such as powder and foundation also come with sunscreen making it easy to protect the skin and look your best all at the same time.

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