You’ve tried everything there is for oily skin, but suddenly dry patches appear. Then, you think maybe products for dry skin will work. But, no… they just made your T-zone even more oily and now you’re breaking out and you are left to despair and try to figure out why nothing works for your skin type.
You might be dealing with the combination skin type! Yes, that’s a thing too. And, if you want to learn everything there is about this skin type, and how to take proper care of it - you came to the right place.
Want to know exactly what the skin types are, what defines a combination skin type, and what to do? Keep on reading!
Let’s try not to turn this into a biology lesson and just go through the basic and essential information that will help you understand your skin better.
You already know that the skin is the body’s largest organ - a soft tissue that protects our internal organs from the environment using a cellular barrier, and protective oils. The skin also maintains our health by regulating our body temperature and produces Vitamin D, which is really important for our overall health.
There are two major layers of the skin: the epidermis, which faces the environment directly, and the dermis, which lies beneath.
Inside the dermis is where the hair follicles, sweat glands, and “sebaceous glands” can be found. The sebaceous glands produce the waxy, oily substance that coats your skin to protect it from environmental damage, and they’re also responsible for your specific skin type.
What does this really mean?
Well, as humans we all have the same biology and the same skin structure, but we’re different in how efficient our body is in performing these functions and how it reacts to specific environmental influences.
In this context, people can have more or less active sebaceous glands, more or less active sweat glands, and may store more or less water in their skin. And, these are the characteristics that define your skin type.
Officially, there are five types of skin.
Normal skin type is defined as just the right balance of oil and water. It successfully protects itself from the environmental conditions without getting too dry or too oily. It’s characterized with small pores and not overly active sebaceous glands.
This skin type is characterized by large pores, shiny complexion, very active oil-glands, and frequent acne breakouts. This is because the sebaceous glands produce a lot of oil, which builds up in the pores, widens them and causes irritation. You can find more information about oily skin type and how to care for it in this article.
People with dry skin often experience rough complexion, tightness, and dullness of the skin. Problems associated with dry skin include early-age wrinkles and lines, dry patches with scaling flakes. Irritated red patches may also develop, and pores may be completely invisible.
To learn more about dry skin and how to take care of it, visit this article.
Combination skin type is when you have oily skin in some areas on the face, but normal or even dry in others.
Just as with oily skin, people with combination skin are facing problems such as large pores, blackheads, pimples, and a lot of shine. But, at the same time, these people can feel the skin tight, dull, and have dry patches or cracks on the skin.
Read on to find out more about this skin type and learn how to properly take care of it.
Sensitive skin is defined as easily irritated skin that often develops redness, itching, burning, and dryness as a reaction to some environmental influences, or skincare products.
People with sensitive skin often struggle to find the right products and skincare regime that won’t hurt their skin even more. If you suspect you might have sensitive skin, read more in detail about it here.
If you want to learn how to properly care for the combination skin type, you first need to learn what exactly combination skin is. Really researching this skin type and the methods to find out if you really have it, as well as how to take care of it, can give you the ability to help your skin find a perfect balance.
You might be wondering how do you exactly determine if you have combination skin type and not just oily skin? And that’s indeed the biggest question, as these two skin types can be easily mixed up.
Combination skin is exactly what the name suggests, a combination of oily and normal to dry skin type. Some areas of your skin are oily and more prone to acne breakouts and blackheads, with large open pores. These are the areas around the center of your forehead, the nose, and the chin. The cheeks and the skin around your eyes on the other side might feel normal or even dry.
This happens because the sebaceous glands on the face are more concentrated in the T-zone, making the skin more dull and rough because of a buildup of dead skin cells.
Make a quick test!
Place a clean tissue on your face and see if you can notice a difference in oiliness and debris on the tissue while going through the different areas on the face.
Diagnosing Combination Skin
Here are some of the symptoms and the typical problems people with combination skin type are facing on a daily basis:
This is something you should notice after you wash your face. If you haven’t noticed how your skin reacts after being washed, you can even make a little experiment.
In the morning, wash your entire face with a gentle cleanser and wait for twenty minutes to an hour. Wash your hands, dry them and touch your face to see if some parts, especially the T-zone feels oilier than the rest of the face - for example, your cheeks.
People who have combination skin type will notice the area around the center of their face to be a lot more oily than the cheeks.
Another problem that is common for people with combination skin type is that typical moisturizers don’t work for them - at least not quite. You might feel your face smooth and gentle, even glowing, but your nose starts looking greasy. This is because the T-zone is already oilier than the rest of the face, so when you add the moisturizer that causes overhydration and excess oil that the skin just can’t absorb it all. The key is to find the right moisturizer for your skin.
Some people think this is blackheads, which it might be. But, in most cases, those little black dots on the nose are actually enlarged pores. This is because the oil glands are over-stimulated in that area and a lot more oil is being released. In addition, larger pores also mean greater chances for clogging them - the end result being blackheads or acne-breakouts. If you want to know how to shrink your pores and make this area less acne-prone, refer to the home remedies at the end of this text.
A lot of people have dandruff, meaning that only the presence of dandruff itself, doesn't indicate you have a combination skin type. But, it’s been noticed that women who are diagnosed with combination skin type, often have the dandruff problem as well.
This symptom might be the most annoying of them all, and even make you feel like you’re fighting at two fronts at the same time. So, you have acne breaking out, mostly in the center of your face and your T-zone while your mouth or cheeks feel very dry to a point that you start to notice dry patches. It’s not uncommon to notice dry flaky patches on your nose while breaking out.
Don’t despair. Maintaining a balance is key.
With the right product or the right home remedy, and some lifestyle tips you can keep the oil at bay while still maintaining moisture in order to prevent dry patches.
Most experts and dermatologists agree that a number of factors are at play when it comes to skin types. But, unfortunately, most often it comes down to the luck of the draw from your parent’s gene pool. And, before you give up all hope, even though this means that you can’t change your skin, you can still change the things you do and the products you use, in order to help your skin find a balance between the two extremes.
I’m sure you are interested in knowing what happens on the inside. We already mentioned that many factors are involved in making one’s skin type, and genetics are the main culprit. But, how exactly does this happen?
Well, the activity of the sebaceous glands and the skin’s level of sensitivity (how easily external particles can influence and change the skin) dictate whether the skin is normal, dry, oily, or sensitive. In people with combination skin, the sebaceous glands are very active in one area of the face, while very inactive in others. Unfortunately, this is not something you can change, but you can influence the process with proper care.
Cleansing your skin is important, and finding the right cleanser even more. You should aim for the one that will effectively remove impurities, debris, and makeup without making the skin tight, dry or greasy.
Avoid harsh cleansers like sulfates, alcohol, and soaps that can strip your skin of its natural oils.
A good toner can help nourish dry skin and minimize oiliness at the same time.
You might be scared of moisturizing, knowing how oily your skin can get around your nose, but find a moisturizer that will mattify the oily areas on your face, without letting the other areas dry out. If you have tried many products, and nothing works - try making one yourself using natural home remedies.
Not just for your overall health, but by exercising you are stimulating circulation and blood flow to your skin on the face. This might make you a little blushed, but the redness quickly fades off, and the nutrients delivered to the pores from that blood flow will bring you long term benefits.
The sun can damage the skin, and contribute to a lot of scary conditions, including skin cancer. For people with combination skin, the sun can make your T-zone even oiler and the rest of the face even drier and burned.
When you are buying a sunscreen make sure you choose one for your particular skin type.
Touching your face can only bring more bacteria, infections, and germs to your pores, clog them and lead to breakouts. Clogging the pores also leads to building up more sebum on the surface of the skin, making it more oily and greasy.
One useful tip you can try is using different products or remedies for different areas of your skin. For example, on your T-zone use a product that will help you reduce the oil and prevent breakouts, while on your cheeks use a moisturizer that will keep your skin from drying out.
Papaya has skin lightening properties that help clear blemishes and even out pigmentation. Using it on a daily basis, papaya can help your skin maintain its glow and youth. The banana (also true for banana peels) adds the moisture and hydration, while the lemon juice will keep the oiliness at bay and lighten the skin.
How to use?
Mash ¼ of the papaya in a bowl and add half a banana. Continue to mash the ingredients until you get a smooth paste. Then, add a freshly squeezed juice from half lemon. Mix again, before applying the paste on a clean face. With your fingers apply a thick layer of the mask on your whole face, avoiding the areas around the eyes. Then, let the mask sit for about 20 minutes until it dries. Afterward, wash off with lukewarm water. You can make this mask on a daily basis.
Just a little warning: Lemon juice is highly acidic and can irritate the skin, or even throw the pH value of the skin out of whack. This is why it's always recommended to use lemon juice in only small concentrations, or dilute it with water. People with sensitive skin should avoid using lemon juice on their skin.
The lactic acid found in milk is a known remedy for problems with pigmentation, dry skin, acne, and sunburn. The acidic nature of the lemon will clear the clogged pores, lighten the skin, keep it tight and healthy. The honey has powerful antibacterial properties, that will prevent further infections, while almond oil is a great natural face moisturizer, safe for even those with sensitive skin - which is why it's often recommended for overnight use.
Tip: If you are lactose intolerant you can always substitute traditional milk with almond milk and still use this mask.
How to use?
In a small bowl mix together one tbsp of milk, one tbsp of honey, the juice from half lemon, and a few drops of olive oil. Stir well, until everything blends nicely and then apply on the face. Leave it for 20 minutes, then wash your face with warm water and apply your favorite moisturizer or just a few drops of almond oil and massage well. You can repeat this procedure twice a week.
Another powerful mix for skin that’s a mix of oily and dry. The honey has potent antibacterial properties and it’s extremely moisturizing and soothing, so will help your skin create a glow without making it greasy. The cucumber juice is rich in Vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which can soothe irritated skin, tighten it and reduce puffiness.
All you need to do is grate one cucumber and squeeze out its juice. Grab one tbsp of raw honey and mix it with the cucumber juice to create a smooth paste. Apply the mask on a clean face and wait for about 15-20 minutes for the ingredients to act on the skin. When the mask dries off, wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry. You can repeat this procedure four to five times a week.
This mask will keep your skin hydrated and free from excess oil. The egg whites have a lightening and drying effect on the skin, while the banana will hydrate and moisturize dry skin, making it soft and supple.
What to do?
Peel off one banana, and mash it with a fork in a small bowl. After this, add one egg white into the mash and stir well until both ingredients blend well. Apply a thick layer of the paste in the areas where your skin is dry, while a thin layer around the T-zone where the skin is more oily.
Wait for the mask to act for about 10 minutes and then wash off with warm water.
You can use this mask once or twice a week.
The apple cider vinegar can remove excess oil on the skin while its astringent properties help in reducing and tightening the pores. The rose water brings a calming effect and is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which also help to soothe irritated or blemished skin. The two ingredients together will clean pores and tone your skin.
How to use?
Mix together 2 tbsp of rose water with only one-third of tbsp apple-cider-vinegar. It’s important to maintain a low ratio of apple-cider-vinegar to rose water, especially for sensitive skin, as to make sure you don’t irritate or dry out the skin. After you mix the ingredients, take a cotton pad and dip it in the mixture. Wipe your face, while focusing on the T-zone, making sure you covered everything well. You can repeat this procedure twice a day until you see improvement.
Rose water will calm your skin and reduce any irritation or inflammation you have. Oats are an FDA approved remedy for many skin conditions, and they are good for all skin types. Because they contain “saponins”, they can remove dirt from pores and have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant effect. In the meantime, the oatmeal is also very moisturizing due to the high level of fat found in it. Last, but not least, turmeric is known for reducing scarring, whitening the skin and helping wounds heal faster by positively affecting the skin tissue and collagen as well.
How to use?
Grind the oats to a powder and use around 10 tbsp of them. Add one and a half tbsp of turmeric powder, and blend. After this, start to slowly add rose water, enough to make a thick, but smooth paste. Clean your face and take a small amount of the mixture on your palm. Massage this paste on your face gently in circular motions, focusing more on the T-zone. Leave the paste to sit on your face for about 5-10 more minutes, before washing off with lukewarm water.
Aloe vera and Tea-tree oil are one of the best ingredients to protect your skin overnight and give it a fresh glow. Aloe is a non-comedogenic ingredient, meaning it won't clog your pores, while it still has powerful moisturizing properties. Tea-tree oil, on the other hand, is a science-backed essential oil, known for its abilities to treat various skin conditions, including acne, blackheads, whiteheads, spots and other annoying skin flaws. The mixture of both ingredients will keep your skin moisturized and hydrated without making it too oily or too dry.
How to make it? Quite simple.
Just mix together one and a half tbsp of aloe vera gel with 10 drops of tea tree oil. Blend the mixture well, and then you are ready to apply on your face. Make sure you wash your face first with warm water and pat it dry. After you apply a small amount of the blend on your face, start to massage with your fingers in order to help it absorb better.
Make sure you patch-test the cream before using it directly on the face. Some people, with sensitive skin, may notice a reaction if allergic to some of the ingredients.
Here we have another effective, homemade, night cream with tea tree oil in its base. The tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and will calm any redness, swelling or inflammation. In the end, you will get smooth and clear skin. The neem leaves have been in use for treating boils and skin infections in ancient India. Today, they are part of many skincare products and natural home remedies because of their powers to clear the skin and inhibit the growth of bacteria.
To make it, just mix half teaspoon of neem with 10 drops of the tea tree oil. Before going to bed, wash your face with warm water, pat it dry and apply this remedy. Apply a couple of drops directly on the face and then use your fingers to spread all over the face, while massaging it in a circular motion for better absorption. For best results, use it on a daily basis.