Combination skin is a term used to describe facial skin that shows symptoms of both dry skin and oily skin. Combination skin can be a challenge to care for effectively, as oil-decreasing products may be overdrying in certain places on the skin, while moisturizing products may cause excessive oiliness in other areas. To correctly balance a skincare regimem, people with combination skin may need to employ trial and error to find the right products to create a desired look.
To identify whether skin is combination, wash the face well with water and dry with a soft cloth. Areas of dry skin may feel tight, or exhibit signs of skin peeling or flaking. Oily skin will look shiny and have a visible sheen, and may show signs of pore-clogging blackheads or pimples. If skin is combination, it will show signs indicating both oiliness and dryness.
Oily skin is likely to occur on the nose and above the eyebrows, an area known as the T-zone for its shape. Dry skin more commonly appears on the cheeks and neck, and is often characterized by increased sensitivity to cleansers and flaking or peeling skin. The chin may be oily or dry, and depending on the skincare regimen, may switch back and forth between extremes.
Some cosmetic and skin care companies offer product lines specifically for combination skin. These products are meant to remove excess dirt and oil to prevent breakouts in oily areas, while providing moisture to dry areas to prevent redness or flaking. Many people with combination skin find success by using a variety of different skincare products and applying them carefully on specific facial areas. For instance, some people may apply an oil-reducing toner along the T-zone, while applying a moisture-boosting serum on dry cheeks and throat.
Trial and error is often the main way to find a balancing regimen for combination skin. Some experts recommend that an oil-free, sunscreen-containing moisturizer be used every day to protect skin from damage while providing moisture and preventing breakouts. Since oily skin can be prone to breakouts, it may be important to find an acne-preventing formula that does not cause excessive drying. Dry skin, on the contrary, may be more likely to react to harsh products, so consider purchasing a gentle cleanser and put toner only on oily areas. If a product does not appear to be benefiting the skin after two weeks, consider trying something new.