What is combination skin?

Combination skin is a mix of oily skin and dry skin and is the most common skin type. With combination skin, the ‘T Zone’ is often oily (the forehead, nose and chin) while the cheeks and other patches on the face will be dry. The T Zone is oilier than the rest of the face due to an overproduction of sebum which is an oily, waxy substance produced by your sebaceous glands. The dryer areas of skin on the face are caused by a lack of sebum and a lipid deficiency (lipids being the skin’s natural fats). Combination skin is, in most cases, caused by your genetics.

Characteristics of combination skin

If you’re wondering what skin type you have, there are four basic types; normal, dry, oily or combination. Below are the characteristics of combination skin:

  • Oily T Zone - The main characteristic of combination skin is an oily T Zone, which is the area around the forehead, nose and chin. These areas will often appear shiny as the excess sebum builds up.
  • Dry Cheeks - While the T Zone will be oily, the rest of your face, particularly your cheeks and jawline, will likely be dry and sometimes flaky. Using a hydrating mist can help to add more moisture to the dry areas without increasing the shine in oily areas.
  • Enlarged Pores - With combination skin, pores in the T Zone will often be enlarged. With all the excess sebum in this area, pores can become blocked with dead skin cells, which then results in a buildup of sebum enlarging the pores. Using a good cleanser such as our cleansing oil can help with the appearance of enlarged pores by keeping the skin clean.
  • Blackheads and Whiteheads - As oil becomes trapped in the pores and mixes with dead skin cells, it causes a plug, which can result in blackheads when open to the air or whiteheads when the blockage is closed off.

To identify whether you have combination skin or not, below are the characteristics for the other three main skin types:

  • Normal skin - Normal skin is healthy and balanced (and sometimes called ‘eudermic’). It’s not too oily (although may still have a slightly more oily T Zone) and not too dry. It will likely have fine pores, no blemishes and a soft, smooth feel.
  • Oily skin - Oily skin has excess sebum production and will be shiny all over with larger pores across the whole face.
  • Dry skin - Dry skin produces less sebum than other skin types, resulting in tight, brittle, rough skin that has low elasticity. Depending on the severity of skin dryness, you may also experience flaking, calluses or scaling.

How to care for combination skin

Caring for combination skin unsurprisingly requires using a combination of different skincare products. You need to be careful not to block pores further in the T Zone and not dry out the areas of the face that are already dry.

  • Cleanser: Using a gentle cleanser will help to unclog pores and reduce oiliness without drying out skin elsewhere on the face. Our cleansing lotion and natural cleansing oil are both ideal for cleaning combination skin.
  • Moisturiser: Use a moisturiser that keeps your skin hydrated without being too greasy or heavy. Our moisturising face cream is ideal for hydrating combination skin.
  • Hydrating mist: Hydrate your skin without increasing oiliness with our hydrating mist, perfect for combination skin types.

These are the type of products that will help you care for combination skin, along with a good skin washing routine and, of course, wearing sun protection.

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