A combination skin type is a condition whereas part of the face is overly dry and other areas are oily. The oily condition usually occurs in the T zone, which encompasses the forehead, the nose and chin areas. These areas are prone to breakouts (blackhead, whiteheads, pimples) more often because of the higher percentage of sebaceous (oil producing) glands.
A skin care program for combination skin can be frustrating as you need to treat both oily skin and dry skin. However, there are simple skin care steps you can take which can reduce the oil in the T zone and still moisturize and hydrate the dry areas.
As with any good skin care routine cleansing with the correct product for your skin type is vital. For combination skin, consider a cleanser that has a pH balance of 7 or less. Those cleansers with a higher pH balance have a tendency to strip the skin of its natural oils thus further drying out the dry area and prompting the oily areas to produce more oil. Once cleansing is complete, follow with a toner in the T zone to remove excess oil, such as witch hazel, chamomile or lavender to name a few. Apply a different toner with ingredients such as: green tea or rose water, in the dry areas to restore pH balance. While using two toners may seem like to much work, remember you are dealing with two different skin types. Another option would be to purchase a balancing toner.
Toner recipe for combination skin:
7 drops Witch hazel
3 drops Juniper berry oil
5 drops of Rosemary oil
1 oz. Dry peppermint
1 cup distilled water
Boil peppermint in water for 1/2 hour and strain into a bottle. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake well. Apply with a cotton ball or pad. This toner invigorates, cleanses, and rejuvenates and is good oily, normal and combination skin types.
After toning wait a few minutes and analyze your skin. Where is it dry? The dry areas should be treated with a cream moisturizer that is rich in emollients and antioxidants. The T zone should be treated with a lotion or gel moisturizer that is oil-free and noncomedogenic. All skin types need hydration; dry skin needs lubrication and hydration while oily skin needs hydration. Your moisturizers should contain an SPF of at least 15 if it is for daytime wear; no matter what skin type you have it still needs protection from free radicals during the day.
Exfoliation is good for all skin types, it sloughs off dead skin, promotes circulation and smooths out the skin tone. Good homemade skin exfoliates are: sugars, salts, cornmeal, oatmeal and baking soda to name a few. Either one of these ingredients can be mixed with your cleansing cream to slough off dead skin.
Occasional facial masks are beneficial to all skin types. Clay and mud masks can draw out impurities and toxins in the skin and/or deeply hydrate. Select a mask for combination skin to get the best results. Another option is to apply French green clay (known for its ability to draw out excess oil) in the T zone and milder clay such as white kaolin clay in the dry areas.
Caring for combination skin can be very challenging because you are really dealing with two different skin types (dry and oily). However, there are many products on the market for combination skin which will eliminate having separate products for the dry areas and oily areas. Nonetheless, understanding that the T zone requires different care than the rest of your face will be to you advantage when selecting your skin care products.