Combination skin, which is both dry and oily in different areas, is common but can be tricky to deal with. This skin concern is typically characterised by an oily T-zone on the forehead, nose and chin (prone to enlarged pores and pimples), coupled with a dry cheek area. Variations on this include oiliness around the nose and center of the forehead or dryness around the hairline and jawline. To some extent everyone has a degree of combination skin, with a slightly oilier nose, for example.
What’s behind combination skin?
Combination skin, as the name suggests, is a mixture of two skin types; normal/dry and oily skin. This means that the oily areas, typically around the T-zone, are producing an excess of sebum from the sebaceous gland making the skin appear shiny and greasy. The dry areas are typically characterised by a lack of oil production and may appear dry and flaky.
What causes combination skin?
Combination skin is usually an inherited skin concern, but using the incorrect products can exacerbate or even cause the problem. A simple product switch could make a world of difference almost immediately, with dry areas feeling hydrated and smoothed and oilier areas looking mattified, with pores appearance looking minimised.
How to care for combination skin?
Combination skin requires targeted products to deal with the separate skin issues - dryness and oiliness – individually. This skin concern suits layered products. A balancing and soothing serum, with a high concentration of beneficial ingredients and a lightweight formula, should be smoothed over the whole face initially. This should be followed by a hydrating serum or moisturiser layered over dry areas and around the eyes.
Extreme combination skin
Those with extreme combination skin - where the T-zone is exceptionally oily and the dry areas are extremely dry and flaky - need to be extra vigilant about keeping their regimen separated for the different areas, as products for very dry skin could trigger breakouts in oily zones and products designed to dry out and mattify oily skin could exacerbate already dry areas.
A gentle cleanser should be used to prepare the skin and followed with a rich moisturiser over very dry areas (being careful to avoid the oily zone). Likewise carefully dab on oil-absorbing products only where needed. Follow with a very light formula sunscreen, even in winter, to keep skin protected against the sun, which can exacerbate the condition.
Your recommended regimen
At SkinCeuticals we believe that an effective skincare regimen is based around five fundamental principles — cleansing, prevention, correction, hydration and protection.
CLEANSE/TONE - Simply Clean
A gel cleanser ideal for normal to combination skin, which combines hydroxyl acid with botanical extracts, to gently remove impurities, excess oil and make up and prepare the skin for optimal product efficacy.
PREVENT - Phloretin CF
This innovative serum combines 2% phloretin, 10% l-ascorbic acid and 0.5% ferulic acid, it helps to accelerate surface skin cell renewal and promote a brighter, firmer-looking complexion. Also available in a gel formula, Phloretin CF Gel.
CORRECT – Retexturing Activator
An exfoliating and replenishing serum, which has been proven to help reinforce the skin’s natural barrier, reduce the appearance of visible surface lines and wrinkles and radiance.
HYDRATE - Daily Moisture
This lightweight, pore-minimising moisturiser is perfect for combination or oily skin and leaves skin feeling hydrated and nourished.
PROTECT - Sheer Mineral UV Defence SPF 50
This weightless, mattifying fluid with 100% mineral filters and plankton extract, provides high-factor, broad-spectrum UV protection and helps to protect against the appearance of the signs of photoageing and environmental damage.