For people who deal with combination skin, skincare can seem like an uphill battle. If you address dry areas, the oily areas are negatively impacted. If you address oily skin areas, the dry skin gets worse. Striking a good balance for your skin isn’t impossible, but it may take a little extra time, attention, and work with a knowledgeable dermatologist to create a skincare plan that actually works. In this blog, the DermSkincare team will describe just what combination skin is, good treatment options, and some of our top recommended skincare products for combination skin.

What Is Combination Skin?

There are a few different ways that people may experience combination skin. The most common form of combination skin involves having areas of skin that are oily with patches of dryness. However, combination skin may also fluctuate between being oily and dry. Typically, this variation is related to changes in the weather or other environmental fluctuations that trigger skin dryness or oiliness. In most cases, the T zone is the area most impacted by combination skin. T zone is the name given to the area from the forehead down the bridge of the nose to the chin. For many people with combination skin, the T zone area is very oily while the cheeks are dry.

If you’re not sure whether you have combination skin, consider the following common warning signs of combination skin:

  • Shininess – In the areas that are oily, especially the T zone, the skin may appear shiny.
  • Frequent pimples (blackheads and whiteheads) – The combination of oiliness and dry skin makes it easier for dead skin cells to get trapped inside the pores leading to pimples.
  • Enlarged pores – Specifically in the areas of oily skin, pores may appear larger.
  • Dandruff – While not everyone with dandruff has combination skin, dry patches of skin on the scalp are relatively common among those with combination skin.

In addition to being aware of the warning signs of combination skin, it’s also important to understand factors that may increase your risk for combination skin. Most often, combination skin is genetic, so if you have one or more relatives with combination skin, you are significantly more likely to have combination skin. In addition to genetics, some habits can trigger dryness or oiliness. For instance, using harsh skincare products may strip the skin of too much oil, or moisturizing dry skin can lead to increased greasiness and clogged pores in oily areas.

How Is Combination Skin Treated?

There are numerous steps you can take to improve the health and appearance of combination skin, including:

  • Take care of yourself – Exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and eat a nutrient-rich diet. The healthier the body is, the more nutrients are available to keep the skin healthy. By maintaining optimal whole-body health, you’ll improve the general appearance and health of your skin.
  • Reduce stress – Make time to relax and relieve stress, which can contribute to skin health issues. Whatever relaxes you is great. Read a book, spend some time outdoors, do yoga, or watch a few episodes of your favorite TV show.
  • Wear sunscreen – Many skin health issues stem from sun exposure, so protecting skin from the sun is essential. Be sure to apply a good sunscreen to areas exposed to sunlight every day and reapply as necessary.
  • Schedule a chemical peel – Chemical peels are a great way to promote healthy skin cell turnover and improve the health and vitality of the skin.

What Skincare Products Are Recommended for Combination Skin?

Skincare for combination skin will look a lot like a skincare routine for other skin types. Essentially: cleanser, toner, serums and treatments, moisturizer, and sunscreen. However, there are some additional things to consider when caring for combination skin, including:

  • Avoid fragrances, dyes, and other ingredients that may unnecessarily irritate the skin.
  • Opt for non-comedogenic skincare products and those that are designed for acneic skin to avoid clogged pores and blemishes.
  • Exfoliate carefully, using chemical exfoliants to remove dead skin cells and improve healthy skin cell turnover.
  • Use a different moisturizer for the oily areas and the dry areas to ensure proper hydration.

Still not sure how to create a good skincare routine for combination skin? Consider adding some of the following products to your daily routine:

MD Skin Essentials Cleanse It

If you’re looking for a good daily-use cleanser to reduce oiliness without stripping necessary moisture from the skin, MD Skin Essentials Cleanse It is a great solution. This gentle cleanser combines detoxifying colloidal sulfur with a non-irritating salicylic acid formulation to deliver a completely clean and reduced oiliness while avoiding excessive dryness, irritation, or inflammation.

SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic

Vitamin C serums are an excellent addition to any skincare routine. They help to strengthen and protect skin from potential UV damage. By combining vitamins C and E with ferulic acid, SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic offers ultimate protection from UVA and UVB damage as well as infrared radiation and ozone pollution. In addition to protecting against skin damage, this product also helps to reverse skin damage, including fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and hyperpigmentation.

Revision DEJ Eye Cream

Every skin type needs to pay special attention to the sensitive skin around the eyes, but those with combination skin may need to pay even closer attention to this area, which is prone to puffiness and inflammation. Revision Skincare DEJ Eye Cream improves skin health and firmness and prevents damage. Regular use of this product provides a boost of hydration to the skin around the eyes and promotes long-term skin moisturization.

ALASTIN Ultra-Light Moisturizer with TriHex Technology

Moisturizing combination skin can be difficult. Specifically, finding a moisturizer that will effectively hydrate both the oily and dry areas of the skin can be a real challenge. ALASTIN Ultra-Light Moisturizer with TriHex Technology is one of the few moisturizers that will work well for both oily and dry skin. The unique blend of ceramides, silver mushroom, and ginger makes this lightweight moisturizer ideal for just about any skin type.

UltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

[caption id="attachment_565" align="alignright" width="300"] EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46[/caption]

Sunscreen is an essential part of any skincare routine, but for those with combination skin, it can be difficult to find a sunscreen that doesn’t contribute to clogged pores in the oily parts of the skin and irritation in the dry areas. UltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is an excellent option for any skin type. This non-comedogenic sunscreen is free of oil, fragrance, and parabens. The lightweight mineral sunblock protects skin without leaving behind pore-clogging residue.

Visit with a Dermatologist

If you want to partner with a dermatologist to review, improve, or build the perfect skincare routine for any skin type, we hope you’ll talk to the U.S. Dermatology Partners team. These knowledgeable professionals are dedicated to helping people achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful skin. They curated the list of available products at DermSkincare, and can help you develop your ideal skincare routine. When you’re ready to get started, just take a few minutes to fill out their online scheduling request form.