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What is combination skin?
If you don’t quite fall into either an oily or dry skin category, it’s safe to assume you have combination skin. And while it sounds like the odd one out, in actual fact, combination skin is super common.
If your T-zone is oily but your cheeks are dry or you frequently bounce between excess sebum-induced blackheads and breakout patches which soon become flaky skin, it’s time to tailor your routine to that of a combination type.
What causes combination skin?
Like all skin conditions, pinpointing a cause takes a bit of guesswork. Typically a combination skin type comes down to a combination of genetics, hormones, environmental factors or using overly harsh products.
How to tell if you have combination skin
As common as combination skin may be, identifying it can still prove tricky. One of the easiest methods is to simply stay in tune with the areas of your face that are producing the most oil.
Pay attention after applying a moisturiser or SPF; if you notice shine along your T-zone but the product absorbs into your cheeks, this is a good indicator that you are dry in some areas and oily in others. And therefore, you most likely have combination skin.
Another method to test your skin type is by applying your skin care or makeup as normal and after a few hours, blot your skin with a tissue or piece of paper. If the paper shows an oil transfer over some sections and not others, you have combination skin.
How to care for combination skin
There is no one magic solution when it comes to managing combination skin.
Much like its name, you need a mix of different products to address different concerns. By mapping out your face into different sections, you are able to treat each area appropriately.
Oilier sections require lightweight, oil-absorbing ingredients such as kaolin clay, glycolic and salicylic acid(we recommend the Swisse Manuka Honey Detoxifying Clay Mask, SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight and Alpha-H Clear Skin Daily Hydrator Gel)while the drier sections require a focus on deeply hydrating products like ceramides and hyaluronic acid (we recommend Paula’s Choice CLINICAL Ceramide-Enriched Firming Moisturiser and BOOST LAB 2D Hyaluronic Acid Hydro Boost Serum).
Image credit: @meccabeauty
For acne-prone areas such as along the jawline, a BHA and AHA-rich toner can be brought in to help tackle breakouts, however, be sure not to carry the product across your entire face as it will only exacerbate dry patches.
For products that are required over the entire face such as cleansers and an SPF, go for something non-comedogenic, lightweight and moisturising like the BIODERMA Sensibio Gel Moussant and Natio Daily Defence Face Moisturiser SPF 50+.
Main image credit: @jilliantg
Do you have combination skin? What are your favourite products for managing it?