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How to Treat Combination Skin

April 30, 2013

Having oily or dry skin is a pain, but treating them can seem simple compared to combination skin. Combination skin typically is a mixture of both oily and dry skin, although sometimes other skin types combine, like rosacea and dry skin. Instead of choosing to treat combination skin as either oily or dry, there are some hints on how to get your combination skin looking and feeling great.

Combination skin can be caused by a variety of factors. Genetics can play a role, as can lifestyle, nutrition, and skin care products. The most active oil glands in the face are the nose, chin and forehead areas, also known as the T-zone. For some people, those oil glands produce while the cheek and eye areas don’t, causing a difference in skin texture and moisture levels. Treating the oily T-zone area with harsh products, causing the other areas to become irritated, dry, red and flaky, often exacerbates the skin differences.

Even if you don’t naturally have combination skin, using the wrong product can cause your skin to become a mixture of skin types. A product that does not treat your skin correctly can cause the oil production in your T-zone to go on overdrive, while causing the rest of your skin to become dry and irritated. Using too harsh or too oily of a product on your skin can also cause other skin problems, like acne and over dryness, which is why it is so important to know your skin type and use the appropriate skin care products.

To test your skin to see if you have combination skin, just simply wash your face and leave it bare for an hour. Then, take a tissue and dab your T-zone area and your cheeks. Anywhere that you dab and oil comes off, you have oily skin. If one part of your skin has excess oil and another doesn’t, then you have combination skin.

What products should you choose for your combination skin? The best are specifically geared towards combination skin. Alternatively, you can use one produce for your T-zone and another for the rest of your skin. Because combination skin is so complicated, it is even more important that you use the correct product on your face.

The best way to handle combination skin is to follow a regime with products that will balance the skin, healing the various problems. As with any beauty regime, you should always start with cleansing your skin. A gentle cleanser that is gel based will be great for both the dry and oily patches of skin. For severe differences in skin, cleanse the T-zone are twice a day and the dryer areas only once. After cleansing your skin of excess dirt, oil and other pollutants, you can follow it with a toner. A toner can support the skin and repair any damage; however, make sure it is a gentle one with skin-repairing ingredients like antioxidants rather than irritants like alcohol or witch hazel. A toner is not a necessary step in the regime, but it can help rebuild and fix problems in your skin.

After cleansing (and using a toner if you choose), use a moisturizer. Even oily skin needs to be enriched with vitamin dense moisturizer. However, with combination skin what moisturizer to use is a really tough question. Your dry skin needs an intense moisturizer, while your oily skin needs an oil free, skin boosting lotion. Finding a product made specifically for combination skin is the easiest solution. These will enrich the dry skin while balancing the oil in the T-zone areas. Another choice is to use two different products. You can use an intense moisturizer for dry skin on your cheeks, and a light, oil free one derived for oily skin on your T-zone. If the skin around your eyes is dry, use a specified eye cream and then use a lighter lotion everywhere else. Don’t forget to use sunscreen as well. Either find a moisturizer or foundation with SPF, or use a light, oil free sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25.

As with any skin type, exfoliation is a great part of your beauty regime because it helps to balance skin and aids in skin’s recovery and the cell turnover. By regularly exfoliating, you will look younger and more radiant, and your combination skin will move towards balance. It is only necessary to exfoliate once a week, and the best ingredient for combination skin is BHA.

The acne and blemishes that the excess oil in your T-zone causes needs to be treated, but too harsh of a product will wreak havoc on the rest of your skin. Benzoyl peroxide helps to target and kill acne-causing bacteria, which is great for acne. However, it is a very harsh ingredient and you want to avoid it on other parts of your skin. It is best to only use acne products on the oily skin, or even just spot treat breakouts.

Combination skin can seem like pain, but with the right skin care products and regime, you can balance your skin. Play around with using different products or finding ones made for combination skin. Once you have figured the best products for your skin, you will find your skin looking young, radiant and balanced.

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