Combination skin is when your t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) is more noticeably oily, has larger looking pores or has a tendency to breakout more. The rest of your face may feel normal or tend towards a drier skin type which may be indicated by flaking, redness or a feeling of tightness or roughness.
What causes combination skin?
Your genetics can mean that you have unbalanced sebum production meaning the oil producing glands in your face are overactive in your t-zone but underactive in the rest. You may then also have a lack of natural fats in your cheeks, hairline, and jaw resulting in drier skin. However, it’s not only genetics at play as there are also environmental factors. When the weather is dry this can strip the skin of moisture which can cause your t-zone to overcompensate by producing more oil. Touching your face can also transfer bacteria to the surface of your skin leading to an oilier t-zone and breakouts. Using the wrong skincare can also dehydrate your skin meaning it produces too much sebum increasing the chances of clogged pores.
Sensitive combination skin?
Regardless of your skin type you can still have sensitive skin. For those with combination skin, you may notice that the skin across your cheeks, jaw and hairline is itchy, or has a tendency to become inflamed. Then in your t-zone you may notice that you have inflammatory or cystic acne which is when you notice hard and painful bumps underneath your skin. The best thing to do is ensure your skincare routine includes gentle products and to topically use ingredients in the places on your face that need them rather than using every product on every part of your face.
How to look after combination skin?
If you have combination skin, it would be best to avoid toners with alcohol, menthol or witch hazel, as well as cleansers that leave the skin feeling tight. Avoid products with strong formulations intended to reduce oil production or restore moisture as although these may help a part of your face it may lead to breakouts in the rest. The best thing to do if you have combination skin is target specific products or ingredients on the places on your face which need them.