Tag Archives: combination skin

Combination Skin Profile

October 6, 2012

I’ve been meaning to get back on the subject of different skin types! Understanding your skin type is incredibly important. If you are using the wrong products on your skin, it can end up doing more harm to your skin than good.

In that respect, combination type skin is perhaps the trickiest type to treat. Almost everyone at some point or another can develop combination type skin. Typically, this means that some parts of your face are dry (usually the cheeks) while some parts tend to be oily (usually along the forehead, nose and chin, an area called the “T-zone”).

Dealing With Combination Skin.
The goal of combination skin is to achieve a healthy skin balance that’s neither too dry nor too oily. So let’s have a look into how to care for combination skin.

Characteristics of Combination Skin

As the name implies, combination type skin has characteristics of both dry and oily skin. With combination skin, certain areas of the face tend to be especially oily while other areas may feel especially dry. The dry areas on the face tend to look flaky and dull, while the oily parts tend to look shiny and feel greasy. The oily areas also tend to have larger pores and are prone to pimples and blackheads. If some parts of your face feel tight after washing, this may be an indication that you have combination type skin. Otherwise, you can try the “tissue test” to help you determine whether or not you have combination skin.

Causes of Combination Skin

Many internal and external factors can contribute to the development of combination skin, including:

  • Genetic Predisposition. Sometimes people just naturally tend to have a certain type of skin.
  • Hormonal changes. This can come about because of puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, etc. and can lead to fluctuations in the skin’s oil production, making some parts of the face oilier than others. Hormonal fluctuations can also be brought on by the medications that you take, or even prolonged stress.
  • Uneven Lipid Distribution. Lipids are fatty or waxy organic compounds that determine the structure of cell membranes and play a role in combination skin. Genetic and hormonal factors can cause an imbalance in how much and where lipids are produced. When lipids are not evenly distributed throughout the skin, certain areas can become soft and oily while other areas can become dry and rough. (Read this article on protecting the Lipid Barrier of the skin.)
  • Climatic changes. Changes in climate can aggravate combination skin. Hot and humid weather can make the skin oily, while dry and cold weather can cause the skin to lose moisture in some areas.
  • Improper Skin Care. The products that you use on your skin can actually influence your skin type! This is why it’s so important to know your skin type and avoid using products which can cause your skin to break out or become dry and irritated.
  • Imbalance. Oriental and Ayurvedic medicine link all the different facial areas to specific organs in the body. According to this line of thought, an area of the face that is particularly dry or oily can indicate some imbalance in the corresponding internal organ. Balance can be restored by making lifestyle changes, such as choosing to quite smoking, eating a nutritious and balanced diet, exercising regularly and avoiding the wrong skin care products.

Taking Care of Combination Skin

When it comes to combination skin, there really isn’t one perfect routine or set of products that will work for everyone. Although there are many products that are designed specifically for dealing with combination skin, finding the right products for your skin type may take a lot of trial and error. Some people prefer to tackle combination skin by treating their face as if it were two different skin types. They may apply different products that are suited to each area on the face. For example, they may apply dry skin products to dry areas, while using oil-free products on oily areas. The main thing to remember is to avoid products that will make problem areas worse!


Regular cleansing is important for any skin type. For combination skin, it’s important to find cleansers that will gently do the job without causing further irritation or dryness. Gel-based or mild foaming cleansers work best for oily and dry combination skin.

Try Melvita’s Apicosma Cleansing Jelly, which is a gentle foaming cleansing jelly recommended for normal and combination skin types to purify and tone the skin. It uses verbana and lemon balm floral waters, orange extract, calcium and manganese, as well as honey to help gently remove impurities and excess sebum.

Melvita Apicosma Cleansing Jelly on Amazon.com

Whatever cleanser you choose, bar soaps and bar cleansers must be avoided because they dry out and irritate the skin.


There are two opposing camps that have clashed over the usefulness/uselessness of toners. Those who are pro-toners use it for many reasons: to refresh, rejuvenate, tone (shrink pores) and help restore the skin’s natural pH balance. If you have combination skin, it’s important to pick a toner that is alcohol free, since alcohol can dry the skin and cause the oily areas to produce even more oil.

Floral waters can make for marvelous facial toners! For example, rose floral or lavender floral waters are naturally cleansing and can help to gently refresh the skin and leave it hydrated. Try Naturado’s Lavender Floral Water which is great to use at any time of the day. It’s gentle and suitable for all skin types. I tend to use it in the afternoons to help give my skin a quick pick-me-up without having to wash it with water.

Naturado Lavender Floral Water at Ziba’s Boutique


Moisturizing is important not only for the dry areas of the face, but also for the oily parts. A good moisturizer for combination skin ideally is lightweight and hydrating and goes well even over the oily parts of your skin. Some experts suggest using separate moisturizers that are suitable for the different parts of your skin, moisturizing dry areas twice a day and moisturizing oily areas only once a day. Try Weleda Iris Hydrating lotion or Lavera’s Organic Calendula Balancing Cream, both of which are designed to help balance combination skin through the soothing and hydrating properties of the calendula plant.


Lavera Calendula Balancing Creme at Ziba’s Boutique

Sun Protection

No matter your skin type, you will still need protection from the sun. Prolonged unprotected exposure to the sun accelerates the skin’s aging process, leading to the early onset of wrinkles, discolorations as well as the development of dry/dull skin and worsening blemishes caused by acne. It’s important to use a sunblock that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, but one that does not leave your skin feeling too greasy and looking too shiny.

Cream based sunblocks may be too heavy for combination skin. Try and find a sunblock lotion or gel that offers enough skin protection without overwhelming your oilier T-zone. Both La Roche Posays’ Anthelios SPF 30 AC Fluid and their 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid have received many positive reviews from people with combination/oily skin. Another one that has been raved about by those with combination/oily is Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion with SPF 30 which can easily be found at a nearby drugstore like Walgreen’s.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid on Amazon.com


Exfoliation is an important part of any skin care routine to help remove dry, dead, rough skin cells and allow better penetration of treatments and products. For combination skin, the exfoliation should be done once or twice a week with special attention to areas especially prone to acne and blackheads.

Look for products that contain salicylic acids, glycolic acids or fruit enzymes to help promote skin cell turnover. Try Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, which is a gentle exfoliant containing papaya enzymes  and salicylic acid to help remove dead skin cells, keep the skin smooth, and accelerate skin cell renewal. If your skin tends to be too sensitive, exfoliation should only be done occasionally–no more than once a week.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant at Dermalogica.com

Masks and Clays

Masks are another important skincare step that can help balance combination skin. Some people prefer to use hydrating/moisturizing masks on dry areas and a deep-cleaning clay mask on oily areas.

One product that I’ve personally tried and liked is Cattier’s pink clay mask which is designed for sensitive skin, but can also be suitable if your combination skin tends to be sensitive. You can read about my review of Cattier’s pink clay mask here. Otherwise, if your combination skin tends to be rather oily, you can try a combination of Cattier’s green clay mask (green clay is very good at drawing out oil and impurities) and their pink clay mask.

Cattier Pink Clay Mask on Amazon.com

Closing Thoughts

When taking care of combination skin, it’s important to resist the urge to over-treat the oily areas and dry patches. The key is always to be gentle and avoid aggressive measures which can make problem areas even worse. Another important point to remember is that the term “Combination Skin” is a good, basic way to categorize a skin type which shows characteristics of both dry and oily skin.

Everyone’s skin is unique and can have other features which require special treatment beyond dry and oily skin, such as eczema, rosacea, sun-damage or sensitivities to certain ingredients in products. Remember that skin types can change and are influenced by internal and external factors. The skin can develop sensitivities to random things throughout your life. It’s very important to pay attention to any changes in your skin as well as any reactions that might be caused by the use of different products.


Was this helpful? If you have combination skin, what are your tips and suggestions for managing combination skin? Share them with us!

We All Have A Type. What’s Yours?

July 9, 2012

Everyone has a different type of skin, and each type has its own special needs. It’s important to know your skin type so that you may better cater to your skin’s specific needs.

In general, there are four types of skin : Dry, Oily, Combination of dry and oily, and Normal type skin. Your skin may fall under or in between these categories.

The following is a basic description of each skin type, as well as suggestions for how to care for each type:

Dry Skin is characterized by a lack of moisture on the skin’s surface. There is a lack of sebum production, which is the skin’s natural oil. The pores on the nose, forehead, and chin are slightly larger, and the oil is usually confined to those areas. The skin can feel tight after cleansing. It is generally thinner than normal skin and is susceptible to expanded capillaries and sensitivities, making the skin look red and blotchy. Dry skin tends to develop lines and wrinkles more easily than other skin types.

• Regular use of intensive moisturizers is vital.
• Avoid harsh chemicals that may damage or dry the skin even more.
• Some stimulation with a gentle cleansing scrub is recommended for dry skin as it can help to stimulate the skin’s secretion of oil and to get rid of dead skin cells.

Oily Skin is characterized by larger pores over a majority of the facial surface, sometimes to the extreme outer edges of the face. It is associated with over-secretion of sebum, and thus it tends to be more prone to acne and dermatitis. It is smoother in texture, thicker and more pliable than dry skin because it contains more sebum. The advantage to having oily skin is that it tends to remain youthful looking longer than dryer skin, and has more flexibility and fewer wrinkles.

• Excess washing with abrasive scrubs can result in overstimulated sebum production
• Oily skin should be cleansed two to three times a day, but overcleansing can bring more oil to the skin’s surface.
• Sun, alcohol, poor diet, stress, hormonal fluctuations, cold and damp climates can aggravate acne.
• Oily skin still requires moisture (not oil) to be properly balanced, protected, sealed and nourished.

The most common skin type, combination skin includes characteristics of both dry and oily skin. Certain areas of the face, for example the chin and forehead, can be especially dry or oily. Combination skin can occasionally be prone to pimples, blackheads, and enlarged pores.

• Different types of care is needed in relation to a particular facial area.
• Dry areas should be cared for with rich moisturizing creams.
• Oily areas will benefit from more cleansing and lighter moisturizers.
• Always use a gentle cleanser to prevent irritation and dryness. For oily and dry combination skin, a gel-based or mild foaming cleanser is ideal.

Normal skin is characterized by a small area of enlarged pores on the forehead, nose and chin areas. This skin type is generally well balanced with few eruptions. Coloration is usually even and well balanced, and normal skin typically looks fresh and moist, giving it a healthy glow. Even though this skin type appears to have no apparent problems, with neglect or mistreatment, problems can develop quickly.

• A cleansing cream for normal to dry skin can be used twice daily to help rid the skin’s surface of excess oil and impurities
• A gentle exfoliating product should be used once or twice a week, depending on whether the skin needs to shed dead skin cells and whether or not there are expanded capillaries on the face.
• A natural facial toner helps rid the skin of remaining particles, neutralizes the skin’s surface, and prepares it to receive moisture.
• Moisturizer should be used that is suited for normal skin, neither too rich nor too light.


You can use a simple Tissue Test to determine your skin type. For this, you will need to have completely washed and cleansed your face so that it is free of any traces of makeup and impurities. Gently pat your face dry with a towel and wait about 3o minutes to do the test. For the tissue, you can use any one ply paper tissue, although the commercial grade packaging tissue paper that you use for stuffing gift bags works the best.

Lightly press a separate piece of tissue onto each area of your face : chin, center of cheeks, outer cheeks, center of forehead, outer forehead and nose.

Examine each tissue and look for oily residue or flaky skin residue. The results can be interpreted by the following :

    • Oil on each tissue indicates an Oily Skin type.
    • Oil on some tissues (especially those from your forehead, nose, chin and center of cheeks) indicates a Combination Skin type.
    • Flaky skin residue on all tissues, without oily residue, or a tight feeling in the skin indicates a Dry Skin type.
    • No oil and no flaky residue on any parts of the tissue indicates a Normal Skin type.


Our skin type can also change throughout our lives. For example, I remember being young and having dry skin. Which changed to combination skin during my teenage years. Then last year, my skin became oily and broke out a lot. And now I have normal skin. Gosh! It seems I’ve gone through the entire spectrum of skin types…

Several factors can affect your skin type : age, climate, hormones, medication, and even stress. So if your skin type changes, you must accommodate for the changes and adjust your skin care program accordingly.

I didn’t include a separate category for Teenage Skin, Mature Skin, and Sensitive Skin because I consider them to fall under the four skin types listed above. These skin types however, require even more specific care and attention. But I will be saving that for another time. Follow along with me as I will continuously revisit this topic on skin type and examine each one in greater depth.

If you have any thoughts and questions feel free to post them here or email me: contact@ziba-bynature.com.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe with your email address in order to keep getting the latest blog updates!