Know The Type of Combination Skin
Many people think that there is only T-zone combination skin. This is not true. Even though T-zone combination skin is the most common type, in which it is oily on your cheeks, nose and forehead forming a T-shape on your face. The other type of combination skin is normal combination skin where it is not oily on the T-zone. Another type of combination skin is dry combination skin, in which your skin is more dry than oily. The treatment for different kind of combination skin differs slightly.
Know The Cause of Combination Skin And Its Relation With Sebum
The root cause of most types of combination skin is hereditary and genetic. Typically, a T-zone combination skin condition happens due to your sebaceous glands excreting excess sebum. Sebaceous glands are placed right under your skin in the dermis layer and its main work is to excrete oil called sebum in order to keep the skin lubricated. However, people who have combination skin have a problem because their sebaceous glands are producing excess oil. Sebaceous glands are in the highest density in the forehead, nose and chin. In these areas, there could be 2500-5000 sebaceous glands per every square inch and hence it forms a T-zone. Over production of sebum can happen at the time of puberty or triggered by hormonal imbalance during menstrual cycle and/or during menopause.
Wash Your Face Regularly
If you have combination skin, you must wash your face twice a day. However, use gentle cleansers, which are water-soluble and as much as you may get tempted do not use dry skin cleansers as this will dry up your cheeks even further and trigger the production of sebum in your T-zone. Use gel based cleansers that contain salicylic acid, which absorbs excess oil and removes dead skin cells.
Use Two Moisturizers
One of the trickiest parts when you have combination skin is to choose the right moisturizer for you. This is because most moisturizers are for either dry skin or for oily skin. Some dermatologist would advise you to use both in different areas of your skin. This can however be tricky and a cumbersome process. Therefore, you can also go for the easier option for choosing a moisturizer, which is for all skin types or specifically for combination skin. However, do not use alcohol based or chemical based moisturizers as it would dry up your skin for a little while but will trigger the production of sebum in response.
Vitamin A helps in reducing the production of sebum, which can help you stop the production of excess oil in your T-zone. You can take vitamin A supplements equal to 700-900 IU daily but it causes headache to some people. You should discontinue if you experience headaches.
Stress is said to cause hormonal imbalance and thus resulting in excess sebum production. Therefore, you should work on reducing stress by practicing yoga, meditation and doing breathing exercises daily for 15 to 20 minutes. This will not only be good for your skin but for other parts of the body like mind, heart and other vital organs.
What you eat is how you become. Therefore, you should eat food that is rich in Vitamin A like lettuce, carrot, paprika, dried apricots and other vitamin A items. Simultaneously, you should also eat items like salmon, walnuts and flaxseed that moisturize your skin from within and hence stopping the production of excess oil.
Do Not Use Soap
No matter what your skin type is you must always avoid soap and if you have combination skin, soap is your biggest enemy. Soap dries up your cheeks and areas under the skin and triggers the production of oil in the T-zone. Using petroleum gel based products are also a strict no-no, as they will clog the pours causing acne in and around the T-zone.
Exfoliating your skin is the key to keep your skin healthy and to let it breathe. The biggest problem of oily or combination skin is that due to excess oil production by the sebaceous glands, your pores get blocked and there is dead skin cells which cause acne. Therefore, exfoliate your skin especially around the T-zone area by using natural scrubs, which are alcohol or oil free. You should try to exfoliate your skin every day before going to bed so that the pores in your skin can breathe and in the morning wash your face with gentle cleansers, which will remove the dead skin cells. Use facial masks at least twice a day to further exfoliate your skin.
Lastly, you must avoid few don’ts. At all times you must avoid using alcohol based or chemical based cleansers/moisturizers and makeup. You should not sleep with your make-up, as this will not let your skin breathe. Do not wash your face more than two times in a day, as this will trigger the production of oil. Do not touch your face too often as your hands may have germs, which can get stuck to the oil in the T-zone causing acne and other skin problems.