The majority of people have what is known as combination skin which simply means that two or more different skin types occur on your face at the same time.
The forehead, nose, and chin – often referred to as the T-zone – are where the sebaceous glands are concentrated. The skin there is oilier, while areas such as the cheeks and neck tend to be drier. This difference can cause a visibly uneven complexion and texture. Oily areas of the skin can also disrupt the skin’s natural shedding process, which can lead to an accumulation of dead skin cells. Dead skin cells can clog and block the pores, leading to acne and blemishes. Combination skin can often be tricky to treat.
Common features of combination skin include: Uneven complexion and texture Shiny or greasy appearance of skin Areas of oily and dry skin Larger than normal pores on areas such as the nose Areas of skin that may be more acne prone
Heredity plays a major role in combination skin. If either or both of your parents have combination skin, chances are, you will too. For the oily areas of the face, hormonal fluctuations that occur during puberty and pregnancy are what most commonly cause the sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum (oil) in the skin. Generally areas such as the nose and around the forehead and chin have more sebaceous glands.
Use of a toner on your T-zone to remove residual oil and impurities may be helpful in managing combination skin. Mild cleansers can remove excess oil from the skin and a variety of gentle skin cleansers are available for treating generally irritated or aggravated skin. If you have combination skin, you may wish to apply a moisturizer when the humidity drops, or the weather becomes colder during the winter. A non-comedogenic moisturizer that contains a minimum SPF of 15 is a great daily choice to keep your skin protected and looking its best. To reduce oily build-up, apply less moisturizer on the T-zone and more on the areas of your face that tend to be drier.
To help prevent cancer and photoaging, make sure to exercise proper sun care when spending time outdoors.
Limit sun exposure: Reducing your time in the sun is perhaps the easiest way to avoid damage to your skin caused by UV rays. When outdoors, set a time limit and seek shade when necessary. Also keep in mind that UV radiation is the strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Use Sunscreen: Sunscreens are an essential part of protection against the sun. Look for sunscreens labeled ‘Broad Spectrum’. They are often the most effective and offer protection against both UV-A and UV-B rays. Apply generously and frequently.
Cover and protect: Wrap-around sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and clothing that covers your arms and legs can offer extra protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Look for any changes in your skin: If you notice any changes in moles, or new skin growths, consult with a dermatologist immediately.
To treat the oilier areas of your face (forehead, nose, and chin), look for over-the-counter products that contain active ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids which are helpful in removing excess oil.
Some recommended cleansers include:
- Cetaphil® cleanser
- Dormer® cleanser
- Dove® by Unilever
- Spectro Derm™
- Spectro Jel™