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How to care for combination skin

Neither dry nor oily, but with areas of both types, combination skins need special care.

15 SEPTEMBER 2010

The first step in looking after your skin is to understand it and to recognise what type it is. Pay attention and see how it reacts and you'll be able to determine if your skin type is dry, sensitive, oily or combination; then you'll know how best to look after it. Combination skin is very common, but it can present more problems than clearly defined skin types, as the different areas require different care, and shiny patches are frequent.


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The important thing to realise is that you will need to care for the different areas in different ways. Don't use moisturiser on the oily zones – forehead, nose and chin – for example, or use one specifically designed for oily skin. If you have a problem with blackheads or blemishes in this central T-zone, try using an astringent lotion, but be careful to avoid the drier areas. You could also try using pore strips once a week on your nose. Use a toner afterwards to help close the pores up and stop blackheads forming. 


There are oil-free foundations made specifically for this type of skin, to tone down shine and stop the appearance of blemishes, and mattifying foundations are useful, too. But when the skin of the T-zone is very oily, these may not be enough and you may need to take extra care just with the problem area.

Bear in mind that your skin reacts to its environment, and that higher temperatures make the sebaceous glands more active. That means the skin tends to produce more natural oil in hotter weather and atmospheres. If you usually have dry skin, you may find you need combination skin-type products, and if you usually have combination skin, you may find products for oily skins work better.

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