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Combination Skin Explained: How to Know Your Skin Type

What is combination skin? We'll explain. Learn how to tell if you have a combo, dry, normal, or oily skin type and how to best take care of it.

What Is Combination Skin?

Picture this: You are scrolling online, and a skin type quiz comes up. You have nothing to do, so you take it. You answer each question honestly.

The verdict comes in: You have combination skin.

Now your mind is racing. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? What exactly do they mean you are told you have combination skin?

Combination skin is neither a bad nor a good thing. When you have to deal with a skin type that is mixed, it can be difficult. However, the first step in learning how to care for your skin is to understand it and why you have it. Once those questions are answered, you can learn how to care for your skin effectively.

What is combination skin?

When you have combination skin, you have to deal with multiple types of skin all in one. Generally, combination skin is comprised of two skin types that are characterized by their location on your face. There are four main skin types.

These types are:

  • Dry – flaky skin that feels rough
  • Normal – smooth skin that doesn’t shine
  • Combination — a mix
  • Oily – when your skin shines, and you can feel the residue on your fingers.

When you have combination skin, you have different skin types in different locations, and your skin condition may change with seasons. Having a combination skin type means you exhibit two main characteristics such as dry and flaky skin on your cheeks with excess oil in other parts of your face, such as your forehead, nose, and chin. You will know the skin is oily because it will shine even if you just washed your face.

How to tell if you have combination skin

Since combination skin is among the most popular, chances are you have that skin type, and you aren’t alone. Some of the symptoms of combination skin include having larger pores in your T-zone, oily patches throughout the T-zone, rough cheeks, and clogged pores.

Combination skin will appear first across your T-zone. That zone is your forehead, nose, and chin, and those areas will have excess oil that is difficult or nearly impossible to clean off your face. Your cheeks will then be dry and look irritated with flaky skin.

Other symptoms of combination skin

  • Blackheads that will generally form in your T-zone area.
  • Whiteheads that are more prominent on your cheeks and forehead.
  • Dandruff because of dry skin on the scalp. (Note that not all experience this symptom).
  • You have to deal with both acne breakouts alongside dry skin.

Why do you have combination skin?

When it comes to why you have combination skin, it could be genetic. No matter what type of skin you have, chances are you got it from your parents. You have combination skin because the sebaceous glands that are throughout your T-zone are more active than they are in the cheeks which are underactive.

However, you should know that the environment has something to do with it too. Lifestyle habits and products can contribute to the type of skin you have. Additionally, the seasons also make your skin type fluctuate, which is why your skin feels driers in the winter and oily in the summer.

Combination skin can come from any of those factors or a combination of them all. It isn’t 100 percent clear as to why you get combination skin when your sister has normal skin. However, each of these factors plays a role that contributes to the type of skin you have.

Conclusion: What to do If You Have Combination Skin

Dealing with combination skin can be very difficult. You have to understand that there is no miracle cure that will give you a normal skin type, or even one skin type. You will probably have to deal with varying skin types for the rest of your life.

Dealing with an oily T-zone and dry cheeks isn’t what you want, but it isn’t completely unmanageable either. There are many different techniques you can use to help you cope with the varying skin types exhibited on your face.

Instead of getting frustrated by your combination skin, you need to learn how to work with it instead. However, don’t despair; you are apart of the majority when you find out that you have a combination skin type as most people have this skin type. Therefore, just learn how to deal with it, and you will be fine.

Resources— TheBodyShop, ColorScience, L'Oreal