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Did you know that the trickiest skin type is also the most common? Combination skin is when your face is both oily and dry. Under this skin type, your face can be acne-prone as well as flaky, so it’s easy to think you may have oily or dry skin. However, in most people, it’s a combination of both. So, yes, we’ve been in this confusion together for a while now. How can you tell if you have combination skin and how do you take care of it? Keep scrolling to find out.

According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, combination skin has higher sebum secretions on the forehead, nose, and chin than on the cheeks. The study also found that the seasons affect these secretions, which peak in the summer. When there is a mismatch in oiliness on the T and U-zones in more than two seasons, you most likely have combination skin. 

Your skin’s reaction to your period is also a good indicator. If you get breakouts during your period but immediately return to clear yet dry skin after, you have combination skin. Overactive oil glands, hormones, and high humidity are some of the factors that can trigger the shifts in your skin. 

If you’re still unsure of your skin type, you can get your skin analyzed with SAL or POND’s Skin Advisor Live. It’s an AI-powered tool that evaluates your skin and offers a personalized skincare plan to address your concerns.

How to Care for Combination Skin

Confused about what products to use for combination skin? Stick to the basics.

The goal of skin care in combination skin is to treat both oily and dry areas in a balanced manner. There’s no need to choose the “lesser evil.” You can address your breakouts and dryness with the right products in your skincare regimen. Here’s how.

Stick to a simple regimen.

Since your oil glands can be reactive and your dry areas can get sensitive, it’s essential to stick to a basic regimen. A good cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen is a fine start. Keeping it simple can help you understand how your skin reacts and what it reacts to. You can move on to more targeted treatments when you are more aware of your skin’s patterns.

Be careful when trying something new.

Attempting to address your breakouts or get rid of excess oil can strip your dry areas of moisture, too. In the same way, moisturizing with heavy cream to relieve itching or flakiness can clog your pores and cause acne. Use products that address your skin’s issues while giving it what it needs. Case in point: POND’S Aloe Vera Jelly Moisturizer. Enriched with hydrating aloe vera and niacinamide, this moisturizer hydrates and brightens the skin. Its unique jelly formula is 100% oil-free and alcohol-free, making it perfect for combination skin.

Apply skincare products selectively.

Use exfoliating products on your T-zone and hydrating products on your dry areas

If you’re using serums, consider applying them only where needed. For example, if it has exfoliating ingredients like salicylic acid or lactic acid, apply it to your T-zone. Meanwhile, you can use a hyaluronic acid serum on dryer areas like the cheeks and chin.

Use light, nourishing makeup. 

When it comes to makeup, avoid heavy powders and foundations that can clog your pores with oils. Using lightweight, dual-purpose products like tinted sunscreen also keeps flaky skin from being visible. Always read the labels on products and choose those that are oil-free and non-comedogenic. It may also help apply makeup sparingly. Focusing only on areas that need it, like under the eyes. 

Double cleanse at night.

Double cleansing effectively removes makeup without the harshness of makeup removers or the abrasiveness of wipes. Start with an oil-based product like POND’S Cleansing Balm, which melts into a silky oil when applied to the skin. Massage all over your face to lift dirt and makeup. Follow with a water-based cleanser to gently remove all traces of oil.

Take care of combination skin by observing a simple skincare regimen. Think of the so-called basics as the pillars of a good routine. Once you understand how your skin behaves, you can start using targeted treatments on specific areas of your skin.