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  5. Combination Skin: How To Choose The Best Moisturizer?

Are you struggling with acne and dry skin at the same time? Choosing the right moisturizer for your combination skin can help resolve most of your skin problems.

Caring for combination skin is a tricky affair. Different parts of your face behave differently and deal with different skin issues. The best way to moisturize such skin is to either opt for two moisturizers that cater to separate needs, or look for one which contains ingredients that hydrate without clogging your pores.

Read on to know what ingredients to look for while choosing the best moisturizer for your combination skin.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor Says

“A combination skin generally represents a dual dosha prakriti. Pitta-Kapha individuals have an oily + normal skin combination. Pitta-Vata individuals display oily + dry combination skin. Pitta-Vata skin also tends to be very sensitive.”

Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

What Does Having Combination Skin Mean?

Having combination skin is like experiencing the benefits and complications of both dry and oily skin. While parts of the face like the T Zone feel greasy, the lower cheeks and jawline have normal to dry skin. This type of skin often requires a little extra care to keep it healthy.

To determine if you have a combination skin type, check for the following indicators:

1. During the day, your skin gets oily on the nose, forehead and chin. These areas have large pores and are also prone to comedonal acne such as blackheads and whiteheads.

2. You experience dry skin, flaking and peeling in the outer cheeks and areas around the jawline.

3. Dandruff is a frequently occurring condition for you.

Dry skin according to many dermatologists is not a skin type but a temporary phase when the skin barrier is disrupted. With proper skin care and internal nutrition, such skin can be repaired and converted into normal skin.

What Causes Combination Skin?

girl with acne, oily skin and pigmentation

1. Heredity

If combination skin runs in the family, there’s a high chance that you’ll have it too. Genes play an important role in determining your skin type. Those with combination skin have a higher concentration of sebaceous glands in the T-Zone, compared to the rest of the face. This causes your skin to have a dual nature.

2. Hot, Humid Weather

A rise in external temperature and humidity can trigger your eccrine and sebaceous glands [1] into secreting more sweat and sebum as part of the thermoregulatory process. This is why your combination skin feels more oily during the summers or when you spend more time outdoors.

3. Harsh Cleansing Products

Many are inclined towards cleaning their combination skin with harsh cleansers to get rid of the excess oil. This strips your skin of essential moisture and triggers your skin to produce more oil to battle the dryness. Such practices can have you dealing with both acne and dry skin at the same time.

4. Hormonal Fluctuations

Increase in androgen [2] hormones in your body can spike up oil secretions in parts of the face that are more densely packed with sebaceous glands such as the T Zone, leading to combination skin.

5. Oily Foods

According to Ayurveda, over consumption of oily and sugary foods can cause an imbalance in your doshas. Aggravation of the Vata and Kapha doshas can lead to sebaceous gland hyperactivity and dry skin simultaneously.

6. Medications

Hormonal medicines and certain steroids [3] can all activate your sebaceous glands into producing more oil. This can make parts of your face which have more active sebaceous glands, oily and prone to acne.

How To Choose Moisturizer For Combination Skin?

Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, “A combination skin generally represents a dual dosha prakriti. Pitta-Kapha individuals have an oily + normal skin combination. Pitta-Vata individuals display oily + dry combination skin. Pitta-Vata skin also tends to be very sensitive. No matter what your skin type, a good moisturizer that suits your skin type, can help keep the skin radiant and problem free.”

While choosing a moisturizer for your combination skin, keep the following points in mind:

A. Base/ Consistency

Since combination skin is prone to pore clogging and acne, it is always safer to opt for a water-based moisturizer. These easily penetrate your skin, lock in essential moisture and keep your skin hydrated.

However, if you are dealing with skin peeling or flaking in your drier areas, a milk-based moisturizer or an emulsion is a good option. These not only hydrate but also help to repair your skin barrier and prevent dry skin.

Some people prefer to use two different types of moisturizers; a lightweight one for the oily areas and a slightly cream-based, viscous one for the dry parts.

B. Properties

Whilst moisturizing is the main purpose of a moisturizer it may serve other skin benefits or address certain skin issues. This depends on the ingredients it consists of. Read the labels carefully to select the moisturizer that best suits your skin needs. You may look for the following properties that benefit combination skin:

  • Hydrating
  • Nourishing
  • Skin soothing
  • Skin barrier repairing
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypo-allergic
  • Collagen boosting
  • Skin brightening
  • Oil balancing
  • Anti-aging
  • Pore minimizing
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Humectant
  • Emollient

C. Chemicals/ Ingredients To Avoid

While selecting your moisturizer for combination skin, read the ingredients carefully. Opt for products that are devoid of the following chemicals or ingredients that may prove detrimental to your skin health.

1. Fragrance

Often mentioned as ‘Parfum’, fragrances are included in moisturizers to appeal to our olfactory senses and give us a luxurious feel. However, some skins may be sensitized by these products.

If dry skin and flaking is a frequently occurring concern for your combination skin, then it is advisable to choose a moisturizer that is unscented. You may also opt for herbal moisturizers that often have a mild, naturally occurring pleasant smell.

2. Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is added to many moisturizers as they act as an emollient which keeps the skin soft and supple. However, the downside of this product is that it tends to clog your pores and can trigger an acne condition in combination skin.

3. Artificial Colours

Steering away from added chemicals is always safe for any skin type. While a synthetic dye in your combination skin moisturizer may or may not trigger an allergic reaction, it definitely does not benefit your skin.

4. Parabens

These are chemical preservatives added to skincare products to increase their shelf life. There are many studies that prove parabens to be potentially harmful for human skin due to their carcinogenic nature.

Though the FDA considers them safe for use in cosmetic and skin care products, there are various reports of contact dermatitis and skin texture deterioration due to regular use of parabens. So while choosing a moisturizer for your combination skin, it is safe to opt for one that is paraben free.

5. Alcohols

Alcohol is added to many moisturizers crafted for combination and oily skin types. While these moisturizers may have an astringent effect on the oily parts of your combination skin they can be particularly drying on the other areas. Further, high amounts of alcohol in a gel moisturizer for combination skin may steal essential moisture and urge your skin to produce more oil.

6. Petroleum Jelly

Contrary to popular belief, petroleum jelly does not moisturize your skin. It acts as an occlusive and prevents transepidermal water loss and helps your skin retain existing moisture. However, it is considered a comedogenic product and not suitable for inclusion in moisturizers for combination skin.

D. What To Look For In A Moisturizer For Combination Skin?

According to Ayurveda, ingredients that pacify both the Kapha and Vata doshas are best suited for combination skin. To ease your task of selecting the best moisturizer for your combination skin, we have listed a range of ingredients that have been proven beneficial.

1. Aloe Vera

woman with cream and aloe vera

A natural moisturizer with amazing healing properties, aloe vera’s [4] anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties control acne problems in combination skin. It also brightens, nourishes and fights signs of aging.

2. Rose

Rose extracts are widely used in moisturizers for combination skin. It hydrates your skin, controls sebum secretions and prevents dark spots, wrinkles and blemishes.

3. Almond Oil

Almond oil is a nourishing seed oil that you can look for while choosing your moisturizer for combination skin. It has brilliant anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties that treat both your oily and dry areas.

4. Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed is a repairing oil used in many moisturizers for combination skin for its ability to prevent acne conditions. It has essential fatty acids [5] that improve skin texture and elasticity. It’s high antioxidant content fights free radical damage and keeps your skin healthy and bright.

5. Clary Sage

Sage plant and mortar

Clary sage benefits both dry and oily skin, thus making it a perfect moisturizer ingredient for combination skin. It’s cooling nature helps reduce inflammation and redness. It also helps control excess oil secretions and keeps your skin non-greasy all day.

6. Neem

Lauded for its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, oil balancing and purifying properties, neem helps control almost all combination skin issues such as acne, dry skin, skin clogging, aging and pigmentation. It purges your skin and removes harmful Ama toxins which automatically brightens your skin and improves its overall health.

7. Daruharidra

Daruharidra is an ancient Ayurvedic herb used to cure various skin diseases. It effectively controls acne, reduces inflammation and inhibits tyrosinase activity to prevent skin pigmentation in combination skin.

8. Bakuchi

Bakuchi is an excellent raktashodhak (blood purifier) that helps remove toxins from your skin. The presence of bakuchi in your moisturizer for combination skin ensures prevention of dry skin, redness, itching and eczema.

9. Yashtimadhu

Ayurvedic herb Liquorice root

Yashtimadhu is a brilliant skin rejuvenator that keeps your skin young and healthy. Many herbal moisturizers for combination skin include yashtimadhu for its skin lightening, anti-inflammatory [6] and anti-acne properties.

10. Colloidal Oatmeal

A combination skin moisturizer with colloidal oatmeal helps to soothe and nourish your skin. Its anti-inflammatory abilities keep dermatitis, allergies, acne and dry skin like conditions at bay.

11. Soy Milk

Soy milk has powerful antioxidants called isoflavones. These prevent photo damage caused by exposure to harmful UV rays of the sun. It also brightens and improves skin texture. So using a soy milk moisturizer for combination skin keeps it young, supple and healthy.

12. Green Tea

Green tea leaf or seed extracts are common ingredients in moisturizers made for combination skin. It is high in Polyphenols which act as natural antioxidants and help fight premature skin aging. Green tea also has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties which treat acne conditions and prevent chances of developing skin cancer, especially melanoma.

13. Pomegranate

A great source of vitamin C and antioxidants for your skin, pomegranate in a combination skin moisturizer decreases skin inflammation, fights infections and prevents lines and wrinkles. Pomegranate also helps to unclog your skin pores and prevents comedonal acne that is a common skin concern for people with combination skin.

14. Hyaluronic Acid

The super hydrating agent that has taken skin care to a new level is hyaluronic acid. While it boosts skin moisture and repairs the skin barrier, its non-comedogenic nature makes it a perfect addition to moisturizers meant for combination skin.

15. Honey

Unpasteurised honey has been in use since ancient days for the treatment of wounds [7], infections, inflammation and many other skin diseases. Opt for a skin moisturizer that contains manuka honey for enhanced skin hydration and protection against common skin conditions such as dermatitis, skin peeling, acne, aging and skin pigmentation.

16. Hibiscus

Japa or hibiscus’ natural collagen-boosting properties are often compared to that of a Botox treatment. It is an amazing anti-aging herb that also helps your skin balance oil secretions, thus making it a desirable ingredient for moisturizers crafted for combination skin.

17. Avocados

Avocado on old wooden table

A rich source of vitamin E, C and B complex, avocados are a super ingredient for all skin types. Its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe both dry and oily areas of your combination skin. It improves skin elasticity, increases moisture content, treats acne and accelerates wound healing.

18. Chamomile

The phytochemicals and polyphenols in chamomile [8] help scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidative stress related skin cell damage. Having this as an ingredient in your combination skin moisturizer treats bacterial infections such as acne, prevents chances of dermatitis, enhances cell renewal and keeps your skin looking youthful.

19. Tea Tree Oil

Another commonly found ingredient in most good moisturizers for combination skin is tea tree oil. This essential oil has powerful anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and oil balancing properties that keep your skin healthy and acne-free [9].

20. Triglycerides

Triglycerides are compounds that are created from the infusion of fatty acids from plant oils and glycerin. This non-comedogenic ingredient is added to various skin care products including moisturizers for combination skin for its emollient and antioxidant properties.

Vedix Tip: Using aloe vera gel as a natural moisturizer for your combination skin can also give you a good amount of sun protection.

How Do You Moisturize Combination Skin?

If you are using a single moisturizer choose a water/ milk-based one that is lightweight and non-comedogenic. Take a coin-sized amount of the product and dab it onto your skin. Gently massage in a circular motion for better absorption.

If you are using separate moisturizers for your oily and dry areas or to address specific skin issues, take very little quantity of each and apply. Massage each area in a similar manner.

Frequently Asked Questions On Moisturizer For Combination Skin

1. What Is Good For Combination Skin?

Here are some general guidelines that you can follow while moisturizing your combination skin:

  • Understand the nature of your skin and identify your skin concerns.
  • Use 2 different types of moisturizers for the oily and dry parts of your face. This also helps to treat specific skin concerns.
  • Use moisturizers which contain natural astringents on the oily areas of your skin.
  • Use an emollient for the dry parts to help your skin retain moisture.
  • If you are using a moisturizer with retinoids to tackle an acne condition in your T-Zone, make sure not to spill over to the dry areas. This may cause irritation. The same rule applies if you are using a thick moisturizer for repairing dry skin conditions.
  • Use chemical-free herbal products that improve your overall skin health.
  • Moisturize twice a day as part of your daily morning and night routine.
  • Choose ingredients wisely for the different areas of your combination skin.

2. Should I Use Moisturizer If I Have Combination Skin?

Moisturizing is an essential part of your skin care routine irrespective of your skin type. Both the oily and dry patches of a combination skin benefit from moisturizing. Moisturizers restore your skin’s moisture balance, aid cell renewal, prevent various conditions and improve your overall skin health.

3. Which Type Of Moisturizer Is Best For Combination Skin?

Non-comedogenic, lightweight, herbal moisturizers are a safe bet for combination skin types. A good moisturizer for combination skin should contain hydrating agents, antioxidants, astringents, emollients, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients and other natural compounds that contribute to skin barrier repair.

4. Is Aloe Vera Good For Combination Skin?

Aloe vera is an excellent choice for combination skin. It rejuvenates your entire skin and is suitable for both your dry and oily areas. The natural compound aloin in aloe vera helps reduce skin pigmentation and prevent bacterial infections keeping your combination skin healthy and glowing.

The Last Word

Finding the best moisturizer for your combination skin is an upheaval task. It is important to cater to the needs of both your oily and dry areas to keep your skin healthy. Using the tips and choice of ingredients provided in this article can help you narrow down your search and select a natural product that actually benefits your skin and deals with your skin issues.

Know Your Dosha Now

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