Is the skin on your face oily in the T-zones and dry around the cheeks? That’s because of combination skin.
Combination skin requires extra care due to its dual nature. Fixing on a skincare routine that perfectly suits combination skin can be tricky. Thankfully the ancient science of Ayurveda recommends the use of herbal skincare that calms your Doshas to bring about a holistic balance in your skin’s nature.
Scroll down to know some of the best natural ingredients that hydrate, control excess sebum production and rejuvenate your combination skin.
What Is Combination Skin?
Your face has the most number of sebaceous glands compared to the rest of your body. Sebum produced by them moisturizes your skin and keeps it supple. In combination skin type, there is a larger concentration of sebaceous glands in your T Zone which comprises the forehead, nose, upper cheeks and the chin. Owing to this, the T-zone experiences an oily texture while the rest of the face remains normal or dry.
According to Ayurveda, each individual has a unique Prakriti or body constitution that is determined by the dominance of certain Doshas (bodily humours) in their body. People who have a Vata -Kapha Prakriti are more likely to have combination skin. Here the dominance of Kapha Dosha leads to the overproduction of sebum and the effect of Vata keeps certain parts of your skin dry. An aggravation of these Doshas may lead to the formation of acne in the oily zones or dry, flaky skin in the areas surrounding the T-zone.
Due to its unique nature, combination skin can be easily affected by external factors like weather changes. Dry weather can lead to dryness in the lower cheeks and around the eyes whereas a rise in heat and humidity can stimulate overproduction of sebum in the oily zones.
What Does Combination Skin Look Like?
Considered to be one of the most common skin types, combination skin refers to skin that has dry outer and oily inner facial areas. While the T-zone becomes greasy by midday or within a few hours of washing your face, the rest of the face stays dry or normal. People with combination skin are likely to experience both dry and oily skin issues such as acne, enlarged pores along with dry skin, fine lines, uneven skin tone, dermatitis, flaking and peeling skin.
“It is commonly observed that the areas of skin that transition between oily, normal, and dry zones tend to suffer more,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
How To Identify Combination Skin Type?
The easiest way to identify if you have combination skin is through a blotting paper test.
- Wait a few hours after washing your face.
- Take a blotting paper and pat it on your cheeks and check for oil.
- If the paper shows none to little oiliness, your cheeks are dry or normal.
- Now dab it on your nose, its immediate surrounding area, forehead and chin.
- If you find your blotting paper more greasy than before, there is a chance you have combination skin.
Signs Of Combination Skin
1. Oiliness due to overproduction of sebum by sebaceous glands located in the T-zone or the Y-zone (upper cheeks, nose and chin).
2. Normal or dry facial areas surrounding the T-zone.
3. Chances of acne (especially whiteheads and blackheads) in the oily T-zone.
4. Enlarged pores in the T-zone.
5. Chances of dry skin issues in the outer cheeks and jawline.
6. Chances of uneven skin tone.
7. Skin sensitivity.
What Causes Combination Skin?
Whether combination skin is a skin type or merely the result of external and internal factors, still remains a debatable topic in the dermatological field. Certain dermatologists are of the opinion that fluctuations in skin type leading to partly oily and partly normal/dry areas on the face can be controlled and normalised with the right skincare and dietary observations.
Below listed are the common trigger factors that can cause combination skin.
According to many skin specialists, combination skin is a skin type that one may be born with. If your parents had it, you're likely to get it too. While genetic influence is out of your hand, you can follow the right skin care measures to ensure your combination skin stays healthy.
2. Weather Changes
Extremes of weather can lead to dryness or overproduction of oil in combination skin. Cold, dry weather can easily dry out the areas of your face that have a lesser number of sebaceous glands. This may lead to a combination of dry and normal zones on the face. On the other hand, hot, humid climates can stimulate areas that contain more oil glands making the T or Y-zones of your face appear more oily.
3. Wrong Skincare Products
The false belief that face washes and cleansers that produce a lot of foam clean better may end up dehydrating your skin. Harsh chemicals are used in many skincare products to give them a rich creamy texture and foaming nature. Such ingredients damage the skin barrier and dry out your skin with regular use. Dry skin stimulates your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum to keep your skin hydrated. As a result, your skin appears greasy in the T-zone.
4. Dietary Choices
According to Ayurveda, what you eat directly affects the health of your skin. Inclusion of unhealthy foods that are high on oil and sugar can affect the Dosha balance in your body. An aggravation of Vata and Kapha can lead to fluctuations in your skin’s nature.
5. Hormonal Changes
Changes in your estrogen and testosterone levels, especially during menstruation and pregnancy, can cause various skin conditions like dryness, acne and excess secretion of sebum that may cause combination skin. Presence of high levels of cortisol or the stress hormone can also stimulate your oil glands.
Different Types Of Combination Skin
1. Normal Combination Skin
This refers to skin that has an oily T-zone with the cheeks and a jawline that is neither oily nor too dry. Normal combination skin is easier to manage as one majorly needs to focus on the oily areas that may be prone to acne.
2. Dry Combination Skin
When you have an oily T-zone with dry cheeks it is called a dry combination skin. Dry combination skin needs extra care as it is prone to both dry and oily skin problems. A good Dosha-balancing herbal skincare can keep such skin issues at bay.
How To Take Care Of Combination Skin?
A. Skin Care Routine
1. Water Based Cleanser For Combination Skin
Nowadays cleansers that are specifically formulated for combination skin are available in the market. Opt for one which is water-based and free of sulfates, artificial fragrances and colours. A mild cleanser will help remove excess sebum, dirt and unclog pores in your T-zone without drying out the outer facial areas.
2. Exfoliator For Combination Skin
Combination skin needs to be mildly exfoliated 2 to 3 times a week to keep build-ups and dry skin away. Use a gentle scrub made from natural ingredients (oats, walnuts, orange peel) to keep both your oily and dry areas healthy and rejuvenated.
A toner helps your combination skin stay balanced. Use one that is alcohol free to avoid drying out of your skin. Toners that contain rose, green tea or tea tree extracts are a good choice for combination skin.
Active ingredients in serums go deep into your skin and hydrate from within. This keeps your skin moisturized without blocking your pores. Use a serum that has green/black tea, Vitamin C or Hyaluronic acid extracts.
Apply your moisturizer 5 minutes after applying your serum. The moisturiser repairs your skin barrier and acts like a protective layer that prevents moisture loss from the surface of your skin. Non-comedogenic, water or gel based are considered the best moisturizers for combination skin.
Sunscreen is an absolute must for combination skin every time you step out. Use a waterproof one that is non- acnegenic. Sunscreen not only prevents damage to your dry areas but also keeps your oil glands from getting triggered due to UV ray exposure.
B. Home Remedies
The best home remedies for combination skin focus on controlling excess oil secretion while keeping your skin hydrated without blocking your pores.
1. Papaya And Honey
Papain, a natural enzyme in papaya, is considered to be one of the best natural ingredients for treating combination skin. It removes oil build-ups, prevents acne and rejuvenates dry, dull skin. Honey further hydrates your skin and its antimicrobial nature prevents the growth of acne-causing bacteria in your T-zones.
How To Use
- Mash a ripe papaya.
- Add honey to it.
- Apply for 15 mins and wash off with cool water to get soft, oil-free, glowing skin.
2. Curd And Avocado
Lactic acid present in curd acts as a beautiful exfoliator cum hydrating agent. It removes dead skin cells, balances sebum secretions and moisturizes your skin. Avocado is also a great moisturiser for combination skin. Super rich in Vitamin E, avocado prevents dry skin, wrinkles and premature ageing of combination skin.
How To Use
- Blend a ripe avocado and add curd to it to prepare this homemade face pack for combination skin.
- Apply all over your face for 15 minutes and wash off.
3. Orange Peel, Milk And Honey
The astringent properties of orange peel keep your skin non- greasy and fresh all day. Both orange peel and honey are antibacterial and help fight acne-causing bacteria. Milk gently cleanses away the oil and dead skin build-ups from both your oily and dry areas, thus giving your combination skin a cleaner feel.
How To Use
- Grind dry orange peel and add milk and honey to it to make a paste.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes.
- Once dry, gently massage to exfoliate and wash off.
4. Almond And Honey Or Aloe Vera
Almonds are an excellent way to fight acne that is prevalent in T-zones of combination skin. Rich in Vitamin E, almonds also give a healthy boost to your skin and prevent dry skin and oxidative stress related skin damage.
Adding honey or aloe vera gel to the pack enhances its antimicrobial properties. Both honey and aloe vera also help to uneven out your skin tone, giving your combination skin a clear, oil-free, youthful look.
How To Use
- Soak almonds overnight.
- Grind them to make a paste.
- Add honey or aloe vera gel and apply all over your face.
- Wash off after 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Multani Mitti And Rose Water
This homemade face pack is best suited for normal combination skin. Multani mitti is astringent in nature and helps to draw out excess oil and dirt that may be blocking your pores. Rose water is highly hydrating and helps in maintaining your skin’s pH balance.
How To Use
- Add rose water to multani mitti to make a paste.
- Apply all over your face and wash off after 10 to 15 minutes.
For dry combination skin, multani mitti and rose water pack can be used as a spot treatment for the oily areas. Apply it only on the oily T zone to clarify your skin and prevent acne lesions.
C. Ayurvedic Herbs
Ayurveda recommends the use of Kapha Vata balancing herbs that holistically improve your combination skin conditions. The below mentioned herbs can be used as Lepas or face packs in combination with Kumari (aloe vera gel), Madhu (honey) or Almond Oil for best results.
- Boosts collagen production
- Anti-ageing benefits
- Its astringent properties control sebum production
- Considered a good moisturizer for combination skin
- Balances Kapha Dosha. May aggravate Vata Dosha if used in excess
2. Ashwagandha 
- Helps repair damaged skin barriers
- Prevents dry skin
- Cleans pores and prevents acne
- Contains skin benefitting active compounds like saponins, withanolides, alkaloids that cleanses, prevents various skin problems, tightens pores and improves overall skin condition
- Balances both Vata and Kapha Doshas
- Balances both Kapha and Vata Doshas
- Antimicrobial nature prevents acne
- Prevents scars and uneven skin tone
- Anti-inflammatory nature prevents skin irritations caused by dry skin
- Rich in antioxidants and fatty acids that strengthen the skin barrier and prevent dry skin, wrinkles and fine lines
- Balances Tridosha
- Removes harmful Ama toxins from the body that can cause acne
- Rich in antioxidants that improve the overall appearance of your skin
- Contains tannins, flavonoids, triterpines, all of which are anti-inflammatory
- Heals acne lesions
- Excellent Vata Kapha pacifier
- Improves skin complexion
- Its antibacterial nature fights acne causing bacteria
- Prevents the clogging of pores in your T-zone
- Antioxidants in Ela treat dry skin condition
- Rich in Vitamin C which evens out skin tone
- Boosts the production of collagen that improves skin elasticity and firmness
- Improves dry skin conditions
- Its astringent qualities help in oil control
- Prevents acne
- Balances all three doshas
- Antimicrobial properties of haldi prevent acne lesions
- Improves skin appearance
- Curcumin in haldi prevents inflammation
- Repairs skin damages
- Helps reduce excess sebum secretions
Vedix Tip: To keep your skin oil free and hydrated, spray it frequently with rose water. This acts as a natural, homemade toner for combination skin. Rose water not only checks excess sebum production but also prevents your skin from drying out.
D. Natural Methods
The best way to maintain combination skin is by following a proper skincare regimen that keeps both Vata and Kapha Doshas in equilibrium. Using the below mentioned natural ingredients to perform your daily skincare routine brings about a holistic improvement in your skin’s health and appearance.
Wash your face twice a day to remove oil build-ups, dirt and dry skin. This keeps your skin clean and reduces chances of acne in the T-zone of your face. Use a herbal face wash or cleanser that contains any one or more of the following herbs.
2. Herbal Exfoliation
The Ayurvedic procedure of herbal exfoliation  or Ubtan is highly recommended for combination skincare. Ubtan is performed using herbal powders and oils. Light, gentle upward strokes are used that go against the direction of your facial hairs. Ubtan improves blood circulation, removes accumulated Ama toxins from the skin and exfoliates dead skin cells, giving your skin a healthy glow.
3. Face Packs For Combination Skin
After exfoliation, applying a face pack allows your skin to absorb the goodness of the herbs better. Make your face packs with the herbs mentioned above and allow them to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water. Doing this 2 to 3 times a week is beneficial.
4. Best Moisturisers For Combination Skin
Natural moisturizers can work wonders for your combination skin. These can be used regularly and also as overnight treatments. Among these are:
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Almond Oil
E. Essential Oils For Combination Skin
Gently massage the below mentioned essential oils for 5 mins twice a day after washing your face. Leave it on for another 10 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Anti-inflammatory, astringent and antimicrobial properties make tea tree oil ideal for combination skin.
2. Almond Oil
Being an excellent source of Vitamin E, almond oil treats the drier areas of your skin without disturbing the oil balance of your skin. Essential fatty acids in almond oil help break down sebum and dirt thus unblocking your pores. Almond oil is also considered one of the best moisturizers for combination skin.
3. Rosemary Oil
Rich in skin benefitting active compounds, rosemary oil helps fight various combination skin issues such as inflammation, acne, sun damage and excess sebum secretions.
4. Clove Oil
Eugenol in clove oil has great acne fighting abilities. It calms your skin, brightens your appearance and reduces excess oil secretions.
5. Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang ylang nourishes your skin and helps maintain its natural pH balance. Its antimicrobial nature prevents chances of acne. Regular usage boosts skin health, enhances skin tone and prevents premature skin ageing.
6. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is suitable for all skin types. The compound linalool in lavender oil prevents skin inflammation and dryness.
Rosehip oil is great for combination skin as it can combat both dryness and acne. It’s usually used as a carrier oil for essential oils. It boosts collagen production, tightens your pores and enhances skin elasticity.
F. Topical Treatments
1. Face Washes With AHAs And BHAs
Face washes and cleansers that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy acids in low concentrations are great for combination skin. They clear out your pores and increase your skin’s cell turnover rate by exfoliating the dry, damaged upper layer. Regular use can improve your skin’s overall appearance and reduce chances of acne.
2. Alcohol Free Toners
Toners help tighten your pores and maintain your skin’s oil balance. You can use one which has a low AHA content or natural ingredients like tea tree extracts.
3. OTC Retinol Creams
Over the counter retinol  creams are useful for combination skins that have extreme dryness or acne conditions. These are excellent exfoliators that prevent clogged pores and gently exfoliate dry skin to reveal your natural healthy, youthful skin.
Frequently Asked Questions About Combination Skin
1. Is Combination Skin Acne-Prone?
Due to the presence of active sebaceous glands in the T Zone, combination skin is usually prone to developing acne lesions . Comedonal acne such as whiteheads and blackheads along with occasional inflammatory acne on the nose bridge, inner cheeks and chin are common skin issues faced by people with combination skin.
2. What Kind of Products Are Best for Combination Skin?
Ayurveda encourages the use of herbal products that benefit combination skin and are devoid of harmful chemicals. Look for skincare products that have the following natural ingredients:
- Tea Tree Oil
- Green or Black Tea Extracts
- Aloe Vera
- Natural fruit acids
- Orange Peel
The Last Word
Taking proper care of combination skin may seem a little difficult, but the right skincare routine can easily keep it healthy. The two major skin issues faced by people with combination skin are dryness and acne due to over oiliness in the T-zones. To combat these, include Ayurvedic herbs in your skincare that keep your Doshas in balance. Additionally, an Ayurveda recommended diet and a healthy lifestyle can enhance your skin's natural youthful radiance.
We, at Vedix, carefully analyze your skin’s health and needs at first and later suggest you a customized skincare regimen to help you address your skin concerns.Know Your Dosha Now
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