If You Have Combination Skin, Then This Moisturizing Technique Is For You

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Healthy skin is always in, and to achieve that, we go to great lengths with creams and treatments. While some skincare ingredients like vitamin c and retinol are proven to work miracles, before buying every product trending on social media, it's important to first determine your skin type. According to The Derm Review, there are six skin types: dry skin, oily skin, combination skin, acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, and mature skin. It's also possible to have "multiple skin types at once, and your skin type can also change over time." That's why some people might notice more sensitivity later in life, or those with oily skin in their teens might experience dry skin in their 30s. Likewise, it's possible to have dry or oily skin more prone to irritation, making it sensitive.

Identifying your skin type and issues (such as acne) can help you build an effective skincare routine. Some people love to use multiple products to care for their skin, while some like to keep their skincare routine pretty basic and do the bare minimum. Dry skin can feel "tight, scaly, flaky, or a combination of all three," which is caused by the environment, genetics, or health conditions, and needs richer moisturizers (via Healthline). Oily skin looks greasier, is more prone to breakouts, and will benefit from using oil-free skincare products, per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). But what if your skin is dry in some parts and oily in others?

What is combination skin?

If your skin is dry and itchy or "normal" on your cheeks, for instance, but looks shiny on your T-zone (your forehead, nose, and chin) as if you're all about the glazed donut skin trend, then you probably have combination skin. Esthetician Renée Rouleau told Byrdie, "The concept of combination skin is that you're oily in some places and dry in others."

Combination skin can also act differently depending on the time of the year, feeling "drier in the winter and oilier in the summer," per Derm Collective. That's because the dry air in the winter can suck the moisture out of your skin, and hot summer temperatures can activate your oil glands to produce more sebum. It's also possible to have dry skin prone to acne, in which case uber-hydrating products could worsen it, while acne treatments might make your dry skin drier.

It may seem tricky to care for combination skin, but it is possible to find products that treat multiple skin issues simultaneously. You can also treat different parts of your face with different products.

How to properly moisturize combination skin

The world would be perfect if we had one product that did everything, but unfortunately, that's not the case — especially if you have combination skin. One genius hack is to use different moisturizers or treatments on different parts of your face to treat specific issues.  

Hayley Kennedy, a sales assistant at Glossier, is the perfect example of someone with combination skin, as some parts of her face are oily while others are dry, and she's prone to acne. She told Into The Gloss, "At night, I use Differin on the tip and sides of my nose and then [Glossier's] Priming Moisturizer Rich or a heavier cream on my cheeks, jaw, forehead, and top of the bridge of my nose. It works wonders!" Similarly, frequent face mask user and Glossier Senior Editor Ashley Weatherford also "moisturizer spot treats," sticking to lighter moisturizers all over her face and adding extra hydrating creams on the areas covered by the mask.

Derm Collective agrees with using gentle products for your entire face and only using spot treatments where needed. This way, your whole face stays moisturized while the treatment combats the issue. Byrdie recommends Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Moisture Cushion for combination skin. This water-gel cream is oil-free and packed with hyaluronic acid and Japanese marine algae to provide hydration without the shine.