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Skin Types ~ Combination/Oily

Let’s continue the discussion on skin types ~ combination/oily. Understanding the difference between combination skin and oily skin. They both have a similar characteristics. It all comes down to pore size.


Combination Skin


Combination skin can be both oily and dry at the same time. The T-zone is oilier. This area has more sebaceous glands and larger pores. The outer areas of the face can be dry and even appear flaky. The pore size change from larger to medium just outside the T-zone on the cheeks.

In combination skin the skin types vary in the T-zone and the cheeks.


Combination skin is characterized by:

  • an oily T-zone (forehead, chin and nose)
  • enlarged pores in this area perhaps with some impurities
  • normal to dry cheeks

The causes of combination skin

The oilier parts of combination skin are caused by an over production of sebum. The drier parts of combination skin are caused by a lack of sebum and a corresponding lipid deficiency.

Description: Cheeks feel comfortable with occasional T-zone oiliness. Skin feels moist to touch is supple and evenly pigmented. Water-based products work best for this skin type.

Skin Types ~ Combination and Oily

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Oily/Blemished Skin


Oily skin is the result of both genetic factors and hormonal changes experienced in an individual’s lifetime characterized by excess sebum/oil production. The follicle size is larger and contains more oil. If the pore size is larger over most of the face, this indicates an oily skin type. This skin type requires more cleansing and exfoliating than other skin types. Blemishes and blackheads are common. Over cleansing can make matters worse by stripping the skin and irritating it. If the skin is over dried, the body’s protection mechanism tries to produce additional oil to compensate for the dryness on the surface. One good thing, the skin ages more slowly. But is more prone to acne.

Those with a genetic predisposition to active oil glands produce a higher amount of sebum, an oily substance created to help keep the skin soft and hydrated. This oil flows from inside the epidermis to the surface of the skin through pores and hair follicles. When the body experiences a fluctuation in hormone levels, it signals the production of androgens, a male hormone present in both men and women.

Description: Skin is shiny, congested, blemish prone or slightly blemished. (From my experience, many people think they have oily skin. There is a simple test to determine if you have oily skin. If you wash your face at 8:00 a.m., when do you notice shine on your face? Within two hours, you have oily skin. Otherwise, no.)

How to Care for Oily Skin

Many individuals struggling with oily skin head straight for products that promise to dry out the skin, like acne treatments containing harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, but this can actually be counterproductive. Benzoyl peroxide and other drying ingredients may actually trigger your skin to work harder at producing more oil to compensate, resulting in oilier skin.

It’s important to lightly exfoliate oily skin, as the buildup of oil can cause dead skin cells to become trapped in the pores and lead to acne blemishes. While you may be tempted to reach for harsher products and rough loofas, it’s important to use products that contain gentle exfoliators, like the salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a natural exfoliant that gently sloughs off dead skin cells that may result in pore blockages.

Skin Types ~ Combination and Oily

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 Kathleen Flanagan, CEO and Founder of Espirit de Vie Day Spa, Aromatherapist, Harmonic Healer, Esthetician and Author.



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