Confessions of a Combination-Skinned Girl

The story you need to know


Tanya Muzaffar

Combination skin is real,and it’s a real pain!

Now, we’ve all heard of oily, dry or normal skin-types, but combination skin is different as itis characterized by our T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) being oily and cheeks being dry and flaky.

So what’s going on here?

As we age, our skin goes through a multitude of changes that alsovary year-round – dry through the winter months, oily during humid summers, and then the seasonal shift (being autumn and winter),we find that out T-zone becomes oily while the rest remains dry. Then, there is the monthly struggle where our skin flares up in zits and then calms down back to patchy and dry. This, lovelies, is combination skin.

I found that as I turned the corner from late 20s to early 30s, my skin, which was always oily, underwent a major change. It became dry and flakey in places, and remained so, no matter what I did. It began with the nose(the bridge was normal to oily)and my sideswere in perpetual flake-mode. I didn’t like the idea of exfoliating my nose each time I wanted to wear makeup, but I did it anyway. With time, the dry patches had spread to the apples of my cheeks and I genuinely started to panic. Wearing makeup (which has been a decade long weakness) became a challengeas my skin would start to flake beneath the settled-in foundation, ruining my masterpiece! I casually brought this subject up amongst my friends and they looked at me as if I was nuts, ‘dry and oily skin, at the same time? No, our skin isn’t weird like that!’ I truly feared the worst, almost believing I was cursed – first with acne and now this. In short, all my skin goals were doomed.

Coming to terms with it

One day, as I was staring at the dry patches in the mirror, which were visible under my foundation, I decided that things couldn’t go on like this. I turned to the world of Google and began looking for ‘dry and oily skin’. This is how I found out I wasn’t alone. I came across a plethora of helpful tips which boiled down to this one fact – prepare to spot treat your skin.

  • Your stash of products is about to double. Purchase products for both oily and dry skin, and learn where to apply which. Typically, products for oily skin should be used in humid months and dry skin in cooler months.
  • Cleanse your skin at night and simply rinse it with warm water in the morning so it doesn’t go into overdrive with oil production.
  • Spot-moisturize your dry areas in warm months, using the leftover product on your hands on the oily areas.
  • Exfoliate twice a week with a gentle scrub or a warm wash cloth.
  • Use clay masks on your T-zone, only! They not only suck out the excess oil, but also prevent the formation of blackheads.
  • If your skin is prone to breakouts, spot treat with a toner, but be very careful to avoid the dry patches, as the toner will end up irritating it to flakes again.
  • Start using oil-free foundations or tinted moisturizers and avoid setting the dry patches with powders.
  • In warm months, carry blotting papers – they soak up the excess oil without messing up your makeup. Sure, you can powder your nose too, however, that runs the risk of clogging your pores.
  • If you have oily eyelids, prepare them with an eyes shadow primer to pervert your artwork from melting into the creases.

It’s all about figuring out how to work with what you have. Combination skin takes a little extra care, but hey! It’s your skin and so it’s totally worth the effort.