Combination skin is skin that has both oily patches (usually in the T-zone around the nose and forehead) and dry patches. People who have combination skin may experience the occasional breakout, as well as some wrinkles. Combination skin requires special care to keep the skin clean and to moderate oil production, while also moisturizing the dry areas to stop them from becoming flaky and to prevent wrinkles from appearing in later life.
Many people are turning their backs on traditional moisturizers and commercial skin care products because they are wary of the synthetic ingredients in them or just do not want to pay the high prices that those companies charge. Essential oils are a good option for people who want to take care of their skin in a more natural way.
There are many different essential oils to choose from, and it’s important that you find the best oils for your skin type.
Start with a Carrier Oil
Carrier oils, or base oils, are oils that are used to form the foundation of your essential oil blend. Most carrier oils are either nut or vegetable oils, and they are intended to dilute the essential oils that you are planning on putting into the blend.
Carrier oils are important because most essential oils are too strong to put on your skin directly. If you apply essential oils directly to your skin, then they could cause an allergic reaction, irritation, or photosensitivity.1
Even if they don’t cause an adverse reaction, essential oils are light and volatile, which means that they will likely evaporate quickly rather than be properly absorbed by the skin. So, at best they will simply evaporate without providing any therapeutic effect.
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Carrier oils are gentler, so they will not damage your skin. They can be used as a massage oil or a face cream, and they will help the other essential oils be absorbed by the skin. Some carrier oils are quite thick and heavy and are good for dry skin. Others are lighter but act as a cleansing agent and are good for oily skin.
In short, carrier oils help essential oils penetrate the skin, prevent essential oils from irritating the skin, provide the skin with essential fatty acids (omega-3, omega-6), and deliver antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to nourish the skin.2
Best Carrier Oils for Combination Skin
Some oils work better than others on combination skin. Some of the best carrier oils for use on combination skin are outlined below.
This oil is rich in antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, and it has a light texture, which means that it penetrates the skin easily. It can help to tighten the pores too, which is good for the T-zone. Grapeseed oil is usually well tolerated and allergic reactions are rare.
Coconut oil is a great moisturizer that is solid at room temperature but melts when it touches the skin, making it a great base for essential oil-based creams. It is rich in antioxidants and has great moisturizing properties.
Sunflower Seed Oil
This is one of the less well-appreciated carrier oils. While it’s not glamorous, it does have some interesting benefits. It is rich in beta-carotene, which means that it can help the skin look firmer and tighter.
Most people have heard of this oil. It is very good for sensitive skin. Additionally, it is light, does not feel greasy, and has good moisturizing qualities. It is particularly good for oily skin.
Essential Oils for Combination Skin
So, now that you have some ideas for which carrier oils to use, the next thing is to figure out is what essential oils to put in them. Essential oils need to be diluted quite significantly so that you can use them topically. Just a couple of drops per teaspoon of carrier oil is enough to have a therapeutic effect. Some of the best essential oils for combination skin include: 3
Bergamot Essential Oil
This essential oil can help clear up oily spots and blackheads, making it great for people with combination skin.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Most people think of chamomile as being a soothing drink or a calming scent, but it can also help soothe irritated skin.
Sandalwood Essential Oil
If you struggle with the occasional breakout or with large pores, then this is a good choice. Sandalwood essential oil helps reduce the appearance of large pores and works well at balancing oily skin.
Lemon Balm Essential Oil
While some people find lemon balm irritating on their skin, it works well for balancing oily and combination skin for those who can tolerate it well. It also has a pleasant and uplifting scent.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Most essential oils are antimicrobial to an extent, but tea tree oil is perhaps the most well-known and commonly-used for fighting skin infections. It is a popular choice for fighting acne to the point that it has been the subject of clinical trials.4
It is a good idea to test each of the essential oils that you are thinking of using to make sure that you are not allergic to them. Conduct a patch test with each oil individually, mixing it with some carrier oil and rubbing it into the skin on the crook of your elbow. Leave it for a few hours to see if you experience any irritation.
Understanding Your Skin
There are five different kinds of skin type—dry, normal, oily, combination, and sensitive. Most people will find that their skin types change over time. For example, people who are going through puberty are more likely to have oily skin, while older individuals are more likely to have dry skin.5
Normal skin has barely visible pores, is not particularly oily but also not very dry, and is not unusually sensitive to cosmetics, soaps, and other topical treatments.
Combination skin dry or normal in some places, but might be oily around the T-zone. This is a common skin type, and people with combination skin may have blackheads or large pores around the area of the T-zone.
Dry skin is usually free from blackheads and has almost invisible pores, but it may be more prone to wrinkles. People with dry skin often feel that their complexion is rather dull and rough, and it is very important for them to use moisturizer to avoid it becoming cracked and inflamed.
Oily skin is the exact opposite of dry skin and is more likely to be too shiny. People with oily skin tend to struggle more with blemishes and be more prone to acne.
Sensitive skin is an additional skin type that can be combined with the others. People with dry skin often have sensitive skin as well. Their skin can become red or itchy if they use scented lotions or moisturizers. People with sensitive skin often benefit from using essential oils and natural treatments instead of standard commercial products.
Your skin experiences a lot of wear and tear on a day-to-day basis, so it is important that you take good care of it to stave off the effects of aging and keep your skin as healthy as possible.
One important part of skincare, whether you have combination skin or another skin type, is protecting your skin from the sun. You should wear sunscreen whenever you are going out in the sun, and especially during the summer months.
For periods when the weather is milder, you can use essential oils with sun protective properties.6 During the summer months, though, you should wear proper sunscreen with a high SPF value and cover up more sensitive areas to prevent sunburn.
Drinking alcohol in excessive quantities can make your skin look older as well because alcohol dehydrates you.
People with combination skin should use water-based cleansing products but avoid products that contain alcohol because alcohol-based products can irritate the dry areas of the face. Choose mild carrier oils for your essential oil blends so that they do not clog your pores.
To keep your skin looking at its best, you should wash it regularly with mild soapy water, get into the habit of removing makeup before you go to bed, moisturize regularly, drink lots of water, and get plenty of exercise.
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