Sensitive combination skin: how to treat it

If you were asking how to treat sensitive combination skin, the reply would probably be “very gently”. Combination skin is tricky enough to look after as the mix of oily and dry patches can lead to problems getting the balance just right. But throw sensitivity into the mix and you have a whole new kettle of fish. So what are the best ways to treat sensitive combination skin?

Describing sensitive combination skin

Combination skin is usually described as being a mix of dry or normal skin with oily patches. These oily patches often run down the center of the face and across the forehead. This clearly leads to spots on the oily areas and dryness on the cheeks. Usually, the best method of dealing with this is to use the middle of the range moisturizer that is neither too oily nor too dry. If you also have sensitive skin, those dry patches are likely to be itchy and inflamed or your skin simply reacts badly to many of the preparations you try to use on it. It may feel tight, sore and uncomfortable much of the time.

Choose sensitive skin products

It almost goes without saying that products designed for sensitive skins are going to be best for your needs. But it is in the application that you will make the most difference. If you have an oily t-zone, it is best to avoid over-moisturizing in this area and in many cases, it can be avoided completely. The cheeks and dry areas, however, can be targeted with a sensitive moisturizer. Any cleansers and toners should also be specified for sensitive skins and neither too drying nor too oily.

Avoid chemicals

Many sensitive skin issues arise from the chemicals that we either ingest or put directly on our skin. By choosing products that are free from colours, perfume, and chemicals you will do your skin a favor. But also look to your diet and try to avoid anything that might trigger sensitivity. You can pinpoint this by keeping a food diary and detailing how your skin feels in the days after eating certain foods. Some people find that artificial sugars can cause sensitive patches on the skin.


We all know that drinking plenty of water can help the skin, but for those of us with combination skin that is sensitive, drinking more can really help. The water helps to clear toxins from the body and to hydrate the skin at the same time. This means you can use less moisturizer and have fewer sensitivity issues caused by pollution and foods.

The sun

It is known that a few minutes of sunlight each day can really help to balance your skin – especially the oily patches. The additional vitamin D really helps to lift the skin and improve its texture, while the warmth and UV rays can help to improve breakouts. But do keep it to a few minutes and use a sensitive skin sunscreen at all other times.

Sensitive combination skin may be one of the hardest to look after, but by experimenting with the right products and making some minor health-related changes you can get glowing skin once again.

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