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t zone skin

Why Is Your T Zone Dry And Flaky And Cheeks Oily?

You don’t come across this combination often, it’s usually the other way around. Most people complain about having an oily t zone (forehead, nose, and chin), while the skin on their cheeks is normal (or slightly dry).

So, what is going on here?

t zone dry flaky cheeks oly

What Causes a Dry T Zone?

Our skin naturally produces a protective substance called sebum, which “lubricates” our skin, keeps it hydrated and protects the skin cells. Should this sebum production slow down, the skin on our t zone may become dry and flaky.

Other contributing factors are harsh, cold, windy weather, dry air, unbalanced skin pH, or certain skin conditions such as dermatitis.

What Causes Dry, Flaky T Zone Skin?

Several factors can contribute to the appearance of a dry and flaky T zone skin...

And the most common contributing factor is, not surprisingly, the weather. In the winter, the weather is cold and the air is quite dry, and in the summer, high temperatures, low humidity and sunburns dry out our skin.

As a result, our skin becomes incredibly dry and flaky regardless of the products we use to keep the situation under control. During this time of the year, our skin simply isn’t producing enough oil to stay hydrated and protect itself against these weather conditions.

Aside from the weather, our skin can become sensitive if we regularly use harsh products filled with chemicals or those that don’t match our skin type. Before we decide to try out a new soap, cleanser, or any product, we should always run a background check and see how many chemicals it contains and whether it suits our skin at all.

Using wrong products can severely damage our skin and disrupt its natural pH balance, which can lead to some serious skin conditions that are not easy to treat.

Now comes the surprising part - what we eat is just as important! If our day is filled with eating junk food and sweets, it will take its toll on our skin. Having flawless skin, and ridding yourself of the dry patches on our t zone, may require changing your diet to incorporate healthier, wholesome foods.

Eating plenty of fresh and organic fruit and vegetables and drinking enough water will help you get rid of flakes and reduce the dryness of the skin.


Why is My Forehead Dry?

Dry, scaly skin generally affects our nose and forehead because these are the areas that stand out the most on our faces. Summer or winter, it doesn’t matter, as our forehead easily gets sunburnt or affected by the cold and harsh wind.

Also, hats!

I'm not much of a hat fan (as they mess up my hair 🙂 ), but I know that some of you reading the article most certainly are. So, why does wearing a hat put you at risk of developing a dry forehead?

Well, simply put, a hat may irritate the skin on your forehead, as it leans against it. And if you wear a had for a significant portion of the day, this irritation might cause dryness.

Talking about the hairstyle... that's another thing to keep in mind, especially if you have bangs. Why? Well, bangs may accumulate oil, dirt and sweat and transfer it to your forehead.

This, in turn, might result in clogged pores, breakouts or red and dry patches on your forehead.

Moreover, if you are using any hair products to style your bangs, such as a hairspray, it might also harm the skin on your forehead.

What Causes Oily Cheeks?

Regardless of your skin type, some areas of your face will just produce more oil. One of these areas are definitely the cheeks. This is why they'll quickly become shiny and greasy, even right after you gave them a thorough cleaning.

Sadly, there's not much you can do to change this, as it comes down to your genetics. Furthermore, our pores stretch as we grow old and produce more oil in which case, we have to adapt our skin regimen.

However, despite the case of the unfortunate genetics, the greatest cause of oily cheeks is applying unsuitable skin products; as well as overusing them, believing they will reduce the amount of oil our skin produces throughout the day.

I am not one to judge as I've been one of those people who used to "overcleanse" my face to get rid of my oily complexion.

The irony is, the more often you clean your face, the higher the chance to disrupt its pH balance and the natural process of sebum production. This will, in turn, provoke a reaction from your skin where it will produce even more sebum and make your cheeks even more oily.

Why Is Your Face Dry Even When You Moisturize It?

It is a well-known fact that having dry skin, indicates a more frequent and more intense moisturizing regime to keep it well hydrated and protected. But... can you over-moisturize your skin? Is that even a thing?

More and more dermatologists say exactly that - over-moisturizing your skin can have the opposite effect! With regular use, our skin becomes more resistant to the product at hand, which might lead to dryness, dehydration and transepidermal water loss (TEWL)

Another crucial thing in proper hydration is timing! So, it's not just essential to apply the right kind of product to your face, it's also important to use it at the right time. What I would do is apply moisturizer after taking a bath, to help my skin lock in the moisture better.

There is a caveat here, though. Since I like scorching hot baths (tried taking cold showers but didn't get very far 😀 ), I tend to dry out my skin a bit more - hot water will do that to you. This makes it twice as important to hydrate my skin right after taking a shower.

How to Fix Dry T Zone and Oily Cheeks?


There are several methods we can use to treat our dry t zone and oily cheeks. Whether the selected method will be efficient, largely depends on the skin type and the severity of dryness or oiliness of the treated area.

Contrary to popular belief that we should use products for dry skin, many dermatologists suggest replacing them with more sensitive and milder ones. Using a gentle, natural, fragrance and alcohol-free facial products will do marvels to both our dry t zone and oily cheeks.

For the dry area, we could use aloe vera gel to reduce redness and itchiness and enhance the healing process. However, natural oils aren’t recommended for the oily area as they can stimulate the production of sebum.

Creating and sticking to a strict skincare regimen can help with the t zone dryness and excess oil on the cheeks. The routine should consist of a few simple yet effective steps such as gentle cleanse and exfoliation, proper nourishment, sun protection, and hydration. By adhering to these principles and applying only the most natural and mild scrubs and products that don’t contain harsh chemicals, will we be able to treat the areas properly and ultimately achieve the desired effect which is the flawless skin.

Another unfortunate thing I'd like to point out concerns these hot baths I mentioned above. Because hot water tends to dry your skin out, it's important to keep them as short as possible. I tend to keep them under 10 minutes.

Igor Marcikic

I've struggled with acne and oily skin for the better part of my life. Along the way, I've picked up some valuable information, tips, and tricks, which helped me manage my "situation." This website is a way of giving back and trying to help others like me! Enjoy your stay, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.