HomeHow ToWhat is Combination Skin? (And How to Take Care of It)

What is Combination Skin? (And How to Take Care of It)

What is combination skin?

We all know there are treatments and applications for those suffering from oily, acne-prone or dry skin. However, if you have both patches of oily skin and patches of dry skin, it can be difficult to determine what to do.

The fact is, if both oily and dry skin is a problem that you’re encountering, you are likely to have combination skin. Combination skin occurs when you have an oily T-Zone, forming a T-shape with your forehead being the top of the T and your nose and chin forming the leg of the T. And in addition to this oily T- Zone, you have dry skin on the rest of your face (cheeks, jaw, etc.).

Signs of this might be flaking or red skin on your cheeks or breakouts or excessive shininess on your T-Zone. To neutralize this, you want a routine that introduces a more mattifying look to your T-Zone while providing necessary hydration to your cheeks. It’s common to think that skin care for this type of skin is difficult, but if you get into the details of it once it’s actually not hard at all! Here are some tips to even out your complexion working with and for your combination skin.


Put a Routine in Place

First, you’ll want to implement a facial cleanser that isn’t too rough. You’ll want to wash away any dirt and oil from your face, but also want to avoid creating excessive dryness on your cheeks and also removing the oil from your T-Zone. A great product for this is micellar water. Use this in the afternoon or evening.

As with most types of skin, try to exfoliate weekly. Choosing the right exfoliant can require some testing to determine what degree of exfoliant your skin needs. You don’t want to be too rough on your skin when exfoliating, but also want to ensure that you’re removing those dead skin cells.

So, try out a few different types of exfoliant and determine which you feel gives the best results. When exfoliating once or twice a week, do so in the evening after cleaning your face and before applying moisturizer.


Cleansing, Exfoliating, Moisturizing

For combination skin, you’ll want to use an oil-free option to avoid making your T-Zone overly oily, while also providing your skin the essential moisturization that every skin type requires. Apply this moisturizer in the evenings after your exfoliant or if you’re not exfoliating that day, after your cleansing.

The three products that we’ve covered so far can be used daily or nightly, as part of either skincare routine.


Moisturizing matters, so try and maintain a habit of doing so daily.

Add a toner after your cleanser to level out your skin’s pH levels and remove oil while further hydrating your skin. To do this for combination skin, you should use a probiotic formula.

Next, use an AHA/BHA retinol serum that can help to rid your skin of dry skin cells and allow your skin to keep its hydration longer throughout the day, which will aid with keeping your cheeks from getting dry and your T-Zone from getting oily.


Top off your skincare routine with a moisturizer that contains SPF protection. That brings us to the importance of SPF protection for your skin. SPF is important not just for combination skin, but for every type of skin, really. Y

ou should implement a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has SPF 15 or greater whenever you’ll have exposure to prolonged periods of sun. This can help to prevent wrinkles and dark patches later on. Remember, sunscreen is important in the winter too!


Using a face mask can be another great way to take care of your skin.

For combination skin, your best option may be to apply multi-masks, or different masks in different facial areas. A good face mask has the qualities to work with all skin types, but there are particular ones that work best with combination skin. One mask that we love is Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask, which is a great clarifying and cooling gel mask! It does the job of gently exfoliating, smoothing out, and rejuvenating the skin, while being a relaxing way to finish off your day.


Quick Tips for the Best Care

Beyond a skincare routine and key products that you can use, there are also plenty of tips that will keep your combination skin looking evenly gorgeous.

First, keep your hands away from your face as much as possible. Your hands are oily and dirty and can contribute to clogging your pores and making your skin extra oily. Also, to help control oil throughout the day, you can remove oil mid-day with blotting papers that can help to wick away oil without affecting any applied makeup!

As you can see, you can be as involved with your skin care as involved as you want to be, and there are little things, like blotting, that can really help your skin throughout the day. You can stick to the essentials or you can really go all out to give yourself a foundational routine that keeps your skin in its best condition for the entire day.

You can involve spot treatments such as multi-masks and eye creams to treat those problem areas that otherwise might go untouched.


Always keep in mind that you’re the best judge of your own skin, sometimes catch-all routines might not work for you, so feel free to tweak it based on your results. If there’s a product that you feel is making your skin overly shiny or hydrated or if you notice that your exfoliant is too rough, tone it back and adjust accordingly.

When you’ve reached a point where you’re capable of controlling your own routine based on the feedback that your skin is giving you, you’re in a good place. In the meantime, follow this routine and see how quickly it makes a difference!

Check out this article of a specially curated list of 11 great products for combination skin!

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