Combination Skin? Here’s How to Identify and Create the Right Routine

Looking after your skin means finding a skin care regimen that works for your skin type.

But what happens if you’ve got combination skin? In other words, your skin ticks both the oily and dry boxes.

Well, there’s no need to panic.

Although caring for combination skin isn’t always the simplest , it’s still possible to seek out a routine that simultaneously combats dry patches and shininess.

It doesn’t matter if your oiliness isn’t within the “usual” T-zone, if you experience dryness in random places, or if you’ve got other issues like breakouts and larger-looking pores.

The approach is the same, regardless of what your combination skin looks and seems like .

Whether it’s a tried-and-true skin care regimen, how often you wash your hair, or the cosmetics you’re interested by , beauty is personal.

That’s why we believe a various group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their recommendations on everything from the way product application varies to the simplest sheet mask for your individual needs.

We only recommend something we genuinely love, so if you see a store link to a selected product or brand, know that it’s been thoroughly researched by our team. 

What causes it?

“Your skin type is genetically determined,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Sinai Hospital in ny .

And, consistent with Tanya Kormeili, MD, a board certified dermatologist in Santa Monica, California, “we cannot actively change our skin type.”

But the aging process and hormonal fluctuations can cause skin changes.

As you age, skin usually becomes drier and fewer oily, notes Kormeili.

Hormone-driven factors, like periods and contraceptives, also can affect your skin.

As can your diet, the weather, and your current skin care routine for combination skin — especially if you’re using harsh products.

Are there different types?

There’s no set formula for combination skin. As Kormeili says: “Everyone is different.”

However, combination skin commonly refers to oiliness within the T-zone and dryness on the cheeks.

The shiny look may be a result of “a high concentration of oil glands,” explains Zeichner.

But that doesn’t mean your face is going to be 50 percent oily and 50 percent dry. Some people may experience more oiliness than dryness and the other way around .

Pay attention to your skin to map its various needs.

Signs of oiliness include:

  • shiny skin
  • larger-looking pores
  • blackheads
  • whiteheads

Dryness, however, can mean:

  • flaking
  • redness
  • a rough or tight feeling

“Some people with combination skin can also have skin sensitivity,” says Zeichner. “This means they develop burning, stinging, or other reactions once they attempt to placed on skin care products.”

This is very true when it involves combination skin. It’s one among the trickiest skin types to seem after, as different parts of the face tend to need different techniques.

But regardless of what quite combination skin you’ve got , here are a couple of tips that could get you started.

Divide and conquer

Unfortunately, you’ll not be ready to look after your entire face in one go.

Instead, split your face into its various types (oily, dry, etc.) and treat each accordingly.

Reserve oil-absorbing and matte-finish ingredients for greasy areas.

To reduce excessive oiliness, you’ll want to use skin care products that absorb oil and mattify skin.

The only problem is these sorts of products can irritate any dry areas, so confirm you’re precise in your application.

  • Dab them onto the needed areas, instead of rubbing all of them over your face.
  • Reserve emollients for dry areas
  • Similarly, you’ll want to use moisturizing products to dry areas only.
  • If they are available into contact with oily patches, they will make them oilier.
  • Don’t be afraid to combine and match
  • “Assess your skin daily,” says Kormeili, and alter your routine to suit .
  • For example, “if you’re having each day when your skin is irritated, crop on skin care that’s drying and apply moisturizers more,” says Kormeili.

You may also only use certain treatments once every week , or alternate between different serums.

Know when to layer — and when to skip it

When layering products, the overall idea is to start out with thinner, water-based formulas before moving on to thicker, oil-based ones.

However, certain areas of your face might not take too kindly to, or maybe need, this approach.

Some ingredients, like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), can benefit your entire face.

In those cases, it’s usually fine to layer an upscale hydrating product on top of dry areas.

  • Oily parts of your face, however, will enjoy a more lightweight strategy.
  • And for sensitive skin: The less you apply, the higher .
  • Avoid products with excessive fragrance or other irritants
  • Any product that has harsh ingredients like fragrance or alcohol can irritate both dry and oily skin.
  • Dry areas may become drier, while oily parts may produce more oil, potentially resulting in breakouts.

Opt for noncomedogenic products

So, you recognize that your products aren’t classed as irritants. Next, you would like to see whether they’re likely to clog your pores.

To avoid aggravating oily and acne-prone skin, try sticking to non comedogenic lotions and potions.

But don’t just pass the claims written on the bottle.

Check the ingredients list for giant offenders

Trusted Source, like isopropyl myristate and lanolins, alongside helpful additions, like hemp seed oil and sunflower-seed oil .

Stay hydrated

In addition to applying hydrating products to your skin, it’s important to make sure you’re drinking a lot of water every day .

Hydration can help prevent dry, flaky skin and stop skin from excessively producing oil.

Although there’s still an issue mark

What does a targeted skin routine for combination skin look like?

When deciding your new combination skincare routine, think mild instead of attack mode.

Opt for gentle products that moisturize dry patches without promoting oiliness.

And once you get to target specific issues, only apply treatments to the needed areas.

Ingredients to seem for

  • Hyaluronic acid is right for your entire face. It hydrates your skin without weight or greasiness that would aggravate preexisting oiliness. Try the standard mucopolysaccharide 2% + B5 or CeraVe mucopolysaccharide Serum.
  • Salicylic acid can regulate boring and unclog pores. Honest Beauty Clearing Cleanser and Philosophy Overnight Repair Acne Treatment Pads are popular options.
  • Lactic acid, found in Sunday Riley Good Genes carboxylic acid Treatment, may be a mild exfoliant that lightly removes dead skin cells from dry areas and clears pores.
  • Emollients range from butters like shea to oils like coconut. They soften and smooth dry skin by filling within the gaps between scaly cells. Try REN Vita Mineral Emollient Rescue Cream.
  • Antioxidants protect skin against environmental damage, like UV exposure. Choose a product with vitamin C to take care of general skin health and supply anti-inflammatory effects. Choose a product with vitamin E for moisturizing and healing properties. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum contains both.


Cleanser. This vital morning product removes the grime and sweat that builds up overnight. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser is oil-free, while CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser helps clear pores.

Toner. this may remove any oil your cleanser missed and balance your skin’s pH levels. Skip alcohol-based toners in favor of soothing formulas like Herbivore Jasmine tea Balancing Toner or SkinCeuticals Equalizing Toner.

Serum or treatment. These specialise in hydrating and protecting your skin within the morning. Try choosing a serum with mucopolysaccharide , like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum or L’Oreal Paris Revitalift 1.5% Pure mucopolysaccharide .

Moisturizer. Choose two different moisturizers to hydrate and nourish various parts of your face. A creamy formula, like Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion, is right for dry areas. for greasy parts, try a light-weight , water-based product, like Simple Water Boost Hydrating Gel Cream.

Sunscreen. This helps mattify skin and protects against UV damage — as long because the right product is employed . choose a light-weight , SPF 30+ formula, like Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 or EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47.


Makeup remov er (if needed). Wore makeup? Then you’ll got to remove it to stay pores unclogged and permit your skin to breathe. Micellar water, like Bioderma Sébium H2O, is one among the gentlest ways to try to do this. Or try Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser for a foaming alternative.

Cleanser. An honest nighttime cleanser, like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Ole Henriksen, Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser, will remove any stubborn remnants of makeup also because the day’s dirt and dirt , helping combat congestion and soothe dry skin.

Serum, treatment, or moisturizer. The evenings are the right time for stronger products. Choose an emollient-rich moisturizer for dry patches; a restorative vitamin C product, like TruSkin vitamin C Serum; or maybe a non drying retinol treatment, like Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules, to enhance skin texture.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

five × two =

Back to top