what is combination skin

What Is Combination Skin? Everything You Need To Know About This Skin Type

Learn all about combination skin: what it is, how to identify it, its causes, and how to care for it with our BEST skincare routine!
Updated: March 27, 2023
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Are you one of those people who can never seem to find the right skincare routine because your skin type is both oily and dry at the same time? If so, you might have combination skin!

It can be a bit confusing to figure out how to properly take care of combination skin but don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll be discussing what it is, how to identify it, and the best ways to take care of it.

So, grab your favorite drink and get ready to learn more about your skin type!

What is combination skin?

You might be surprised to learn that combination skin is actually quite common! In fact, it’s estimated that about 70% of people have this unique skin type. So, if you’re one of them, know that you’re not alone.

So, what exactly is it?  Well, in simple terms, it’s when your skin has both oily and dry areas at the same time. This means that some parts of your face, such as your forehead, nose, and chin (also known as the T-zone), may be oily, while other parts, like your cheeks, may be dry.

This can be quite frustrating because it means you have to find a balance between taking care of both the oily and dry areas of your skin. However, with the right skincare routine, you can keep your skin healthy and glowing!

How to tell if you have combination skin

Here are some signs that can help you identify if you have combination skin:

  • Your T-zone is oily: If you have an oily forehead, nose, and chin, but dry cheeks (or vice versa), then you probably have combination skin.
  • Your pores are visibly larger on your T-zone: Due to excess oil production, the pores on your T-zone are more likely to be clogged and visibly larger.
  • You experience breakouts: You may be more prone to breakouts because the oily areas of your skin can produce excess sebum, which can clog pores and lead to acne.
  • Your skin feels tight or dry in some areas: If you notice that some parts of your skin feel tight or dry, especially after washing your face, then you might have combination skin.
  • Your skin can be sensitive: Combination skin can also make your skin more sensitive, especially in dry areas. This can lead to redness, flakiness, or even itchiness.

What causes it?

While it’s not entirely clear what causes combination skin, there are a few factors that are believed to play a role. Here are some of the most common:

  • Genetics: Your skin type is largely determined by genetics, so if one or both of your parents have combination skin, then you might have it too.[1]
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can affect your skin’s oil production and lead to combination skin.
  • Skincare products: Using skincare products that are too harsh or not formulated for your skin type can disrupt your skin’s natural balance.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to harsh weather conditions, pollution, and other environmental factors can also contribute.

It’s important to note that everyone’s skin is unique, so what causes combination skin for one person might not be the same for another.

Healthy lifestyle habits for your combination skin

Taking care of combination skin requires a little bit of effort, but it’s definitely worth it to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. Here are some healthy lifestyle habits you can adopt to help keep your skin healthy:

  • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important for your skin’s overall health. Drinking enough water can help keep your skin hydrated and prevent dryness.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help give your skin the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
  • Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep is crucial for your skin’s health. Lack of sleep can lead to dryness, dullness, and even breakouts.
  • Manage stress: Stress can take a toll on your skin, so it’s important to find ways to manage it. Try relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.
  • Use gentle skincare products: Using gentle, non-irritating skincare products that are formulated for combination skin can help keep your skin balanced and healthy.

Our best skincare routine

Creating a skincare routine that works for combination skin can be a bit tricky, but with the right products and techniques, it’s definitely doable. Luckily for you, we’ve designed a great one! Here’s our best skincare routine:

  1. Cleanse: Start by cleansing your skin with a gentle, non-foaming cleanser that’s formulated for combination skin. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid or glycolic acid, which can help unclog pores and balance oil production.
  2. Tone: Use a toner that’s alcohol-free and formulated for combination skin to help balance your skin’s pH levels and prepare it for the rest of your skincare routine.
  3. Serum: Apply a lightweight serum that’s formulated for combination skin to target any specific concerns, such as uneven skin tone or fine lines.
  4. Moisturize: Choose a gentle, oil-free moisturizer that’s formulated for combination skin. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides, which can help hydrate your skin without making it feel greasy.
  5. Sunscreen: Finish your skincare routine with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Pay attention to how your skin reacts to each step of the routine, and make changes as needed. With a little bit of trial and error, you’ll be able to find the perfect combination of products and techniques.


In conclusion, having combination skin can be a bit of a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a source of stress. By understanding your skin type and adopting healthy lifestyle habits, you can keep your skin looking and feeling fabulous!

Remember, taking care of your skin is a journey, and it’s important to be patient and consistent with your skincare routine. Over time, you can achieve a balanced, glowing complexion that makes you feel confident and beautiful.

So, embrace your natural skin type, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different products and techniques to find what works best for you!

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This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.