All products recommended on have been chosen by our editorial and research team. We may receive a commission on qualifying purchases made through our affiliate links.

A Basic Skincare Routine For Combination Skin

skincare routine for combination skin

If you have combination skin, you know the struggle of finding a skincare routine that works for your oily and dry areas. Finding effective products without being too harsh on your skin can be challenging. But with a bit of experimentation, you can develop a basic skincare routine for combination skin that works for you. This blog post will discuss some tips for treating combination skin.

What Is A Combination Skin Type?

Do you have dry patches but are also prone to breakouts? If so, then you may have combination skin. Combination skin is one of the most common skin types and is characterized by dryness on the cheeks and oiliness on the forehead, nose, and chin. If you have combination skin, then you know that finding the right skincare routine can be a bit of a challenge.

You need products that hydrate your dry areas without exacerbating your oily spots. Fortunately, several skincare lines specialize in products for combination skin. With a little trial and error, you should be able to find a routine that works for you.

5 Causes Of Combination Skin

When the skin produces too much oil, it can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. But the skin becomes dry, flaky, and irritated when there’s not enough oil. Here are five common causes of having combination skin.

1. Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes are one of the most common causes of combination skin. When hormones fluctuate—during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or even just during your monthly cycle—it can throw your skin’s natural oil production out of balance and lead to dryness or oiliness (or both).

2. Weather Changes

Just like your mood and energy levels, your skin is also affected by changes in the weather. Colder temperatures and low humidity levels in winter can sap moisture from your skin, while hot, humid summers can produce excess oil. Living in a climate with extreme temperature swings year-round can also contribute to combination skin. 

3. Using The Wrong Skincare Products 

If you’re using products that are too harsh or drying for your skin type, they can strip away your skin’s natural oils and cause dryness. On the other hand, if you’re using products that are too heavy or oily for your skin type, that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. In either case, using the wrong skincare products is one of the most common causes of combination skin. 

4. Not Cleaning Your Face Properly 

Not cleansing your face properly—or not cleansing it at all—can also cause combination skin. When dirt, makeup, and other debris build up on your skin, they can block your pores and lead to breakouts. At the same time, if you’re over-washing your face or using harsh cleansers, that can also strip away your natural oils and leave your skin dry and irritated. 

5. Genetics 

Did you know genetics can play a role in whether or not you have combination skin? If your parents or grandparents had dry or oily skin, chances are you will too. While there’s no way to change your genes, understanding what causes combination skin can help you better manage it. 

5 Signs You Have A Combination Skin Type

combination skin

Not sure what skin type you have? Determine if you have a combination of skin with these five signs.

1. You Have an “Oily T-Zone”

If your forehead, nose, and chin (T-Zone) tend to be shiny and grease up throughout the day, but your cheeks feel dry or normal, you most likely have combination skin. This is because the oil glands in these areas are more prominent and produce more sebum than the oil glands on the rest of your face.

2. Your Pores Are Visible 

Do you have visible pores on your forehead, nose, and chin? If so, this is another sign that you have combination skin. The excess sebum production causes enlarged pores in these areas.

3. You Experience Breakouts 

Do you sometimes get breakouts in your “T-zone” area but not elsewhere on your face? This is yet another indication of combination skin. The excess sebum in these areas can clog pores and lead to breakouts. However, breakouts can also be caused by other factors such as hormones, stress, diet, etc. So, if you’re experiencing breakouts elsewhere on your face or body, it’s best to consult a dermatologist to rule out any other potential causes.

4. Your Skin Feels Tight After Washing 

If your skin feels tight after washing, especially in the cheek area, this is a sign that your skin is lacking moisture. When your skin lacks moisture, it produces more oil to compensate, which can lead to an oily T-zone. So, if your skin feels tight after washing, use a gentle cleanser and a hydrating moisturizer to help replenish lost moisture. 

5. Your Makeup Does Not Last Throughout the Day 

If you notice that your makeup doesn’t last as long in your T-zone area as it does on the rest of your face (or if it starts to look cakey or creased), this is another sign that you have combination skin. The excess sebum in these areas can cause makeup to slide off or wear away more quickly than usual.

To combat this problem, use a mattifying primer on your T-zone before applying makeup and touch up any areas that start to look shiny throughout the day with blotting papers or powder.

7 Steps Basic Skincare Routine For Combination Skin

skincare routine for combination skin

Now that you know the signs of combination skin let’s talk about how to care for it. Here are seven steps to creating a basic skincare routine for combination skin.

1. Cleanse Twice a Day 

Cleansing your face twice daily is essential for maintaining balanced, healthy skin—especially if you have combination skin. Use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away your natural oils, and choose an oil-free formula if necessary. Make sure to use lukewarm water when cleansing, as hot water can irritate the skin.

2. Exfoliate Once or Twice A Week 

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and any excess sebum buildup in your pores which can lead to breakouts. Look for an exfoliator with gentle ingredients such as lactic or salicylic acid. Ensure to use a light touch when exfoliating, and don’t scrub too hard.

3. Use a Toner 

Toner helps remove any leftover dirt, oil, and makeup your cleanser may have missed. It also helps balance your skin’s PH levels and can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores if used regularly. For combination skin, look for a toner that is free of alcohol and artificial fragrances, as these can be drying on the skin.

4. Hydrate Your Skin 

In addition to using a moisturizer, it’s essential to hydrate your skin from the inside out by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will help keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

5. Use Oil-Free Products 

It’s essential to use oil-free products on combination skin as too much oil can lead to breakouts, clogged pores, and an overall greasy feel. Look for ” oil-free ” products and avoid containing minerals or other heavy oils.

6. Wear Sunscreen 

Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning before heading out to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. For combination skin, look for a lightweight formula without added fragrances or oils which may irritate the skin.

7. Don’t Overcleanse 

It can be tempting to cleanse your skin more than twice a day if you have combination skin, but it’s essential to resist this urge. Overcleaning can strip away too much of your natural oils and leave your skin dry and tight. Stick with cleansing twice daily, and don’t forget the other steps in your skincare routine!

10 Best Skincare Ingredients For Combination Skin

Now that you know the basics of creating a skincare routine for combination skin let’s talk about the best ingredients to look for in your products. Here are ten of the best skincare ingredients for combination skin:

1. Hyaluronic Acid 

Hyaluronic acid is an excellent hydrating ingredient, and it helps draw moisture into the skin while protecting it from environmental stressors such as pollution and UV rays. Look for this ingredient in moisturizers and serums.

2. Salicylic Acid 

Salicylic acid is a powerful exfoliant that helps unclog pores and reduce blemishes without irritating or drying the skin. It can also help reduce inflammation caused by acne.

3. Niacinamide 

Niacinamide is a vitamin B-3 derivative that helps reduce redness and irritation while improving overall skin tone and texture. It’s great for controlling oil production without drying out the skin.

4. Green Tea Extract 

Green tea extract contains antioxidants that can help fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. It helps soothe skin and can even help fade dark spots over time.

5. Aloe Vera 

Aloe vera has long been used as an ingredient in skincare products due to its calming and healing properties. It can reduce redness, hydrate the skin, and even protect against environmental damage such as UV rays or pollution.

6. Retinol 

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that helps reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. It also helps unclog pores and can help even out skin tone.

7. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant powerhouse that helps brighten dull skin and promote collagen production for firmer skin. Look for products with at least 15% vitamin C for maximum benefits.

8. Tea Tree Oil 

Tea tree oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great choice for treating acne-prone combination skin. Just be sure to dilute it before applying it to your face, as it can be very strong!

9. Glycolic Acid 

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. It also helps to unclog pores and reduce blemishes.

10. Beta Hydroxy Acid 

Beta hydroxy acid (BHA), like salicylic acid, is great for treating combination skin as it exfoliates without irritating or drying out the skin. It’s especially beneficial for reducing redness caused by acne breakouts.

5 Common Mistakes When Handling Combination Skin 

Combination skin can be tricky to handle, so avoiding these common mistakes is essential.

1. Not Moisturizing Enough 

One of the most common mistakes people with combination skin make is not moisturizing enough. Just because you have oily skin doesn’t mean you don’t need to moisturize. Skipping out on moisture can make your skin produce even more oil to compensate. The key is to find a light, oil-free moisturizer that won’t clog your pores. 

2. Over-Exfoliating 

If you have combo skin, it’s important to exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. However, it’s possible to overdo it. Over-exfoliating can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness, irritation, and increased breakouts. Stick to exfoliating 1-2x per week max. 

3. Not Using a Separate Facial Wash for Each Area 

If you have combo skin, chances are you have different concerns for your T-zone than the rest of your face. For example, you may need an astringent in your T-zone to control oil production, but using an astringent on dryer areas can irritate. The solution? Use two different facial washes—one for your T-zone and one for the rest of your face—to address each area’s specific needs. 

4. Not Wearing Sunscreen 

People with combo skin are often tempted to skip sunscreen because they don’t want to add more Shine to their T-zone. But trust us—not wearing sunscreen is a mistake that will come back to bite you later in life. To avoid a greasy sunscreen disaster, look for an oil-free formulation that won’t clog pores or leave a residue on your face. Apply it after your morning moisturizer has had time to sink in and before applying makeup, if possible. 

5. Using the Wrong Products on Your Oily Areas 

Stop using drying products like alcohol-based toners or astringents on your oily areas to control shine! These products will only strip your skin of its natural oils, causing it to go into overdrive and produce even more oil to balance things out.

Instead, look for products designed for oily areas that won’t strip away moisture or irritate sensitive skin. We recommend blotting papers throughout the day instead of harsh astringents or toners.  


Combination skin can be tricky to handle, but you can keep it healthy and looking great with the right products. In addition to using the right products, don’t forget to moisturize regularly and wear sunscreen daily. And remember—when you have combo skin, it’s best to use separate products for your T-zone than the rest of your face to address each area’s specific needs. With a few simple steps, you should be able to keep your combination skin under control!