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Combination Skin

Combination skin is another one of the more common skin types where you experience oily skin in some areas of your face and dry skin in other areas. Most commonly the oily areas are in the T-Zone and drier on the cheeks but regardless of where the problem lies, the way to treat it is the same. Most people will experience mild forms of combination skin at some point in their lives and it’s the skin type most likely to be affected and brought on by hormones.

Typical Symptoms that would suggest you have combination skin:

  • Dry or flaky skin around the upper or lower cheek area
  • Flaky skin around your nose but also oily at the same time 
  • Oily T-zone
  • Larger pores around T-Zone (nose, chin and forehead)
  • Makeup tends to slide off of the t-zone first and ends up patchy
  • The feeling of tightness when you get out of the shower.

Using products that contain harsh or skin-aggravating ingredients will inevitably dry out some areas of your face; while stimulating oil production in other parts (especially around the nose) that were already oily. This is where the trick lies with treating combination skin. You have to very carefully select your products and apply them to different locations on your face as and when they are needed. This sounds like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it you’ll see good results very quickly.

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Oil-absorbing or matte-finish ingredients that work great on the oily areas, will be troublesome on the dry areas. This means you will need to apply a more emollient moisturizer over the dry areas, but if you apply that all over your face, the oily areas will become oilier. That’s why keeping things separate is important. And the same for the products that absorb oil; keep them away from the dry areas.

For the oily areas, you will need to use the lightest weight but most effective formulas possible. Potent, concentrated amounts of beneficial ingredients in products with a gel, thin lotion, or liquid texture will work great over the entire face. You should then only need to use an emollient booster, serum, or moisturizer over the dry areas, including around the eyes. The secret to balancing combination skin is knowing when and where to layer your product.

As for cleansers, you can choose gentle formulas labeled for combination skin, avoid foaming face wash and in particular those containing sulphates (SLS). A balm, oil or cream cleanser is more sympathetic to unbalanced skin. For your daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, go for the lightest possible formula but apply a rich moisturizer or facial oil to the dry areas first.

A Skincare Plan for Combination Skin


  1. Cleanse 
  2. Serum – (Use an antioxidant serum if ageing is a concern)
  3. Moisturise with a product that contains SPF. For combination skin, an extremely feather-light formula with a soft matte finish works best all over the face and don’t forget to apply to the neck! Click on the link to view our recommended product, pictured left.
  4. Then apply your makeup. (Mattifying primer and setting spray are your best friend!!)


  1. Double cleanse (the goal is for it to effectively remove impurities, debris, and makeup without leaving skin feeling tight or dry or greasy.)
  2. Spot Treatments if needed.
  3. Use a nighttime moisturizer with a gel or serum all over your face that contains things like antioxidants, skin-replenishing ingredients, and skin-restoring ingredients. These are imperative to help calm skin, lessen excess oil on skin’s surface, and improve dry areas, including around the eyes. When combined, these types of ingredients have amazing anti-aging properties for the skin. Apply an emollient serum or oil booster to relieve any dryness and give those areas extra nourishing enriched hydration, while leaving the oily areas with just a layer of lightweight moisture.

Exfoliation or face masks once a week can also provide benefit to this skin type without causing any problems with irritation. You can also use a gentle, non-abrasive, leave-on BHA exfoliant. This is an optimal choice for gently but effectively exfoliating combination skin. A BHA exfoliant helps skin shed dead skin normally without abrasion (meaning no scrubs or stiff cleansing brushes), unclogs pores, reduces oily skin, and at the same time gently smooths rough, dry, flaky skin and revives a healthy glow. For combination skin, a gel or weightless fluid or water-like liquid BHA exfoliant is best.

If you would like any more advice on what to use on combination skin please get in touch!

1 thought on “Combination Skin

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