Combination skin can wreak havoc on our skin. With two different skin types occurring at exactly the same time, learning how to keep both oily and dry skin under control can be a tricky task!

Unfortunately, in addition to being one of the most difficult to treat, combination skin is one of the most common skin types!

But don’t worry, this post will explain what causes combination skin, how to alleviate the symptoms and how to tame those troublesome areas.

What is Combination Skin?

Combination skin is the term used when you have a mixture of two different skin types. Typically, there are two types of combination skin:

  • Combination-oily skin
  • Combination-dry skin
Your forehead, nose and chin make up your T-zone. This area largely determines what type of combination skin you have.  

Combination-oily occurs when your T-zone actively secretes excess sebum (oil) from the sebaceous glands in your forehead, nose and chin, whilst your cheeks may be dry and flaky.

Alternately; combination-dry skin occurs when your forehead is comparatively drier than the rest of your T-zone and your cheeks are significantly dry.

For those with combination skin, you will most commonly experience oily skin in the summer, and dry skin throughout the winter season. Large visible pores may also appear around the t-zone area, along with blackheads and frequent acne breakouts.

What Causes Combination Skin?

Like many skin conditions, combination skin is the result of genetics. The condition is passed on through family members.

However, the topical products you use on your skin could also be contributing factors. Products that are not suited to your skin type may irritate the skin, triggering dry patches and/or excess oil production.

Additionally, as mentioned, factors beyond our control can exacerbate problem-skin.

Humid summers can neutralise your dry cheeks, yet trigger excess oil production in your t-zone. Whereas dry winters can encourage dry, flaky cheeks and either reduce or increase the skin’s oil production.

Unfortunately, as much as we would like to, we cannot control the weather! Similarly, genetics can’t be altered. However, don’t fret! Despite the causes of combination skin, making small skincare and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the symptoms of combination skin!

DNA Source: Pixabay 

How Do I Combat Combination Skin?

Dealing with two different skin types at one time can be a difficult task to manage, and is one that requires a little trial and error! What works for your dry cheeks may have the opposite effect on your oily t-zone.

Therefore, finding a regular skincare routine that works for you is important!

Skincare Routine

Finding the right skincare routine can help to balance the levels of oil and moisture within your skin. Therefore, reducing the negative effects of combination skin.

This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task, it requires three simple, yet effective steps that won’t interfere with your busy lifestyle!

Wash and tone

When it comes to washing and toning your skin, it may be necessary to alter your products during summer and winter.

In summer, look for a cleanser specially formulated for oily skin to balance out levels of sebum within your skin. In winter, a cleanser suited to dry skin will restore moisture levels and reduce the appearance of flaky, cracked skin.

Additionally, steer clear of alcohol-based, chemically fragrant and harsh soap products! These can strip the skin of its natural oils and exacerbate both dryness and excess oil levels. Use natural toners that will enable you to rebalance your skin’s PH levels.


No matter your skin type, exfoliating can work wonders on your skin! For those with combination skin, the oily areas are subject to enlarged, blocked pores. Exfoliating these areas opens up and cleanses these pores.

Similarly, exfoliating dry patches of skin removes any dead skin cells, allowing moisturisers to penetrate the skin.

Gently exfoliating 2-3 times a week can significantly improve your skin's health.


Finding a suitable moisturiser can be tricky, you may need two products to tackle the contrasting areas on your face.

For the dry areas such as your cheeks, opt for a rich moisturiser that contains humectants. These will retain moisture and keep those troublesome areas flake free.

FRESH FACE Source: Freshfaceclub

Alternately, for your t-zone and other oily areas, use a light, oil-absorbing moisturiser that will help to maintain balance within your skin.

Use the Right Makeup

For those who suffer with dry and oily skin, applying makeup can feel like you are clogging up and drying out your skin all at the same time!

Many makeup products can be too heavy for problem skin, exacerbating the negative symptoms. However, switching to makeup products with the right ingredients can significantly improve your skin!

Oil-free, matte finish foundations help to reduce the shine that comes with oily skin. However, these foundations can increase levels of dryness, therefore, it’s important to apply a light moisturiser to dry areas beforehand!

Choosing the right makeup depends largely on which areas of your skin suffer with dryness and excess oil. If your cheeks are dry, using a cream blush can help to hydrate the skin. Whereas, if this area produces excess oil, cream to powder blushes can help to reduce the appearance of shine.

makeup Source: Annca


Most of us underestimate the impact that our lifestyles can have on the health of our skin. Busy, stressful schedules and lack of exercise can increase our skin’s susceptibility to dryness and oiliness.  

Exercising is an excellent way to reduce stress levels, improve your health and boost your mood. Exercise increases the blood pumping around your body, thus supporting the shedding of dead cells and regeneration of new ones.

Trainers Source: Jeshoots

Managing combination skin doesn’t have to be a lost cause, regardless of the external factors exacerbating the condition.

Using the right products and incorporating a daily skincare routine will help to target problem areas, nourish the skin and improve confidence levels!

If you have any questions, please comment below.