How to know if you have combination skin (and how to take care of it) (2023)

You may think you have oily skin on some parts of your face orDry Skinin others, but it can be a combination of both. As with most skin types, there is more than one factor at play and it is perfectly normal to have different skin types at the same time.

We asked dermatologists for information on whatfirst foghalf. They answered questions about how to tell if you have this type of skin, the best way to care for it, and important information about what causes combination skin.

meet the expert

Get all the important information directly from the experts themselves.

Common characteristics of combination skin

Skin is never exactly the same, as it can easily be affected by seasonal and hormonal changes. While these are factors to consider, there are also some more definite signs you may have.first fog. According to our experts, the signs are as follows:

  • They areZone t(forehead, from nose to chin) is greasy while cheeks are dry.
  • Your skin becomes oilier in the summer and drier in the winter. In spring and fall, your T-zone is oily while your cheeks are dry.
  • When you are menstruating, your skin may be visibleleaksYou think your skin is oily. But once your period is over, the breakouts may disappear and your skin may become flaky.

What causes combination skin?

There are many factors that lead to your skin type. Genetics is one of the main factors and can even determine how much oil your skin produces, as it regulates cell production.Human beings generally have sebaceous glands of different sizes, which produce sebum (a part of our important hydrolipidic film).hyperactivesebaceous glands cause increased oil production.

HormonesThey are another factor to consider and can cause your skin to produce excess oil in some areas while others become dry. Schultz says that the main cause of oil secretion is "directly related to male hormone levels" and that your body responds to that hormone, or the hormone it senses.imbalance of this hormoneIt's a lot of oil. You can thank your parents and your age for that. if youreached menopauseHowever, your skin will produce much less oil and you will probably just have dry skin.

Another important thing is environmental factors like heat and humidity, as Farber says, your skin is naturally oilier in this type of temperature. Persistently humid conditions cause the sweat glands to produce more sweat, keeping the skin moist and shiny, while low humidity makes the skin dry and increases sensitivity and irritation.

for that alsoWinterWhen the heat from the oven kicks in and the cold begins to strip the skin of its natural oils, Farber says the skin often compensates, as oily patches can become more normal and cheeks feel dry and flaky.

How to take care of your combination skin

The secret to combination skin is finding the balance between treating oily skin anddry areas. One of the biggest issues is that people with combination skin are often afraid of moisturizers and sunscreens as they are usually associated with creating more oil. In fact, this is not true, and choosing the right products and using them correctly can really help control oil production.

So follow aproper skin careKeeping your skin happy can be very important. Often it's best to keep things as simple as possible and always keep sensitivity in mind when creating a skincare regimen, with products in your routine that are as gentle as possible.

Start with a cleanser and moisturizer

First, Schultz recommends removing excess oil with agood cleaner. Look for one that contains salicylic acid to reduce oil buildup and clogging, Farber says. You will need itUse a moisturizerregardless of your skin type. find a good one toowater basednon-comedogenic and oil-free moisturizer, which is probably your best option.

For cleaning products, Farber says so.Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic Acné Wash($8) is a great option and is recommendedCeraVe PM Moisturizing Face Lotion($21) as lightweightmoisturizing night creamIn the warmer seasons, he advises looking for a gel-based moisturizer.HydroBoost de Neutrogena($20) They say it's a fabulous moisturizer that absorbs easily.

Gently exfoliates with AHA and BHA

While some products can help moisturize, others can dry out your skin, so be careful when trying something new.peeling suaveIt is recommended to help with excess oil or dandruff, but this also depends on the product used, the time of year and your personal needs.

try to useAlpha and beta hydroxy acidPads or masks designed to get rid of excess dirt and oil buildup.

"People with a little oil may find more exfoliation is better, but dry skin can cause irritation and make skin problems worse because skin tries to compensate when it's dry," Farber says.

Usually exfoliate 2-3 times a week with an AHA/BHA wash orpeeling pad, which is Farber's preference, as she believes it's "gentler than a physical scrub."

If you suffer from breakouts, a gentle toner containing AHAs and BHAs can help, but only use it on problem areas and avoid dry patches. Because they are high in alcohol and can be drying to the skin, Farber recommends using aalcohol-free toneras a better and softer option.

Treat your skin with retinols

retinolThey are also great for reducing oil production, treating acne related and other skin problems like dark spots andfine foldFarber said.

"different gel($14) is a great option for a retinoid as it is one of the strongest options available without a prescription,” he says.

The best makeup for combination skin

It is better to stick with light products to avoid clogging. Always prep skin with a moisturizer before smoothing.oil free primer,tinted moisturizer, omineral bases. Mineral-based products can prevent irritation and have a mattifying effect.

"It can also be useful for amatte primerDyer says. "And to avoid breakouts, choose oil-free and non-comedogenic products."

Isn't it the worst when your carefully crafted eyeliner gets smudged and melted by the weather? You can use a mattifying primer to prevent the eyeshadow from melting into the crease.

In your oiliest momentsscribblerthey often work, and Schultz says they're a great way to remove excess oil without messing up your makeup. Keep them in your pocket when you're on the go. While he notes that a cleanser and toner are always a better option for removing oils, he says blotting papers still work in a pinch.

More skin care tips for combination skin

Depending on how sensitive your skin is, you may wantwear different masksin different areas of your face. use onetone mask- designed to prevent blackheads from forming - on your T-zone from time to time, or opt for a gentler kaolin clay mask that promises to prevent dryness and control excess oil on the T-zone.

Bentonit-tonit's best just for oily areas, Farber says, but if you go that route, she also recommends choosing a hydrating mask with noncomedogenic oils and "ceramides for drier facial areas."

You generally have options when it comes to mascara and makeup, but as dermatologists have said before, using the right skincare regimen twice a day is key. If you are experiencing side effects or have more pronounced skin issues or problem areas, we recommend that you speak to a dermatologist as there may be more normal combination skin issues at play.

10 Products to Help My Pale, Sun-Damaged Combination Skin Look Good Every Day


How to know if you have combination skin (and how to take care of it)? ›

Use the sunblock test: According to Downie, you can tell whether you have combination skin simply by slathering on sunscreen. Apply your product, then notice where your face shines up—if your cheeks absorb the sunscreen but your forehead and nose look a bit greasy, you likely have combination skin, says Downie.

How do I know I have combination skin? ›

Combination skin: Combination skin usually feels oily in the T-zone (the area that includes your forehead, nose, and chin) but dry everywhere else. It can also be oily and dry in different locations, but if you notice two or more different textures on your face, it is a sign that you have combination skin.

What should I avoid if I have combination skin? ›

Avoid products with excessive fragrance or other irritants

Any product that includes 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 leading to breakouts.

What makes combination skin worse? ›

One of the major ways you might unknowingly make combination skin more of an issue is by using products that contain harsh or irritating ingredients that will inevitably dry out some areas of your face while stimulating oil production in other parts (especially around the nose) that were already oily.

What is an example of combination skin? ›

Combination skin can happen in a few different ways, but the most common occurrence is dryness over the entire face, with oily areas occurring where we have larger pores including the forehead, inner cheeks, nose and chin, the area known as the T-Zone. The oily T-zone includes the forehead, inner cheeks, nose and chin.

Which skin type is best? ›

Normal skin is well balanced: neither too oily nor too dry. 'Normal' is a term widely used to refer to well-balanced skin. The scientific term for healthy skin is eudermic. Dry skin can feel tight and rough and look dull.

What triggers combination skin? ›

The cause of a combination of skin lies in sebum production. Sebum is a (lightly yellow) substance that is oily and keeps the skin of your face moisturized. Sebum production is a natural thing and is perfectly healthy. But when this production is high, oily skin appears on the horizon.

Am I combination or oily? ›

How to know your skin type? Oily skin has an overall shine and tendency to breakout on the cheeks and T-zone. Combination skin also has an oily T-zone, but the cheeks are normal or dry. A common mistake made with both skin types is the use of oily skin products that are harsh and drying.

What food is good for combination skin? ›

Best and worst foods for combination skin

“Carbs can cause inflammation and can throw off the delicate balance of someone with combination skin,” she says. “When choosing carbs, opt for [those that are] high in protein and low-glycemic, such as brown rice or quinoa.”

Which moisturizer is best for combination skin? ›

Best Moisturisers for Combination Skin
  1. Nivea Soft Aloe Hydration Cream.
  2. Ponds Super Light Gel.
  3. Plum Green Tea Renewed Clarity Night Gel (50 ml)
  4. Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid.
  5. Biotique Bio Morning Nectar Visibly Flawless Skin Moisturizer.
  6. Simple Kind to Skin Light Moisturizer.

What is the issue with combination skin? ›

Combination Skin Problems Include an Oily T-Zone

The oily T-zone that appears on most combination skin types tends to be the most problematic area. The increased production of oil by the sebaceous glands in this area often causes a build-up of oil, dirt, and dead skin cells which lead to other problems such as acne.

What are the side effects of combination skin? ›

Combination skin is characterized by overactive oil glands in the T-zone. As a result, the nose, chin and forehead of combination skin are more prone to clogged pores. When sebum builds inside pores, they must expand to account for the excess oil, giving them an enlarged appearance.

Does combination skin need moisturizer? ›

“Combination skin is generally shiny around the t-zone but dehydrated elsewhere, so a light, water-based moisturizer is important to restore balance within the complexion,” says esthetician and skin expert, Melanie Grant.

What does combination face look like? ›

Typically, the combination skin type is characterized by dry, flaking skin on the cheeks, while excessive oil and shine appears on other areas of the face. Those with combination skin are in a constant battle with their T-Zone, which includes the forehead, nose, and chin.

Which serum is best for combination skin? ›

10 Best Face Serums For Combination Skin In India
  1. mCaffeine Naked Detox Green Tea Face Serum. ...
  2. Olay Total Effects 7 in One Daily Serum. ...
  3. The Derma Co 1% Collagen Daily Face Serum-Cream. ...
  4. mamaearth Skin Plump Face Serum. ...
  5. Himalayan Organics Vitamin C Serum. ...
  6. PILGRIM Vitamin C Night Serum.
Jan 31, 2023

Is combination skin rare? ›

Combination skin is the most common skin type, says Hale.

What skin type is the rarest? ›

Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) Xeroderma pigmentosum is a rare inherited condition in which your body isn't able to repair itself from damage done by ultraviolet rays, including those from light bulbs. Any exposed skin including the eyes and tissues around the eyes are susceptible.

What is the rarest skin type in the world? ›

What Is the Rarest Skin Color in the World? The rarest skin color in the world is believed to be the white from albinism, a genetic mutation that causes a lack of melanin production in the human body. Albinism affects 1 in every 3,000 to 20,000 people.

Which skin tone is most attractive? ›

I wanted to test skin color separately to find out whether it's important to perceptions of beauty. I found that without regard to physical features, people prefer light brown skin over dark brown skin or pale skin,” said Frisby, associate professor of strategic communication at the School.

Can combination skin be dehydrated? ›

This is commonly known as 'combination' skin. It just means we don't fit one type easily. Combination skin can often be dehydrated for different reasons. Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) - one major cause of dehydration is when the skin's barrier (the outer layer that protects the skin) is impaired.

Is toner good for combination skin? ›

Dry in some places and oily in others, finding products that work for your whole face can feel a bit tricky sometimes. But in truth, toners (a.k.a. those liquid potions you swipe on after cleansing but before serums and moisturizer), are actually great for combination types.

Which gender has oily skin? ›

After puberty, sebum production is greater in males than females, which is attributed to androgen secretions, which accounts for why men have longer-lasting acne. Though men have smaller oil-secreting sebaceous glands, they generally have oilier skin.

Can your skin type change? ›

"Your skin type can change over time due to environmental factors, age, hormones, and other health-related issues," Michele Green, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, explains. "Yes, your skin can transform from oily to dry, combination, or sensitive, but it doesn't just happen on its own.

How often should I wash my face if I have combination skin? ›

Combo skin types are seen as the lucky ones. In this case, you can take your pick of the cleansers on offer. It's still advisable to wash twice a day and use a gentle formula “that removes impurities, deep cleans pores, helps remove makeup, and leaves the skin feeling refreshed, clean, and hydrated,” says Tim.

How often should I wash combination skin? ›

For combination skin

“Cleansing twice a day is ideal unless you're noticing your skin getting flaky, dry, or irritated, then it's ok to take a break,” she advises.

What soap is good for combination skin types? ›

People with combination skin types suffer from excessive oiliness as well as dryness at the same time, so they need to opt for soaps with both dry and oily properties. Soaps enriched with aloe vera, glycerine, vitamin E, and chamomile are the perfect choice for individuals with combination skin.

What are the two types of combination skin? ›

Combination Skin Type

Your skin can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, such as the T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin). Many people have this type. It may need slightly different care in different areas.

What is normal to combination skin? ›

What Is Normal-Combination Skin? When the skin on your cheeks is neither dry nor oily but you have an oily T-zone, it is essentially referred to as normal-combination skin.

Should I use cream or lotion for combination skin? ›

In a nutshell, those with oily and acne-prone skin should choose a lotion. Those with sensitive and combination skin can do either option—and will probably use both formulas at different times of the year. Those with dry skin will likely want to choose a cream year-round, morning and night.

Which is better lotion or cream for combination skin? ›

In general, creams are better for people with dry skin while lotions are better for those with oily skin. The thicker formulas lock in moisture and/or provide a protective layer to better keep skin hydrated and supple. Thinner formulas help prevent clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Is Cetaphil good for combination skin? ›

Cetaphil has specially formulated skincare products to suit all skin types including dry, combination, normal and oily skin.

Does combination skin have acne? ›

With combination skin, the skin is only oily on the T-zone, which has many sebaceous glands. With oily skin, the quantity of sebum is excessive over the entire face. Oily skin can become acne-prone and blemishes can appear on the face and/or body if sebum quality is altered and if certain bacteria multiply abnormally.

Which ingredient is best for combination skin? ›

Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that works on all skin types and is particularly beneficial for combination skin. Because it is ultra-hydrating and a sensitive-skin hero, this ingredient will gently remove dead skin cells and impurities without causing irritation.

What is the problem of combination skin type? ›

Typically, the combination skin type is characterized by dry, flaking skin on the cheeks, while excessive oil and shine appears on other areas of the face. Those with combination skin are in a constant battle with their T-Zone, which includes the forehead, nose, and chin.

Is combination skin hard to treat? ›

We all stress about our skin, sometimes — but combination type skin can be particularly tricky to keep under control. Apply the wrong type of moisturizer (or too much), and suddenly your T-zone is breaking out; skip the moisturizer or use a too-harsh cleanser, and your cheeks are dry and inflamed.

What causes combination skin? ›

The cause of a combination of skin lies in sebum production. Sebum is a (lightly yellow) substance that is oily and keeps the skin of your face moisturized. Sebum production is a natural thing and is perfectly healthy. But when this production is high, oily skin appears on the horizon.

Which Facewash is best for combination skin? ›

  • Benzac Daily Facial Foam Cleanser. ...
  • Paula's Choice Resist: Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser. ...
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer. ...
  • CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser. ...
  • Verso Deep Cleanse. ...
  • REN Clean Skincare Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel. ...
  • Rose Inc Skin Clarity Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser.
Mar 7, 2023

Which toner is best for combination skin? ›

  • Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Clarifying Lotion,
  • Kaya Skin Health Routine,
  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar Astringent Micro-Exfoliant Toner,
  • The Body Shop Seaweed Oil Balancing Toner,
  • Fabindia Refreshing & Hydrating Rose Facial Water,
  • Faces Canada Hydro Toner,
  • Fabindia Neem Tulsi Facial Water.

Is cream or lotion better for combination skin? ›

In general, creams are better for people with dry skin while lotions are better for those with oily skin. The thicker formulas lock in moisture and/or provide a protective layer to better keep skin hydrated and supple.

What serum should I use for combination skin? ›

SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF. This vitamin C serum is tailored specifically for those with blemish-prone, combination skin. The formula contains silymarin (also known as milk thistle extract), vitamin C, ferulic acid and salicylic acid to help prevent breakouts, reduce oiliness and improve skin texture.


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