Combination Skin

Discover the best skincare products for combination skin.

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Combination Skin: Causes and Treatments

Combination skin is characterized by skin that is oilier in some areas, but drier in others. Typically, the oilier sections will be in the t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), whereas the drier sections will be around the cheeks. 

An individual’s skin type is largely influenced by genetics, so someone with combination skin likely has parents who also have this skin type. The weather may also make combination skin fluctuate. People with combination skin may notice that their skin is oilier in the summer, but drier in the winter. Since the skin produces less sebum (oil) as we age, people with this skin type may notice that their skin becomes drier overall as they age. 

The key to keeping combination skin happy and healthy is using products that can both give dry areas the moisture it needs while also helping to minimize shine and control excess sebum in oilier areas. While this can be a bit tricky, there are plenty of great products on the market that can help people with this skin type find that balance.  

Best Products for Combination Skin

There are some great products that are specifically formulated for the unique challenges that come with combination skin. In general, oil-free products are excellent for this skin type, particularly during warmer and more humid weather. If you have combination skin, here is what you need to consider when building out your skincare routine.

Face Washes

The key for people with combination skin is finding a gentle cleanser that will wash away excess oil without drying out the skin. This is particularly important because products that strip the skin of its natural moisture can cause the oily areas to overproduce sebum to compensate, and dry areas to become drier. Foaming cleansers with hydrating ingredients tend to work particularly well for combination skin types.


In general, people with combination skin may find that switching out their moisturizer as the seasons change may be beneficial, if their skin seems to change with the weather. Combination skin types may use a lighter, gel-based moisturizer in the summer when the skin is oilier, but a cream or cream-gel formula in the winter when the skin is drier.


There are plenty of great serums for combination skin that address a variety of skin concerns, and you’ll find many recommendations on Skincare Hero. One ingredient that’s commonly found in serums that can be particularly beneficial for combination skin is hyaluronic acid. This is because it is lightweight but deeply hydrates the skin, which is beneficial for both oily and dry parts of the skin.


Both alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and lactic acid) and beta hydroxy acids (like salicylic acid) are suitable for combination skin – it just depends on your specific concerns and skin’s needs. An exfoliant containing both AHAs and BHAs may also be beneficial for some people with combination skin. 


People with combination skin should seek out a lightweight sunscreen that won’t contribute to shine in oilier areas. Oil-free sunscreen formulas are particularly beneficial for this skin type. If your combination skin is more sensitive, opt for a mineral sunscreen, as this type of formula is typically less irritating than chemical sunscreens.

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