What to Use for Combination Skin: The Best Tips & Tricks

What to Use for Combination Skin: The Best Tips & Tricks

Having combination skin can be a struggle to maintain. Some parts of your face are oily, while the rest are dry, which is confusing, isn’t it? The key to taking good care of your combination skin requires extensive knowledge of the products that you use.

From helpful maintenance tips to product recommendations that work effectively in managing your combination skin, you’ll learn everything you need to know in this ultimate guide!

What is Combination Skin?

Before we discuss combination skin, let’s take a crash course on this type!

Combination skin is a common type characterized by having both oily and dry facial areas. The T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) typically exhibits oiliness and larger pores, while the cheeks and other areas might be dry or normal. Because of this, skincare routines can be a bit tricky, as products that work for one area may not be suitable for another.

What Causes Combination Skin?

Combination skin has two culprits–genetics and hormonal fluctuations. Learn the difference between the two to pinpoint why you have combination skin.


Genetics plays a significant role in determining your skin type. If your parents or siblings have combination skin, then there's a good chance you have it too. Your genetic makeup influences the distribution and activity of your oil glands, which leads to some areas of your face being oilier than others.

Hormonal Changes

If your family isn’t known for having combo skin, then this could be due to hormonal changes. These fluctuations can also cause combination skin. Puberty, pregnancy, menstrual cycles, and menopause can all influence hormone levels, leading to changes in skin texture and oil production.

Signs You Have Combination Skin

If you’re not 100% sure you have combination skin, here are some telltale signs that you’re part of the combo gang:

Having Oily and Dry Spots

One of the most obvious signs of combination skin is the presence of both oily and dry areas on your face. The T-zone usually appears shiny and greasy, while the cheeks and other areas might feel tight and flaky.


Dandruff, particularly around the eyebrows and hairline, can be another indicator of combination skin. The scalp can exhibit the same dual characteristics as the face, with certain areas being oily and prone to flakiness.

Mild Breakouts and Dry Patches at the Same Time

If you experience mild breakouts and dry patches simultaneously, then that’s a common sign of combination skin. Breakouts are usually present in oily areas due to clogged pores, while dry patches can appear where the skin lacks moisture.

Larger Pores on T-Zone

Larger, more visible pores on the T-zone are another indicator of combination skin. The increased oil production in this area can lead to enlarged pores and a higher likelihood of blackheads and whiteheads.

Can My Combination Skin Change Over Time?

Yes, it’s possible. Combination skin can change over time due to various factors such as age, hormonal fluctuations, and lifestyle changes. As you age, your skin may produce less oil, potentially reducing the oily areas and making your skin more uniform. 

Hormonal changes, like those experienced during menopause, can also alter your skin type. Additionally, changes in your skincare routine, diet, and environmental exposure can impact your skin's behavior.

Tips on How to Manage Your Combination Skin

Managing your combo skin can be tricky, but we've got you! Following these tips can ensure your skin doesn’t stay too oily or dry–yes, life with combination skin doesn’t have to be complicated!

Choose Lightweight Moisturizers

If your moisturizer is oil-based, it’s time to ditch it! Instead, choose oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizers that provide hydration without adding extra oil. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which hydrates the skin without clogging pores, and niacinamide, which helps balance oil production and soothe dry areas. Gel-based moisturizers are often a good choice for combination skin.

Blot Excess Oil

Lifehack: keep a pack of blotting sheets with you at all times. Use oil blotting sheets throughout the day to absorb excess oil in the T-zone without disturbing your makeup. This helps to keep shine under control without the need to reapply powder or other products that could clog pores.

Avoid Overwashing 

Washing your face too often or using too many treatments can disrupt the skin's natural balance, increasing oil production and dryness. Stick to cleansing twice daily, morning and night, and be cautious about introducing new products. Introduce one new product at a time to see how your skin reacts.

Apply Sunscreen Everyday

Applying SPF daily is important, even for combo skin! Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Choose a lightweight, non-greasy formula to avoid adding extra oil to the T-zone. Sunscreens with added antioxidants can provide extra protection and benefits for combination skin.

Use Targeted Treatments for Different Areas

Treat different areas of your face according to their specific needs. Use mattifying products or oil-control primers on the T-zone to manage shine and enlarged pores, as well as richer, more hydrating products on the cheeks and other dry areas. Acne spot treatments should be directly applied directly to breakouts so that the other parts of your face don’t dry out.

The Best Ingredients for Combination Skin

With the market oversaturated with products–here’s a cheat sheet you can follow when looking for the best products for your skin. These ingredients are non-negotiables for a combination skincare routine.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a superstar ingredient for combination skin. It is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin, providing hydration without adding oil. This is perfect for the dry areas of combination skin while being lightweight enough not to clog pores in the oily areas. It helps to plump the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines, making it a versatile addition to any skincare routine.


Peptides are short chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins in the skin, like collagen and elastin. They strengthen the skin's barrier, improve elasticity, and promote a smoother texture. For combination skin, peptides can support the skin's natural functions, helping to balance moisture levels and improve overall skin health. They are particularly helpful in anti-aging products as they help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that gently exfoliates the skin by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells. This helps to clear away dull, dry patches while rducing pore size and smoothing the skin's texture. For combination skin, lactic acid provides gentle exfoliation that can help keep the T-zone clear without overly drying the cheeks and other dry areas.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps to brighten the skin, reduce hyperpigmentation, and protect against environmental damage. It promotes collagen production and can improve the overall tone and texture of the skin. Vitamin C is ideal for combo skin because it addresses multiple concerns at once: it can help control oil production in the T-zone while providing hydration and brightening effects for the entire face!


Niacinamide, or Vitamin B3, is a versatile ingredient known for its anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. It helps to regulate oil production, reduce redness, and improve the skin's barrier function. For combination skin, niacinamide helps bring balance to oily areas while also soothing and hydrates dry patches.


Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A that promote cell turnover and stimulate collagen production. They are highly effective in treating acne, reducing fine lines, and improving skin texture. For combination skin, retinoids can help manage breakouts in oily areas while also addressing signs of aging. However, they can be drying, so it's essential to use them in conjunction with hydrating products and start with a lower concentration to avoid irritation.

The Best Product Recommendations for Combination Skin

Now that you know a lot more about your combination skin, the best way to embrace them is by using the right products! Applying the wrong products can trigger dryness or oiliness, which is not the way to go. So, we curated a list of effective products that work amazingly for combination skin!

GlyMed Plus Skin Mist

The GlyMed Plus Skin Mist is a refreshing and hydrating facial spray that balances the skin's pH and provides moisture. It contains aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, making it perfect for combination skin. Aloe vera soothes and calms the skin, while hyaluronic acid ensures hydration without clogging pores. This mist can be used throughout the day to refresh the skin and maintain a balanced, dewy complexion.

SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser

The SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser has a creamy, non-foaming texture that effectively removes impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils. It contains orange oil and emollients that soothe and condition the skin, making it ideal for combination skin types. This cleanser is gentle enough for daily use, ensuring the dry areas are not exacerbated while effectively cleaning the oily T-zone.

PCA Skin Rebalance

PCA Skin Rebalance is a lightweight moisturizer that provides soothing hydration with a blend of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. It contains bisabolol, niacinamide, and Vitamin E, which help to calm and balance the skin. This moisturizer is perfect for combination skin because it hydrates without being heavy or greasy, making it suitable for oily and dry areas. It also helps to strengthen the skin's barrier, ensuring long-lasting moisture retention.

Revision Skincare Brightening Facial Wash

This brightening facial wash from Revision Skincare is a foaming cleanser that helps to brighten and exfoliate the skin. It contains salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells, while licorice extract and Vitamin C brighten the complexion. This facial wash is ideal for combination skin as it helps to clear out pores in the oily T-zone and improve skin tone without over-drying the cheeks and other dry areas.

Hydrinity Restorative Kit

The Hydrinity Restorative Kit includes a serum and a moisturizer designed to work together to provide intense hydration and repair the skin barrier. The products are made with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants, which deeply hydrate, firm, and protect the skin. This kit is perfect for combination skin as it delivers moisture where needed and supports the skin's natural repair processes, ensuring a balanced and healthy complexion.

GlyMed Plus Idyllic Cleanser with 3% Mandelic Acid

The GlyMed Plus Idyllic Cleanser comes with 3% mandelic acid, and it’s an exfoliating cleanser that helps to improve skin texture and clarity. Mandelic acid is an AHA that is gentle enough for sensitive skin but effective in clearing out pores and reducing hyperpigmentation. This cleanser is ideal for combination skin as it exfoliates the oily T-zone without irritating the drier areas, promoting a smoother and more even complexion.

EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

The EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 is a lightweight, moisturizing sunscreen that provides excellent protection against UVA and UVB rays. It contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and lactic acid for gentle exfoliation that improves skin texture. This sunscreen is perfect for combination skin as it provides essential sun protection without feeling heavy or greasy, making it suitable for both oily and dry areas.

Epionce Renewal Facial Lotion

The Epionce Renewal Facial Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer that improves the skin's barrier function and reduces inflammation. It contains a blend of botanicals and ceramides that hydrate and soothe the skin, making it ideal for combination skin. This lotion balances moisture levels, reduces redness, and improves the skin's overall texture and appearance without clogging pores or causing excess oiliness.


Managing combination skin requires a thoughtful approach and the right combination of products to address both oily and dry areas effectively. Having combination skin is not the end of the world. As long as you know which products to use and follow the proper habits that won’t exacerbate the oiliness/dryness, then dealing with combo skin is going to be a breeze!

Ready to make an impact on your skincare routine? Find the best products for your skin by visitingTotality Skincare! Browse through an extensive selection of effectivemoisturizers,serums,eye creams, and more.

Search our shop