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Best Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

A woman examining her combination skin

Combination Skin: Symptoms & Causes

Before diving headlong into a skincare routine for combination skin, let’s know what is combination skin.

Combination skin is nothing but the area often marked by an oily T-zone which includes your forehead, nose, chin, and dry cheeks. Combination skin is oily in some areas of the face and dry in other areas.

  • Your T- zone shines i.e. forehead, nose, and chin shine brighter than other areas on your face, but your cheeks dry out.
  • The pores on your T- zone seem more and more visible every day.
  • You have breakouts on your face when you have T-zones.

What causes combination skin?

The T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) produces too much oil than your skin needs. This excess oil clogs up your pores, stretching them out and causing acne and pimples. The area on your cheeks doesn’t produce enough sebum - the skin’s natural moisturizer. Without enough sebum production, the skin dries out and becomes flaky.

How to Treat Combination Skin?

The key to saying “bye-bye to combination skin” is to keep oil production under control on your t-zone without drying out the drier areas. This means for these you have to use two sets of products, one set for oily skin on oily areas, and the other set for dry skin on dry areas.

As you want to start a skincare routine, you may have some questions like which skincare products do you have to use? How to know your skin type? In what order to apply the skincare products and what do they do?

To get the most benefit for your skincare routine, no matter what your skin type, start with these simple steps: cleanse, treat and moisturize.

Cleanser or Facewash

Face cleansing or facewash is the first step in any skincare routine. It clears away impurities and excess oil that clog pores and dull skin. But be gentle as using harsh cleanser can cause breakouts in your skin which causes acne and pimples. They don’t keep the shine for long, although they dry out your drier areas even more.

Using a cleanser or face wash for combination skin is like turning your face into a blank fresh canvas, ready to create beautifulness to the world. During the night, your face creates impurities and produces excess oil. A morning routine should start with a gentle cleanser or face wash as it is important so that you can clear those impurities and prepare your face for the next step in your skincare routine. 

A foaming cleanser is as good as gel cleansers. Cream cleansers or a cleansing lotion works well for the combination skin type.


Toner removes any oil that initially your cleanser didn’t and balances the skin’s pH levels. Make sure to have an alcohol-free toner. If you have acne-prone skin, look for a toner that has salicylic acid to get rid of breakouts.


Combination skin is the skin type that benefits from exfoliation.  A gentle exfoliator is an excellent way for unclogging pores and removing dead skin cells.  If you use an exfoliator that is too harsh, you will only trigger additional inflammation on your skin.

Regular exfoliation helps increase cell turnover, which helps to smooth your skin and even out your skin tone. It’s best to exfoliate 1 to 3 times a week every morning.

Hydrating Serums

Hydrating serums are perfect for combination skin in a skincare routine. The most famous hydrating serum members are glycerin and hyaluronic acid. The hydrating serum is the best humectant for combination skin as the hydrates all over the skin without adding extra oil causing no greasiness, no shine, no breakouts. It only makes skin soft and supple. The serum has antioxidants property too. This hydrates and protects your skin giving out an extra boost of nourishment and hydration to strengthen your skin barrier.

Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is extremely delicate and is vulnerable to damage. Using an under-eye cream is essential in providing nourishment and hydration to the skin. This helps in reducing the signs of fine lines and aging. Eye cream prevents dark circles around the eyes. You can easily apply by lightly tapping on the areas around the eyes. 


Choosing a moisturizer for combination skin can be so tricky. With combination skin, you will have to use two moisturizers. You don’t want to apply anything that makes your T-zone shine. Also want to make sure your dry areas get plenty of hydration. For dry areas, use a creamy formula. For oily parts, use a lightweight, water-based formula. The best moisturizer for combination skin is using lotion. It combines mattifying ingredients which contain salicylic acid, silica with oil-free hydrating products (glycerin, hyaluronic acid).

Sunscreen/ SPF

It’s the most important step in any skincare routine, for every combination as well as normal skin type. Sunscreen helps you in protecting from skin damage which also helps in slowing down signs of aging. To protect combination skin, you should look for formulas that are lightweight and have a matte finish. 

Take Away

Finding your perfect combination skincare routine requires experimentation with the different products. You may have to mix and match different products to avoid the shiny look for combination skin. However, the most important thing is to establish a regular skincare routine for combination skin. You will have to adjust skin care formulas based on your skin’s current needs.