What Is Combination Skin and How to Handle It

Someone putting on makeup

Not everyone has the same skin type, and each skin type requires unique skincare routines. If you have combination skin, it can be extra challenging to know how to take care of it. Unlike dry skin or oily skin, combination skin means you're dealing with both simultaneously. 

You have to carefully pick the proper skin care and makeup that will work best for your skin type. That’s why we are going to go over everything you need to know about combination skin and how to handle it, so you always have flawless-looking skin!

Understanding Different Skin Types

Before we dive right into combination skin, let's go over the different skin types so you can better understand where you might fall. Sometimes it’s hard to tell your skin type just from looking at it. 

Normal Skin

Normal skin is what most people strive for. It's not too oily or too dry. It's the perfect mix, thanks to good blood circulation and balanced sebum production. People with normal skin usually have very few blemishes, and their skin isn't overly sensitive. Normal skin also has small pores (if that’s you, we’re jealous). If you have normal skin, you only require a minimal skincare routine.

Dry Skin

You have dry skin if your skin produces less sebum than is required for normal skin. As a result, your skin doesn't have enough moisture and also doesn't retain hydration very well. Without a protective moisture shield, your skin may become dry or flaky. It may even feel tight, rough, or irritated if not properly moisturized. 

Oily Skin

You have oily skin if you are producing an excess amount of sebum. This sebum production causes your skin to look shiny and feel greasy. You may look especially oily in the t-zone, which is the center of the face. Enlarged pores are usually a part of oily skin, and you may develop acne or blemishes. 

Combination Skin

Combination skin can be normal, dry, and oily all at the same time. Your t-zone may be oily, while other areas may be too dry. Like all skin types, combination skin is genetic. People with combination skin usually experience breakouts and have larger pores in certain areas.

This skin type can be more oily during hormonal fluctuations. It will still remain dry in areas around the hairline. It can also be affected by the seasons, being more oily in the summer and drier in the winter.

How to Tell if You Have Combination Skin

Since combination skin can change depending on certain factors like hormones and the season, it can be hard to be sure that this is your skin type. Let's go over some of the other tell-tale signs of combination skin. 

If you have combination skin, you may have dull and dry areas on your cheeks or temples, while other parts of your face will feel oily, including your forehead, nose, and chin. Speaking of your t-zone, if this is where you see larger pores, this is also a sign of combination skin. These pores develop when sebum collects inside the pores causing them to expand. 

If you notice that your makeup always gets patchy around your t-zone but clings to other areas of your face, you may have combination skin. There are a number of makeup tips and tricks to prevent this from happening, no matter what skin type you have.

As previously mentioned, combination skin may fluctuate with the seasons, but let's talk about why. When the weather is hot and the humidity is high, your body will send signals to activate your sebum production. This results in extra oily skin, and your dry spots probably become normal skin. 

However, during the winter months, the cold climate dries everything out, including your t-zone. Your usually oily areas will be closer to normal, and your dry areas may be especially dry. You may also experience excess flaking and feel like you can't keep your skin hydrated. 

Skincare for Combination Skin

There are several things you can do to help even out your combination skin to create more balance. A solid skincare routine is crucial to ensure an evenness of oil across the face. Let’s check out some of the things you can do to keep your skin happy and healthy. 

Basic Skincare Routine

Since balancing various oil levels can be challenging, it can take some trial and error, and you may need to consult a dermatologist to help you perfect your routine. All skin types benefit from:

  • Cleansing
  • Exfoliation
  • Toning
  • Moisturizing

For the most part, these four steps are a good place to start. By implementing these basic steps, you can help protect your skin's barrier and help overall hydration. 

Be Cautious of Active Ingredients

Don't go crazy with skincare that has active ingredients in them. The products you put on your face can negatively manipulate your skin type as well. If you are applying certain products to specific areas on your face, you could be unknowingly causing your combination skin. 

One product could be causing dryness in one area, while others could be the reason your skin is producing excess oil in another. Also, excessive amounts of sebum can be a reaction to exfoliating too much. These issues are why it's important to consult with a professional before diving into a bunch of products with strong, active ingredients.

Skin Changes with Age

As you age, changes in your skin become inevitable, and it's important that your skincare routine changes with it. You may switch to anti-aging or preventative care products to maintain your skin's healthy glow. 

Once you start noticing your face developing fine lines, loss in volume, and decreased elasticity, it may be time to switch it up. Your skin type will also change as certain hormone levels change with age. Your skin could go from combination to very dry, or your androgen levels could cause oily skin and menopausal acne. 

The Best Makeup for Combination Skin

When it's time to apply makeup to combination skin, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the best makeup for your combination skin types may change as the seasons change. If your skin is more oily in the summer and drier in the winter, you may want to use different products in each season. Look for an oil-free foundation that won't clog your pores. 

The other important thing to look for is a buildable foundation and concealer. You want to be able to start with a thin layer and build up the coverage. Otherwise, you could end up emphasizing the uneven texture of your skin.

HIDE Premium Foundation and Concealer are both oil-free and easily buildable. Both products will help you hide anything while maintaining results throughout the day. The soft-matte finish can work all year round by keeping your skin looking hydrated without being overly shiny. 

When you are more oily in the summer months, you can use a thin layer of translucent powder in your t-zone to take away shine and keep your makeup locked in place. You can forgo the powder in the winter and opt for a setting spray, which won't dry out your face. 


We hope you feel confident that you can master taking care of your combination skin now. 

Follow a regular skincare routine to ensure you maintain balance in your skin. Remember that this routine may need to change as you age and as your hormones change. Always consult a professional before introducing new products with active ingredients into your skincare regimen. 

HIDE premium products won't clog your pores or feel too heavy on the skin. They are also waterproof and leave a soft-matte finish making them great no matter the season!



Article Skin Types and Care: Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination, Sensitive | WebMD

Sebum | Dermnetnz

Androgen Levels in Adult Females: Changes With Age, Menopause, and Oophorectomy | NCBI