How to Build the Ultimate Routine for Combination Skin

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Combination skin is a skin type that can be tricky to treat but with the proper routine, caring for both your dry and oily areas can be a breeze. Today, we’re not only sharing some simple tips to keep in mind when building a routine for combination skin, but also providing a sample routine that you can easily follow and even adjust to your own needs, as not every person with this skin type experiences the same things. Whether your concern is your oily or dry areas (or both), this guide to combination skin will help you decide what to include in your routine and what to avoid. Sound good? Then let’s jump into it!

What is Combination Skin + What Causes It?

Combination skin you say?

A lil’ bit of dryness. A lil’ bit of oiliness. That’s what combination skin is. Those with combination skin often have cheeks that’re dry and flaky and an oily T-Zone (forehead, nose, and chin). If this sounds like the type of skin you face on a regular basis (pun intended), then incorporating products into your routine that’ll target and balance both the shiny and dry areas of your face is key. But what exactly causes combination skin in the first place?

In case you didn’t already know, your skin type is predetermined, meaning it’s the skin you’re born with and the skin you’ll have for the rest of your life. And we hate to break it to you, but there’s no way or method to change it. There are, however, other factors that can affect how your skin looks and feels. It can be anything from hormones, stress, pregnancy, weather, diet, and even certain medications. With that said, below are some tips to keep in mind when building a routine for combination skin. 

Tips to Keep in Mind for Combination Skin

  1. Combination skin means having an oily T-Zone and dry cheeks. This means that products can’t be applied to your entire face. A way around this is by dividing your face into sections. Save oil-absorbing and mattifying ingredients for shiny areas of skin and rich emollients for dry areas. The last thing combination skin needs is more oiliness and dryness, so ensuring that products don’t move into areas where they’re not needed is key.
  2. When purchasing products for combination skin, key ingredients to look out for are salicylic acid and squalene, as they work to regulate sebum production. Two others are hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, both of which provide nourishing and soothing effects to the skin without creating any excess oil. As for the dry areas of skin, lactic acid, which is a mild exfoliant, can help to gently slough away dead skin cells while clearing out clogged pores.
  3. Ingredients to avoid when purchasing products for this skin type include facial oils such as coconut and almond, fragrances, occlusives like petroleum jelly, and parabens. They’re notorious for creating excess oil and stripping skin of its natural oils!

Now that you have a few tips under your belt, let's move into building an ultimate routine for combination skin! 

A Sample Routine for Combination Skin

We’ve created a sample routine to help target both the oily and dry areas of your skin. Check it out below!

Gentle Cleanser (Morning and Night)

Incorporating a gentle cleanser with a low pH both morning and night is key for this skin type. Our skin’s natural pH level is around 5.5 and staying within this range when it comes to a cleanser is best as one with a higher pH can lead to symptoms such as dryness, irritation, clogged pores, and even breakouts.

Alcohol-Free Toner (Morning and/or Night)

An alcohol-free toner is important for those with combination skin as it’s needed to balance out both the oily and dry areas. If you choose a toner that contains alcohol, which is naturally dehydrating, it’ll extract all the oil (even the essential oils) from skin, leaving it tight and crying out for a dose of moisture.

Hydrating Serum (Morning and/or Night)

The great thing about hydrating serums is that they can be used at any time of day! For those with combination skin, using a serum that contains AHAs such as glycolic or lactic acid will work to target those pesky T-Zone pores. If you also happen to break out in the spots where your skin is oily, you can try a serum with salicylic acid to kill any acne-causing bacteria. And for your dry cheeks, a serum with vitamin A is always a great choice, as this nourishing nutrient is kind to all skin types!

Eye Cream (Morning and/or Night)

If you have combination skin, chances are the skin around your eyes is also a tad dry. Do keep in mind that the skin around your eyes is thin and delicate and can easily be irritated, so choosing a cream that’s fragrance-free is key. Your eye area is also prone to showing signs of aging, so be on the lookout for eye products that can help reduce the appearance of fines lines, wrinkles, darkness, and puffiness!

Moisturizer (Morning and Night)

In the A.M., opt. for moisturizers that’re light and gentle and that contain SPF if you don’t plan on adding a separate sunscreen. For combination skin, a moisturizer in gel form is always best as it’ll hydrate your dry cheeks without bringing excess oil to your T-Zone. Keep an eye out for humectants that help retain moisture such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid which attract water from surrounding air, keeping dryness at bay. And while you want your moisturizer to rejuvenate your skin while your sleep at night, you want to make sure the ingredients are non-comedogenic.

SPF (Morning)

All skincare types can benefit from sunscreen (that contains a least SPF 30) and incorporating it every morning is imperative. For combination skin specifically, opt. for one that has hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and aloe vera. It’s also best to choose a physical sunscreen rather than a chemical one, as physical sunscreens are a lot gentler on skin.

NOTE: For combination skin, ensure that you incorporate a gentle exfoliant into your routine at least once a week to target both congested pores and dryness. Opting for an exfoliant that contains AHAs is always a great place to start as the ingredients will work to clarify your pores and slough away at dead skin at the same time!

And there you have it, folks! If you’ve been struggling with how to care for your oily and dry complexion, we hope this guide to building the ultimate routine for combination skin has provided you with the necessary information needed to nurture both those pesky dry patches and shiny spots of skin. And if you have any questions, feel free to shoot us a message on socials! We’re always here to help. Until next time!