Combination Skin: Causes, Signs And Things To Avoid

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Combination Skin: Causes, Signs And Things To Avoid

Managing such skin can be challenging since different parts of your face require distinct care.


Combination Skin: Causes, Signs And Things To Avoid

Image Source: Dinodia

If you have observed the presence of dry patches on specific areas of your face, accompanied by an abundance of oil in regions such as the T-zone or chin, it is likely that you have combination skin.

What is combination skin?

Combination skin refers to a skin type that exhibits a combination of both oily and dry characteristics. It is characterised by having dry skin in certain areas, such as the cheeks while experiencing oiliness in other areas like the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). The presence of both oily and dry skin traits in combination skin can make it challenging to determine the most suitable skincare and makeup routines for this particular skin type. Unlike addressing a single issue, managing combination skin requires attention to both oily and dry areas. It's important to find a balance by addressing both concerns rather than selectively addressing one.

Common characteristics of combination skin

The condition of our skin is susceptible to various factors, including seasonal changes and hormonal fluctuations. However, there are distinct indicators that can help determine if you have combination skin. Some common characteristics:

Oiliness in the T-zone: The central area of your face, consisting of the forehead, nose, and chin, tends to be prone to oiliness, while the cheeks exhibit dryness.

Seasonal variations: During summer, your skin may become oilier, while in winter, it tends to become drier. In spring and fall, you may observe an oily T-zone with dry cheeks.

Menstrual breakouts: While on your period, you may experience breakouts, which can mistakenly lead you to believe that your skin is constantly oily. However, once your period ends, the breakouts often subside, and your skin may develop flakiness.

What Causes Combination Skin?

The development of combination skin can be attributed to various factors. One of the primary factors is genetics, which plays a significant role in determining the amount of oil your skin produces by regulating cell production. People often have different sizes of sebaceous glands, responsible for producing sebum, a vital component of our hydrolipidic film. Overactive sebaceous glands can result in increased oil production.

Hormonal changes also contribute to combination skin. Certain hormones may cause excessive oil production in specific areas while leading to dryness in others. 

Environmental factors such as heat and humidity play a significant role in skin conditions. In hotter and more humid temperatures, the skin tends to be naturally oilier. Prolonged exposure to high humidity leads to increased sweating, resulting in a moist and shiny appearance. On the other hand, low humidity can cause the skin to become dehydrated, leading to heightened sensitivity and irritation.

This phenomenon also occurs during winter when the use of furnace heat and exposure to cold air strips the skin of its natural oils. In response, the skin often tries to compensate for the loss by making oily areas more normal, while the cheeks may become dry and flaky.

Avoid following things if you have a combination of skin

Excessive fragrance in skin care products

Although fragrance may be tolerated by certain skin types, it can lead to rashes, irritation, and redness in others. Products containing harsh chemicals like alcohol or strong scents can cause discomfort for both dry and oily skin. In addition, oily areas may produce more oil, resulting in breakouts, while dry areas may experience further dryness when exposed to such products.

 Heavy moisturisers

Although rich and heavy moisturisers can offer relief for dry skin, they can also clog pores in your T-zone and contribute to skin problems such as blackheads and acne. It's best to steer clear of oil-based moisturisers as they can exacerbate these issues. Choose a lightweight lotion that can be easily absorbed by the skin instead. 

Clay face masks

While clay face masks are currently in high demand, they may not be suitable for every skin type. Although they effectively cleanse the T-zone by removing excess oil, they can also deplete the oil from dry areas like the cheekbones. For your skin, it is recommended to opt for gentle, moisturising, and soothing sheet masks instead.

Comedogenic Products

If you have combination skin, it's important to avoid cosmetics that have the potential to block your pores. Use products that bear the "non-comedogenic" label as they are formulated without substances that could clog your pores and trigger acne breakouts. It's advisable to use non-comedogenic creams and lotions to safeguard your oily and acne-prone skin from any potential irritation.


Keep in mind that having patience is crucial when it comes to taking care of combination skin. Discovering the ideal skincare routine can be challenging, and it may require a month or two before noticeable improvements occur. However, by using appropriate products in the correct areas of your face, both in the morning and at night, you can achieve optimal skin condition. If you feel dissatisfied with your progress and have the resources available, it may be worth considering scheduling a consultation with a dermatologist.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.