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Do you have dry skin, oily skin or combination skin?

These are terms we hear a lot, and they are plastered across all kinds of skincare products. But how many of us actually know which one applies to us?

Sometimes, it can seem easier to have a single skin type, as you know how to deal with this, but for those with combination skin it can be difficult to know what to use.

How do you avoid making oily skin oilier whilst still hydrating dry skin?

Here, we take a look at what typifies combination skin and the best ways to take care of it.

What is combination skin?

Whilst some skin types are easy to spot, combination skin can seem confusing.

As the name suggests, it combines different skin types all on one face, so finding products that fit can seem like a struggle.

Usually, those with combination skin will notice that nose, forehead and chin tend to be oily. This is known as the T-zone, because of the shape it forms on your face, and it can look shiny and perhaps feel greasy.

The rest of the face will be a different skin type and may even be dry.

This amalgamation of different types is actually very common, as it is rare to have the same skin all over your face.

Combination skin is also characterised by large pores on and around the nose as well as blackheads and blemishes, whilst other parts of your skin might be flaky and dry.1

What causes combination skin?

Combination skin can be caused by a whole range of things including genetics, hormones and the weather.2

You may also find that using the wrong type of skincare can make combination skin traits seem more exaggerated.

Find out more about combination skin in our article detailing What is combination skin? What’s causing it and how you can treat it.

Which products should I use on combination skin?

As combination skin incorporates different skin types, your combination skincare should aim to strike a balance between them.

That means that intensive skincare designed to reduce oiliness could dry out the dry parts of your skin further.

A moisturiser aiming to add hydration to the skin might make your oily T-zone seem even oilier. This might mean that you need to split up your skincare, using products designed for your different skin types in the right areas.

The importance of cleansing for combination skin

Cleansing your face properly is essential for any combination skin type. If you find that oiliness reappears on your t-zone a short time after cleansing, then a double cleanse in that area might be worth considering. This removes that grease and debris without aggravating the rest of your skin. Try a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to reduce oil-build up and the clogging of pores.

Exfoliating and moisturising combination skin

Exfoliation is also a great tool when it comes to treating combination skin. Make sure you do it gently to remove excess oil and flakiness, and avoid doing it too often.

Make sure that you choose specific moisturiser for combination skin, as this is more likely to have the balance that you are looking for.

Something lightweight, water-based and oil-free will work well across the whole face if it has the right ingredients, avoiding adding to problem areas further.

Don’t be afraid to double up on those drier areas if you feel they are not getting as much hydration as you would like.

When it comes to choosing a night cream for combination skin, make sure that it does not contain any harsh or skin aggravating ingredients.

The best night cream for combination skin

Many skincare lovers feel that the best night cream for combination skin comes in the form of a gel or serum which delivers skin replenishing ingredients in a light texture.

These will help to calm the skin and help to reduce excess oil whilst improving dry areas.

You could also consider including an eye cream in your routine if you feel that the skin around your eyes is particularly dry.

Finding the right skincare for combination skin can be a challenge, but with enough attention, you can get it right.

Remember, combination skin does not always last forever, so getting the skincare right can be an investment worth making.

Shop Natural Skincare

Last updated: 11 February 2021

Expertly reviewed by:

  1.  https://www.webmd.com/beauty/whats-your-skin-type#1-3
  2.  https://www.byrdie.com/how-to-tell-if-you-have-combination-skin-346970

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Manisha Taggar

Author: Manisha Taggar, Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019

BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science

Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare.

After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.