Causes and Treatment for Combination Skin

Causes and Treatment for Combination Skin

You've tried everything for oily skin, but dry patches suddenly appear. You think maybe products for dry skin will work, but they've just made your T-zone even more oily, and now you're breaking out, and you're left trying to figure out why nothing works for your skin type.

Sound familiar?

woman's skin

You might be dealing with combination skin! Yes, that's a thing too. And, if you want to learn everything there is about this skin type and how to take proper care of it, you came to the right place.

We've even prepared the best tips and tricks for combination skin types, as well as powerful natural home remedies that will help you achieve the perfect balance between excess oil and dry skin.

Want to know what defines a combination skin type and what to do? Keep on reading!

Skin Types

woman's face

Let's go through the basic and essential information to help you understand your skin better.

You already know that the skin is the body's largest organ - a soft tissue that protects our internal organs from the environment using a cellular barrier and protective oils. The skin also maintains our health by regulating our body temperature and producing Vitamin D.

There are two major layers of the skin: the epidermis, which faces the environment directly, and the dermis, which lies beneath.

You'll find the hair follicles, sweat glands, and "sebaceous glands" inside the dermis. The sebaceous glands produce the waxy, oily substance that coats your skin to protect it from environmental damage, and they're also responsible for your specific type.

What does this really mean?

shy woman

As humans, we all have the same biology and skin structure, but we're different in how our body performs these functions and how it reacts to specific environmental influences.

In this context, people can have more or less active sebaceous glands and more or less active sweat glands. They also may store more or less water in their skin. And these are the characteristics that define your skin type.

Officially, there are five types of skin.

  • Normal Skin

Normal skin is defined as the right balance of oil and water. It protects itself from environmental conditions without getting too dry or oily. It's characterized by small pores and not overly active sebaceous glands.  

  • Oily Skin

This type is characterized by large pores, a shiny complexion, very active oil glands, and frequent acne breakouts. This is because the sebaceous glands produce a lot of oil, which builds up in the pores, widens them, and causes irritation. You can find more information about oily skin and how to care for it in this article.

  • Dry Skin

People with dry skin often experience a rough complexion, tightness, and dullness of the skin. Problems associated with dry skin include early-age wrinkles and lines and dry patches with scaling flakes. Irritated red patches may also develop with very dry skin, and pores may be completely invisible.

To learn more about dry skin and how to take care of it, visit this
 this article.  

  • Sensitive Skin Type

Sensitive skin is defined as easily irritated skin that often develops redness, itching, burning, and dryness as a reaction to some environmental influences or skincare products.

People with this type of skin often struggle to find the right products and skincare regime that won't hurt their skin even more. If you suspect you might have it, read more in detail about it here.

  • Combination Skin Type

Combination skin means you have oily skin in some parts of your face but normal or even dry in others.

Just like with oily skin, people with combination skin face problems such as large pores, blackheads, pimples, and a lot of shine. But, at the same time, their skin might feel tight and dull, and they may have patches or cracks on the skin.

Read on to find out more about combination skin and learn how to properly take care of it.

A Breakdown of Combination Skin

If you want to learn how to care for combination skin properly, you need to know exactly what combination skin is. Researching this skin type and the methods to find out if you really have it, as well as how to take care of it, will give you the ability to help your skin find a perfect balance.

combination skin

What Exactly is Combination Skin?

You might be wondering how to determine if you have combination skin and not just oily skin. These two skin types can be easily mixed up.

Combination skin is exactly what the name suggests - a combination of oily and normal to dry skin. Some parts of your face have oily areas and are more prone to acne breakouts and
blackheads, with large open pores. These are the areas around the center of your forehead, the nose, and the chin. On the other hand, the cheeks and the skin around your eyes might feel normal or even dry.

This happens because the sebaceous glands on the face are more concentrated in the T-zone, making the skin dull and rough because of a buildup of dead skin cells.

Make a Quick Test!

Pat a clean tissue around different areas of your face. See if you notice a difference in the oiliness of the tissue.

diagnosing the skin

Diagnosing Combination Skin

Here are some of the symptoms and typical problems people with combination skin face daily.

You Have Oily Patches in Certain Areas of Your Face

You might notice parts of your face will be oilier after you wash. If you haven't noticed how your skin reacts after being washed, try this little experiment:

In the morning, wash your entire face with a gentle cleanser and wait for twenty minutes to an hour. Next, wash your hands, dry them, and see if some areas of your face feel oilier than the rest. For example, you'll probably have an oily T-zone.

People with combination skin will notice that the area around the center of their face is much more oily than the cheeks.

Moisturizers for Normal Skin Make Your T-Zone Oily

coconut moisturizer

Another common problem for people with combination skin is that typical moisturizers don't work for them. As a result, they may want to skip moisturizer altogether.

Your face might feel smooth and gentle or even glowing, but your nose starts to look greasy. This is because the T-zone is already oilier than the rest of the face, so when you add the moisturizer that causes overhydration and excess oil, the skin just can't absorb it all.

The key is to find the right moisturizer to help your skin retain moisture.

You Have Larger Pores on Your Nose

Some people think this is blackheads, which it might be. But, in most cases, those little black dots on the nose are actually enlarged pores. This is because the oil glands are over-stimulated in that area, and a lot more oil is being released. In addition, larger pores also mean greater chances of clogging, resulting in blackheads or acne breakouts.

If you want to know how to shrink your pores and make this area less acne-prone, refer to the home remedies at the end of this text.

You Have Dandruff


The presence of dandruff itself doesn't indicate you have combo skin. But, it's common that those who have combination skin often suffer from a dandruff problem as well.

You Have Breakouts and Dry Patches at the Same Time

This symptom might be the most annoying of all and may even make you feel like you're fighting on two fronts at the same time. You may have acne breakouts in the center of your face and your T-zone, while your mouth or cheeks feel very dry. You may even start to notice dry patches. It's not uncommon to notice dry, flaky patches on your nose while breaking out.

elephant dry skin

Don't despair. Maintaining a balance is key.

With the right product or home remedy, and some lifestyle tips, you can keep oil production at bay while maintaining moisture to prevent dry patches.

What Causes Combination Skin?

Most experts and dermatologists agree that many factors are at play when it comes to skin types. But, unfortunately, it usually comes down to your parent's gene pool. And, before you give up all hope, even though you can't change your skin, you can still change the things you do and the products you use. It's easy to help your skin find a balance between the two extremes. Having the right skin care routine is essential.

The Biology Behind Combination Skin


We already mentioned that many factors are involved in making a skin type, and genetics are the main culprit. But how exactly does this happen?

Well, the activity of the sebaceous glands and the skin's level of sensitivity (how easily external particles can influence and change the skin) dictate whether the skin is normal, dry, oily, or sensitive. In people with combination skin, the sebaceous glands are very active in one area of the face while very inactive in others. Unfortunately, this is not something you can change, but you can influence the process with proper care.

Beauty Tips on How to Take Care of Combination Skin

first aid tips

Use a Water Soluble Cleanser

Treating combination skin doesn't have to be a headache. A consistent skin care regimen is key. Cleansing your skin is important, and finding the right cleanser is even more so.

Aim for a hydrating cleanser that will effectively remove impurities, debris, and makeup without making the skin tight, dry or greasy. If your skin is particularly oily, avoid an oil-based cleanser.

Avoid harsh cleansers like sulfates, alcohol, and soaps that can strip your skin of its natural oils and cause flaky skin or dry cheeks. Instead, your cleanser should have soothing properties and should help you achieve more balanced skin.

Try Misumi's AHA 10% Skin Perfecting Cleanser to unclog pores, remove dead skin cells and makeup, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and reduce excess sebum production. You can also try the Clear Skin Salicylic Cleanser. The salicylic acid in this cleanser will reduce acne breakouts, and the skin-replenishing ingredients will result in a healthy glow.

Use a Hydrating Toner

A good alcohol-free toner can help even skin tone, nourish skin, and minimize dry and oily patches at the same time. Add it to your skin care routine!

Moisturize Often

You might be scared of moisturizing, knowing how oily your skin can get around your nose, but find a moisturizer that will mattify the oily areas on your face and hydrate dry skin simultaneously. If you have tried many products and nothing works, try making one yourself using natural home remedies. Create the perfect moisturizer to soothe combination skin.


exercise yoga

It's not all about finding the best skin care routine.

By exercising, you're stimulating circulation and blood flow to your skin on the face. This might make you a little flushed, but the redness quickly fades off, and the nutrients delivered to the pores from that blood flow will bring you long-term benefits and healthy skin.

Wear Sunscreen to Protect the Skin From Sun

The sun is super important when it comes to skin care. It can damage the skin and contribute to a lot of scary conditions, including skin cancer. For people with combination skin, the sun can cause an oily T-zone and make the skin dry and burned.

Opt for a mineral-based sunscreen.

Don’t Touch Your Face

womans face in profile

Touching your face will only bring more germs and bacteria into the skin barrier, clog pores, and lead to breakouts. Clogging the pores also leads to the building up of more sebum on the surface of the skin, making it oily and greasy.

Use Different Products on Different Areas

If you have combination skin, it's more important than ever to have a good skin care regimen. Try using different products or remedies for different areas of your skin. For example, when it comes to your T-zone, use a product that will reduce oil production and prevent breakouts. Use a moisturizer on your cheeks to keep your skin from drying out.

Natural Home Remedies for Combination Skin

Face Mask for Combination Skin: Papaya, Banana, and Lemon Juice

fruit - papaya and banana

Papaya has skin-lightening properties that help clear blemishes and even out pigmentation. When used daily, papaya can help your skin maintain its glow and youth. The banana (also true for banana peels) adds moisture and hydration, while the lemon juice will keep oiliness at bay and lighten the skin.


Mash ¼ of the papaya in a bowl and add half a banana. Continue to mash the ingredients until you get a smooth paste. Then, add freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon. Mix again.

Apply a thick layer of the mask on your whole face, avoiding the areas around the eyes. Then, let the mask sit for about 20 minutes until it dries. Afterward, wash it off with lukewarm water. You can make this mask daily - add it to your combination skin care routine.

Just a little warning: Lemon juice is highly acidic and can cause irritation or even throw the pH value of the skin out of whack. This is why it's always recommended to use lemon juice in small concentrations or dilute it with water. People whose skin is sensitive should avoid using lemon juice in their skin care routine.

Face Mask for Combination Skin: Milk, Honey, Lemon Juice, and Almond Oil Mask

almond milk and banana

The lactic acid found in milk is a known remedy for problems with pigmentation, dry skin, acne, and sunburn. The acidic nature of the lemon will clear the clogged pores, lighten the skin, and keep it tight and healthy.

The honey has powerful antibacterial properties to prevent further infections, while almond oil is a great natural face moisturizer and safe for those with sensitive skin - which is why it's often recommended for overnight use.

Tip: If you are lactose intolerant, you can always substitute traditional milk with
 almond milk and still use this mask. 


Mix together one tbsp of milk, one tbsp of honey, the juice from half a lemon, and a few drops of olive oil. Stir well until everything blends nicely, and apply on the face.

Leave it for 20 minutes, then wash your face with warm water. Apply your favorite moisturizer or just a few drops of almond oil and massage well. You can repeat this procedure twice a week.

Face Mask for Combination Skin: Cucumber Juice and Honey Mask


This is another powerful mix for skin that's a mix of oily and dry. The honey has potent antibacterial properties, and it's extremely moisturizing and soothing. It will help your skin create a glow without making it greasy. The cucumber juice is rich in Vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which can soothe irritated skin, tighten it, and reduce puffiness.


Grate one cucumber and squeeze out its juice. Pour one tbsp of raw honey and mix it with the cucumber juice to create a smooth paste. Apply the mask on a clean face and wait for about 15-20 minutes for the ingredients to act on the skin. When the mask dries off, wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry. You can repeat this procedure four to five times a week.

Face Mask for Combination Skin: Banana Mash and Egg Whites Mask

This mask will keep your skin hydrated and free from excess oil. The egg whites have a lightening and drying effect on the skin, while the banana will hydrate and moisturize dry skin, making it soft and supple.


Peel off one banana, and mash it with a fork in a small bowl. After this, add one egg white to the mixture and stir until both ingredients blend well. Then, apply a thick layer of the paste on clean skin in the areas where your skin is dry, while a thin layer around the T-zone where the skin is more oily.

Wait for the mask to act for about 10 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water.

Add this mask to your skincare regimen once or twice a week.

Face Wash for Combination Skin: Rose Water and Apple-Cider-Vinegar

rose water

The apple cider vinegar can remove excess oil on the skin, while its astringent properties help in reducing and tightening the pores. Rose water ensures a calming effect and is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which also help to soothe irritated or blemished skin. The two ingredients together will clean pores and create an even skin tone.


Mix together 2 tbsp of rose water with only one-third of tbsp apple cider vinegar. It's important to maintain a low ratio of apple cider vinegar to rose water, especially for sensitive skin. This will ensure you don't irritate or dry out the skin.

After you mix the ingredients, take a cotton pad and dip it in the mixture. Wipe your face while focusing on the T-zone, making sure you cover everything well. You can repeat this procedure twice a day until you see improvement.

Face Wash for Combination Skin: Rose Water, Oats, and Turmeric


Rose water will calm your skin and reduce any irritation or inflammation. Oats are an FDA-approved remedy for many skin conditions, and they're good for all skin types. Because they contain "saponins," this mask removes dead skin cells and dirt from pores. They also have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant effects.

The oatmeal is also very moisturizing due to the high level of fat found in it.

Lastly, turmeric is known for reducing scarring, whitening the skin, and helping wounds heal faster by positively affecting the skin tissue and collagen as well. It's the perfect addition to your skin care regimen.


Grind the oats to a powder and use around 10 tbsp of them. Add one and a half tbsp of turmeric powder, and blend. After this, slowly add rose water to make a thick but smooth paste. Clean your face and take a small amount of the mixture on your palm. Massage this paste on your face gently in circular motions, focusing on the T-zone. Leave the paste to sit on your face for about 5-10 more minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.

Homemade Night Cream for Combination Skin: Aloe Vera and Tea-Tree Oil Cream

aloe vera

Looking for something fresh to add to your skincare regime? Aloe vera and tea-tree oil are two of the best ingredients to protect your skin overnight and give it a fresh glow. Aloe is a non-comedogenic ingredient, meaning it won't clog your pores. It provides powerful moisturizing properties.

Tea-tree oil is a science-backed essential oil known for its ability to treat various skin conditions, including acne, blackheads, whiteheads, spots, and other annoying skin flaws. The mixture of both ingredients will keep your skin moisturized and hydrated without making it too oily or too dry.


Mix together one and a half tbsp of aloe vera gel with 10 drops of tea tree oil. Blend the mixture well, and then you're ready to apply it to your face. Make sure you wash your face first and pat it dry. After you apply a small amount of the blend, massage it with your fingers to help it absorb better.

Make sure you patch-test the cream before using it directly on the face. Some people with sensitive skin may notice a reaction.

Homemade Night Cream for Combination Skin: Neem and Tea-Tree Oil Cream

neem plant

This effective, homemade night cream has a tea tree oil base. The tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and will calm any redness, swelling, or inflammation. In the end, you'll get smooth and clear skin.

Neem leaves were once used to treat boils and skin infections in ancient India. Today, they are part of many skincare products and
natural home remedies because of their powers to clear the skin and inhibit the growth of bacteria.


To make it, just mix half a teaspoon of neem with 10 drops of tea tree oil. Before going to bed, wash your face with warm water, pat it dry and apply this remedy. Apply a couple of drops directly on the face and then use your fingers to spread it all over the face while massaging it in a circular motion for better absorption. For the best results, add this to your daily skincare regimen.


Oily Skin: A review of Treatment Options

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