On the surface, combination skin sounds like it should be one of the easiest skin types to deal with—not too dry and not too oily, it seems like combination skin should be like the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” It’s juuuuust right!
Well, on one level, that’s true, but that can also make it hard to decide what products to use. Do you go for the ones that treat oily skin, or do you go for moisturizers that hydrate it? Will you do damage to your skin if you use the wrong product? Does this mean you’ll have to spend double the amount on skin care?
Fear not! This article will answer all your questions about what combination skin is, what causes it, what ingredients combination skin should and shouldn’t use, and what a combination skin care routine should involve.
What is combination skin? What causes it?
Imagine being in a house that’s freezing cold in one section and blazing hot in another. As a result, being in one part of the house feels completely different from being in another and you need to do different things and wear different clothes depending on what part of the house you’re in. You’ll be completely content as long as you wear the right clothes in the right part of the house!
That’s exactly what having combination skin is like—your skin acts differently depending on what part you’re talking about. Most of the time, someone with combination skin has an oily T-Zone (meaning the forehead, nose, and chin), while the rest of their skin is dry. That said, combination skin can also mean you have dry skin on your T-Zone and then REALLY dry skin everywhere else or oily skin in general and then REALLY oily skin on your T-Zone. There are a lot of combo skin, well, combinations!
What causes combination skin?
Well, the short answer is: everything! Stress, hormones, pregnancy, changes of season, medications, birth control, sun, or simple DNA. It’s all but impossible to say. While pinpointing the source of it is difficult, treating it is not. As long as you treat the right part of your skin the right way, you’ll be absolutely fine and have gorgeous, glowing skin!
What’s a good combination skin routine?
One of the keys to a good skin care routine for combination skin is finding a product that is right for your skin type. At Fleur & Bee, we’ve made sure that our skincare products are right for every skin type, so you never have to worry about whether or not you’re using the right product! Sure, you can use a little more or a little less of them in certain areas (don’t worry, we’ll tell you how!), but there’s no need to be concerned that our products will harm your skin in any way.
Here’s an easy-to-remember combo skin care routine that’s perfect for combination skin. We’ll tell you when to adjust your applications, but otherwise, this is a skincare routine you should do twice a day—in the morning when you get up and at night when you go to sleep!
1. Clean your skin. Our So Clean! Facial Cleanser is made for all skin types so it won’t dry out your skin! Just massage a little in your hands to warm it up (especially as the weather gets colder!), and massage into the skin with lukewarm water. Rinse if off and then dry with a clean washcloth. Unless you have really heavy eye make-up on, you don’t even have to use a make-up remover since it even removes make-up!
If you find that your T-Zone is a tad oilier than the rest of your skin, feel free to go over it a second time, just to make sure you’ve gotten all the dirt off that area which is especially prone to breakouts and excess oil!
2. Exfoliate your T-Zone. Exfoliating your oily areas with an exfoliating scrub will help remove the dirt and oil that causes break-outs and clogged pores. Not only that, but it will prepare your skin for taking in moisturizer later on. If you’ve never used an exfoliator before, start slowly, using maybe once every week, depending on how oily and/or tough your skin is.
3. Use a toner. A toner like our Rose and Shine Rose Water Toner is perfect for combination skin because it will help control the oily parts of your skin while hydrating the dry parts. It will also minimize your pores—especially in the T-Zone!
For those areas where you need a little extra hydration, like your cheeks, your jawline, or even the area around your eyes (just not too close), you can spray a little on a piece of tissue and press into the skin. That will help minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
After you do that, give it just a sec to dry so it really sinks in.
4. Use a good serum. Yes, our Nectar of the C Vitamin C Serum is made for every skin type so go ahead and put a few drops everywhere and gently massage into your skin! The great thing about this serum is that it will REALLY help brighten your skin tone, reduce the appearance of dark spots, and soften the look of fine lines. Best of all, it plays a key role in evening out your skin tone which can be a real problem for people with combination skin! There’s no reason you can’t use a little extra, especially before putting on your make-up, just to make sure you’re starting out with an even canvas.
5. Use eye cream. Even if you have wildly oily skin on your T-Zone, your eye area always needs a little extra hydration, which is why you should always use an eye cream. If your skin is especially dry around the eye area, put a little extra on at night and let the skin absorb it as you sleep. And if you’re WFH right now, you can put a little on without rubbing it in and just your skin absorb it during the day.
6. Hydrate your skin. A really good moisturizer is a crucial part of any skin care routine, but this is especially true if you have dry patches. Find one that is right for any skin type so you don’t have to worry about adding oil to the oily spots. For the dry patches, put a little extra on at night in those problem areas like the cheeks and even the neck. It’ll deliver a little extra moisture while you sleep and will help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
7. Suck out impurities with a mask. You might be wondering if it’s OK for combination skins to use masks since they do so many different things for different skin types. Well, you might have noticed a theme with Fleur & Bee products—they’re for all skin types so ahead and treat yourself to our Prince Charcoal Detox Mask one-to-three times a week. It will draw out impurities and clean your pores, but it’s gentle enough to use on even the parts of your skin that are a little dry.
Combination skins can also use a little extra on the T-Zone, which, because of its extra sebum production (that’s the oil that moisturizes your skin but can also cause it to break out), sometimes needs a little more cleansing than other areas.
8. End with sunscreen. Obviously, you don’t have to do this at night, but sunscreen should always be the last step of your skincare routine if you’re going out, even in winter. This is especially important if you’ve exfoliated since that makes your skin more vulnerable to sunburns.
And remember—combination skin is all about balance, so trust your gut when it comes to taking care of your skin. If the weather is making your skin feel drier than it usually does and you feel you need a little extra zap of moisture, go ahead and apply a little extra Crème de la Cream. Noticing some shine on those Zoom calls? Step up your Prince Charcoal mask usage. The great thing about Fleur & Bee products is that since they’re for all skin types, you really can’t make a mistake!
Ingredients combination skin should avoid:
As important as it is to know what ingredients to look for in skin care, it’s just as important to know what ingredients to avoid. Here is a short list of ingredients you should completely avoid when deciding what skin care to use:
Parabens – While there is some debate about parabens, many experts agree that using beauty products with parabens is like pouring cement on top of a pizza to keep it fresh. Parabens are really just preservatives, used in skin care products so they’ll have a longer shelf life. That may help the stores, but it won’t help you! No one’s skin ever looked better because of the paraben in their beauty products.
Fragrances – “This horrible fragrance in this moisturizer is really enhancing my skincare routine!” said no one, ever. If a skin care product has fragrances in the list of ingredients, run, don’t walk away from it!
Mineral Oil – Knowing what mineral oil does to your pores is like knowing what’s in junk food. Once you’re aware of how easily it can clog them up, you’re going to want to stay away from it!
Best Ingredients for Combination Skin
Vitamin C – Whether it’s the way it brightens skin or the way it protects the skin from environmental factors, there is no end to the goodness that comes from this incredible antioxidant.
Aloe vera – Aside from its soothing properties, aloe vera is a wonderful, gentle moisturizer that won’t harm the oily parts of your skin.
Rosehip oil – Rosehip oil is one of those products that truly does it all. Not only does it help control oil, it will actually help hydrate the skin as well. What more could someone with combination skin ask for?
Squalane – Squalane balances out the oils in your skin, making it an ingredient that should be every combination skin’s best friend.
Clary sage – The only ingredient that balances the skin’s oils as well as squalane is clary sage. Those with combination skin should seek it out!
How do I know if I have combination skin?
If you have skin that breaks out a lot or is often super shiny, you probably have oily skin. Oily skin occurs when the body produces an excess of sebum, the oil that’s naturally found in your skin. Chances are, that in addition to break outs, you find yourself with a lot of blackheads and general pore clogging. Although it can be a bit of a pain since it has to be cleaned out a lot, the one major advantage to oily skin is that you’re less likely to develop fine lines and wrinkles.
Do you find yourself with flaky skin, especially in the winter? Does your skin often have a tight feeling? Are you more prone to develop fine lines and wrinkles? Does your skin itch a lot? You’ve probably got dry skin. Dry skin is really affected by the environment, from too much sun, to not drinking enough water, to using water that’s too hot.
People with combination skin generally experience both issues—shiny, oily skin that tends to break out on the T-Zone, and dry, flaky skin that tends to appear on the cheeks, the jawline, and near the eyes. If you’re one of those people, you have combination skin!
What's the difference between dry skin, oily skin, and combination skin?
Dry skins generally produce much less sebum, which is why they often look flaky and dull. People with dry skin can often experience discomfort, almost like wearing a glove that’s too tight. That said, dry skin can often be caused by environmental factors like not drinking enough water or being in cold weather.
Oily skins generally produce excess sebum. Sebum is what moisturizes your skin naturally but producing too much of it is what causes breakouts, clogged pores, and that super-shiny look most people with oily skin have.
Combination skin is skin that has both dry and oily skin. Generally, the oily skin is on the T-Zone while the dry skin is everywhere else.
Frequently asked questions about combination skin
When to moisturize combination skin?
Moisturizing for combination skin can be tricky since you want to make sure you moisturize the dry areas without adding excess oil to the oily areas (and yes, even oily skin needs moisturizer!). The best solution is a moisturizer like Crème de la Cream for all skin types—that way, you don’t have to worry about getting it right! And of course, you want to moisturize in the morning and then again at night.
Can combination skin use face oil?
Yes, combo skin can use face oil but you need to be careful about what kind you use. An oil like rosehip oil won’t add excess sebum to the oily parts of your skin but something like mineral oil might.
Can I use a detox mask on combination skin?
Absolutely! The trick, again, is finding one that works with all skin types so you won’t dry out the dry parts as many cleansing masks do. Not to toot our own horn, but our Prince Charcoal mask is easy on dry skin and really gets out the impurities where your skin is oily.
Do combination skins need eye cream?
Absolutely! Quite honestly, anyone over the age of 20 needs eye cream to help minimize fine lines and wrinkles, that’s why we made Eyes Eyes Baby for all skin types!
So, as we said, the key to caring for combination skin is to get your skin care routine juuuuussssttttt right and it’s really pretty easy. Just treat the different parts of your skin a little differently, use products that are right for all skin types, and if you hear someone knocking at the door, run! It’s probably a family of bears wondering what you’re doing going through their skin care products!