5 Unique Characteristics to Show You Have Combination Skin Type

More often than not we get lost when it comes to determining cosmetic and beauty products that are good for us because of our skin types. Most times we think we have dry or oily skin types. But in fact, a combination skin type is our perfect match.

The unpopular observation is that combination skin type is the most common of all types.

With combination skin, you can have both oil and dry spots across your face.

Most people tend to confuse the known characteristics of oily or dry skin when they are experiencing both, but not in the same rations. Sometimes the oily features are dominant and sometimes the dry features are.

Knowing what skin type you have is the first step to creating a beauty and skincare routine that will work for you.

Without you knowing what type of skin you have, you might be going off track and complicating your healthy skin journey.

There are many ways to know how to determine what type of skin you have. Markers that would guide your path to knowing what your skin is and what you need to do going forward. These markers are essential when it comes to identifying combination skin types.

Unique Characteristics of Combination Skin Types


Several markers would hint at what kind of skin you have. You just have to follow the breadcrumbs to lead you to your answer.

These characteristics are the most unique and common characteristics of a combination skin type. They include:

1. Larger Pores

This is one of the most telling characteristics of combination skin types. This is when you have oily patches due to your pores looking larger.

The sebum glands produce excess sebum in some parts of your face, especially around your T-zone area (forehead, nose, and chin). The excess sebum also expands your pores, causing them to be wider and open.

Once your pores are wide and open, there is nothing that can close them back or make them smaller. But you can reduce the size of them by cleaning the sebum and dead skin cells through exfoliation or cleansing regularly.

2. Changing Skin

You might experience changing skin, especially during the seasons’ change.

For instance, during the summer, your skin might produce excess oil thereby becoming shining. While in the winter or cold days, it would be really dry, looking relatively flaky.

These changing skins will confuse you, thinking the products you buy are working. But it is just the skin reacting to the environment.

3. Active Breakout of Blackheads and Whiteheads

This is another characteristic of a combination skin type. Your face breaks out when the sebum trapped in your pores mixes with dead skin cells and debris or makeup residues.

This will cause the pores to plug. After the plug is open to the air, a blackhead forms. And when it’s closed whitehead forms.

The breakouts are mostly common for combination skin during menstruation. This might cause some to think they have oily skin but once the period passes, the skin goes back to being dry.

4. Dandruff

This might not have to do with your visible skin but dandruff is mostly common with people with combination skin type. These are the dry flaky patches on the scalp that peels from it.

Although dandruff is not a reliable indicator for skin types, if you are a woman with constant dandruff even with healthy hair and scalp, it’s most likely because you are a combination skin type.

5. Patches and Acne

If you have to deal with these two at the same time, you are most likely a combination of skin.

You have to take care of dry patches on your cheeks and deal with acne around your T-zone, making it difficult to use one type of product.

You might find yourself combining one or two beauty products and treatments to combat the various breakouts on your face.

Combination Skin Types FAQs

What is a combination skin type?

Human skin in the beauty and cosmetic industry is characterized by the type of skin.

This classification makes it easier to diversify and break down products and functions since not the same product works for everyone. We have four major skin types: dry, oily, normal, and combination skin types.

A combination skin type is just as it sounds – it is a combination of dry and oily skin. Sometimes it could be a mix of all the other three types of skin.

There is a mix of dry and oily areas on the face. The T-zone area is mostly oily while the cheeks can be dry or normal.

The most telling part with combination skin is the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) because it is excessively oily. It’s the part that shines because of the sebum overproduced in those areas. The blotting in those areas needs to be controlled to avoid breakouts.

What causes combination skin type?

Many factors cause combination skin type.

The first factor is genetics. The skin type you have is mostly passed down to you through genes.

Another cause is the sebaceous glands being in excess around your T-zone area. The sebaceous glands are the ones that produce sebum and make your skin waterproof and create a film to also protect it.

The glands are more active around the T-zone part, making it produce the sebum in excess, thereby causing the part to be oily.

Another cause of combination skin is hormones. The way our bodies react to some hormones is different.

The male hormone content is directly the cause of oil secretion. The body reacts to this when it senses an imbalance by producing more oil.

Another cause of combination skin is environmental factors.

Factors like humidity and heat make the skin more oiler than normal. They might make the skin produce more sweat and oil, which causes the skin to shine. While low humid conditions dehydrate the skin, causing flaky skin.

And one factor that causes a combination skin reaction is the products we use.

Using products that contain skin-aggravating or harsh ingredients might make your face dry in some areas and oily in some.

Some products cause the overproduction of sebum in already oily areas like the skin and dry in other parts like the cheeks.

Using the right products will prevent over secretion or dryness on the face.

products for combination skin type

What are the products I can use for combination skin types?

The secret to keeping your skin healthy and smooth is to know what works for it.

You should try to use products that are just right for you if you have combination skin. But this might not be easy because the skin type is a mix of dry and oily skin types.

The essential or core products you will need to pay attention to when you have a combination skin include the following:


No matter what type of skin you have, you have to use a moisturizer. You could have two moisturizers for the dry and oily parts of your face.

Using an emollient moisturizer on the dry parts of your face will help it stay hydrated and using matte moisturizers is best for your oily parts. But the best option is a moisturizer with an oil-free non-comedogenic moisturizer that is also water-based.

Neutrogena’s oil-free moisturizer is not only non-comedogenic, but it is also fragrance-free.

It is also packed with sunscreen with an SPF of 15, making it the perfect moisturizer for combination skins.


When it comes to the right cleanser for combination skin, water-soluble cleansers are best.

They could be gel or lotion textured. They will clean the face of debris effectively without leaving it dry or greasy.

Raya’s facial cleanser is perfect for dry and combination skins. It has ingredients like glycerin, avocado oil, olive oil, and fruit extracts.

It offers a mild cleanse to the skin and doesn’t irritate the skin but smooths it.


A toner is to work deeper into the pores. So a combination skin needs non-irritating toners rich in antioxidants and skin-replenishing ingredients that will hydrate and soothe the skin.

A hydrating toner will minimize the oiliness of the T-zone area without making the dry area drier.

Kopari’s Coconut Rose Toner is a non-irritating toner that offers deep cleansing to sensitive skins.

It is also great for reducing the pores and clearing sebum. It incorporates the benefits of coconut and provides the face with a gentle cleanse that won’t clear the skin of oils.


When it comes to exfoliating the skin, a gentle exfoliant is perfect for this type of skin. It will remove the flakiness and excess oil on the face.

Using AHA and BHA exfoliants will provide a much gentle exfoliation. They will not only leave a lessened oily skin but also revive the flaky parts of the skin.

SkinMedica’s AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser helps to mildly clean the pores of the skin. It also has ingredients that would be gentle on the skin.


A Good Sunscreen is important for all skin types to protect from the sun’s UV rays. Combination skin should use sunscreen with SPF 30 and above. It should also have a soft matte finish or the nose area.

You could add a moisturizer to the dry parts of your face before adding sunscreen to the dry parts of your face.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Clear Spray Sunscreen has a unique formula that hydrates the skin and also protects it from UV rays. It comes in SPF 15, 30, and 50. It is also easy to apply and breathable on the skin.


Having combination skin can be confusing especially when your skin is always shifting between dry and oily.

For you to know whether you have combination skin or not, you have to be familiar with characteristics like open pores, rampant breakouts, flaky cheeks, and the uncommon dandruff indicator.

Keeping your combination skin maintained, you have to use products that will not only keep your dry areas moisturized but also reduce sebum in the oily areas. That is why you have to seek products that are mostly water-based and less irritating to the skin.

Africana Fashion provides beauty articles that would guide you in getting the smooth and healthy skin you crave.