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Causes of Combination Skin

Causes of Combination Skin: A Balancing Act

Is your skin undecided? Maybe a little two-faced?

Occasionally needy and unsure of what it wants?

Well, welcome to having a combination skin – it’s a tricky skin type to treat.

Unravelling this skin type’s common causes and complexities is vital if you want to know how to treat it effectively.

We recently surveyed our clients who have combination skin to understand their challenges, and the results speak for themselves:

  • oily T-zone
  • blackheads
  • whiteheads
  • sensitivity
  • breakouts
  • dryness
  • flaky patches
  • large pores
  • dehydration
  • red patches
  • dry around the eyes

Little surprise then that it’s easy to become overwhelmed when faced with treating a combination skin type.

What is combination skin?

This skin type can be part dry, oily, or normal in certain areas.

The most common combination skin types are dry with a normal T-zone or normal with an oily T-zone. More often than not, the T-zone will have large pores, shininess, and blackheads.

It’s tricky to treat because both areas require a different skincare routine.

A self-diagnosis or just looking at your skin will not result in a correct evaluation. A qualified skin therapist can do a simple skin analysis test if you don’t know your skin type.

A woods lamp is also a great tool for determining your skin type.

It’s unique in that it uses a black light to reveal not only the areas of your skin that are hydrated, but it can also pick up the natural oil production of your skin.

It can determine any pigmentation caused by sun damage, genetics, hormones, and any unusual conditions that may be presented under your skin, not visible to the naked eye.

The common causes of a combination of skin

This has everything to do with your skin type, and whilst you can’t change your genetic coding, understanding your biological parents’ skin types will help keep your tricky skin in check.

Your skin is up against many environmental assaults daily, which can worsen the causes of combination skin.

For example, humidity in the summer months causes the skin to sweat and increases oil production, leading to excess bacteria in the pores, which can cause pimples and breakouts. Cold weather can dry out your skin, causing flaking and inflammation.

Fluctuating hormones, stress levels, pregnancy, menopause, prescribed medication, and even the pill are some things that cause your skin to be slightly off-centre.

This can create dry patches in some areas and promote activity in sebaceous glands, all of which lead to daily shine in the T-zone – which makes sense because there are more sebaceous (oil) glands on the nose and central panel of your face.

If you’re a regular beauty-goer, have you ever thought that the treatments or products you use aren’t right for your skin type? They could be making your combination concerns worse.

Treating breakouts with harsh astringents or irritants can stimulate the sebaceous glands; this can cause more oil production in the T-zone; at the same time, it may aggravate skin dryness and redness on your face.

Trying to counteract dryness with rich emollient moisturisers will only further counteract your oily or dry skin problems.

Likewise, suppose you’re resorting to intensive beauty treatments such as harsh peels or treatments like micro-needling or microdermabrasion. In that case, you should know this can lead to inflammation and micro-tears, impairing your barrier function.

This causes the skin to lose its elasticity, and oil production also slows down, thus making your skin dry. When the skin becomes depleted of its essential ingredients through ageing, it can yield different skin types.

What can I use on my skin?

Whilst you can’t alter nature, there are several things you can do to adjust your skincare routine for it to be more effective:

Cleanser: The best way to look after a combination of skin is to cleanse with an ‘oil to water’ cleanser, which is beneficial for dry and oily areas. Miracle cleanse protects as it cleanses your skin – so it won’t strip it of any protective oils.

Serums: Our skin shots are the powerhouse of any skincare routine and will give your skin essential ingredients with maximum results. They can be completely customised so that you can treat different concerns that are present on your skin at any given time.

Moisturisers: You may have to use a different moisturiser for the oily areas and another for the dry areas; fortunately, you can get around this by using a water-based gel-like Quench that brings both moisturising and hydrating benefits to different skin types, bringing your skin back into balance.

Cosmeceuticals: A+ Retinoid Complex contains vitamin A, referred to as the “normalising vitamin” in the skincare industry. This indulgent serum has been carefully crafted with valuable lipids that are missing, bringing balance and health back to a combination and oily skin.

Breakout control: You must use a controlled spot treatment. Any picking can spread bacteria and make your breakouts worse. Resq anti-blemish complex is a potent spot treatment that gets right to the source – a hero product in our range; it has great results targeting pimples, papules, and pustules.

Want more information on how to treat your combination skin and ingredients to look out for, then follow the link.


As we can see a combination skin is tricky to treat; being aware of the common causes of combination skin will really help you get the best outcome for your skin, simply because we are all so metabolically different. No two skin types are the same.

So to recap; the things you really need to be aware of when treating combination skin is; the home care routine you use, the strength of ingredients in your skincare products, and what each area of your face requires, in terms of proper skin treatment.

The products flagged for this skin type are often pure marketing hype, instead lookout for ingredients that balance your skin naturally; sometimes less is best, so a skincare routine with fewer, gentler products, could be the beauty solution your skin needs.


3 thoughts on “Causes of Combination Skin

  1. Jennie Saunders says:

    I am a liscensed esthetician and I have to agree with you, that most of my clients have skin that is combination, which is a challenge to treat, thanks for the information.

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