Lab notes > Skin > Building a Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

Building a Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

Renude skincare expert Melody deep dives into the best products and ingredients for combination skin

Understanding Combination Skin

Combination skin is the most common skin type we see with our Renude customers, and is characterised by both oily and dry areas on the face. Combination skin is usually oily in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and drier on the cheeks. There is a wide range of combination skin, varying in oiliness/dryness. Occasionally the T-zone will become extra oily in times of hormonal changes and the cheeks will be extra dry in the winter. This complex skin type can unfortunately be the trickiest to keep happy.

What Causes Combination Skin?

The oily areas

The oily area of the face is caused by an overproduction of sebum (our skin’s natural oil) in the skin. This area is recognised by enlarged pores, and excessive oil or shine to the skin. This is down to the overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands that lie underneath the follicles in the skin. 

Sebum plays an important role in keeping the skin moisturised by locking in hydration. However, when the sebaceous glands work overtime and produce excess oil the skin can become congested and more prone to blemishes such as blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. If the excessive oil production is left untreated, the skin can develop acne. 

The dry areas

The dry area is typically located on the cheeks and caused by an underproduction of sebum, resulting in a lack of oils in the outer layers. In healthy skin, these oils trap moisture in the skin and keep it supple and hydrated. In dry skin, the lack of oils leads to the skin barrier becoming impaired as the skin cells are not bound together as effectively, which can result in tiny cracks forming on the skin’s surface. This leads to accelerated water loss through the skin, which can dry the skin out further, as well as sometimes causing it to become flaky.

An impaired barrier also means substances can get into the skin more easily, and ingredients that didn’t irritate when the barrier was intact may now irritate, so we need to be extra careful with our skincare if we are experiencing this. 

Which ingredients should be included in skincare routines for combination skin?

Balancing essentially two skin types at the same time can be challenging. The best products need to be not too occlusive and not too drying. Combination skin needs ingredients that are dual action and cover both the oily and dry parts of the skin.

• AHA and BHA (combined in one product). These acids when combined create the perfect blend of oil control with light exfoliating and hydration elements.

See Renude-Approved AHA and BHA products here

• Hyaluronic Acid. This humectant ingredient replenishes hydration in the skin by drawing water molecules to it, without being occlusive or clogging pores.

See Renude-Approved Hyaluronic acid products here

• Niacinamide. This is a fantastic ingredient for combination skin and it both regulates oil production in the skin to manage oilier areas, as well as encourages ceramide production in the skin to support a healthy skin barrier and manage drier areas. It has the added benefit of targeting redness AND hyperpigmentation in the skin, so is a fantastic all-rounder suitable for most skin types. 

See Renude-Approved Niacinamide products here

Building a Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

• Keep Skin Hydrated. Both the oily and drier areas of the skin need hydration to function properly. If you are weary of moisturisers you can try opting for a hydrating serum in the day instead, with humectant ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin. This type of serum will deeply hydrate your skin without adding any heaviness. 

• Wear Sunscreen Daily. A sunscreen will protect your skin from damaging UV rays in your environment. Look for a sunscreen specifically designed for combination-oily skin to ensure it will work well for you. 

• Listen to your skin. When caring for combination skin you need to be mindful each day and assess how your skin is feeling and what the main need is for the day. You may even need to use extra hydration on the cheeks and more oil controlling products in the T-zone from time to time and that's ok. When treating different areas of your face with different products be cautious and keep the treatment isolated to the area of the face where it is needed.

If you’re feeling unsure about how to build a skincare routine to suit your skin, we are here to help. Start your skin consultation today to get matched with a Renude skin expert who can help you to better understand your unique skin, and hand-select a skincare routine that really works for you.


Melody Carl
Melody Carl
Renude Skin Expert