What Is Combination Skin? Combination Skincare Guide

Combination skin is a special case: it consists of two skin types, in which some areas of the face such as the cheeks are dry, whilst others such as the T-zone tend to have oilier and more blemished skin. NIVEA will help you with your combination skin care routine.


With one section of the skin drier and the other oilier, combination skin can make cleansing and moisturising difficult, as you don't want to dry out the cheeks more or overly moisturise the T-zone. One way to combat this is to apply certain products to certain areas of the face, but using too many products risks cross contamination. Instead we recommend using products especially formulated for combination skin.

How do you know if you have combination skin?

Combination skin takes its name from having two different skin types. The result is that the T-zone is oilier than other areas and so tends to develop impurities from overly active sebaceous glands which are particularly active in this area of the face. The cheeks are often normal to dry. If this is what you experience, it is likely you have combination skin. It's important to be aware of this, so you develop a specific combination skincare routine.


Choose a care product that is specifically tailored to your skin type, in order to promote the restoration of the skin’s own moisture balance.

Will you always have combination skin?

Combination skin occurs mainly when you are young. The individual skin areas gradually adjust to each other throughout your life, or your skin in general can become drier as you age. Therefore, over time it is not unusual to notice your combination skin care routine change.

Restore your skin’s balance

If you have combination skin, using products for general purpose can stimulate the T-zone to become even more oily, or the cheeks even drier - resulting in a feeling of tautness. In principle, using a gentle cleanser and moisturising your combination skin with a cream that doesn't contain too much oil is recommended - as it will give both zones the care they need. Cleansing and moisturising the entirety of combination skin is important, as neglecting specific areas could inhibit improvement.

No 1: Cleansing

Your daily skin cleansing poses perhaps the greatest challenge: the T-zone needs to be gently cleared of oil, to avoid blackheads and spots, whilst the drier skin areas must not lose any moisture. To help with this balancing act, we recommend NIVEA Refreshing Cleansing Mousse, to support all areas of your face.

No 2: Care

The problem you need to solve when caring for combination skin is making sure that the areas with oily skin are not made too greasy, whilst the areas with dry skin still need plenty of moisture. 


Tip: make sure you use a light cream with a low oil content and apply it more sparingly to the forehead, nose and chin. It is essential that the cream has a moisturising effect but is light at the same time. Of course, you can use the same cream for both zones. But make sure you choose a cream which is tailored specifically to your skin type, for example NIVEA Moisturising Day Care with Vitamin E. Be careful with the eye area, or even opt for a cream specially developed for this sensitive area.

Here’s how combination skin changes over the seasons

Have a feel good summer feeling, for you and your skin

Combination skin in summer

As the seasons change, so does your skin. This is especially true for combination skin. Some people's skin becomes drier from the summer sun, other's drier from the winter winds. As the seasons change, do not neglect to evaluate how your skin is doing, and adjust your combination skincare routine accordingly. If skin becomes drier, find a moisturiser that helps to deeply hydrate skin and lock in moisture, without stimulating an increase in oil production.

Combination skin in summer

In the summer, it is vital to apply an SPF to the skin, protecting the skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, which risks damaging combination skin or creating soreness in dry areas of skin.In the summer, it is vital to apply an SPF to the skin, protecting the skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, which risks damaging combination skin or creating soreness in dry areas of skin.

Makeup for combination skin

For combination skin, makeup can struggle to stay on and may need to be reapplied throughout the day. The T-zone between the forehead, nose and chin quickly starts becoming shiny, and the cheeks risk drying and becoming even more blemished. To keep moisture in your cheeks, ensure you moisturise before application with a low-oil moisturiser and leave to dry. Find out which makeup is right for combination skin and how to keep your complexion looking radiant for the whole day.

Beautiful skin with a tinted day cream

Tinted day creams are especially ideal for playing sport, because they don't block the skin’s pores, which is more beneficial for those with a combination skin type. This light cream means that you can manage without make-up or powder when you're sweating, yet keep your complexion looking even and smooth.

An alternative to foundation

A tinted day cream not only protects your skin but also gives you a flawless complexion. The *BB Cream 5-in-1 Light* from NIVEA smooths, covers, moisturises and protects. It contains minerals, provitamin B5 and a hint of foundation. You can use a tinted day cream instead of foundation. Although it gives a little less cover, your skin receives an extra helping of care.