Learn more about combination skin and how to take care of it


Combination skin type is the most common yet can be the most confusing. What is combination skin, how do you treat it, and what is the best moisturiser for combination skin?

What is combination skin type?

If some parts of your face are dry, whereas others, usually the t-zone (forehead, nose and chin), are oily, it means that you have a combination skin type. The reason why the t-zone is oilier than the rest of the face is because it has the most oil-secreting glands. These are not as active in the cheek area, which causes them to be drier.

What Is Combination Skin

What causes combination skin?

A variety of factors can contribute to having a particular skin type, yet most of the time it’s our genetics that define it - and combination skin type is not an exception. However, our skincare and lifestyle choices, such as sleep, diet or smoking, can really affect our skin condition and make it more severe, if left unattended.

The oilier t-zone is caused by the active sebaceous glands, the glands that connect each pore on the face. These are responsible for moisturising and protecting your skin by producing the skin’s natural oils, also known as sebum. Sometimes these glands are more active and produce more sebum than is needed, leading to shiny skin and, eventually, blackheads or breakouts.

Meanwhile, the dry parts of the face might be caused by a lack of lipids, the skin’s natural skin’s oils that hydrate the skin and prevent it from drying out. As the dead skin cells build up on the skin’s surface, this results in dry patches.

External factors, such as stress or different weather conditions can also affect the skin condition. Very sunny or very cold weather can dry the skin out immensely, so make sure to wear facial SPF daily and adapt your skin care according to season - discover our winter skin care tips here.

What Is Combination Skin

How to take care of combination skin

Follow our tips on how to treat combination skin to find the balance between oiliness and dryness

  1. Choose the right skincare - make sure you are using the right products for you. Products that are too harsh for your skin can strip the natural oils down and result in an even dryer complexion, whereas the t-zone would become even oilier, as it would start to overproduce sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture. 
  2. Cleanse your skin gently - choose mild non-abrasive formulas that will be gentle to your combination skin. NIVEA Daily Essentials Refreshing Cleansing Lotion with Vitamin E deeply yet gently cleanses and removes makeup, while Vitamin E protects the skin’s natural moisture balance.
  3. Avoid touching your face - dirt and bacteria from your hands can transfer on the face and clog your pores, causing breakouts. Touch your face only after washing your hands thoroughly.
  4. Multi-task - treat different skin concerns with different products - use hydrating or nourishing formulas for the dry parts of your face and oil-absorbing or mattifying formulas for the t-zone. For example, you could do this by applying two different face masks at the same time targeting each specific area.
  5. Exfoliate regularly - exfoliation is an essential skincare step, however, you shouldn’t over-exfoliate your skin. Doing it 1-2 times a week is more than enough to refresh the skin and remove any dead skin cells to avoid build-up and dry patches.

What Is Combination Skin

How To Choose The Best Moisturiser for Combination Skin

Moisturising combination skin can be challenging - if you apply a rich moisturiser to nourish the dry areas, the shine-prone zones can become oilier. That’s why multitasking and using separate products to treat different skin concerns is important. 

For the oily areas, you should use lightweight but effective formulas that will hydrate your skin without clogging the pores and making your t-zone shiny. For dry spots, you should use richer nourishment.

The key is to learn to layer your products to achieve effective results. The best moisturiser for combination skin should be lightweight and contain potent beneficial moisturising ingredients that won’t trigger sebum overproduction, for example, jojoba oil or hyaluronic acid. To accommodate areas the moisturiser is not rich enough for, layer a nourishing face serum, face oil or emollient booster - this way you’ll be fully covered!

NIVEA 24h Mattifying Day Cream is one of our best moisturisers for combination skin. It's enriched with minerals and antioxidants for a shine-reduced complexion. The cream provides intense 24h moisture while balancing the skin’s sebum production levels and protects it from the external factors and stress.