Combination Skin Routine and Products

Best Combination Skin Routine and Products

What is the best skin care routine for combination skin? What products are best for combination skin?  There is not a true combination skin type so that question is unanswerable! 

However, since Clinique came out with the 4 skin types in 1968, they used the terminology dry combination skin and oily combination skin and it stuck. The term “combination skin” drives dermatologists crazy because it is a misnomer and confuses you and makes you buy the wrong skin care products.

The best skin care products and combination skin routine depends upon the climate the person is in and what their Baumann Skin Type® is.

To understand why combination skin is not a real skin type- click here.

Just in case you are not convinced, keep reading to learn what combination skin routine is best.

best combination skin care routine

What is The Best Skin Care Routine For Combination Skin?

There is really not a true combination skin type. People who believe they have combination skin either have a skin type that changes seasonally, or they are oily in the center of the face and should follow an oily skin care routine that includes a light moisturizer.

The am and pm skin care routine for combination skin is as follows:


Step 1- Gentle cleanser

Step 2- Eye cream to treat any eye issues

Step 3- acne, rosacea, melasma, eczema or psoriasis treatment if applicable

Step 4- Light Moisturizer

Step 5- Noncomedogenic sunscreen


Step 1- Gentle cleanser

Step 2- Eye cream to treat any eye issues

Step 3- acne, rosacea, melasma, eczema or psoriasis treatment if applicable

Step 4- Light Moisturizer

Step 5- Retinoid

These are only general recommendations because all of the barriers to skin health must be taken into account when designing a personalized skin care regimen. Saying you have “combination skin” is not enough information to give you great advice on skin care for combination skin.

Normal skin is also not a true skin type. Click here to learn about normal skin

best combination skin moisturizers

The Best Moisturizer for Your Combination Skin Routine

The best moisturizer for combination skin depends upon which type of combination skin you have. 

Click here to see the meaning of combination skin and what the 2 types are.

In the Baumann Skin Typing System used by dermatologists to prescribe skin care routines, the skin care routine is designed to match the sebum secretion levels of the skin and the status of the skin barrier

So there are two scenarios in combination skin that require a moisturizer.

  1.  Oiliness in the T-Zone
  2. Changing Skin Type

The Best Moisturizer for Oily T -Zones

The combination skin routine for oily t-zones should contain lighter moisturizers. They should not contain comedogenic ingredients.

This is because the oily t-zone combination skin types are more likely to get clogged pores.

If you have an oily t-zone, here is our advice on moisturizers:

 Barrier repair moisturizers are not necessary for combination or oily skin types. The best types of moisturizers for combination skin types are humectant moisturizers.

Why do combination skin types with an oily T -zone not need a barrier repair moisturizer?

Sebum (oil) is a very good occlusive moisturizer that coats the skin and functions as a skin barrier to hold water into the skin. The act of applying your skincare products and sunscreens will move your sebum from your central T-zone to the sides of your face where it will provide natural barrier protection. So you do not need a barrier repair moisturizer in a combination skin routine.

How to apply moisturizer in my combination skin routine?

 If you have an oily T-zone- apply the light humectant moisturizer centrally and spread to the drier areas of the face to move the sebum along with the moisturizer.

The Best Moisturizer for Changing Skin Types

If you have combination skin that changes from dry skin in winter to oily skin in summer, You need to change your moisturizer seasonally. How to know if your skin is dry or oily? Click here.

How to do this?

Retake the quiz when seasons change and we will tell you which moisturizers to use in your combination skin routine for that season.

The Best Cleanser For Combination Skin

Your combination skin routine for the “Oiliness in the T-Zone” type of combination skin will often have 2 different cleansers

The best cleansers for combination skin types are foaming cleansers, which remove oil from the T-zone skin, and salicylic acid cleansers which help keep the pores small and clean. Skin that is oily in the T-zone and dry on the cheeks will not be able to tolerate a salicylic acid cleanser two times a day.  For this reason, you will see two different cleansers in your personalized skincare routine for “combination skin”. Once you take the quiz, we will tell you which cleansers are best for your combination skin routine.

Foaming cleansers that we recommend for your combination skin:

Combination Skin Routine for Acne

If you have combination skin and acne, you will find that it is more difficult to tolerate your acne treatments if you are not using the best cleanser and moisturizer in your combination skin routine.

Acne medications include benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and salicylic acid can dry the skin- especially in winter. If you have acne, you need to treat the underlying causes.  Usually low pH cleansers are a good choice for combination skin types with acne, but your acne skin care routine may need to be adjusted in winter.

Take the skin type quiz and follow the skin care guide instructions exactly.  The cleanser and moisturizer recommended in your regimen is based on whether your skin is producing an adequate amount of sebum.

azelaic acid and retinol

Combination Skin Routine For Anti-Aging

Anti-aging products such as retinoids, hydroxyacids, defensins, exosomes, growth factors and hyaluronic acid can be ideal for combination skin.  However, there are many things to consider when deciding upon the best skin care routine for combination skin types. The anti-aging products you choose for your combination skin routine should treat the issues that are causing your skin to age which depends upon your habits, age, and general health condition.

Best Facial To Get In Addition To A Combination Skin Routine

 Find an aesthetician or medical provider that can design a personalized facial for you based on your Baumann Skin Type.

They can also give you customized advice on your combination skin routine and tell you what products are best for your skin's concerns.

Best skin care product order in a combination skin routine

The order that you apply the products is also critical to have the best skin benefits. You really need to take the skin type quiz so that all 4 barriers to skin health can be taken into account when choosing the best antiaging skin care products for your combination skin type.

Level up your skin care knowledge with medical advice from dermatologists

Best References and Scientific Publications on Combination Skin Routines:

  1. Baumann L. Ch. 10,11 and 12 in Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology. 3rd Edition (McGraw Hill 2022).
  2. https://lesliebaumannmd.com/combination-skin-treat/

Comments 0

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

    1 out of ...