What is Combination Skin?

What is the Combination Skin Type?

Our Skin Type Solutions Skin Type Quiz evaluates your skin’s barrier function and your production of sebum and diagnoses you as either a dry skin type or an oily skin type. It does not have a category for combination skin. There is a misperception that there is a combination skin type (also called a dry combination skin type or a oily combination type). These are misnomers.  There is no such thing scientifically as combination skin and there is no dermatologic category of combination skin. However, we will use the word combination skin type here in this description to make our point.

What Is Combination Skin?

Are you confused about the meaning of the term combination skin?  That is because combination skin is not a real skin type.  Combination skin was first described by Helena Rubenstein and is a term used by non-dermatologists to describe one of two situations:

1. Changing Skin Type - The skin is dry in low humidity and cold environments and skin is oily in hot humid environments. In this situation- the Baumann Skin Type changes seasonally – dry skin type in the winter and oily skin type in the summer.

2. Oiliness in the T-Zone - The skin  feels oily and dry at the same time. Why do your cheeks feel dry when your t- zone is oily? Everyone’s face has more oil glands in the T- zone than on the sides of the face. When the t-zone sebaceous glands make enough oil to coat the skin and repair the skin barrier- the skin is categorized as a Normal Oily Baumann Skin Type.  When the oil glands in the t- zone do not make enough oil to coat the cheeks- this is considered a Dry Baumann Skin Type.  So- if you have an oily t- zone- do not assume you are a combination or oily skin type. You might still have dry skin and an oily t- zone.

You do not need to worry about the definition of combination skin and if you have oily combination skin or dry combination skin because our skin type test will identify your skin type in 3 minutes (hint- it will not be called combination skin). Our quiz will assign you to an oily or dry skin type so that you will get the best skin care recommendations for your skin.

 The Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin

The best moisturizer for combination skin depends upon which type of combination skin you have. (see above). In the Skin Type Solutions System-the personalized skin care routines for “Oiliness in the T-Zone” combination skin will contain lighter moisturizers with less lipids (oils) than those recommended for dry skin types and will not have barrier repair ingredients.  Barrier repair ingredients are not necessary for facial skin that is oily and dry at the same time. 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. Always apply a light moisturizer centrally and spread to the drier areas of the face to move the sebum along with the moisturizer.

The Best Cleanser For Combination Skin 

The personalized skin care routines 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”. 

How To Know If You Have Combination Skin?

Easy! You don’t!!! Take the skin type quiz to find out what your scientific skin type really is. It takes 3 minutes and will tell you accurately what your skin type is.  We suggest retaking the skin type quiz seasonally to see if your skin type changes with the climate.

Trust The Skin Type Test to See If Skin is Oily or Dry

The Skin Type Solutions Skin Type Quiz has been tested on hundreds of thousands of people and has been shown to accurately designate skin as an oily skin type or a dry skin type. In fact- most people guess incorrectly how much oily their skin makes, so a quiz is MUCH MORE RELIABLE than what you self-perceive when it comes to determining if your skin is oily or dry. The skin type quiz is designed to determine whether your skin is very dry, dry, oily or very oily. In this Baumann Skin Typing System oily skin is what you call “normal skin” and is the desired skin type because oily skin makes enough sebum to help the skin hold onto water. You need oil on the skin for it to act “normal”.  The quiz differentiates between normal oily skin and very oily skin and this is taken into consideration in the personalized skin care routine advice that you receive once you take the skin type quiz.

Combination Skin Does Not Exist in the Baumann Skin Typing System

Your combination skin type is scientifically categorized as either oily or dry. There is no such thing as combination skin. Your Baumann Skin Type can change from oily to dry with the seasons, hormones, stress and diet and lifestyle. Or your combination skin can be oily in the T-zone or dry on the cheeks in which case it will be classified as oily skin. “Oily skin” in the Baumann Skin Typing System means skin that makes an adequate or excessive amount of sebum (oil).  Normal skin is considered as oily skin because normal skin makes an adequate amount of sebum. The combination skin type that has oiliness in the T-zone and dryness on the cheeks is classified as oily skin in the Baumann Skin Typing System.  The good news is- if you think you have combination skin- you most likely have the healthiest of skin hydration levels- not too dry and not too oily.  The ideal skin type is classified as oily skin. (See Baumann Skin type 10 ORNT).

Best Products For Combination Skin 

Combination Skin Care 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 for your type of combination skin.  Acne medications include benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and salicylic acid can dry the skin- especially 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.

Combination Skin Care Routine For Anti-Aging

Anti-aging products such as retinoids, hydroxyacids, defensins, 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 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.  

Best Facial For Combination Skin

If you read the explanation above, you know that here is no such thing as a combination skin type. You can find an aesthetician here that can design a personalized facial for you based on your Baumann Skin Type.

Once you accurately determine your skin type, you will receive exact instructions on what products to use on your combination skin.  If your regimen stops working- re take the quiz.  Most likely- if you are reading this article- your skin type changes in the winter and summer and you will need two different skin care regimens depending on the ambient humidity.



© 2006 - 2021 Skin Type Solutions