Striking the Balance: Understanding Combination Skin

Striking the Balance: Understanding Combination Skin

If you have combination skin, it’s safe to say that your skin is very different in different areas of your face. Think of it like a landscape with a diverse climate — there are tropical zones, and then there are deserts. You can’t treat these two areas in the same way, because what helps one may hurt the other — so it’s important to try to find the balance between these polar opposites with an individualized approach.

Let's delve in, dissect the complexities, and set you on a path to skin nirvana. In this expansive guide, you'll find everything you need to know about identifying and caring for combination skin, incorporating effective skincare products, and tackling diverse skin issues — from breakouts and blackheads to dry patches and sensitive skin. 

What Is Combination Skin?

The combination skin type has elements of both oily and dry skin. Because of this, your skin needs a different approach than almost any other skin type.

The T-zone — comprising your forehead, nose, and chin — often acts like an oil-producing factory. On the other end of the spectrum, your cheeks may lean towards the drier side, feeling parched, possibly flaky, and begging for hydration. 

So, why does this happen? 

The key factor here is sebum, the natural oil secreted by your skin’s sebaceous glands. For those with combination skin, sebum has an irregular distribution pattern, and this imbalance can lead to clogged pores, breakout-prone sections, or even sensitive parts of your face. 

The Anatomy of Combination Skin

When it comes to combination skin, your sebaceous glands appear to be operating on different agendas. Within the T-zone, they're akin to bustling metropolises, producing an abundance of oil that can lead to an oily sheen, clogged pores, or even an increase in breakouts. In contrast, the sebaceous glands on your cheeks are more like quiet, sleepy towns — they produce less oil, leading to a drier skin texture that's prone to flakiness or even fine lines. 

This oil production disparity often extends to other parts of the face, creating a jigsaw puzzle of oily and dry patches. The skin feels like it can't decide what it wants to be… and it makes it a bit of a riddle for you to decide which skincare products to use.

What Are the Signs of Combination Skin?

Does your forehead glisten by midday while your cheeks have a matte look? Or maybe you notice blackheads camped out mainly in your T-zone, while dry patches pop up on your cheeks or jawline. 

These variations could even extend to differing skin sensitivities across your face. You might notice that products cause irritation or redness on your cheeks but leave the T-zone unaffected. 

Another telltale sign of combination skin? Breakouts that tend to be concentrated in the oilier regions of your face, while dry areas of your face lead to sensitivity or flakiness. If you've ever applied a single product and received two vastly different responses from your T-zone and cheeks, you're likely dealing with combination skin. 

How Can You Manage Combination Skin?

Combination skin requires you to take care of two polar opposites: managing sebum overproduction in the T-zone while also hydrating drier sections of your face. Employing a one-size-fits-all approach can lead to frustration and perpetuate skin issues. 

For instance, using a harsh cleanser to combat oiliness could exacerbate dryness in already parched areas, leading to an even greater imbalance. Conversely, over-moisturizing the T-zone could contribute to a shiny forehead or exacerbate acne. The key to conflicting skin needs lies in adopting a strategic, tailored approach. 

Employ lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizers for oily areas, while richer, emollient creams might better serve drier regions. While you can find products that address all of your skin variations, if you find that the different areas of your face differ in extreme ways, simply using separate products is the best approach.

That said, this may require trial and error, guided consultations with a dermatologist, and a willingness to explore innovative skincare solutions. However, the rewards — a face that radiates both balance and beauty — are well worth the effort. 

Lucky for you, you have us to give you a little shortcut with some top-notch product recommendations.

What Is an Ideal Skincare Routine for Combination Skin?

Crafting the ultimate skincare routine for combination skin is a balancing act. When each component plays its role perfectly, the result is nothing short of radiant, resilient skin. 


To manage combination skin, you need a face wash that is strong enough to cleanse your oily areas, but gentle enough to hydrate the dry areas of the face. With our Starnectar™ Barrier Protect Marshmallow Jelly Cleanser, you can avoid the buildup and clogging that leads to blemishes without stripping your skin of necessary moisture. 

Unlike traditional cleansers that only target dirt and grime, this jewel goes above and beyond. It's infused with marshmallow root, a potent ingredient that offers deep hydration while calming inflamed areas. 

Complemented by licorice root and orange peel, the cleanser not only dissolves makeup and SPF but also hydrates and softens the skin. As a result, your face's oily and dry regions both get the attention they deserve. The added moonstone vibrations bring about a sense of calm, turning your cleansing routine into a spiritual escapade.


When it comes to exfoliation, the mantra is to tread lightly but effectively. Remember, you're dealing with areas of varied sensitivity and oil production. Over-exfoliation can wreak havoc, potentially stripping the skin's natural oils and leading to clogged pores. On the flip side, neglecting this step could result in dull, uneven skin. 

Choose scrubs that pack a punch but don't harm — ones that can lift dead skin cells without irritating the softer, more sensitive areas of your face.

Balancing Serums

When it comes to serums, you want something that’s going to deliver all the nutrients your face needs without exacerbating and encouraging any of its more extreme behavior. Our Lumin Sea Buckthorn Brightening Oil is a real multitasker. It offers your combination skin a rich blend of vitamin C and omega fatty acids to help brighten and smooth your complexion. Omega fatty acids can also promote hydration and plump, firm skin… without acting as an oil that potentially clogs your already-oily areas.

The sea buckthorn oil tackles issues of sebum imbalance, and the Cloud Cloth that comes with it adds a touch of gentle exfoliation. Whether it's reducing the appearance of dark spots or combating environmental stressors, this serum caters to the diverse needs of combination skin.


For this crucial step, embrace the Moonbounce™ 2% Bio Retinol Irish Sea Moss Plumping Moisturizer. Formulated with rock samphire bio retinol and Irish sea moss, this moisturizer doesn’t merely hydrate… it practically transforms. 

It plumps up the skin, minimizes the look of wrinkles, and supports elasticity. The addition of marshmallow root and slippery elm bark delivers that extra punch of hydration, ensuring even the driest patches receive their due nourishment. Your skin not only feels deeply moisturized but also gains a firm, youthful appearance.

Sun Protection

Even as you forge ahead on this journey to achieve impeccable skin, don't neglect the armor that is sunscreen. It's not just an add-on but a vital component of any skincare routine. Given the diversity of your skin's needs, aim for sunscreen products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic. 

These formulations offer high SPF levels to combat harmful rays while ensuring your pores remain unobstructed. Thus, you'll achieve a harmonious blend of protection and nourishment, tailored to the unique symphony that is your skin.

Harmony in Duality

Understanding the nature of your combination skin is half the battle. By tailoring your skincare routine, you give both the oily and dry areas of your face the attention they deserve. 

With the right products and a little insight, achieving that ever-elusive balance is well within reach. So, go ahead — bask in the glow of your well-balanced, radiant skin.


Know Your Skin Type Before Choosing Skin Care Products | Cleveland Clinic

Skin Care Tips Dermatologists Use | American Academy of Dermatology

An Update On The Role Of The Sebaceous Gland In The Pathogenesis Of Acne | National Library Of Medicine

Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun | Food & Drug Administration