How to care for combination skin: Causes, care and prevention advice

If your skin is oily across the t-zone and drier in other areas such as the cheeks, your skin type is considered as combination. While combination skin is often genetic, it can also be caused by using the wrong skincare which may be stripping the skin of essential oils. Discover the causes and characteristics of a combination skin type and the products that can help.

Characteristics of combination skin

Combination skin is most commonly identified by oiliness across the t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and drier patches on other areas of the face.

The causes of combination skin

Many cases of combination skin are simply caused by genetics, passed on by our parents. But this skin type can also be caused by using the wrong skincare. Many people, for example, make the mistake of trying to combat greasiness in the skin with harsh products that dry out and strip away essential oils. This actually causes the skin to create more oil to compensate while leaving drier patches further dehydrated and irritated. By simply switching to gentler products specifically created for combination skin, you should start to see an immediate difference. Concerns such as excess oil may also disappear completely.

How to care for combination skin

Combination skin types generally require gentle formulas that are lightweight yet hydrating while also being mattifying and non-comedogenic – so they don’t clog the pores. By taking a gentler approach in general, your skin can start to establish more of an equilibrium and restore its protective barrier. This barrier plays a vital role in the health of the skin, trapping water in and keeping bacteria out.

In the shower

Cleansing is a really vital step for combination skin types as it helps to rid the skin of excess oil and impurities. Try a cleanser such as Sanex Dermo Micellar Revitalizing Shower Gel that can be used on the face and body. It’s dermatologically tested and captures impurities while maintaining the skin’s natural barrier. Your skin should feel purified and hydrated after every shower.

Over cleansing with harsh products and soaps can strip skin of essential oils and lipids.

Dr Zac Handler

How to care for combination skin: Causes, care and prevention advice

In the bath

If you feel that your skin’s pH has been disturbed by harsh skincare, you can help to restore it with a nourishing bath cream. Sanex Dermo Sensitive Bath Cream is rich in milk proteins that help to keep the skin healthy. It also creates a very indulgent foam when you need to relax and unwind.

Under the arms

Avoid adding additional chemicals to your skin with a minimal roll-on deodorant that also cares for the delicate underarms. Sanex Zero% Extra Control Roll On doesn’t contain any aluminium or ethyl alcohol yet still provides up to 48 hours of odour protection. You’ll feel fresh and dry from day to night.


A lightweight lotion will keep the body on your skin hydrated without adding excess grease. Apply a thin layer after your morning shower or bath, taking care to pay extra attention to drier areas such as the elbows, knees and feet.


Keep the skin on your hands soft and hydrated with a lightweight hand cream.

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Dr Zac Handler

Over cleansing with harsh products and soaps can strip skin of essential oils and lipids.