A Complete Guide For Creating a Combination Skin Routine

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Second up in our skincare guide series is for combo skin. Combination skin is oily in some spots usually the Tzone but dry in others like the cheeks. Many times clients sit in my chair and tell me they have oily skin and show me the product they are using for it. It is immediately clear that not only is their skin not oily but the products they are using to reduce oil are making their skin produce too much oil.

The key to picking the right products for combination skin is breaking your skin down to zones. For the tzone, use an acid toner twice a day but for the cheeks, AM is enough. Weekly masking will help balance oil production but pick two. One soothing and calming for the cheeks and a clay for the tzone. Overall, think balancing not mattifying.

Combination Skin Routine

Combo Skin Traits

  • small pores on the cheeks larger in the tzone
  • oily tzone– worse in the afternoons
  • drier on the sides of the face; might be flaky or dry patches

What To Focus In On For A Combination Skincare Routine

An all-in-one serum

I’ve noticed my combo-skin clients tend to use too many serums. Your skin can only absorb so much. Try an all-in-one and then spot treat from there. This resurfacing compound by Ubeauty is great. Vitamin C, antioxidants, Vitamin E, Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, and AHAs in one serum. I like to use it every night and a pure vitamin c during the day.

Hydrate First

A hydrating mist is a must-have for almost all skin types! Mist after an acid toner for best results. This step helps keeps skin hydrated and tzone from being over-moisturized.

Water-Based Moisturizer

Instead of trying mattifying creams try water creams. Usually, combo skin is lacking in water. If your cheeks need a bit more moisture try pressing an oil just in that area.

Boosting A Combo Skincare Routine

Spot treatments and clay masks are amazing for speeding up trouble spots. For masks try applying just to the tzone. If the skin is dry on the cheeks just mask that area with an overnight mask like this one by PCA.

Creating A Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

  • Start with a proper cleanse. Grab some washcloths. AM pick a gel cleanser to clean without drying out the skin. At night go with a balm or oil to remove makeup and prep the skin for a good cleanse. Follow with your gel cleanser. I say STAY AWAY from wipes or micellar waters.
  • Next up prep the skin with an acid toner. In the morning I prefer a gentle acid toner like Pixi Glow Tonic and a stronger one like Kate Somerville Exfolikate toner at night. *** If using Retinol skip the toner step on the night of toner***. Follow with a good hydrating mist.
  • Eye creams go after toner. Always. Never at the end.
  • Go in with your serums. These are a personal choice and I say go for skin conditions on serums. So if your skin is also dehydrated pick serums to help with hydration and wrinkles. For dark spots grab niacinamide and brightening serum. For combo skin pick serums for zone rather than all over.
  • Protect your skin and hold in all of that work with a water-based moisturizer. Many face creams like to add things in like serums or SPF– don’t bother with that. A simple nourishing cream with peptides, ceramides, and glycerin will do just fine.
  • SPF!!! 50 or more.

The Dry Skincare Guide is here and Oily here.

Product To Use For Combination Skin


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