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How to recognise combination skin and care for it properly

Whether permanent or temporary – combination skin needs a great deal of attention and is extremely demanding when it comes to skincare. This sensitive skin type is prone to developing skin impurities in oily areas. We show you how to recognise combination skin and explain which skincare routine to adopt and which make-up to use to care for your complexion and make it look fresh.

09 November 2023 • 4 min. reading time

How can I recognise combination skin?

Combination skin describes a mixture of different skin areas. Normal, oily and dry areas lie right next to each other. Excessive sebum production leads to an oily complexion, especially in the T-zone, whilst the skin on the cheeks is prone to feeling dry to very dry.

Dry cheeks

Feelings of tightness as well as redness and fine flaking are the hallmarks of dry skin zones on the cheeks. Due to the fine pores and insufficient sebum production, virtually no skin impurities appear on dry areas.

Greasy T-zone around the forehead, nose and chin

An oily film on the skin, distinct open pores as well as impurities in the form of acne, pimples and blackheads are typical features of combination skin in the T-zone area. Professional skincare is especially important here.

Causes of combination skin

If a genetic predisposition is the cause of the appearance of combination skin, the skin type can appear in all age groups. Hormonal shifts are a frequent cause for the appearance of combination skin – especially in the case of young people in the period from the start of puberty to becoming a young adult as well as with women in pregnancy. Hormones lead to an increase in the formation of sebaceous glands. They settle predominantly in the T-zone and lead to excessive sebum collecting in the pores.Further causes of combination skin are unhealthy diets with excessive consumption of sugar and fat. Chronic psychic stress as well as taking certain medicines can change the appearance of the skin. The season also influences the requirements of the skin: Damp and warm weather in the summer months or during long stays in the tropics and subtropics increase the tendency to develop combination skin.

Skincare routine for combination skin

Special skincare ranges with high-quality ingredients – like hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, urea and retinol – enable you to integrate a gentle and thorough cleansing routine easily into the course of your day. If your skin is especially demanding, it is worth combining a mixture of skincare products tailored perfectly to the requirements of the different skin areas.

Moisturisers for dry skin areas

A rich moisturiser, which supplies your skin with valuable vitamins and ingredients at any time of day strengthens the skin barrier, keeps the skin smooth and prevents skin irritation. If you notice a tight feeling on your cheeks, you can reapply the cream several times daily.
Moisturising care

How to cleanse oily areas of skin effectively

Chemical peels and special skincare products – like serums lotions and creams with light textures – for oily skin remove the sebum present and have a calming, mattifying effect. The pores are visibly refined and the complexion looks more homogeneous. Even oily skin needs moisture, so after cleansing you should not skip applying a good day or night cream.
Cleansing for oily skin

How to put an appropriate skincare routine into practice

Morning skincare routine for combination skin
  • Face cleansing: Thorough cleansing with mild products in the form of a wash gel or cleansing foam forms the basis for facial skincare and make-up.
  • Face toner: Put some alcohol-free face toner on a cotton pad and gently blot it over your face to balance the pH value.
  • Moisturising skincare: Apply a light, non-comedogenic moisturiser evenly on the face and neck. Skin cream for combination skin is characterised by light textures, absorbs quickly and has a mattifying effect. The formula targets skin impurities and inflammation. In addition, special ingredients like salicylic acid contribute to refining the pores.
  • Sunscreens: Before you leave the house, generously apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Evening skincare routine for combination skin
  • Make-up remover: If necessary, use a mild make-up remover, especially in the eye area, to gently remove make-up.
  • Face cleanser: Use a gentle face cleanser to remove all traces of make-up.
  • Face toner: Put some alcohol-free face toner on a cotton pad and gently blot it over your face to balance the pH value.
  • Moisturising skincare: Apply a light, non-comedogenic moisturiser evenly on the face and neck.
  • Face oil: Gently apply a light face oil with nourishing ingredients, concentrating on the dry areas of skin.
Optional products
  • Chemical peels: Chemical peels penetrate deep into blocked pores and remove the residues of skincare products, dirt and dead skin cells, gently and thoroughly. If your skin can tolerate it, you can use the peel daily – and you should use it once a week at least.
  • Face serum: Choose a serum with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide or salicylic acid to reduce excess oil, refine the pores and smooth the skin at the same time.
Suitable products for your skincare routine

The right make-up for combination skin

Make-up that is suitable for combination skin is specially adapted to the changing requirements of your skin and provides an extra dose of moisture. So as not to increase skin impurities in the T-zone, it is very important to cleanse the skin thoroughly before applying make-up. Take care to choose make-up that is free from synthetic ingredients and chemicals and whose effect is especially long-lasting. Oily skin is prone to visibly absorb make-up within a few hours and make it vanish.Oil-free products do not place additional stress on sensitive combination skin and have a mattifying effect. A good primer conceals redness and subtly banishes irregularities and impurities. Your skin looks smooth and even. With a mineral-based foundation providing good coverage, your skin looks smoother and more radiant. Alternatively, you can opt for a tinted moisturiser, which conceals red areas of skin as well as impure areas and is characterised by a mattifying effect. Powder is perfect for binding oil and making shiny effects vanish fast. Whether you’re seeking the perfect finish or just applying a touch of make-up on your days off – it is important to apply only a thin layer of powder and reapply if necessary.


With its combination of dry and oily skin areas, combination skin is particularly demanding. You can significantly improve the skin tone and make your complexion look more balanced with the right skincare routine. To provide optimal care for combination skin, it is important that skincare products and ingredients are perfectly tailored to the requirements of the individual areas of skin and to adjust your selection regularly. Because combination skin is prone to changing over time, particularly if it is not caused by a genetic predisposition.

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