Shopping by Skin Type-Combination Skin

Hello and welcome back to the Shopping by Skin Type series! To find out your skin type, please click here. Today’s post will cover combination skin types.

Combination skin types get the best of both worlds: oily AND dry. This means that certain parts of the face will require treatment for oily skin type (generally the T-zone) and treatment for dry skin type (generally cheeks).

The trick with this skin type is to find the (delicate) balance between providing enough moisture to manage the drier parts of the face while not overloading the oilier parts of the face, but also taking care to not dry out the face in treating the oilier parts (and the potential acne that usually goes hand in hand with it). Often, the best approach is with layering humectants underneath a light emollient formula. Sometimes, if the difference between oilier and drier parts is severe, it may be best to simply use different products on different parts of your face…it may seem annoying, but the results will be worth it once the skin balances out!

Erring on the lighter side of things will be most beneficial to combination skin types. Things like first essences, anything humectant, and lighter emulsions, serums, and ampoules will help restore more balance to the skin. A formula that is too heavy or occlusive may cause extra oiliness/slickness and/or breakouts in the oilier parts of the face. On the flip side, something not moisturizing enough will leave the drier areas red, flaky, and itchy.

Like all skin care routines, be sure to double cleanse using an oil cleanser like the Memebox I’m Cleansing Oil for Oily/Combination skin types or the Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil from Innisfree. A gentle, low pH cleanser will be very beneficial to keep moisture from being stripped unduly from the skin (and we all know my one recommendation for that don’t we?).

Like mentioned above, first essences and humectants are good bets for this skin type. Get the best of both worlds with the Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner from CosRX. If you struggle with acne or large/visible pores, CosRX’s AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner will help prep your skin for follow up with an active.

My personal favorite non-prescription active would have to be the BHA Summer Pore-Minish Serum by (you guessed it) CosRX. I really am in love with how effective all their products are while still managing to be so gentle that it makes you wonder if its even working.But the 8% AHA by Papa Recipe is also a good choice if you feel you can stand the smell.

Humectants under emollients are the most effective way to keep combination skin balanced and each part happy. The cult-favorite Green Tea Serum series by Innisfree has green tea to help with acne and redness, yet is moisturizing enough to keep the drier parts of the face flake and itch free. If you can stand another CosRX product recommendation, their Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap is a light-weight formula that absorbs quickly and leaves skin soft and supple. Hyaluronic acid serums like the one by Its Skin are great for basic moisturizing purposes with this skin type.

For heavier layers, I highly recommend the Green Tea Balancing Cream from Innisfree (even if you don’t use the whole set). There is also the Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream that you can order online or get from most physical Target stores.

Are you this skin type? Do you have any tips and tricks for your fellow Skintuitionites? (or have a name for you wonderful followers?) Don’t forget the Q&A posts are fueled by what you all want to know! Please show some love and comment down below (or contact me privately if you’re feeling a lil’shy).

Thanks lovlies. Check back on Wednesday for the sample routine and product recommendations.


  1. Thank you for these recommendations! I am very interested in trying the CosRx BHA Summer Pore Minish Serum! I have been using a Paula’s Choice BHA “toner” and am almost out so I am ready for something new, but my skin has always responded well to BHAs. I am just starting to fall down the rabbit hole of asian skincare so the timing couldn’t be better. I found your blog through That Geeky Girlfriend– so glad I did!

    Anyways, great post! Looking forward to more.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! This made my day 😊 All the CosRX products I’ve tried (which is a shamefully large number) have all been amazingly effective while not being harsh or drying. I personally love using the BHA serum to “prep” my skin for peel-off masks or other pore cleansing activities. Gross, but it loosens everything up and makes the other products work that much better! Let me know what you think! 😅

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One more quick question for you! So I have some mean sebaceous filaments/bigger looking pores than usual right now. In combination with a BHA serum, is there a particular peel off mask or other type of mask that you have found works well to get things out? I know they are temporary fixes but I am just curious as to what you have found works for you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. BHA (any active) will help minimize the appearance of pores. I’m about to do a post on this, but a BHA plus Elizavecca’s Hell-Pore Clean Up Mask is a great combo. However, many people think peel off things can damage skin, so use with caution. In addition, Fiddy from Fifty Shades of Snail has a method for removing seb. filaments that is basically a BHA, followed by a clay mask, followed by cleansing oil that is left on for 5 minutes. When you go to massage the oil cleanser after its sat for awhile, the filaments will literally come out as you do so. Here is her link to the post: hope this helps!❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t tired any CosRX yet but I’ve heard such great things! I’ve mostly been using Paula’s Choice AHA and BHAs but perhaps I need to branch out!
    I found your blog through That Geeky Girlfriend’s blog, by the way! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome to the blog! We are all glad you’re here ❤️ be careful or I’ll CosRX convert you haha! I’ve actually been meaning to try Paula’s choice. 😊 That Geeky Girlfriend’s blog is so cool; I love her posts on blogging/PR. I’ve been learning a lot from those! What are your favorite posts?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the blogging ones from her are fantastic – esp loved the recent one about the social media links that only takes 5 mins to fix. 😛 Glad we connected – looking forward to seeing more from your blog! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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