Combination and oily skin

How to recognise it and how it is different from other types of skin.


Combination skin makes varying amounts of sebum in the different areas of the face.

How to recognise it?

Combination (or mixed) skin is a type of skin that is uneven, since it shows patches of normal or dry skin and areas where it is oily and impure.

Hence, it shows characteristics that are typical of both dry and oily skin:

  • cheeks, cheekbones, eye area and lip area can be normal or slightly dehydrated
  • the so-called T-zone, which includes the central part of the forehead, the nose and the chin, looks shiny, oily and with skin that is rougher.

Instead, skin is defined as oily when it appears evenly greasy, thickened, with enlarged pores and sometimes comedones (whiteheads and blackheads).
If these imperfections are very pronounced, this may indicate a possible tendency to acne

How does it change compared to other types of skin?

Combination skin

The fundamental difference of combination skin compared to other types of skin is exactly the fact it shows opposite characteristics at the same time.
Specifically, what defines this peculiar condition is the sebum production occurring in the different areas of the face.

In the T-zone, the sebaceous glands produce a very large amount of sebum and this causes sebum stagnation and often the clogging of pores, with the possible formation of comedones (whiteheads and blackheads).

In other areas of the face, on the contrary, the hydrolipid film is more scarce and the barrier function is altered, which causes a greater loss of water and skin to become drier.

Oily skin

In oily skin, sebum production is abundant all over the face, thus skin will appear evenly shiny and oily.
If sebum has a denser and waxy texture, skin will not look shiny, but rather dull and grayish.

What are the causes?

The causes are primarily genetic, that is skin type is determined mainly by an individual’s genetic pattern. However, noteworthily, sebum production is very much influenced by sexual hormones.
Not surprisingly, male skin is generally oilier (and thicker) and female skin may be oily to varying degress according to the phases of the menstrual cycle.
Androgen hormones stimulate the activity of the sebaceous glands. Glands that respond more to this stimulation will produce sebum more abundantly (glands in the face, shoulders and trunk areas).

Interestingly,  over-cleansing and the use of unsuitable cosmetics may alter the hydrolipid film of the most sensitive skin areas and, at the same, time trigger an over-activity of sebaceous glands.

Taking care of combination and oily skin must therefore take into account these different aspects, with hyperseborrhea being the primary problem to tackle by using sebum-normalising and purifying products, taking care not to over-cleanse to avoid worsening skin dryness.

For more helpful tips on properly taking care of combination and oily skin, read the article: How to take care of combination and oily skin.


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All BioNike products of the TRIDERM, DEFENCE and PROXERA ranges are developed to reduce the risks of intolerance and are suitable for sensitive skin. Such products are, in fact nickel-tested, preservatives-free, perfume-free (or having an allergen-free perfume), gluten-free and manufactured ​​with carefully selected and controlled ingredients.

In any case, we recommend that you consult your pharmacist and/or dermatologist, who will be able to recommend what is best for your skin.

Did you know it?

Our laboratories have created a range of products that suit the daily care of combination and oily skin.
Thanks to the inclusion of special active ingredients, such as the mastic, which provides sebum-balancing and purifying effects, and hyaluronic acid in 5 active forms, which reduces the loss of water through skin, our Moisturizing and Mattifying DEFENCE HYDRA5 MAT Cream is recommended for the daily care of combination and oily skin (also as a base for makeup). As for cleansing skin, learn more about our DEFENCE Rebalancing Cleansing Gel which, thanks to the Norway spruce lignans included, is the ideal cleanser for combination and oily skin.