Skincare Routine For Combination Skin

Skincare Routine For Combination Skin

Do you often look at yourself in the mirror and wonder, "Oh my cheeks look really dry. I need to moisturize them." And then you slowly move your eyes to your shiny T-zone and ask yourself, "Do I really need moisturizer?" 

A dilemma, isn't it? Well, combination skin can be tricky to manage, but the good news is that it's not impossible. With patience and the correct information, creating a skincare routine for combination skin can get easier. And we are here to tell you all about it! 

Read on to discover a skincare routine for combination skin that will change the way your skin looks and feels! 

What is Combination Skin?

Combination skin type is quite common if you look around. But what does a combination skin type look like? An oily t-zone consisting of your forehead, nose, and chin with dry cheeks. If you are still confused, look for these signs in your t-zone:

  • Shiny skin
  • Enlarged pores
  • Breakouts 

And the following ones for dryness:

  • Cracks 
  • Redness
  • Flaking
  • Tightness
  • Roughness

This unique combination of skin also brings unique challenges with it. For instance, how do you choose the right moisturizer? How do you exfoliate without drying your cheeks further? And the biggest question of all – do you use the same moisturizer for all parts of your face?          

We have the answer to them. And before we look at them, let's briefly understand the science behind this skin type.

The Science Behind Combination Skin

A combination skin type is a result of genetics, which means it's just something you are born with. But that's not the end of the story! Other factors like environment and lifestyle can make it worse. 

For instance, the use of harsh products can harm your skin's protective barrier and lead to frequent breakouts due to an imbalance in oil production. Or the reverse. These harsh products may dry out your skin further, which may trigger it to produce even more oil to balance it out. And the result? Oily becomes oilier, and dry becomes drier. 

Skincare Routine For Combination Skin 

Morning Routine (AM Routine)

Gentle Cleanser

The key to putting together the best skincare routine for combination skin types is to be gentle. And as you may know, cleansing is the cornerstone of all routines. Keeping these two things in mind, make sure you invest in a gentle cleanser like ILEM JAPAN's Gentle Cleanser

Gentle Cleanser

What makes these cleansers unique is their ability to clean all the dirt, oil, and grime off your skin without leaving it dry. In fact, such cleansers are often infused with hydrating ingredients to leave your skin feeling hydrated. 

In ILEM JAPAN's case, its active ingredient, Japanese Yuzu Extract, fights aging while Grape Leaf Extract promotes collagen production. The cleanser also contains Sea Fennel Plant Stem Cells and Marula Oil, which condition your skin and leave it hydrated, resulting in smoother, dewier skin.

Lightweight Hydrating Toner

Now, you need to give your skin an actual quick boost of hydration that seeps deep into the skin's layers. A lightweight hydrating toner will get the job done.

Hydrating Toner

Toners are formulated to get absorbed deep into your skin's layer and nourish it. Furthermore, they help reduce signs of aging and shrink your pores, solving the problem of enlarged pores. 

You can choose a gentle toner that can be applied all over and follow up with another toner formulated with witch hazel or salicylic acid only on the oily areas to regulate oil production.

Dual-Action Serums for Targeted Care

The next step is to target specific concerns with your skincare routine for combination skin. Here, it's oiliness in the T-zone and dryness on the cheeks. 

For the oily T-zone, invest in a serum infused with the following ingredients:

  • Niacinamide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Retinol
  • Green tea extracts
  • Squalene

These ingredients will help unclog the pores and regulate oil production.

When it comes to dry cheeks, look for the following ingredients

These ingredients will moisturize your dry skin, pamper it with all the nourishment it needs, and improve your skin's protective barrier. 

Moisturizer Catering to Both Dry and Oily Needs

Here's the catch! Just like two different serums, you will have to invest in two different moisturizers for different areas of your combination skin

For the dry zones, opt for a creamier, emollient moisturizer that nourishes your cheeks in a cocoon of hydration. Ingredients like Shea Butter, Ceramides, and Japanese Rice Germ Oil will help you achieve this. 

Deep Moisturizer

Here's a little secret! You can find two of these ingredients, Shea Butter and Japanese Rice Germ Oil, in our Deep Moisturizer

Light Moisturizer

Now, coming to the oily zone. Your T-zone needs a lighter, oil-free moisturizer that doesn't feed into the oil slick but instead gently hydrates without exacerbating shine. Here, it will be wise to seek out water-based formulas, gel moisturizers, or products labeled as non-comedogenic. A Light Moisturizer containing Sea Holly Plant Stem Cells and Niacinamide can be your partner here. 

We understand that it may seem like having two moisturizers is a tad extra, but trust us— this is the way to balance both sides of the coin.

A Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen With a Non-Greasy Formula

Finally, the unskippable part of your skincare routine—SUNSCREEN. Using a broad spectrum sunscreen will protect you from the harmful effects of both UVA and UVB rays. These include premature aging and hyperpigmentation. But you just cannot use any sunscreen. 

So make sure to see if any of the following labels are mentioned on the sunscreen

  • Oil-free
  • non-comedogenic

If the label is mentioned, pick that one! They won't clog pores, making them suitable even for the oily areas of combination skin.

Evening Routine (PM Routine)

Cleansing for Effective Makeup and Impurity Removal

Kick off your evening skincare routine with a good old double cleansing for getting rid of your makeup and dirt. Go in with a gentle, hydrating oil-based cleanser to melt away the makeup, and then finish with a water-based cleanser to wash away the dirt. The goal is to clean the skin without stripping off the natural oil.

Gentle Exfoliation

Are you surprised to see exfoliation here? Well, all skin types, including combination skin, require exfoliation. The only difference is that for combination skin, you should exfoliate once a week. 

Now, what should you keep in mind? Choose an exfoliator that is not too harsh or causes excessive dryness. It will regulate the oil production in your oily areas and remove the dead skin from the dry patches to even the skin's texture. 

And which ingredient should you look for in your exfoliator? Glycolic acid-based exfoliators work best for combination skin types. You can have a look at Face and Body Scrub that exfoliates and boosts collagen with the help of Japanese Green Tea extract.

Hydrating Masks and Treatments

Of course, your dry areas need attention as well. So pamper your skin with some hydrating masks like the Hydrating Face Mask from ILEM JAPAN. It's packed with the hydrating benefits of Japanese Rice Bran Extract and Hyaluronic Acid for intense hydration.  


Hydrating Sheet Mask

You can also choose masks infused with ingredients like aloe vera or glycerin that provide a moisture boost to dry areas while maintaining balance in oilier zones. Alternatively, you can indulge in a clay mask that meets the needs of both your skin areas. 

Spot Treatments for Specific Issues

Whether it's a pesky pimple popping out in your T-zone or a dry patch attracting attention with flakes and redness, spot treatments are the way to go. You can use products formulated with salicylic acid for acne-prone areas. Think of acne patches or spot creams. Similarly, you can use gentle, soothing ingredients like calendula or chamomile for dry patches. For instance, hydration patches.

A Balanced Night Cream To Nourish And Repair

Finally, cap off your evening with a night cream that seals in all the goodness, nourishes, and repairs. When you wake up in the morning, the cream should leave your skin soft and radiant. 

Night Cream

A Rejuvenating Night Gel containing Bulgarian Damask Rose Stem Cells, Evening Primrose Seed Extract, and Japanese Plum Extract can be your best pick. 

The Bulgarian Damask Rose Stem Cells have excellent moisturizing properties and antioxidants that cleanse and soothe your skin. The Japanese Plum Extract takes it a level up with its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to improve skin elasticity. Finally, the Evening Primrose Seed Extract reduces pigmentation, leaving you with a balanced, moisturized glow.

Ingredients to Look for and Avoid

With every passing day, a new ingredient rises to popularity in the skincare world. As a result, it's important you choose the ideal ingredient. Here's a list of them:

  • Niacinamide helps regulate oil, reduces pores, and fights aging
  • Hyaluronic Acid which provides hydration without adding extra oiliness
  • Salicylic acid that exfoliates and unclogs pores
  • Glycolic acid for gentle exfoliation and skin renewal
  • Green tea extracts to regulate oil production and soothe the skin
  • Gotu Kola, which soothes and calms your skin
  • Squalane for light and non-greasy hydration

Hold on! There's another list that you must go through carefully. This is the list of ingredients you must try to avoid:

  • Coconut oil and Lanolin as it may be pore clogging
  • Extremely fragrant essential oils like citrus or peppermint which may irritate your skin
  • Alcohol since it strips your skin's natural oil
  • Mineral oil which can clog pores and lead to breakouts

Besides this, avoid paraben, artificial fragrances, and sulfates in your skincare products.

Lifestyle Factors for Maintaining Balance

Just like your skincare routine, your diet needs special adjustments as well to maintain your body's internal system. Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Don't cut down on carbohydrates completely.
  • Look for carbohydrates that are low glycemic and high protein. For example, brown rice and quinoa.
  • Add antioxidant rich food to your meals. For example, broccoli, spinach, berries and kale.
  • Some other food options are walnuts, flax seeds, and fermented food.
  • Finally, there's water. Regardless of your skin type, it's important to maintain a healthy level of hydration internally. After all, when you are hydrated inside, you'll feel hydrated outside.

Additionally, manage your stress levels. Stress, even a little bit every day, leaves a lasting impact on your body and mind. Some of the skin problems associated with high stress include itchy skin and acne flares. So try including some stress-relaxing activities in your routine, like journaling, yoga, drawing, dancing, or anything else you'd like.

Expert Tips for Combination Skin Success

Now that we've covered the routine and ingredients you need to look for and avoid, it's time to see what the experts say about skincare routine for combination skin:

  • Seek suggestions from skincare professionals and research well to tailor your routine.
  • As the weather shifts, make sure you make the necessary changes to your skincare.
  • Opt for lightweight moisturizers for humid weather and heavy moisturizers for dry patches in winter
  • Stick to your routine and avoid too many changes in products.
  • Read product labels carefully. Opt for fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and non-comedogenic products.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • A 'one-size-fits-all' approach does not work when it comes to skincare. Using products tailored solely for oily or dry skin might exacerbate the imbalance. Instead, opt for products designed specifically for combination skin. 
  • When trying new products, always do a patch test to determine if it suits you. Look for any signs of discomfort, irritation, redness, or adverse effects in the first 24-48 hours after using a new product. 

Achieve Radiant Balance with Skincare Routine For Combination Skin

That's a wrap-on skincare routine for combination skin. Though it may seem challenging at first, you will realize that tailoring your routine becomes easier when you understand the needs of your skin. 

Another very important thing to keep in mind is observation. Closely observe how your skin feels when you apply different products. It will be a trial and error before you find the best skincare routine for yourself.

Skincare Routine

And if you are searching for a partner in your holistic skincare journey, we are here for you! 

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