Combination skin is when the T-Zone feels oily, but the cheeks are dry. A lot of people will find themselves in this category at some stage. Often people are trying to fix the oily part of the skin and then neglected the hydrating part, leading to the skin lost its oil-water balance and usually associated with weakened skin barrier.
Therefore, this 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine for Combination Skin will aim to balance the skin, replenish the hydration and strengthen its barrier.
As usual, we’ll start with cleansing. Cleansing is ultra important when trying to achieve the proper water-oil balance in the skin, because cleansing the most drying/damaging process in your skincare routine. We’ll focus on mild cleansing that doesn’t strip the skin (as usual).
Step 1: Oil Cleansing
Start with oil cleansing to remove sunscreen, makeup, sweat and sebum on the surface of your skin. Oil cleansing is extremely gentle yet effective at dissolving oil based products and sebum. It doesn’t dry out the skin and helps the water-based cleanser to maximise its function.
For combination skins, focus the massaging action on your T-Zone. A few circular motions should suffice, don’t over cleanse.
This oil balm from Real Barrier has a texture in between a balm and an oil. It works the same as any other cleansing oil or balms, where you add a bit of water to emulsify the oil then rinse away. The tube packaging is quick, conevenient and hygienic to use.
Your skin should feel lightened and pores opened up, ready for the second cleansing.
Step 2: Water Cleansing
For water-based cleansing, nothing beats the Real Barrier Cream Cleansing Foam when it comes to mild and non-drying cleansing that creates balance in the skin. This cream to foam cleanser is ultra gentle, yet effective at keeping the pores clear.
This cleanser has a slightly acidic pH, which helps to balance the skin and strengthen the skin barrier. It’s infused with Sunflower Seed Oil, Ceramide, Broccoli Sprout Extract and Centella Asiatica to hydrate, soothe and repair the skin barrier, leaving the skin soft and moist.
The Real Barrier Cleansing Oil Balm and the Cream Cleansing Foam are the perfect double cleanse duo for any skin types. With consistent use, your skin will become more balanced, stable and resilliant.
Step 3: Exfoliating
Exfoliation is another step that’s essential for keeping the oil under control. When your dead skin cell layer gets too thick, your skin will produce more oil. This peeling gel from Pyunkang Yul is extremely gentle but effective. It also contains BHA, which helps with removing sebum wihin the pores. Once applied on the skin, it combines with the sebum on your skin, turns into a rubber dust kind of texture. Massage this over the nose and T-zone area to get rid of dead skin cell and sebum build up.
Use this once a week to control your dead skin cell and keep sebum at bay.
Step 4: Clay / Wash-off Mask
Use a clay mask once a week to keep your pores clear and reduce sebum production. This one from By Ecom is extremely smooth and gentle on the skin. It contains Heartleaf for balancing the skin, strenghtening the skin barrier and reduces any inflammations.
Whilst the By Ecom Hearfleaf Purifying Mask is non-drying, you can always go a step further and use a hydrating wash-off mask on your cheeks. This Rose Calming Mask from Isntree is like rose heaven. It instantly hydrates and soothes the skin upon application. The natural power of rose makes the complexion brightened and radiant.
After cleansing, we need to inject some hydration into the skin to balance the skin. For combination skins, it’s important to inject enough hydration whilst not too much. We’ll again focus on skincare layering, allowing hydration to penetrate into each layer of the skin and finally seal off with a lightweight yet intensively moisturising moisturiser.
Step 5: Toner
After cleansing, we’ll go straight into a skin balancing toner. This Calendula Toner from Nacific is lightweight and hydrating. It feels like water when applying to the skin and absorbs right into the skin allowing it to hydrate from within. Calendula is effective at balancing and brightening the skin, whilst reducing inflammation and strengthening the skin.
Apply this with your hands, the warmth of your hands will allow the toner to penetrate deeper. Gently pat and press the toner all over the skin.
Alternatively, you could use the Nacific Jeju Artemisia Essence, which offers a little bit more hydration and a tonne of anti-inflammatory function.
Step 6: Serum
We’ll skip the essence step for comination skin to avoid over-loading the skin and making the T-Zone more oily. With serum, we have picked the Hello Skin Jumiso All Day Vitamin Brightening & Balancing Facial Serum. It’s lightweight, absorbs right into the skin and doesn’t make the skin greasy. It adds a lot of hydration but not too much. Vitamin Tree is a natural super antioxidant, great for skin brightening and smooth texture.
Alternatively, try the Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence which offers more hydration but less anti-oxidant offects.
Step 7: Moisturiser
It’s actually quite difficult to find a good cream for combination skins, because you want it to be hydrating and lightweight at the same time, which is difficult to achieve. In fact, I didn’t come across one until very recently, when I met the Real Barrier Intense Moisture Cream.
This cream is very lightweight. It has a cream texture but spreads very far due to its lightweightness. You could use a little bit for the entire face. Or apply a little more for more hydration. When your cheeks feel particularly dry, apply a second layer on the cheeks only. It’s a cream where you can control the intensity.
The cream has a silky smooth texture, glides on the skin effortlessly. It adds hydration and protects the skin from drying out for an entire night. It doesn’t feel oily or form a film on top of the skin.
Step 8: Sunscreen
Sunscreen is important to keep your skin from sun damages or premature againg. Choose a sunscreen that’s lightweight and doesn’t dehydrate the skin.
Step 9: Eye Cream
Use an eye cream to help delay the signs of aging. This eye cream contains peptides to effectively reduce fine lines and lifting the eye area.
Step 10: Spot Cream
Water-oil imbalance is likely to cause problems with acne. This spot cream helps to soothe inflammations and expedite the healing of pimples.
Combination skin may seem difficult to deal with, but often the oiliness is due to dehydration. Therefore, proper hydration will address both ends of the problem. And we believe proper hydration starts with mild, non-drying cleansing.