Combination skin and hyperpigmentation: the skincare routine our senior beauty writer relies on

Posted by for Skincare

Despite getting to test the latest launches, Stylist’s senior beauty writer Hanna Ibraheem finds herself turning to the same products time and time again. Here, she runs through the skincare routine that works for her combination skin.

I’m very lucky. Due to the nature of my job as Stylist’s senior beauty writer, I’m fortunate enough to test a lot of new beauty products, from the latest cleansers and high-strength serums to exfoliators and SPFs. But along the way, I’ve come to learn what my skin agrees and (sometimes, strongly) disagrees with.

While I’m constantly trying new launches, I always find myself turning back to the same line-up of products in between or whenever I’m going away. Of course, what works in skincare differs from person to person but this specific routine is what works for me and my combination skin type (which has recently become prone to breakouts and has hyperpigmentation). 

While I’m sure I’ll chop and change bits in the future, here are the products that are currently keeping my skin looking and feeling healthy.

Morning routine

  • Serum: Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Serum Crystal Elixir


    Formulated with ingredient powerhitters, such as 5% niacinamide and polyglutamic acid, this Charlotte Tilbury serum boosts skin health, improves the appearance of pores and leaves skin feeling firmer. I dispense four drops into the palm of my hand and massage it into my face, taking it down my neck, too.

    Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, £60

  • SPF: Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF50


    In the spirit of honesty, I didn’t really bother with SPF a couple of years ago, unless I was on holiday or it was a particularly hot day. But as I learned about the importance of proper sun protection all year round – mostly from working alongside beauty editor Lucy Partington, a firm advocate for SPF – it has become as integral a part of my routine as brushing my teeth. This SPF from Kiehl’s has a lightweight gel texture that feels comfortable to wear, which is important seeing as sun protection always sits on top of your morning skincare. A doesn’t leave my skin greasy or with a white cast.

    Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF50, £38

Evening routine

  • Moisturise: Biossane Squalane + Omega Repair Cream


    If my skin feels a bit tight or in need for extra hydration, I’ll reach for this little pot of comfort. It contains squalane and ceramides to help seal in moisture, as well as a hydration power duo in the form of hyaluronic acid and shea butter. One little dollop slathered onto skin leaves it feeling calmer, softer and plumper in an instant.

    Biossane Squalane + Omega Repair Cream, £49

  • Eye cream: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream


    Despite excessively oily eyelids, my under eyes are incredibly dry. To the point where they used to flake up. But then, I found this. CeraVe’s Eye Repair Cream is packed with three types of ceramides, hyaluronic acid and glycerin to restore the skin’s moisture barrier. My dark circles are hereditary and I haven’t noticed them getting any brighter with this, however, this fast-absorbing balm-cream has definitely helped to hydrate the delicate eye area and keep flakiness at bay.

    CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, £12

Additional bits

There are a few products in my skincare routine that I use every other week. While they’re not part of my daily routine, I find they make a big difference when my skin needs an extra boost.

  • To double mask fortnightly: Plenaire Skin Frosting and Erno Laszlo Pore Cleansing Clay Mask


    During lockdown, I used face masks quite often but now, it’s something I do once a fortnightly (sometimes even monthly, mostly due to sheer laziness). I have found that double masking (using more than one mask to target specific skin concerns on different areas of the face) works best for my combination skin type. My favourite combination is Plenaire’s Skin Frosting on my cheeks, chin and upper lip for hydration and Erno Laszlo’s Pore Cleansing Clay Mask on my oily T-zone, paying particular attention to the sides of my nose.

    Plenaire Skin Frosting, £19, and Erno Laszlo Pore Cleansing Clay Mask, £45

  • To exfoliate lips: Lanolips Lemonaid Scrubba Balm


    Some days, my lips feel extremely dry – to the point where they are cracked or flaking. As well as diligent lip balm application, I aim to exfoliate my lips every week/sometimes a couple of times a week. I first used this Lanolips scrub in the back of a cab after a (very long and drying) 13-hour flight. It buffed away dead skin, left my lips soft and the handy stick packaging meant there was zero mess. I’ve been using it ever since.

    Lanolips Lemonaid Scrubba Balm, £13

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Main image: designed by Matt Phare

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