Remember how in my earlier post I mentioned I would be more disciplined about my skincare routine? I’m happy to report that my skin has improved so much since then! I have less breakouts, more even skintone, and smoother, glowing skin, so I thought I’d share here what I’ve been doing. People have different types of skin and swear by different products, I know, but I think the basics of skincare are the same no matter what type of skin you have.
First, you ought to cleanse thoroughly twice a day: once in the morning and once before you go to bed at night. You do not need an expensive cleanser, since you only use it to dissolve makeup and dirt on your face and then rinse it off. You may have a separate makeup remover and foamy cleanser, or a set of cleansing milk and toner, or one of those all-in-one makeup remover + cleanser + toner, whichever is fine, as long as they work for you and is effective to cleanse your face entirely.
Currently I use Hada Labo Hydrating Makeup Remover (only at night as I do not need to remove makeup in the morning), followed by Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Cleanser, and Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic to cleanse. People have differing opinions about toner. What it does is remove remaining makeup or dirt or cleanser from your face and return your skin to its normal pH. Some say it’s a necessary step, some say it’s not as long as your cleanser is good enough because your skin’s pH will return to normal on its own within a minute or so. I may stop buying a toner once I finish mine, but we’ll see. I’ve only started using Hada Labo recently and find their products OK. Ginvera, on the other hand, I really really like and have been using for a few years now.
After cleansing, you should moisturise. Like many, I used to think moisturisers will make my oily skin even oilier, so I skipped this step. I can honestly tell you now, I was wrong. My skin is still oily now, but it’s definitely more supple and smoother. The cure for oily skin is reducing oil and fat in your food intake, not denying your skin the moisture it needs. Of course you need to opt for oil-free moisturisers so as not to exacerbate the problem, and carry blotting papers with you wherever you go to absorb the extra oil. Do not keep powdering your face to get rid of the shine, the powder would just absorb the excess oil and stay on your face. You do this a few times, you’ll have a very cakey face, not to mention a buildup of dirt and bacteria!
Since my moisturizer stays on my face almost all day and all night long, I make a point to get a really good one. I use Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar and it’s as amazing as others who use it have said. Hope in a Jar comes in a few formulation, and I pick the oil-free gel kind most suitable for a tropical climate and my oily skin. I’ve since heard that the original formulation is richer and better, but I’ve had no complaints about the oil-free version personally. In the morning, I can skip this if I put on tinted moisturiser or BB cream on my face, and I actually prefer these two as they moisturise, cover, and protect my face from the sun at the same time. I’m currently alternating between Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturiser in bisque and Ginvera’s BB cream, which unfortunately only comes in one color, a color that can still work for me, if a little too bright. Make sure you put something with an SPF if you’re going to be exposed to the sun. The sun is actually one of the two greatest enemies of our skin. The other is smoking, in case you’re wondering.
At night, your skin actually repairs and renews itself. You can help this process by sleeping early and enough (I sleep 7-8 hours a day on average), and by layering serums or more advanced skincare products. There are many on the market, enough to baffle anyone, but I did some research and settled on Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair serum. I put this on first after cleansing before moisturiser. It doesn’t disappoint. I’ll wake up to hydrated, smoother and brighter skin. This is my most expensive skincare product so far!
What I’ve mentioned here are what I do every day, the basics. There are two more things you can and should do when you have the spare time: exfoliate and use masks. Your skin cells constantly get old and damaged, and new skin cells will grow to replace them. Exfoliating ensures you scrub away those dead skin cells from your face so the new skin can get through. It will happen naturally, but exfoliating regularly stimulates and speeds up this process. When you get sunburnt, for example, the outermost layer of your skin is badly damaged and your body is forced to replace it quickly. You’ll shed the burnt skin and expose the new layer. Exfoliation does the same, but in a much gentler fashion. I used to use a scrub, but I think it irritated my skin more than it helped, so I switched to an exfoliating gel, Ginvera’s Marvel Gel. I haven’t stopped using it since. It’s gentle enough for everyday use.
Also part of my exfoliation regime, I use Philosophy’s Microdelivery Peel every Sunday. It’s meant to function like a chemical peel, only much gentler and especially formulated for home use. I find that my skin gets brighter and smoother instantly after I use it! This one is also quite expensive. If any cheaper alternative exists, I may consider trying them.
I’m sure if I do a similar post a year from now I will feature different products! After all, we only consider a product the best until we find our new best. For now, these are my staples and they work well without burning too big a hole in my pocket.