Fun fact: The beauty industry is one of the most saturated industries in the world. From makeup, to skincare, vitamins and hair products, it seems as though new brands appear everyday with serums and sprays that promise to fix your face, hair and body "problems". I, personally, am a skincare lover and advocate, and have a daily application routine. I'm not so much a skincare junkie as much as a makeup junkie (i love trying new makeup and end up hoarding things....) and try to go through one set of skincare items before starting on the next. It gives me time to try all the items fairly, and only assess them at the end.
However, it takes a fair bit of time for me to go through products and there are many that I have yet to try. Thus far, I have found some things that I really love and will keep repurchasing, while others, I would like to find better alternatives.
In this post, I will be sharing with you my current skincare routine and reviews on the products featured. So, if you're interested to find out what I've been putting on my skin recently, keep on reading!
Before I jump straight into the products, I would first like to recommend one of my favourite skincare and beauty books I've ever read- 'The little book of skincare' by Charlotte Cho. Before I read this book at the start of 2017, my skincare routine was half-assed and I did whatever I felt like on a particular day. There was almost literally no 'routine' and I had no idea what each item was for or why I was actually putting it on my face. Safe to say, my skin was not great then.
At the start of 2017 I chanced across this book which was highly raved about online and decided to learn a little more about Korean Skincare culture and I was honestly blown away but how informative and interesting this book really was. I instantly became a convert for the 'Korean 10-step skincare routine' and started to work products into my daily routine to see how it made my skin feel. I highly recommend reading this book to learn about your skin and why it's important to take care of it!
Now, let's dive into it.
At the moment, I'm using the pH5.5 all clean green foam cleanser by Heimish, along with my Foreo Luna mini 2. This cleanser is definitely on the gentler side and it has served me well despite the slight drying feeling at the end of it which I don't really like. My skin is not particularly sensitive to a lot of products but I do think this is also suitable for sensitive skin. Prior to this, I was using the COSRX low PH cleanser which I actually prefer to this and would recommend more. That cleanser is REALLY gentle and because of its low pH levels, it's great for acne prone skin and doesn't leave my skin feeling dry after.
The Foreo Luna mini 2 was actually a gift from my friends for my 21st, upon request for 'some form of beauty gadget' (lol). This strange looking item costs a ton of money, comes with a charger and you need to charge it every 6 months or so. You can watch how it works here, because it's honestly too difficult to explain (lol, sorry). The 1st time I tried this item, I was honestly very skeptical and thought it was a gimmick. After using it a couple of times however, I was hooked. I honestly felt (possibly a psychological thing) as though my pores were being unclogged after a full day of wearing makeup when using this. My face felt a lot cleaner and even my mum told me my skin was looking better and brighter (she didn't know I was using this so, definitely not a psychological thing! whee).
Whether or not you should spend the money on it, is honestly up to your own discretion and spending power. I do, however, think it's a pretty good investment considering how you can recharge it and it'll last you years.
Tip: Cleansers that leave your skin feeling dry and squeaky "clean" at the end of a wash is actually stripping your skin of its natural oils! This means that your skin will end up over-compensating by secreting even more oils causing you to get oily easily and more prone to breakouts.
Toner was always a product that confused me. I had no idea what it was for and what it can do for my skin. Typically, toners that you find from Western brands often contain a pretty high alcohol content and is meant to clean your skin- some even stings a little! Korean skincare toners however, are quite the opposite and are more of a water-gel like texture that you can apply directly to your face with your hands, and it disappears almost instantly as your face soaks it all in. These toners are actually meant to hydrate your skin and allow it to absorb the next couple of products even faster and better!
The current toner I'm using is the Mamonde Rose Water toner in the biggest size available (it's massive!). This is actually the best toner I've used thus far and my skin loves it. It's gentle, fresh and hydrates my skin 1st thing after cleansing. I definitely find it a good balance between being too thick of a gel that my skin feel sticky afterwards, and being just thin enough to prep the skin for the next item. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a good toner!
Tip: Always look for a toner that adds moisture rather than takes away! While it may feel good to 'clean' your skin, you're actually just stripping it of moisture!
I used to always associate serum with 'old', and believed it was only meant for mature and ageing skin. I learnt however, that all age groups should incorporate it into your routine, but you need to find the right one. Serums have a thicker gel consistency than toners and are packed with nutrients to treat your specific skin needs. You need to find the right serum targeted at your skin's needs.
My skin personally, is a little dull accredited to the many years of sun and chlorine exposure) and is sensitive to dirt/ stress. The current Innisfree green tea seed serum I'm using is decent and does moisturise my skin, but it's definitely not the best. If you're willing to spend for good skin, I highly HIGHLY recommend Skin Inc's serums, which they are famous for. You can custom make your serums with them, based on your skin's needs, or buy one of their pre-made ones. I tried the 'My daily dose of wonder serum' previously and I don't think I've ever used a product that single-handedly impacted for skin that greatly before. It calmed my stressed skin and brightened it overnight. I received so many compliments from friends and family, asking what I did to my complexion. The only reason I have not repurchased it is because of the price point.
P.s I still keep the bottle because I love it so much and I can't bear to throw it away! Skin inc please sponsor me!!!
The classic 'Moisturiser'. I'm sure this is a more familiar name and if you don't atleast have this in your daily routine..... please start doing something! Moisturisers take form in different variations, from water-based, to gel-based, lotions and thick creams. In the morning, I personally like to go for something less heavy, because I'll be applying sunblock and makeup over it and I don't want my pores to end up clogged with so many products.
The current moisturiser I'm using is the 'Innisfree green tea balancing cream' and I actually use this on some nights as well. Personally, it's is a little too thick for my skin and I'm just trying to get through the tub. My skin doesn't seem to react that well to it so I try to put a thin layer each time. Previously, I used the 'Innisfree green tea seed cream' and loved it! It's a great morning moisturiser that absorbs into your skin quickly, leaving it feeling almost silky and matte. I'll definitely be purchasing that instead when I finish this one.
Personally, I find this the most boring step of my skincare routine. The skin around our eyes is probably the most tender and prone to wrinkles as we age. Being 21, I don't particularly have a ton of wrinkles at the moment which could be why I don't see the effects of the eye creams I alternate between (probably a good thing actually!). I think the part I struggle the most with is stopping myself from rubbing my eyes because of itching and dryness. Rubbing it can cause the skin to be stretched out and more easily creased!
I have no particular compliments regarding Mamonde Floral Hydro eye gel cream, but neither do I have complaints. I do enjoy the fact that it is a water-based gel instead of a thicker cream as it seems to soak into my skin better and is more refreshing.
If you know me, you'll probably be tired of hearing the talk about Sunblock. When I first read 'The little book of Skincare', I was going around telling everyone the importance of sunblock and applying it regularly to protect your skin from harmful sun rays. Not only can it result in dark spots and uneven skin tone, but more severely it can lead to skin cancer! It is especially important in this era of global warming and ozone depletion that we protect our skin from the harmful UV rays.
I chose to try this Innisfree perfect UV protection essence mainly because of its water-based formula and high SPF. The previous sunblock I was using was thick and hard to apply without tugging at my skin which made me opt for a liquid one this time. In terms of result, just like the eye cream I can't say for sure it has done anything spectacular, considering how my skin is still young and does not show great sun damage at the moment (and hopefully for a long time coming!). I would, however, prefer something a little less oily and sticky and will probably try something else after finishing this. At the moment I don't have any new item in mind to try so if you know a good sunblock, do recommend!
Tip: Many people have the misconception that they only need to apply sunblock when they're going outdoors for sports such as swimming or the beach. You should, in fact, apply sunblock every day even if you are just running small errands around the area. Sun exposure adds up and you must be active in prevention! I personally put sunblock even when I'm not leaving the house HAHA.
Finally, we've reached the last item and also my latest discovery! This product is slightly different as I don't actually use it on my face (though you can!) but I just thought I'd throw it in here. In recent months I've noticed my thigh-to-butt area getting some signs of stretch marks (idk why?!) and my mum actually told me about this oil that people has been talking about (now you know where I get the inside scoop from lol). You can get Bio-Oil at Watsons and it claims to help with stretch marks, scarring, uneven skin tone, ageing skin and dehydrated skin.
I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and while I will need to use it longer to see if it really helps with the stretch marks and scarring, I will say that it definitely helps with dehydrated skin! I have dry eczema patches at the back of my thighs due to exposure to dirt (bless RAG) which never seems to go away. Using this has really helped to calm it down and it doesn't seem to act up like it used to before!
If you struggle with acne scarring, this could be an affordable option for you to try as well, although I can't attest to that being effective because I've never personally tried it.
Tip: Bio-Oil is more of a dry oil so it absorbs into your skin well and doesn't leave you feeling like a greaseball leaving trails of grease around you, afterwards. An alternative to this that I would recommend for dry skin is applying Johnson baby oil all over your body when you 1st step out of the shower (while still wet!) and then patting yourself dry with a towel after. Your skin will be baby soft!
And with that, my morning routine is finished! I know it sounds incredibly long and high maintenance (I hate it when people say this though) but honestly, just like most things in life, when you treat your skin right, it will treat you right (most of the time at least). Skincare and beauty is all about finding out what works best for YOU and that means it'll probably take a while of trial and error and attention to what makes your skin look and feel its best. Both my day and night skincare routines have become such integral parts of my life that I find it almost therapeutic. It's as important and habitual as brushing my teeth before and after bed. Remember not to flood your skin with a ton of different products and try to 'force' it to be a certain way. Achieving a good complexion takes time and patience (trust me I'm still at the tail end of nursing my post-allergic reaction acne scars from 1.5 years ago). So don't rush it!
If you've made it to the end of this long and extensive post, congrats! As a mini prize and 'thank you' from me, I'll share with you 2 of my favourite websites that you can get Korean skincare at a discounted price for (no I'm not sponsored, wish I was!).
If you're a Korean beauty lover, you'll probably have heard of Althea before. They're one of the more established online stores to get Korean skincare and makeup items from and they have great deals all year round! Their only con is that they run out of stock of the popular products pretty often and don't stock certain items that I'm looking for.
Hush SG: https://hush.sg/
Hush SG is a lesser known brand that I discovered by chance while searching for places to buy products from. They currently have a limited variety of items but are expanding quickly! You can get great products from here at very discounted prices (the only way to get lower is probably to fly to Korea) and I love buying face masks from them. You should keep a lookout for their occasional pop-up stores to snag all the good deals! I went for their last pop-up and got a ton of stuff (including my giant mamonde rose water toner) and was so impressed by their knack in choosing products to stock- they really know what items people like and want.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my current skincare routine and it helped you in some way! To be honest, I've always felt as though I don't have the real expertise or scientific knowledge in this area and have thus procrastinated blogging/ talking about it. But after writing this post, I realised I do have experiences and insights which can be beneficial for people who are interested or want to start getting involved in Skincare. If that's you, I hope this helps. Thank you for reading and do let me know if you have any questions or recommendation!
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