January 09, 2015

My Skincare Routine

Hello all! Happy 2015.
Since January is usually the month of "resolutions", I thought I would share my new skincare routine that seems to be working quite well for me. First off, this isn't a resolution of mine as I've begun using this particular routine for about 3 months or so now and have seen some fantastic results on myself!

Let's begin. I'm not an expert on skincare, nor do I care whether I'm doing things in the right order. I was inspired to add new products into my routine because of a blog post where I read that in Korea, women usually have no less than 10 steps in their skincare routines! I had to read up on it and see some videos myself to see all the products they use. I decided to take my own spin on it by catering it to the amount I have to get ready in the morning and at night.


Tony Moly Eggpore Shiny Egg Soap
There's not particular reason as to why I chose a soap cleanser where you have to foam it up yourself, but I have seen these egg soaps for years now and I decided to try it out for myself as I felt that some sort of foaming cleanser will cleanse better than say, Philosophy's Purity cleanser (which I was using prior). These soaps claim to clear out blackheads. You use the white soap in the morning and then the brown one at night. I have found that the number of black and white heads have decreased from around my nose area and most of my face, but not entirely. I normally don't get black heads so that's not much of a problem for me to begin with. The soap also claims to shrink pores as well and I can't really testify if that happened for me or not because I'm lucky enough to not have many areas with large enough pores.

I start off by wetting my face with warm water, running the soap briefly under the water and lathering it into the palm of one of my hands. I try to make it foam as much as possible in my hand instead of on my face. I then apply it to my face in circular motions, starting with my t-zone and then the rest of my face. I then rinse off the soap with the same warm water, then switch the water to cold, to close the pores. I then lightly pat the water into my face with a towel. One of the Korean skincare routine videos I watched recommended to let the water air dry, while pressing the water into your face and neck. I did try this at first but I just had no time or patience to wait for it to dry, so a light towel pat will do.

(Optional) Face Mask

You know, those fantastic, but slightly creepy full-face beauty masks. I usually do this once a week, generally on the weekends since I have more time. My favorite face masks are usually the ones with red ginger, but I havent met a face mask that I didn't like. I generally keep them on between 10-20 minutes, depending on time (or irritability). After taking them off and disposing of them, I rub the leftovers into my skin.

(Optional) Face Scrub

Not pictured above, but I try to exfoliate my skin at least once a week to get rid dead skin cells. I really like using St.Ive's Apricot scrub. I know a lot of people find it abrasive, but I love it! Personally, it makes me feel like it's really scrubbing off the dead skin that I don't need. I don't find it at all irritating and find that my skin gets quite smooth right after using it.

Face Serum

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster
I had received this serum in a smaller bottle as a deluxe sample from Sephora and had only used it 2-3 times. I always liked the smell of it, but never really understood the purpose of it, until now. This serum smells absolutely amazing and is packed with so many things that are good for the face. It also claims to brighten, reduce lines and support the natural collagen production. I have noticed a slight brightness in the face and a little bit of redness reduction too, even. It's not a cheap product, but it does make all the difference for me in my routine and I love using it. I generally use this serum in the morning.

After my face is fairly dry from the towel pat, I pump the product into my hand and spread it between my hands to cover both palms. I then press both hands into my cheeks, then forehead, nose, chin, neck, etc. I don't rub it into my skin, but press.

Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment
Like the name suggests, this serum is a night treatment to which I use at night. This serum—or rather a gel—claims pretty much the same things as the truth serum, but is more formulated for night time use. I find that this stuff smells a bit unpleasant. It reminds me of some sort of glue or adhesive, but I still use it regardless. The only thing is, I find it dries out my skin a bit more than compared to the truth serum and I find it makes my skin a little red/irritated in my cheeks. However, when I wake up in the morning, it's usually gone by then.

To apply this, I pretty much do the exact same thing as the truth serum.

Eye Serum

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum
I always thought the concept of eye cream or serum was silly and pointless (heck, I may have been right for all I know), but I did feel strange that I can treat everything else on my face, but my eyes! I made my way to Shoppers Drug Mart to ask the beauty consultant there for recommendations in serums (I didn't do the best of research beforehand and was too excited to get my hands on something to complete my routine). The lovely associate recommended me this (quite expensive) eye serum and had given me a seemingly honest opinion and recommendation for it. I've never tried Estee Lauder products before so I was a little unsure. She was very knowledgable about it and i decided to take the chance. After bringing it home and doing some research on it before opening the bottle, I read a lot of rave reviews on it and decided to keep it. This serum claims to help fight against environmental/pollution effects on our skin, to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, brighten and get rid of puffiness (which is something I need in the morning!) Although the product says "Night" in the name, the associate told me that it was good for both morning and night and that was that.

To use this product, I pump out a tiny rice-grain sized blob onto the back of my hand. I take the serum into one of my fingers and rub it between 3 fingers of both my hands and start lightly patting it around my eyes. I had no idea beforehand that there was a particular method for applying product to around the eyes.


Vichy Aqualia Thermal UV
I'm a huge fan of Vichy's Aqualia Thermal collection and have been using this moisturizer quite regular for almost 2 years now. I love that on top of it being a moisturizer, it has a really good SPF content of 25! It also comes in a nice pump form so there's no worry of sticking my fingers into a jar. It's very moisturizing, although the formula is a little of the thick side, which makes spreading it a bit difficult. My favorite thing about this particular product is that it has SPF that's good enough for every day wear and it's what I do. I have very sun-sensitive skin being as pale as I am and I take pride in keeping my complexion that way!

To use this product, I pump it onto my hand, then like the serum, spread it between my palms and press it onto my face and neck, as well as rubbing it a bit. I generally only use this in the morning as there's no point in wasting product with SPF at night ;)

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa
This stuff is amazing! I've been waiting for a product like this to hit North America for a little while. It's pretty much the NA equivalent of many Asian skincare's "sleep packs". This particular product is ultra-comfortable and velvety. It claims that it infuses the skin with hydration overnight, when skin is most receptive to treatments. My skin is honestly so soft in the morning that sometimes I don't feel like doing the morning routine to wash it off. Its texture is quite lightweight and almost gel-like. It also has a really nice light, aqua blue color to it.

I generally use this at night and alternate between this and the moisturizer below during the week. I usually take a small amount from the jar and place dabs of the product on my cheeks, chin, nose and forehead, before rubbing it all over the skin. The product also came with these instructions for suggestions as to how to rub it into your face to relax yourself.

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation
This product came in a set I bought with the serums from above so I didn't know what to expect. I was quite pleasantly surprised as what this guy can do. It's pretty light-weight, but does a good job for the off-night moisturizer. Again, because it doesn't have any SPF, I have no use for it during the day, so I chose to use it at night. This product claims to help fade dark spots, even skintone, and prevent premature signs of aging. It smells really good as well and does a good job at making sure my skin is still smooth in the morning.

I apply it the same way as I do with the Night Spa.

Overall, I've noticed quite an improvement in my skin and have noticed that I haven't broken out in quite a long time! I have tried taking care of my skin in the past but always found myself not wanting to clean my face more than once a day or only having the shortest routine possible which usually contained cleanser and moisturizer or just moisturizer on its own! I've learned better by now.

And now brace yourself for a picture of my -gasp- no make-up, no photoshop, no nothing face!

(oh yes, i've dyed my hair green too, btw :'))

So that's all. I just wanted to share. Take care!


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