I am a little bit nervous to show this picture of me back in 2012 when my skin at its worst condition. This photo is a bit blurry, but I am sure you can see how bad my skin condition was. Acne all over my face, it is painful, inflamed, itchy and very red. You can see my upset face too. I was very insecure about how I look like, I hate looking at my own reflection on the mirror. I do not know what cause this, food, wrong creams or hormone. It took me quite some times to discover the products that work on my skin. I would like to share the wonderful products. These are my holy grail products that save my skin:
Clinique Take The Day Off and Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam
The basic necessity for skin health is a clean canvas. I assume that we are all wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, and it is important to do double cleansing every day. You can do single cleansing if you only wear skincare without sunscreen during the day.
There was a time when I use sunscreen then clean it with only face wash. You know what happens? Face wash did not clean my face thoroughly, I can still see the residue of sunscreen but I remember thinking “it’s okay, it will be clean eventually”. It didn’t, my pores are clogged and tinny bumps start to appear. I blame the sunscreen not the fact that I don’t do double cleansing, because I did not know what double cleansing is back then. I write about cleansing in this post The First Important Skincare step: CLEANSING.
Clarisonic and Foreo
Clarisonic is my first ever beauty tool that is worth its hefty price tag. Clarisonic really maximizes my cleansing routine. Back then when I often ride a motorcycle and exposed to pollution and dust without properly cleansing my face. I feel like I need something that can deep cleanse my skin builds up. Clarisonic is the perfect device for it; I almost use it every day when I wash my face with Sulwhasoo gentle cleansing foam.
Clarisonic really does help a lot to clean my skin, especially when my skin was still prone to break out. The only downside of Clarisonic for me is that this device needs to change head brush every three months, and the single brush price is $20. These days I use my Foreo more than my Clarisonic because it is more practical and good to maintain skin health as a cleansing tool. however, if I had a horrible break out I will use my Clarisonic again. more review and comparison between Clarisonic and Foreo is in my blog post Foreo VS Clarisonic
The most reluctant product I want to try was sunscreen. My skin type is very oily skin. As soon as I finish the shower and my skin instantly look shiny within 10 minutes. Even if I put powder on top of my face, in 1 hour it will be oily again. I tried a few sunblocks in the past, almost all of it is sticky, thick consistency and my skin got even oilier after using it. That is until I found Japanese and Korean Sunblock. There are so many good sunblocks that are comfortable to use by oily skin that is easily absorbed into the skin, light texture and not sticky at all.
As you might already know that it is important to wear sunscreen every single day. Before I only use sunblock when I am going to the beach after I found the suitable sunblock for my skin I started to wear it whenever I am going out of my house. As I read more about the Importance of sunblock, it turns out we supposed to wear sunblock literally every single day, even when we just stayed at home because we still get sun exposure when we are at home from the window. I begin to wear it every day and never skip it even once. Sunscreen helps to protect skin from UVA and UVB damage that is related to aging skin. Without daily proper protection, the skin will age faster. You may not see the result immediately, but in the long run, your skin will be protected from premature aging. For me, by consistently wearing sunscreen has improved my skin health, I am not easily got tan or sunburn, my skin tone is brighter over time and also prevents my face from the sunspot.
Always rely on sunscreen, not the SPF on makeup products. Because the SPF in make up product does not give you enough protection unless you use the same amount of makeup as your sunscreen.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-sol
There is a lot of type of acid, such as AHA, BHA, Mandelic acid, PHA, etc. The hero of my acne problems is Beta Hydroxy Acid. My best BHA product is Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. Why I choose BHA? It is simply because BHA is suitable for oily acne-prone skin. BHA can get through the oil that clogs pores and clearing pores. I use it once a week at first then when my skin already adjusts to it I increase the use up to three times a week.
My other fav BHA product is COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-sol. This one is a BHA toner, compare to the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant the COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-sol is milder but still effective to clear my pores. My skin produces excessive oil so it makes my pores clogged if not clean properly, BHA product help to decongested my pores so that other products after that absorb better into my skin. I usually used COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-sol when I have hormonal acne. I use it as a toner or if I had really big acne I pour it into thin cotton then leave it on the zit for 10 minutes to calm the acne.
I love sheet masking, I do it at least 4 times a week. what sheet mask I use will depend on my skin condition that day. You can check out my favorite sheet mask in The Must-Have Sheet Masks my skin is oily but dehydrated at the same time, using a sheet mask added an extra moisturizing layer on my skin and help my serum to absorb into the skin. sheet mask also gives various benefits depending on the ingredient of the sheet mask. I usually choose hydrating, calming, brightening and clarifying sheet mask. wearing a sheet mask is also feel so relaxing, it is like having a “me time”.
I use sheet masks only at night right after serum or face oil. Some people use it in the morning, I try that but my oily skin cannot stand extra moisture on day time. I leave the sheet mask on for 25 minutes up to 1 hour depends on the sheet mask, then top it off with a moisturizer. After a while, I notice my skin is more hydrated in the long term with the use of a sheet mask.
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum
The must-have serum is a vitamin C serum. My one and only Mario Badescu Vitamin C serum. It contains powerful Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) to help brightens up the skin. it is also a powerful antioxidant that reduces visible signs of aging and gives youthful-looking skin. I love vitamin C serum because it helps reduce my acne scar, and whenever I see my skin is lack of luster I use vitamin C serum to the rescue. It can be used in the morning and at night. I apply this serum right after my double cleansing routine, then I wait for about 20 minutes for it to fully absorbed to the skin. This Serum has slightly citrus smell, it does not have color and the texture is a little bit oily. The shelf life is very long, for 24 months. But of course, I finish it before 1 year. I keep the fridge so it will not oxidize too fast. Back when my skin is still acne-prone, I use it in conjunction with Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.
So I will use Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant first after cleansing, wait for 30 minutes then I applied the Mario Badescu Vitamin C serum. This combination will make my skin dry if I did not compensate it with hydrating products. I always follow up with toner-moisturizing serum-hydrating sheet mask-night cream-sleeping mask. And I will wake up with radiant skin. PS: do not use Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and Mario Badescu Vitamin C serum to your eye area.
Finding a suitable rich night cream for oily skin is very tricky. For a while I use my Clinique moisture surge extended thirst relief for day and night. But then it is not moisturizing enough on days when I use my exfoliating treatment. Thus, I am so happy when I find Blossom Jeju Pink Camelia Soombi is working well on my skin. a rich or extra moisturizing night cream is very important for me to seal everything on my skin at night time. A good night cream can help to prevent water loss on your skin after putting skincare on.
These products are the game-changer of my skin improvement. I started to notice a huge difference in my skin after using these products. Remember, what works for me might not work for you. Generally the important is to have a clean canvas before you put anything on your skin, incorporating acid treatment in your routine to clean your pores, protect your hard work (in skincare I mean) with wearing sunscreen every day and always moisturize your skin. In this case, I use multiple products like a sheet mask, serum and night cream to balance out my skin. As for the beauty tool like Clarisonic is not really a must-have, however, it does bring tremendous benefit to cleanse my skin.