It’s been a really long time since I last talked about the skincare products I’ve been using. I was recently complimented on how good my skin looked and while I’d love to admit it’s as perfect as it looks on Snapchat or Instagram, I’m still far from the stage where all my acne scars are gone. My Snapchats and Instagram stories also vary highly on the lighting situation so sometimes my acne scars are less noticeable than in person.
* Be prepared for a super lengthy post.
So enough of this and lets dive right on in. Comparing my current skin to my skin last year, just in time to around the time my most popular post ‘My Relationship with The Ordinary’ was released (you can find it here), my skin’s gotten a lot better and by a lot, I mean most of my acne is gone and they’re all just the leftover acne scars I’m waiting to clear up. I’ll still get the occasional breakout during the time of month or when I overdo it on fried foods but, I’m happy to declare that my teenage acne period is finally ‘almost’ over.
As of the end of 2017, I decreased my use of products from Deciem (i.e. Hylamide, The Ordinary, NIOD, etc.). This decision was completely a personal decision of mine to branch out and try new products. I felt like the products were doing more bad than good on my skin. To recap, my skin was definitely at its worst in 2017 (seen below), in both photos, I only have my brows done and only mascara in the 2017 photo. It’s pretty evident that there was a lot of bumps and acne scars on my skin back then.
Present day, my skin is a lot more calm with less breakouts and bumps. It’s still a work in progress but it’s come a long way since 2017. Moving onto other things, besides my relationship with The Ordinary. I’ve really worked hard on trying to find the perfect skincare routine and I think I’ve almost mastered it. It’s taken a few months and a few attempts of switching around products but I’m pretty satisfied of its current state.
When it comes to cleansers, I alternate a lot depending on where I’m spending the night, either at my sister’s or my mom’s. These vary since I live at my sister’s during the week (we work in the same office) and I spend my weekends at my mom’s in the city as it’s closer to my part time job.
First and foremost, I’m an avid believer in the double cleansing method. This means to use an oil based cleanser and then a gentle cleanser afterwards to ensure that all the dirt is washed off your face.
For oil based cleansers, I’m currently on rotation with:
- Shu Uemura Nutri: Nectar Oil-In Emulsion
This is a little different from the usual Shu Uemura cleansing oils that I’m used to. While its not as runny as the others, this is more of a sort of gel that emulsifies when water is added to it.
- Sekkisei Treatment Cleansing Oil *
This cleansing oil easily removes all traces of makeup, my only issue is how highly fragrant it is. I find that most of the oil will easily be removed after lukewarm water is added to it but it finds a little difficulty removing mascara. A few more splashes of water around the eyes and the product is completely removed.
For gentle cleansers, I’m currently on rotation with:
- DR. JART+ Dermaclear Micro Foam Cleanser
I literally bought this cleanser back in May or June of 2017 and it’s still going! I mentioned it in my ‘Current Nighttime Routine’ post (can be found here), and I’m still not done! You need less than a dime-size of product for your whole face, it foams up really nicely and isn’t too heavily scented.
- Sekkisei Facial Powder Wash *
I’ve always been pretty skeptical when it comes to powder cleansers as I never know how much product to use. This is easy enough, you pour about a nickel-size into a wet palm (it’ll mostly be wet after you use your cleansing oil) and then add some lukewarm water and lather it up in your palms. You then apply it to your face and it becomes the most gentle foam cleanser. I do find my skin feels a little dry after using this product, so thank goodness for the rest of my skin routine!
I was never a firm believer in using essences, serums or toners of that sort but after picking a few up and making the effort to try them out, I admit that they’ve been doing wonders for my skin. Even just face mists have been making me feel a lot better and more confident about my skin.
The use of these items is to aid in re-adding the moisture lost from cleansing and to ensure that any leftover dirt is cleaned out after cleansing. These items also help balance your skin’s pH levels and are great bases prior to applying heavier creams and lotions.
As of current, these are the products I’ve been using:
- Pixi Glow Tonic *
This is literally a holy grail product to many people, I was previously using their Glow Tonic Pads that contain 10% glycolic acid, whereas this one contains 5% glycolic acid. I usually only use this at night, the glycolic acid has really helped with my blackheads while its aloe vera properties have kept my skin super hydrated. It’s also really helped with the bumps on my skin, they’re definitely a lot more minimal now and my skin is evidently has more glow to it.
- SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
I first picked this up in one of their value sets including the Facial Treatment Lotion and a face mask. While I didn’t see much results from the face mask, I stuck with using the essence and finding its slight rice vinegar scent to be tolerable. The essence has really helped keep my skin hydrated and plump. I mostly use this in the morning just after toner and before anything else.
- Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I’m currently on my second bottle of this. I usually use it in the morning before applying my SK-II Essence. This can also be used throughout the day to wake up dull skin. It has a really relaxing eucalyptus scent and makes my skin feel super clean and refreshed.
This is my second last step to really seal in the moisture in my skin and to really increase it. This allows my skin to really absorb and get in all that good stuff while I sleep and maintain it throughout the day.
I’m currently alternating between two moisturizers:
- Laneige Bright Renew Original Cream
I’m a big fan of face creams from Laneige, I really like how their products aren’t too fragranced and they’re fairly relaxing when you smell them. I had finished their Water Bank Hydrating Gel and was on the market for a new one. Since my skin was getting a lot better, I wanted something that was hydrating but also provided brightening effects to treat my acne scars. This came up and I’ve really been enjoying it. While I don’t think it’s helped much with lightening my acne scars, I’ve really been enjoying its quick absorption, subtle scent and matte finish that it gives off.
- Olay Total Effects Whip Moisturizer *
I was invited to the launch for the new Olay Whip moisturizers and at the event, they educated us more on the hydration barrier of our skin and basically how much moisture we were actually absorbing. This moisturizer not only provides a lot of moisture, but also doesn’t leave any oily residue and keeps the skin hydrated all day long. To test it out, after applying a blotting sheet onto my face, there’s no oily residue that can be seen on the blotting sheet, which is super cool! I’ve been sharing this with my mom and its totally Momma Wong approved!
- Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream
I really enjoy the scent of the Fresh Youth Preserve line, I think they’re such relaxing scents. I was in need of an eye cream when I picked this up, it’s a little creamier than I was expecting but it’s done a good job keeping my eye area well moisturized.
There may just be a trend with my oils and serums seemingly to be all packaged in shades of green and brown. Anyways, the serums really help lock in the moisture and are quicker for the skin to absorb, and oils are just my final step in my skin routine to really lock in all the hydration and moisture that I’ve prepped my skin up with and to give my skin it’s last boost.
The serums and oils that I’ve been rotating around are:
- Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
I picked this up back in Hong Kong because there were tons of Innisfree stores all over the city and had heard a lot of good things about the Korean brand. I’m a big fan of the scent, it has the standard green tea scent that I find to be quite relaxing and soothing. It’s pretty runny and spreads easily so I find that even 2 pumps may be too much sometimes. I usually apply this after my SK-II essence in the morning and after my Pixi Glow Tonic at night, I find that it does a great job at giving my skin more hydration and absorbs into the skin super easily.
- Sunday Riley UFO Ultra Clarifying Face Oil
I want to say I waited about a year to get the email that this was back in stock at Sephora. The dry oil itself consists about 1.5% Salicylic Acid to help combat any breakouts and to help with blackheads. I only really use this when I feel like my skin’s feeling very off and I can sense a huge breakout is coming soon. It’s definitely helped minimize my breakouts and has helped with fading my acne scars.
- The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
I picked this up since I heard good things about rose hip seed oil and how it helps with acne scars. It’s scent is a little off putting but it tends to go away. I rarely use this, but when I do it’s when my skin feels super dry and really needs the boost of hydration. I don’t think it’s done much for my acne or acne scars, but it has helped with keeping my skin moisturized.
- Life Brand Tea Tree Oil
Besides the Sunday Riley UFO Oil, this is my other acne-combating product. I use this as a spot treatment at night on any spots that are emerging or already present to calm them down . By morning, they’ll usually decrease in size and within a few days they’re completely gone.
Growing up, I was that one child who was always convinced she’d never get a sunburn and would stay tanned forever. Since growing up a little more, I’ve come to the conclusion that, that is definitely not the case. Sunburns are the worst they definitely don’t help with getting rid of acne scars. I’m slowly introducing sunscreens into my daily routine and finding the perfect one is no easy feat as I’m really picky with their finish and how they leave my skin feeling.
To help protect my skin, I’ve been alternating between using these:
- Olay Total Effects Whip Moisturizer with SPF 25 *
As mentioned earlier, my mom and I are both big fans of this moisturizer, they leave the skin feeling moisturized and matte with no residue showing up on blotting sheets. It’s super light feeling and definitely weightless, plus with SPF 25, it’s the best of both worlds!
- Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50
My friend had recommend I pick this up on my trip to Japan and it had also come up as one of the top products that you needed to pick up in articles, so of course, I followed as I was told and picked two up. One for me and one for my best friend Holly, who’s a big advocate for sunscreen and is always looking for the best one. This product is an actual godsend, it feels a little thicker than a serum but more lightweight than a moisturizer. Even a dime-size may be too much, it gives off a matte finish and definitely doesn’t leave that greasy film feel on the skin. Holly and I fell in love with it so much that I got her to pick up another one for me on her trip to Japan. (Don’t fret though, I’ve found it on Amazon!)
- Shiseido IBUKI Protective Moisturizer SPF 18
I picked this up as my sunscreen and moisturizer on my trip to Asia based on my love for the Shiseido IBUKI Moisturizer Enriched. I had loved the scent, so why not keep that scent and add some SPF into it? This sunscreen does provide more of a thicker feel to it compared to the other two mentioned, but it did the job. I did find that I would have to blot my face throughout the day but other than that, I’m a fan.
If you stuck it all the way out, I commend you. I know this post is super long and it actually took me quite a long time to work on it and to compile all the products together. Thank you so much if you read all of it, and if you didn’t, I still thank you for reading bits and pieces of it.
Have you tried any of these products? Do you have any product favourites you’d love to recommend?
Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterisk (*) were sent to me for consideration and reviewing purposes. All reviews and opinions are my own.