The Secret to clearER Skin

I recently wrote about the evolution of my skin here and today I would like to talk to you about choosing skincare products and maintaining good skin.

I usually use about fourteen products in my skincare regime (not all at once, of course) over day and night. In the morning, I use:

  • Gentle foaming/creamy cleanser (currently Burt’s Bees Radiance Cleanser)
  • Toning spray (current Cellnique Soothing & Hydrating Lotion)
  • Light moisturizing gel (currently Cellnique Intensive Hydrating Oasis Gel)
  • Sunscreen (AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30 PA+++ or Biore UV Moist Face Milk SPF 50 PA+++)
At night, I use:
  • Cleansing oil (currently Shu Uemura Brightening Cleansing Oil)
  • Foaming cleanser (currently AmorePacific Treating Foaming Cleanser or AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel, which also acts as my exfoliator)
  • Toning lotion (currently Kanebo Dew Superior Lotion Concentrate II, applied with a cotton pad)
  • Lotion (currently Sana Hadanomy Collagen Moist Lotion, patted on with fingers)
  • Whitening Serum (currently SK-II Dermdefinition Essence)
  • Hydrating Serum (currently Biotherm Aqua Source Super Serum)
  • Moisturizer (current Sana Hadanomy Collagen Cream, or if my cream needs something lighter then Cellnique Intensive Hydrating Oasis Gel)
  • Or if my skin is feeling like it needs a break, I skip everything and just cleanse, tone and use a milky emulsion like Kanebo Dew Superior Moisture Concentrate II)

The secret to my skincare is… I do not have a set skincare regime from day to day. Yes, I use almost the same skincare products every day, but before I apply anything, I always look at my skin and judge what it needs at that time. If it is looking at bit dry, I will use an additional serum; if it’s looking dull, I will brighten it up with a face mask (like one of the My Beauty Diary masks) and then massage in some cream to help blood circulation.You might wonder: isn’t it bad to rotate products as your skin needs time to get used to it? Well, I don’t think this would be the case because while I use several different products at a time, my skin has adjusted to them over time and my skin is not going to un-adjust to it just because I stop using it for a few days.

There are three main things I strongly adhere to in my quest for beautiful skin:

  1. Know what your skin needs before applying anything to it. This means if you are prone to break outs, not using an oil-based product, or if your skin is dry and dull, not using a light gel instead of a heavier cream or gel-cream. This can be very hard, especially if you’ve never paid attention before and it can take some time to get used to, but in the end it is well worth the effort. You could potentially end up saving thousands of dollars in skincare products that not only did not help your skin, but made it worse.
  2. Sunscreen is a must! ALWAYS wear sunscreen, even if it is -30 degrees outside and raining. The level of SPF you wear could fluctuate over the year, but SPF should always be on your face. In the winter, just the SPF in your daily moisturizer could be enough (SPF 15 or more), but in the summer, opt for higher SPF (30 or more). I use 15-30 in the winter and 50 in the summer. A good sunscreen should not just prevent burning, but should also prevent the growth of sun spots and wrinkles.You should be applying sunscreen by the bucketloads. To get adequate sun protection, just applying the sunscreen isn’t effective, you need be apply enough of it for it to be effective. The famous Taiwanese beauty guru Niu Er says he applies sunscreen in three different layers. He slathers on a first layer, let it absorb, then a second, let it absorb, then a third. According to him, you need one tablespoon of sunscreen on your face and neck in order for it to be effective. I can’t do this because my skin will turn into a greaseball, but I do apply a LOT of sunscreen on my face each morning. I know many people despise wearing sunscreen because the formula is really bad. There are other options out there, especially many Asian brands have amazing sunscreen formulas that are light, absorb instantly and feel like you are not wearing anything. My favourite light sunscreen is Biore UV Moist Face Milk. Biore makes amazing sunscreens and all of their formulas have been winners. Other really good sunscreen brands include Sunkiller and Sunplay. If you are looking for something more moisturizing or for mature skin, I highly recommend AmorePacific Natural Protector with SPF 30 and PA+++.
  3. Take everything off at night, every night. I use a cleansing oil as the first step in my nightly cleansing regime and I use a lot of it to make sure everything comes off completely. I usually take 3-4 pumps of it (if I’m not wearing makeup) and massage it on my face and neck for up to a minute. If I am wearing makeup, I will use 5-6 pumps, or more, depending on if the mascara decides to come off or not. I follow up cleansing oil with a gentle foaming cleanser ensure all of that gunk is gone. One very important thing to remember is that sunscreen also needs to be

To be honest, skincare is a very personal thing. There are tons of reviews online about the best skincare product ever or the product that forever changed someone’s life. After I while, I learned to take all of it with a grain of salt. The best example is the Clarisonic, which I purchased last year.Everyone I spoke to said that this product changed their life and at first it felt like most amazing product ever. However after a while, it started to really irritate my skin and now I never use it (I’m planning on giving it to my brother because he is just going through an acne phase as a teenager). Instead I’m using other products that are gentler on my skin, albeit not as effective at cleaning as the Clarisonic was.fadfadfHere are some additional tips from me:

  • Change your pillowcase often. Most women do not wash their hair everyday, especially if you have really long hair that takes forever to dry. However, oil and bacteria grows in your hair and all of that gets transferred to your pillowcase. If you are like me and like to sleep on your side or on your stomach, then all of that oil and bacteria ends up on your face. Over time, that is a LOT of bacteria trapped in the fabric. I like to change my pillowcase once every 2 weeks, but I know others who do it every night.
  • Layer your products if your skin can take it. Many people advocate using multiple different products for different purposes each time you do anything with your skin. This can be correct, but it depends on your skin type. If you have oily skin that is prone to breakout, it is probably better to have simpler skincare regime than layering products because the more products you have on your face, the more buildup you are likely to get. This strongly correlates with my #1 rule up top: knowing which products you need.
  • Do NOT overscrub your skin. I know people from my parent’s generation like to take a wet washcloth and rub away at their face. Not only will you irritate your skin, thinning it out, you will be tugging at your skin which will result in saggy skin in the long term.
  • Expensive does not necessary mean good. I tried Creme de la Mer and it was way too thick for me, but Hada Labo works really well on my skin.

I hope this was helpful! Please leave a comment if you have any questions =)


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10 thoughts on “The Secret to clearER Skin

  1. Your skin looks amazing! I also alternate between diff things, and I don’t use the same things everyday. I think the skin needs that newness every time :p If i continue using the same things, my skin gets tired of it and nothing will seem to work. Great post! Expensive doesn’t always mean that it’s good. I agree!

  2. i don’t really have a skincare regime. if i wear makeup, i use the neutrogena foam cleanser. it removes dirt and oil and also makeup. and then every other day or so i use the my beauty diary. i just bought some more since i was running low. my skin before use to be very dry and now its a lil better. your skin looks great btw. right now i have like little bumps on my forehead but it doesn’t bother me much but my husband is another story, hahahaha he makes fun of me. and you’re correct, things that are expensive doesn’t always work for you.

  3. I’m currently using Bioré Aqua Rich Water Mousse SPF50 PA+++… it is THE best I’ve tried so far… very light weight not a single trace of greasiness… definitely beats pricey sunscreens such as Dior Snow… 🙂

  4. Wow you use so many products on your face. I sometimes use soap because I am extremely lazy, but maybe that’s why I get a lot of break outs. Your skin looks awesome!

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