Mistakes I Made + Template for layering of products

I was scrolling through, organizing some photos etc. and came across my skin-pics from approx 1.5 months ago. 

I went back to my old posts to read up on what I was doing then and now, and decided to write this post cause I thought it can be relevant to some of you.

I still get pleasantly surprised every time I do comparison pics and see my skin improving. I don't have perfect skin (as I'm sure u can tell). 

I have VERY needy skin that requires a TON of attention, like a bad boyfriend who won't leave. So it's really a crap ton of trial and error, learning from mistakes and errors and learning how my skin functions/what it needs.

I'm now a firm convert of AB (Asian Beauty) routine but because it's a multi-step with confusing labels in a language we don't all understand, it's really easy to get lost and confused in this world. 

I entered it that way years ago and had a horrible experience - so I'm here to share my mistakes I've made when it came to skincare and stuff I overlooked so u guys can avoid making them yknow~

Identifying with the wrong skin type

I feel like this is quite common and rather confusing too lah. Different part of your face can feel differently at the same time - which is why if u identify the type correctly, then it can help with procuring the right products and using it the right way. It's all interlinked~ 

Normal: This is the most desired skintype. Your skin isn't oily/dry, it hardly breaks out and don't require much attention most of the time. Lucky you!!! 

Dry: The texture of your skin is normally rough and dry to the touch - I'm not only referring to it FEELING dry, but the top of your skin is also actually dry to the touch and don't feel oily or hydrated. It also does feel tight and stretched. This should be how ur skin feels like 4-5 hours post-cleansing/skincare routine. 

Dehydrated: Can be anywhere around the face but happens mostly on cheeks. Flakiness is often observed. 4-5 hours post-cleansing/skincare routine, your skin feels tight and stretched even when the surface is oily to the touch. 

Combination: Not necessarily just oily-dry but it could be dry-normal or aged-oily etc. It's just what you identify your skin to be a combination of. 

The problem occurs when dry and dehydrated is mis-identified which leads to using of wrong products. 

I feel like SWAP's analogy of this is da best. If you take a dry-as-bone sponge, and u pour a heavy cream on top of it, the cream would mainly stay on top. It will seal off the top and if u mist any liquid on top of it, it will just remain on top and not sink below. 

However, if ur sponge is damp, then it can work the top layer of product in better and absorb the products that u put on afterwards. 

For me, I used to have pretty serious oily tzone and dryness around my cheeks. I used to layer heavy products around there and it did help but the dryness never really went away. 

Ever since I identified it as dehydrated and understand that it requires layering of hydration, my cheeks are now 100% normal and they are hardly dry, flaky or feel right anymore!

After a few weeks of observing and taking down a lot of notes to track my skin cycle, I started to recognize what my skin needs and how to keep it happy. E.g, I can afford to detox 2x during my PMS week cause that's when my hormones are out to play and my skin tends to get abit more congested and clogged. On regular weeks, this is just way too drying.

This was sometime last year, when my skin was SO DEHYDRATED and dying. It was flaking very terribly and my skin was literally tearing at the corners. But the surface of it would be really oily still even tho it feels so tight. 

We often hear that dry skin produce oil, which is true! But if it's dry due to lack of water, then layering a heavy cream or oil on top won't be effective because the skin beneath are all so dry, the heavy products are just sitting on top of ur pores and clogging them up. 

Water is also a necessity when it comes to balance skin, which is why when you observe Korean actress skin, it has this plump dewiness which dehydrated skin cannot produce. Therefore, layering of products from the lightest consistency matters because ur skin gets to replenish moisture first before being able to absorb other heavier products.

This is why identifying your skintype is helpful!

Wrong order of products

I feel like this is still a little bit of YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary - not everything works the same for everyone) but if u strip it down to the basics, then it's essentially just understanding the layering process and where to include actives to fully maximize benefits of each product.

I tried my best to squeeze all the key points into this image. It's really the basic skeleton so if u can't rmbr all the diff steps, then can refer to this image haha 🙆🏻 

I won't go into all the details for this bit cause I've alr wrote a post on it. You can search for 'Breaking down Korean Skincare 101' for beautypeadia.com, but you've been warned, it's a LOOOOOOOOOONG post. 

I included the reasoning behind wait-time for acids, and broke down each step into detail in that post. 

Even if u r lazy and don't feel like a 30-step routine is gonna fit into ur schedule, then I also have a lazy girl's routine post here.

Cleansing aka Washing your face properly!

1. Not using a first cleanser/makeup remover 😣 Even if u DONT wear makeup, and u only wear sunblock, this is still a preferred method! Sunscreen is made of chemicals that might not be thoroughly washed off with just a facial cleanser. 

And if u don't wear sunscreen, OMG WHHHHYYYYY. Wear ur sunscreen pls pls pls. Okay, even if u don't wear sunscreen that day, it's still a pretty good habit to just just remove the first layer of dust/dirt/funk that has settled on top throughout the day. 

My preferred first cleanser is still micellar water and I find it really satisfying to wipe and see all the dirt on the cotton pad HAHA 

2. Proper cleansing

Washing our face is so basic and automatic that a lot of us don't think about it much even. But proper cleansing and using the right products is the foundation to cleaning out ur pores and allowing products to work optimally. I have a whole post dedicated to cleansing here.

Too-harsh or Wrong ingredients

Actually, I feel like the heading is abit flawed cause Idk of there's such a thing as 'wrong' ingredient. Wrong use of ingredient, maybe? Haha

I guess basically, it's not using the correct ingredient to target specific problem. For example, if your skin is dehydrated and u get blemishes, and your routine is only targeted towards hydration, then it could be why your blemishes isn't going away. 

If you're looking for posts on clogged pores and blemishes, you can read it here.

Too many products at a go

AB is an addictive world. I would know. I amazon-ed new products daily after starting this routine. It took me a gazillion ton of restraint to not use them all at once - it was super dooper ultra hard omg pls. 

But not everyone's skin requires 4 acids, 2 toners, 3 serums and 5 sleeping masks. My SIL has normal skin and if she goes crazy with sheet-masking, her skin flips out and becomes really dry. 

When it comes to trying out new products, it is especially important to allow a two-week trial period - that just means using that one new product amongst your routine.

This will allow you to see any changes that the product brings about and you definitely know it is THAT product! Same thing for breakouts. If u use 3 new products at once, it's gonna be really hard to determine which is causing it and u end up dumping all 3 aside.

Sunscreen

I always emphasize sunscreen when I talk about acids and photosensitivity but this doesn't mean that u don't need one if u don't use acids. 

Even indoors, on a cloudy day, 80% of UV rays still come through and all these just means PIGMENTATION. 

I am personally freaked out by the thought of pigmentation because signs of pigmentation indicates 10 years' worth of damage leh! Not worth it omg 

Also, I used to think amount applied and way of application don't matter but they all matter! 

Approx 1/4 teaspoon (this is relativity on face size lah and is more of a baseline to go for) is required for your whole face (not including neck).

Basically, if you're using a sunscreen of SPF 50 and u use a teeny tiny amount, the protection u get could very well be just SPF 5! 

I find my preferred way of applying sunscreen is
• with a rubycell puff. I dot the sunscreen all over and pat it in
• approx 15-20 mins after moisturizer (sometimes, I just lessen this down to 5 mins if I'm in a rush) 

To reapply sunscreen, I don't recommend removing makeup, washing ur face and then reapply everything cause srsly, i don't think that's feasible in the long-run??? Ur whole lunch time spent in office toilet leh? Hahaha wtf right 

I actually own translucent compact powder (the one I own is from Heroine Make) with an SPF 22. It isn't a lot but it's good for touch-ups/blotting and make sure I still have spf without removing all my base products. 

My favorite favorite sunblock is still the Hada Labo UV Air one! I use the one for combi skin, I think. They also have one for dry skin. In fact, I just finish my third bottle and I gotta get my SIL to bring it up for me in July cause I luv that so much lah. 

If u wanna read all about sunblock and what does PA, ++++, etc. means, I have a whole sunblock post on that here so do check that out! It's still quite a useful post imo haha