Updated Skincare Routine

It's the time of the year I tell u all the steps to my skincare routine! I've been looking forward to post this, cause it's been awhile, hasn't it? 

I'm gonna start by being long-winded as usual first. Ever since I started on my Korean skincare routine, I've never really looked back. In fact, I've just gone 10x more intense and have spent a ton of free time researching it hahaha no ragrats. I feel like I know the shelf products better now. 

I used to not ever even look at Korean skincare be it Etude House or Laneige, cause it was so intimidating! I grew up on Seventeen and Cleo magazines so I've got my Western routine down to a pat. Didn't help that I don't understand Korean right? Hahahaha 

But I think I've gotten a few lessons out of all my research so far and let me share share for the benefit of girls who are just starting out.

Light to Heavy (Consistency)

This is pretty important cause it is basically how it all works for this layering technique. Your toner would normally be very watery and light and should be one of ur first product to go on to replace the immediate loss of moisture after u wash ur face. I'll number the entire routine right at the end okay! 

Companies have plenty of names for products nowadays so your best bet for application is to see its texture so u can kinda know where to include the product into ur routine.

Treatment

When u layer ur products, u don't have to put ALL of them all over your face. Just go for where is necessary. When I apply my serum, I only use it on my cheeks and forehead cause that's where I want to get clearer, brighter skin. When I apply my BHA, I only use it on my tzone cause my cheeks hardly breakout. It really depends. 

I must add, if ur skin issue is breakouts and blemishes, then maybe target that first because the Korean skincare tend to target issues like brightening, hydrating, firming etc. 

But yes, say for example, you're suffering from breakouts and blemishes on ur cheeks, then perhaps don't pile on hydrating/brightening products cause that's not the problem ATM. Go for something with salicylic acid instead of ingredients like benzoyl peroxide cause u want to nip the problem in the bud and not just treat it on the surface. 

I also personally find that Western BHAs have worked for me better but I must admit I haven't been very adventurous with Korean ones - trying only 2 brands, I think. Both didn't do anything for me and I just had to go back to Western ones. Any recommendations here? I'm feeling adventurous hahaha

Target

I am falling madly in love with this step and basically, I use this step to tackle issues like brightening, hydrating, anti-aging etc. 

I find that that's what my skin currently needs. I don't normally breakout on my cheeks area so I'm looking for products to brighten up the skin tone, make sure my cheeks are hydrated and not flaky. Serums/essence/ampoules are what u use to target.

Less is more sometimes

I personally am a HUGE fan of the Laneige White Renew line but after trying the entire line out, I find that the emulsion don't do anything for me so I stopped using it. 

U really don't have to use a whole range from a brand to see efficacy. Especially if u add on 7 new products on ur face suddenly, u really won't be able to tell what's working or what's irritating ur skin. 

Whenever I get emails from girls asking about sudden breakouts, I normally reply with - what are you using and what new products did u add in? 

If u suspect its a new product e.g. X, then just try product X by itself (with ur USUAL routine) and see what it does. Don't add in a whole range suddenly especially if ur skin is sensitive, yknow? 

2-3 weeks would normally be a good time line to judge a product. 

Also, less is more goes for sheet-masking as well but I'll explain it down below.

Okay! I'm done with being long-winded. Now I'll talk about my routine and I'll just explain more as I talk about the steps with the products I use! 

Is this scaring any one of u alr HAHAHHAHA My husband walked into the bathroom while I was doing this and asked why I was putting my stuff into a box. Told him it was my skincare routine and I'm taking pictures yknow. 

He went, 'ALL of these goes on ur face?' 

HAHAHAHAHAH I burst out laughing. 

Okay. No. It doesn't. Not all at once anyway. So let's just get into it.

Double-cleansing

Double cleansing is highly important in the Asian skincare world. It differs from its Western counterpart where toner is used to remove 'leftover residual dirt and makeup' after cleansing.

In Asia, we were taught to completely remove traces of makeup and sunblock before cleansing your face. By the time u start applying ur skincare, your face should be fully clean already. 

Now if u ask me, of course the Asian one makes more sense! I don't wanna start applying my skincare on top of 'residual dirt and leftover makeup'. Also, cleansers might not fully remove ur makeup and sunblock which has chemical ingredients that require a proper remover. 

I use micellar water to remove my makeup/sunblock. Once every 2 weeks, I'll do oil-cleansing. U can oil-cleanse daily, every other day, it's a personal preference lah. For me, it's too heavy so I prefer it every 2wks.

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Rmbr when I bought the Pixi cleanser, I was out of my Neutrogena one? Well, I went and bought another one. Sorry Pixi. 

The Neutrogena cleanser is really my HG of ALL TIME. All freaking time. I like the combo of it with the Foreo even more. 

The Pixi one is great when my skin feels more sluggish than usual. It's really a clay cleanser and feels a little heavy for everyday use. 

1️⃣ Remove makeup with micellar water/OCM
2️⃣ Cleanse with cleanser + Foreo

Exfoliate

Exfoliate can include both physical and chemical exfoliations. It really is what u prefer. A physical exfoliator comes in the form of scrubs typically. Chemical will be leave-on and includes AHA, BHA, PHA

Once every month, I will use my Freeman Black Sugar and Charcoal Mask but on a daily basis, I use my beloved CNP. 

CNP is a form of PHA (chemical exfoliator) and it exfoliates cells to boost absorption of products that goes on top. So I like to use this as a first step before I even start on anything. However, ever since I came back from SG and my skin got all wonky, I feel like it's not performing optimally somehow?

So I actually went back to my beloved Pixi Glow Tonic (and stopped the CNP for 2 weeks). This shit is da bombzzz. I love u so much. 

After my skin calmed down, I tried the Dr. Wu's Daily Renewal and liked it a lot too! But it is really expensive for the amount. I only use this 1week in a month now just to give it a boost. It's really v ex imo.

This is also part of exfoliation but I separated it cause it's a...separate exfoliation, I guess.

As y'all know, the LRP Effaclar K is another of my absolute HG for blackheads/whiteheads/sebaceous filaments/blemish. I apply this all over my tzone and massaged it into my skin there; esp around nose and sides of nose.

This is different from CNP cause it's a BHA and it can penetrate pores with sebum and has anti-bacterial properties. 

If ur skin is normal and u don't wish to add unnecessary exfoliation, then just use a physical exfoliation once a week! Don't need to add on unnecessary things lah. 

If ur main problem is aging or pigmentation, try an AHA. 

If ur main problem is clogged pores, blemishes, then try BHA! 

If both AHA and BHA are too strong for ur skin, try a more gentle AHA acid like Dr. Wu's Mandelic Acid or a PHA like CNP Peeling Boost.

3️⃣ Exfoliate

Replenish

After you wash your face and dry it, it starts losing moisture and u want to replace it first. This is before your moisturizer cause think of that as a final seal. But pls remember - if u alr have blemishes and wanna treat that first, then just go with a BHA and finish with a gentle moisturizer.

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I alternate between these two for this step! Boston's weather is erratic af these days so I really have to judge and see. 

On days that I feel like it's extra dry, I use the Laneige one. If I want to brighten it up, I'll use the Estée Lauder Microessence. 

Choose a toner that serves ur need and u shld notice that ur toner's texture is really watery which goes all the way back up to my first point on consistency. 

My problem areas tend to be on my chin, nose and forehead so I already use BHA there. My cheeks get dry here so this is the area where replenish comes in. I do use a little on my forehead so for me, this step goes above my BHA exfoliator.

There's several ways u can apply this step - pour a few drops on a cotton pad and pat on the areas u want. I prefer not to swipe so the products beneath don't get cleaned away. 

You can also pour a few drops and pat it in. I like this the best cause I feel like there's no wastage. Sometimes, if I'm lazy, I'll be slightly more generous and pour into a thin cotton pad and just leave one sheet each on my cheek and one on my forehead as well and leave it for maybe a minute? 

4️⃣ Replenish moisture

Target

This is where products meant to target specific issues come in and they are normally potent.

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Weather is stabilizing but it was hell the past few weeks. We would have -19°C on one day and it'd be so windy and then we'd have a 11°C sunny day, and then a rainy average 4°C on others. 

There would be days when an oil would just be sufficient and then there would be some I HAVE to use moisturizer and oil at the same time just to get rid of dryness. It's crazy.

I split some coffee on my rug and went to rinse it. Had to hang it outside to dry. Forgot that it was -4°C today and that water turns to ice in subzero temps. So now I have icicles. I'll never be able to dry this naturally till summer rolls around.

I need to add again, I don't use all three on my face at the same time. I switch them up as and when I feel like I need to change things up.

So on super windy cold days when the heater is switched on the entire day and the air gets super dry, I am loving the Laneige Water Bank Essence_Ex. It has a slight tacky texture and leaves my skin very QQ. 

The White Plus Renew is another one of my HG! I love using this but I'm running VERY low on this so I'm being v stingy with it. This and the sleeping capsule mask is my top faves from this range. I can't wait to try the new line, speaking of which.

I think out of all 3 Glossier's supers, I prefer the Super Glow more. I don't feel like it really does MUCH but it does keep my skin rather soft on days I use it so I'm just sticking with it. 

5️⃣ Target problems

Moisturize

I really wish this is even as basic as it sounds. If u have normal skin, most moisturizers would work for u. If you have oily skin, pick a gel over a cream cause a gel is way lighter and not as heavy. If u feel like a gel is not sufficient, u can always use a cream at night where u don't hafta worry about being overly-oily in the day. If u r a somewhat in-between, there's always gel-creme moisturizer. Then if u r really dry, there's cream based or stuff with ceramide or hylauronic acid etc. 

Then there's also facial oils which I really feel is suitable for really everyone. And u can also mix oils with moisturizer to boost hydration. 

See what I mean lmao wtf I can write a book on this shit

I feel like a scientist in a lab every night cause I've taken to mixing oils with moisturizers and imma be like, 'what should I mix this with and how much can I add before it's too much' 

Joking. 

Okay, let me break it down.

On days when there's slight humidity, I like to just use the Laneige Waterbank Gel Cream. It's light but still provides the hydration. V suitable on better days here. I personally still like the Renew White Plus moisturizer but I finished mine and haven't replaced it.

Idk why but the Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid is only so-so for me. I was so looking forward to it cause so many of u like it. Sad. But it does its job of just retaining moisture but on really dry days, it's just not enough still. 

But my favourite combination is using 2-3 drops of either the NUXE dry oil or RHO (all my facial oils post can be found on beautypeadia.com k), with 4-5 drops of Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid. Omg this makes my dry flaky cheeks damn happy. It's the perfect moisturizing routine for my skin as of now. 

I personally don't moisturize my nose and chin cause it clogs easily there and I already have my BHA on so yeah, this is just how I do it.

6️⃣ Moisturize

Eyes

Okay, I don't believe this step should be so far down but I didn't wanna disrupt the face steps so I included it here but do shift it up okay! The skin around ur eyes are really sensitive and thin. If u contaminate ur finger or skin around the area with other products, then the efficacy of the eye product won't be as high. Does that make sense? Haha

So yeap, I would generally do this right after CNP. 

Okay, I like to use coconut oil under my eyes. It's a personal preference. If u don't like coconut oil, I personally also like using the Laneige Waterbank Eye Gel. I don't get very very bad milia seeds but if I happen to use smth too heavy around there, I still get abit of those. The Laneige one did okay for me and gave me soft undereye areas without being too heavy.

Recently, I have been trying to find something heavier cause my skin is really getting v dry and tight around my eyes. 

7️⃣ Undereye care

PROTECT

AM

Protect in the day means SUNBLOCKKKKK. Pls use sunblock. Don't wait till u get brown spots and hyper pigmentation before treating it. Stop them from happening. Do I sound like an advert? I'm really a sunblock-advocate. Pls use sunblock even when you are indoors and always remove with micellar or makeup remover.

PM

Protect here is an extra step from moisturizer and it includes leave-on masks! Different leave-on masks bring different results so it depends on what u want as well.

This needs no further intro right. 

One tip for sunblock is to pat the sunblock in with either ur fingers or a sponge (like Pony). Always use amount equating to 1/4 of a tbsp for maximum protection as stated on the product. If u use a product that has SPF 50 and u only use a tiny amount, the protection I get is probably around like SPF 10 or less.

The three leave-on masks in my routine as of now. I don't think these has changed from my last update and up till this date, the White Plus Renew Sleeping Capsule mask is the best one I've ever tried. I'm left with TWO only and it makes me wanna weep. I love it so much.

I've been worrying about lip wrinkles recently (HAHAHAHA am I going overboard here) and i started a research on lips and skin around the lips. So u know in Korea, some girls will apply their eye product around the skin on the lips cause the skin is thin and equally as sensitive! Like, what pls? 

A lot of eye creams are expensive so I would think a lot of u won't be up to applying expensive eye stuff on ur lips. So pls invest in the Laneige lip mask. Idk how many people I've recommended this to.

This smells SO GUD, keeps my lips SO SOFT and keep them v hydrated and plump. I get very irritated when I see dry lips and flaky skin. Look at my almost empty tub. I have one by my bed side, one in my travel bag & one on my makeup table. I can't live without this. 

Before I start my makeup, I apply a very thin layer just to moisturize my lips and then wipe it off gently before any lipstick application.

At night, my husband and I go to town on this HAHAHA We apply a super thick layer each 😂

8️⃣ Protection (day and night)

Pamper

This step is also not really suppose to be here. It depends on what products u r using.

This is where your sheet masks come in! Sheet masks are way more potent than leave-on masks so weekly usage is more than enough and sometimes, it's really better than to overhydrate. 

Ur skin needs to be able to know how to produce moisture to a certain extend and if u constantly feed it masks, it'd would just get use to it eventually. So better to start with less always! 

For this step, I would advise u to use it after exfoliation (Step 3 or 4). Masks are really potent so they would normally be sufficient to replace ur serum/essence/ampoules step. 

Then I'll just massage the leftover essence in and just moisturize after this. I wouldn't add any more to that cause Idw to confuse my skin alr lah HAHAHAH fml

9️⃣ Pamper

SUMMARY:

  1. Remove makeup/sunblock 
  2. Cleanse 
  3. Exfoliate 
  4. Replenish 
  5. Target 
  6. Moisturize 
  7. Protect
  8. Eyecare 
  9. Pamper

BEFORE: I just came back from SG so long plane rides with dirty air and weird time zones meant that my pores were really clogged and my skin texture was rather bumpy to the touch. I also had flaky skin around my jaw lines and immense dryness and irritation. I also had a few small breakouts - nth major but enough to get me to notice it. The redness is just due to warmer lighting that afternoon.

AFTER: I feel like my skin is still not completely normal yet but imma stick to my routine and hope it just balances itself out soon. I mean, it's not giving me any issues now but since I wash my face and touch it everyday, I know there's still a difference compared when it was at it's optimal just a few months back. You can tell my pores are definitely cleaner and my skin is slightly clearer so no complains there.

And that's the end of my really long post! I have a whole new bunch of products to try out soon so I'm pretty excited by those. Catch y'all here when I do the reviews!