Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let's talk...skincare!!

I know many many...MANY people have asked me about my skin and what I use. I figure I might as well start off with this as the first official blog entry of 2013. However, before I begin, let me give you a little background info on my skin.

I have:
- combination skin with an oily t-zone and dry cheeks
- i don't break out easily but i will get 1 here and there when its the time of the month
- i have pores around my nose and (half of my) cheek area
- i have a very very fair complexion; you just can't tell because i use bronzers
- i have been obsessing over my skin most girls don't realize or they don't think they need to take care of their skin in their 20s. i always say "be PROACTIVE...not REACTIVE"

imagine trying to fix something that's been happening the last 20 or so years when you're in your 30s, versus fixing and correcting something in your 20s and upkeeping. which is why i have been obsessing over my skin. i get some sort of sick feeling of achievement when my skin is silky smooth, even when i get out of the shower instead of dry and itchy. so let's begin....

Daily Skincare Routine - Mornings

Every morning before i put my makeup on, this is what i do to prep my skin for the day.

SK-II facial treatment essence; Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream; Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

1. wash face with just a regular towel and water - i wake up super early so i don't have time to use a cleanser. but i shower before i go to bed, so my face is still clean.

2. toner - i use the SK-II facial treatment essence as my toner. never skip this step. you always need to use a toner day and night…it keeps your pores small and skin tight. SK-II is harder to purchase in Canada, but i believe the US has it or you can order online. I believe "" and those beauty websites should have.

3. eyecream - often times, people forget to use an eyecream. big no-no. since you will be applying makeup, make sure you use an eyecream. eyecreams are not the same as facial moisturizers; the skin around your eyes are thinner and more delicate than the skin on your face.

4. facial moisturizers – I use the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel cream. I like the gel cream for daytime, as I do get oily around my t-zone; it’s moisturizing and very light feeling. this particular line is awesome for people with oily skin because it hydrates your face with water and not oil.

Boscia BB Cream and the BRTC BB Cream in Jasmine Water and the BRTC Aqua Rush Water Drop BB Cream

5. BB cream – I don't use foundation so I switch back and forth between various BB creams (as above). the BRTC ones are good for the winter months and the Boscia one for the summer because it's a darker tint.

6. after this is onto my makeup routine...which I will blog about in another post...

Daily Skincare Routine - Night Time

1. remove makeup – this is a 2 step process for me. I use an eye makeup remover and a face makeup remover. For eyes, I like to switch between the Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover (in the daiso press bottle) and the Makeup Forever Sens’ Eyes makeup remover. For face, I use the Bioderma Sensibio H20 Makeup Remover. This can dry your skin so make sure you use a hydrating moisturizer after you wash your face.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser; the Oil-Free Ultra Facial Cleanser; Clearly Corrective White – Purifying Foaming Cleanser

2. wash face with cleanser – typically I switch between 3 of Kiehl’s lines. The oil-free one is for summer months when my skin tends to get a bit oily and the other 2 are for the rest of the year or whenever I need something a bit more hydrating.

 photo D3F81EC6-5A13-43FF-96A5-EB957C0308F7-5047-000000FF2D19A005.jpg
clarisonic plus

3. Clarisonic – I use the Clarisonic with my cleanser every night. Usually I use the deep-pore brush head; but sometimes when I feel like, I’ll switch it back to the sensitive skin one. Note: I don't use my Clarisonic with the Oil-Free cleanser, because it can be too harsh for my skin.

Ishizawa Lab Japan Mangosteen Mile Brightening Peeling Gel; MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator; Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective White – Skin Brightening Exfoliator

4. exfoliate – this is only done 2-3 times a week. I switch back and forth from the 3 exfoliators, it really just depends on what I feel like. For the Mangosteen peeling gel, I know Laneige makes a similar one called the Strawberry Yogurt Peeling Gel.

5. masking – it is very very VERY important to mask as often as possible (I do it every other night). I never saw the importance, until my pores began to get smaller & skin was brighter. There are various masks on the market for you to try and you can select ones that suit your needs and concerns. Here are some of mine that I rotate with – no specific routine; it’s just whatever I feel like.

a. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque – this masque is great for minimizing pores; there is a slight tingly feeling when applied. It’s more a clay mask and your skin will feel tight after use.

b. Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask – this is literally a fun mask to use. It comes out a gel texture but once you apply on your face, it turns into foam. It literally foams up on your face. I can’t notice a big difference but it’s fun to use and it’s suppose to “energize” your skin.

c. Bliss Steep Clean Mask – this is almost like using the Biore blackhead remover strips but much better for you. The first time I used it, I felt that a lot of blackheads/whiteheads had surfaced after use. I started to pick at it (it’s a bad habit I know) but everything came out. My skin felt so clean after! It’s a little tedious to use….but it’s well worth it.

d. Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Mask – this is a splurge. I’m not going to lie. The best feature is that you are suppose to leave it on your skin and sleep with it. You don’t have to be it’s recommended for the most intense injection of moisture. The entire Rodial Dragon’s Blood line is pretty nice, and I will review this later but for now…the mask will leave your skin feeling smooth, hydrated and firm.

e. Aveda Tourmaline Charged Radiance Masque – the thing that drew me to this is the word “radiance”; meaning that it will life and brighten up my skin complexion and it does just that. It is completely organic, as with all Aveda products, so this is nice to use once in a while for a quick “lift”

f. Queen Helene – Mint Julep Masque – I’m sure lots of you have this at home…this is great when it’s that time of the month and I have breakouts. Certain beauty gurus have said to just apply this in areas where u need it most, but when I need to use this, I usually put this all over my face. It is a little tingly but it tends to dry out the pimple/acne and helps it heal faster.

g. SkinCeuticals – Hydrating B5 Masque – my girlfriend May just recently sent me this; I’ve only used it once but I am very interested in this skincare line. I have to research more because I don’t think I am applying it correctly. The directions indicate that you should leave it on, after 15 or so minutes, to rub any “excess” masque into your skin, but when I did this, it started to flake off and you are suppose to sleep with it on. I’ll let you guys know the progress...

h. GlamGlow Mud Masks – Youth Mud and Super Mud – by the name of it, you already know it’s a mud mask. It’s got particles of tea leaf in the mask. The main reasons I use these 2 is for anti-aging and to minimize and deep clean my pores. Similar to the Kiehl’s mud masque, this will also leave your skin feeling tighter but softer. It does tingle a little when applied but it’s not bothersome (at least for me).

6. Toner – after you mask or cleanse your face, make sure you use a toner (again!) because this will help close the pores up, especially those who like to use warmer water to wash their face. At night, I usually use the Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Tonic. I have this theory in my head that I should use a different product at night time – “shocking” your skin in a way, so that it absorbs better. This may not be true but it’s a theory that I stick to...

7. Serums – you can skip this step if you aren’t a fan of serums; but I find that serums absorb the best and your skin “reacts” to it the most. I really just use 1 hydrating moisturizer at night but serums, I have different kinds.

a. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – this is largely marketed to give your skin a “refreshed and supple” look in the morning, so that even if you had a bad night’s sleep, your skin will still look rejuvenated and “awake.” I’m not sure about the “refreshed” part but my skin is nice and smooth in the morning. It’s also got a very pleasant, light lavender scent – this is marketed to be used at night so using lavender is quite fitting. It helps your skin sleep!

b. Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective White – Hydrating Moisture Emulsion – as with the rest of this line from Kiehl’s, it is tested, developed and marketed for Asian skin. I find that since using this line, my skin has become brighter and fair-er. I’ve always had fair skin but this has made it brighter. My mom noticed also, which is a sign that it’s working.

c. Hada Labo – Super Hyaluronic Acid – Moist Essence EX – I do not use this on a daily basis. I only use this when my skin needs an extra kick of moisture. This stuff is VERY rich but VERY good for the winter months. When I do need to reach for this, I usually use it for about a week, every other day and I stop. For my skin, that’s already enough. I’m afraid if I keep using it daily, it may cause my skin to breakout; so just because something is good for your skin, too much may actually counteractive.

8. Facial Moisturizer – obviously you would want to use something a little richer at night. Your skin absorbs the most at night and it’s “undisturbed”, whereas during the day, we’re in different environments with different air qualities, etc. I have a few favorites, depending on my mood and need at the time.

a. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer – this is usually the one I reach for. It’s rich enough and it’s good for all skin types. I started using this line when I started with Kiehl’s and it’s never let me down.

b. Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturiser – for some people, they’ll use this during the day, but for me…I’ll keep this one in my nighttime routine and the only reason is because I am oily in my t-zone during the day, so I don’t want anything too heavy. This product is awesome and leaves your skin very soft and hydrated…only problem is the packaging. The pump on this is really retarded and it’s useless…it often gets clogged with product, so it’s not user friendly. Last I heard from a rep at the store is they are changing the packaging….I hope so because if they keep it in this packaging, I will not be repurchasing.

c. Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel – when I was at the store, the rep had said this is like a serum and this is the bread & butter of the Dragon’s Blood line. However, the texture of it is a cream finish, so I grouped this one in with my moisturizers instead of a serum. I dun’t use this nightly...if anything, I’ll use it once a week to keep my skin nice and plump.

Then it’s off to bed...i know this seems like a lot of stuff to do before bed but no pain, no gain. Often times, we get very impatient and want to see results right away….and if we don’t, we will stop using a product or deem that it doesn’t work. That’s not always the case. You may not notice the difference but other people may...that’s why I constantly hound my mother to ask her if my skin is nice. Haha.

I think the question I get most is “how do you know which to use first and which to use last?” Easy...lightest texture to the heaviest texture. i.e. toner, serums, emulsions, moisturizers. If you remember that, you will never be confused or forget which is first.

Remember, drink lots of water!!!!!!!!!!!!! Water is good for your skin...preferably warm water and not cold. Warm water is easier on the body to absorb. BeautyQQ talked about water and how important it was for the skin...she recommended a glass of warm water when you get up, before you do anything else. This will help your circulation and to get your body going to start the day...

Hopefully this was informative to you all. I don’t think I’ve missed anything but if you guys have any questions….ask away!!

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