This is a respond to icefrost's Michelle tag and also something which I wanted to write about but just never got around to doing so. (not to mention this is the 2nd time I'm writing this long post cos of an unfortunate-disappearing-incident!)
My skin have kinda been the best it has ever been in the last 5~6 years, its not perfect, but I'm happy with how it is now. Of cos I'm still looking for ways to refine the large pores on my T-zone and cheeks, I still get a few spots around my jawline and chin occasionally but that's okay, I can live with it :)
I wasn't that into skincare then, makeup yes, so piling on all those foundations etc and not caring for the skin enough is bad! and for the past couple of years, I experimented with different skincare products and found out what was working best for me.
The lure of latest and better products available in the market will always be there, I find myself itching to try new skincare developed with the latest technology and whatsnot, I don't see any harm in doing so, along the way I might find another better product that suits me more, if not, I can always go back to the reliable ones that I've tried and proved to works for me!
I have very oily skin, large pores on my T-zone and cheeks, some acne scarring along my jawline/chin and the occasional spots around the same area too. I usually go for products that are light and easily absorbed by the skin, products that are too creamy and rich tends to break me out.
So lets get into it.... starting with makeup removers....
I'm a loyal user of Biore Cleansing Oil Cotton Sheets, it removes waterproof mascara (not the Majolica kinda, heh) and waterproof eyeliners easily, no mess no fuss in a sheet. I started using the Boderma Crealine H2O solution (thanks to Sophia who so kindly lug it back from HK) recently which is a mild (think water!) but effective makeup remover for face and eyes, I usually use this over Biore if I have light MU on like just foundie and no eye mu. Leaves the face clean and soft.
After makeup removal, I will cleanse my face, likewise these are some of the cleansers I use in the shower too.
- Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Foaming Cream: Creamy and produces a thick lather that I enjoy massaging my face with, leaves face feeling super clean but not dried out.
- Vichy Normaderm Purfying Cleansing Gel: I use this with my Clarisonic (twice a week or so) as it's a light gel so it wont be too drying or harsh on the skin coupled with the Clarisonic.
- Mandom Facial Scrub: My whole family have been using this for ages and love it! It leaves skin feeling fresh and clean after use.
- Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose in it: I use it on days when I come home after a looong day out, it instantly refresh my tired skin (after wearing makeup for such long hours)... also it's a quick mask too, leave it on for 3~5 mins and rinse it off to a brighter complexion!
I have since gone thru more then 1 of all the facial cleansers listed above and will definitely repurchase them when I run out.
In the day, I personally prefer skincare products that are light in texture and are easily absorbed by the skin (very important criteria that I look out for so I keep repeating them!) so that my makeup can go smoothly on top.
In order of application:
1. B.liv by Cellnique Shrink and Tighten: a gel like serum that I apply on my T-zone and cheeks. Smells citrus-ly and pores are getting more refined slowly.
Side-note on pore refining: I personally believe that one can't just depend on 1 product to refine and tighten pores effectively, pore minimising serums should work hand-in-hand with other products like exfoliator and masks to achieve optimal results.
2. Vichy Normaderm Anti-Imperfections Hydrating Care: my HG moisturiser! I really don't have to rave about this anymore and I have lost count of how many bottles I have gone through. Light in texture but moisturise my oily skin adequately so it doesn't produce anymore excessive facial oils and mattifies the skin.
3. Vichy UV Pro Secure SPF40 PA+++ for Oily to Combination Skin: I love this sunscreen and I am on the 2nd tube that I bought myself (with another backup which Vichy kindly gave previously). I don't like heavy sunscreen or those that leaves a white cast, this is specially formulated for oily skin which helps to control sebum production!
Sunscreen is an absolute must-have in my day routine especially since now that I'm using some AHA/BHA products at night which leaves my skin to be more sensitive to UV rays. I used to have the misconception of only wearing sunscreen when out and about in the sun, but when we're indoors e.g in the office, fluorescent lighting etc do give off small amount of uv rays so its always better to be more kiasu :)
Toners/Lotions as skincare companys is labelling them nowadays - I only use them in my night routine, and sometimes I forget this step before applying my creams and all.
I just started using the Vichy Bi-white Whitening Lotion 2~3 weeks ago, I rotate it with my Vichy Normaderm Imperfection prone skin lotion which I use when I feel that my skin is getting spotty. Both of them helps to ensure that the skin is clean from all dirt before applying on my skincare products.
After toning my face, I use my Paula's Choice 8% AHA or 2% BHA exfoliating gel twice or thrice a week. I prefer to use the Paula's Choice 8% AHA gel more as it is a milder option compared to BHA and my skin absorbs it better, almost immediately after that I can layer on other skincare and thats it. The 2% BHA gel takes longer for the skin to absorb, I have to wait ard 15~30 mins before i can layer on other skincare.
Next in order of application:
1a. Vichy Bi-White Anti-Dark Circle Whitening Corrective Eye Care: I have terrible dark circles and have just started on the eye cream regime not too long ago... I don't want dark and saggy eyes in future! After using this for more than 2 weeks, I say it helps to lighten dark circles slightly, it also penetrates into the thin eye contour area to keep the area supple.
1b. Skincology Vitamin K Eye Cream: Contains Vit K which is said to help fight dark circles, though I don't think it does anything for my dark circles but it does brighten up the eye area and fill up some very fine lines that I have.
2. B.liv by Cellnique Shrink and Tighten+: Specially formulated for night-time use. I started on the B.live pore minimizing series after I ran out of my Vichy Normaderm Pore refining essence, and they seems to be working well even though they have mixed reviews. This is a liquid product and feels a little slippery, I apply it on my areas where I have open pores and sometimes there is this slight tingly sensation which I like to belive that its the product working their magic!
3. Vichy Bi-White Reveal Double Corrective Whitening Emulsion: Contains LHA which helps to illuminate the skin surface. Not as heavy in texture as I imagine it would be and was absorbed readily the skin in preparation for the night cream.
4. Vichy Bi-White Reveal Whitening Night Cream: I slather this on right before I go to bed kinda like a sleeping mask, it helps to neutralize existing melanin and even out the complexion while sleeping.
On days when I have some spots/pimples/acnes, I use the Normaderm Anti-Imperfections Concentrate to get rid of them, after which its time to get rid of the nasty scarring and marks left behind, and for that I use Vichy Bi-White Reveal Deep Cell-Whiteining Spot Intervention. The active ingredients of LHA and the trademarked Ceramide White helps to neutralize melanin which is the main cause of pigmentation scarring at the epidermis.
It does really helps to lighten the stubborn acne scars I have around my jawline since a couple of years ago, the marks are still visible but has gotten lighter over the 2~3 weeks of usage and I don't even need to do much concealing on them now.
The texture is a light gel cream which I only apply to specific dark spots before my pore serums and moisturiser. The order of application is that products that targets the inner most layer of the skin should always go on first and then followed by products that are for the outer surface layer of the skin i.e pores.
I try to do masks at least once a week, or when I'm lazy, there's always the S&G scrub your nose in it facial wash/mask to fall back on!
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque and Boots Botanics Conditioning Clay Mask are both wash-off masks, slather them on for 20mins and just rinse it off. Helps to absorb extra oils in the pores and clear out those impurities stuck in the pores!
The orange packets of Shiseido Naturgo Sea Mud Mask are by far my favourite mask! Its applies black, thick & gooey and dries off to a tight rubbery flim which you peel off (not going to lie, it does hurts a little when u peel of the mask cos its sooo tight but I'm kinda used to it). It literally sucks and pulls out all the junks and dirts in my pores - I have this weird hobby of scrutinising the mask every time I peel them off, it is oddly comforting to see all those pesky whiteheads being pulled out! Pores are instantly tighter and more refined!
Thanks for taking time to read through this epic long and rambling entry on my current skincare routine. Skincare routines can change over time depending on skin conditions at that time and the problem areas that you want to target. Everyone's skin condition differs, what works for me effectively might not be the same on other skins :)
Disclaimer: All Vichy Bi-White reveal products featured are provided by Vichy. I am not affiliated to Vichy. All opinions expressed are my own.