Save for when I don’t sleep or when I have my period, my skin has been behaving really well. I’ve been trying out different brands and products over the past several years, but I generally stick to the same active ingredients –vitamin c (or its derivatives), retinoids, niacinamide, and spf (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide).
Since February, though, I have been sticking to the same products and I noticed I’m no way near getting bored of them. My skin is far from perfect but I think it moved past a plateau, thanks to the new products I switched to.
I’m going to split this skincare routine series into 3 posts — morning, evening, and ‘as needed’.
I’ve managed to keep my morning ritual down to 4 steps max. It involves:
Step 1. Wash
At the moment, I’m using up the samples I’ve accumulated the past months. If I wasn’t doing that, I would be alternating Innisfree Bija Trouble Cleansing Gel and Safeguard Dermasense for Acne-Prone Skin.
Innisfree Bija Trouble Cleansing Gel
This was a gift from my friend, Cheche. Like many gel cleansers, this doesn’t make a thick foam which I like because it’s not difficult to rinse. I don’t find it drying (for reference, I have oily skin) but if you wait for your skin to completely dry before applying moisturizer, you might feel some tightness. It’s no longer listed on the Innisfree website so I’m not sure if it’s still on the market, but I remember that it was priced at around PhP 375 on Althea Korea.
Safeguard Dermasense for Acne-Prone Skin
My favorite face wash. I can see why some people don’t like it; it feels like a rinse-off skin lotion. If you’ve tried The Body Shop’s skin conditioner, that’s how it feels on the skin.
To me, it’s like Olay Regenerist’s Cream Cleanser without the polyethylene microbeads. I loved that cleanser. I just don’t like scrubbing my face every day. I wished P&G would make it without beads and, in a sense, they did with Safeguard (also by P&G). Both Safeguard Dermasense for Acne-prone Skin and Olay Regenerist have salicylic acid. I’ve read that salicylic acid doesn’t perform best in cleansers, because the acid must stay on your skin. However, there’s something about those two cleansers that makes my fingertips feel prune-y in less than 60 seconds. It must be softening dead skin cells, right? (Times like these, I wish I’m a chemist.)
Anyway, this cleanser won’t remove most of your makeup. I only use this in the morning to remove excess oil on my skin, or at night, following a makeup remover.
Step 2. Tone
Toners are not a must-have for me, but I need one because tap water in Pasay City leaves rusty orange watermarks on our dish drain. I can’t help but imagine rust on my face after rinsing off my cleanser. I don’t have much to say about Dear Klairs Supple Preparation Toner* yet. I’ve only been using it for 2+ weeks. I can’t tell if it’s moisturizing but it doesn’t dry my skin out.
Step 3. Vitamin C Serum
I’m one of the lucky ones who can use Vitamin C in the morning. Some people I know report skin irritation when they use Vitamin C during the day. I don’t get a lot of sun exposure because my commute to work is short and I don’t go out to lunch. Anyway, I’m using Vitamin C Serum under sunscreen because of this 1993 study:
We report that (in swine skin) vitamin C is capable of additive protection against acute UVB damage (sunburn cell formation) when combined with a UVB sunscreen. A combination of both vitamins E and C provided very good protection from a UVB insult, the bulk of the protection attributable to vitamin E. However, vitamin C is significantly better than vitamin E at protecting against a UVA-mediated phototoxic insult in this animal model, while the combination is only slightly more effective than vitamin C alone.
And this article on Pubmed:
To optimize UV protection, it is important to use sunscreens combined with a topical antioxidant. Vit. C does not absorb UV light but exerts an UV-protective effect by neutralizing free radicals, while this effect is not seen with sunscreens. Under laboratory conditions, it has been shown that application of 10% topical Vit. C showed statistical reduction of UVB-induced erythema by 52% and sunburn cell formation by 40-60%.
I’m alternating between Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate and The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F. The latter is oil-based while Kiehl’s has 10.5% L-Ascorbic Acid suspended in silicone. If I had known about The Ordinary ($) sooner, I wouldn’t have bought Kiehl’s ($$$$$). Ragrets. These two deserve separate posts so let’s wish the universe for me to get my blogging act together.
Step 4. Sunscreen
I use either a “proper” sunscreen or a cushion foundation with a minimum of SPF 50+++. I make sure to apply two thin layers of the latter to make sure I put enough. I’m a fan of The Faceshop’s cushions because they have a medium shade that would fit deeper MAC C30 to C35 skintones (aka my skintone).
Now that monsoon season has started, I use liquid foundation over sunscreen, but during the summer, I limit myself to powder.
Let me know if there’s any product here you would like to know more of. I’ll try to post a review.
* received for free from Althea Korea