Believe it or not, not all Asian mothers have secrets when it comes to beautiful skin. My mom has pretty nice skin with very little effort–she was literally just born with it. So, when I started struggling with acne, she really didn’t know what to tell me except to just try whatever I could get my hands on. My older sister is the complete opposite of me in terms of skin type. I have oily/combination skin that is very acne prone and she is drier than the Sahara desert.
I made a lot of mistakes with my skin care as a teenager, and it shows. My skin will never be perfect and it’s not completely healed, but it’s mine and I’m learning to love it. I believe skin care should be subjective, aesthetic, and fun.
While I follow a skin care regimen, I am often swapping products out at each step. The routine I’m sharing is my base routine and excludes any special treatments and masks which I plan on sharing in separate posts.
For the rest of my face makeup, I depend on an oil cleanser and my more affordable favorite is the Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil by The Face Shop. It’s super lightweight, has a soft rice water fragrance, and is extremely effective in removing makeup without leaving a residue.
Once I’ve rinsed off all my makeup, I use The Deep Cleanse by Tatcha to wash my face. I keep my face wash in the shower which is where I actually wash my face–all that steam is great for opening up the pores.
I’ve repurchased Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant twice and it takes forever to get through a single bottle. After hopping out of the shower, I mix a small amount of this into wet hands to form a paste and gently scrub it all over my face. This contains salicylic acid which is great for combating acne and it is gentle enough to use every day.
For the evening, I’ve been enjoying Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera which I use on cotton pads all over my face and neck. This one has a nice, soft rosy fragrance and is hydrating. As an oily skin person, I am wary of “oily skin” products which contain Denatured Alcohol, an ingredient that allows products to dry faster on the skin but is damaging in the long term.
In the multi-step Korean skin care method, essences follow toner. They are lighter than serums and dampen the skin. I’ve been using Dior’s Capture Youth New Skin Effect Enzyme Solution which is refreshing and plumps up my skin. I use a couple drops and pat it all over my face and neck. This has a very luxurious scent that was a little off-putting at first.
I have prominent dark circles and need all the help I can get. I use a drop or two of The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% and dab it around the contours of my eyes. For my face and neck, I use Cerave’s Resurfacing Retinol Serum which is supposed to aid in lightening post-acne scars and other hyperpigmentation.
Because I experiment with products often, it’s very rare that I come across a “holy grail” of any kind. But then I finally gave in and tried Tatcha’s Water Cream and my life has changed! If I could only have one luxury skin care product, it would be this one. It is both deeply moisturizing and extremely lightweight, making it perfect for normal/oily skin.
Similarly, if I could only have one face tool, it would be my Vanity Planet Ice Roller. Rolling your face is great for lymph node drainage, product penetration, and calming down any inflammation (in my case, acne). I keep the roller in the freezer before and after each use.
No matter what I do, I will always have a pimple somewhere on my face. I am very prone to whiteheads, especially around my mouth and chin (usually hormonal). Most spot treatments dry up any pimples overnight, but the one I always go back to is the Acne Free Terminator 10 with Benzoyl Peroxide because it’s effective and super cheap (~$4-5).
I just started using The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil. I’ve only heard good things about its effectiveness in moisturizing and lightening hyperpigmentation. I use this as an occlusive to seal in all my skincare–just 2-3 drops for m entire face and neck. The first few times I’ve used it, I woke up to glowy, but not overly oily skin.
Does anyone need this many products in their skincare routine? Absolutely not! Your skin is yours–experiment, learn what works for you, and love your skin. Be good to her!
Let me know if you see any products you love or want to try and share your own skin care regimes with me!
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