Sunday, 11 September 2011

My Potions and Lotions: Current Skincare Routine

My skincare routine has always pretty simple as my skin does not take kindly to the piling on of skincare products. My oily skintype has been the bane of my life as while it means having relatively few fine lines, I have enlarged pores and acne scars on my cheeks and forehead. In my 30s, I still get occasional spots, usually in the week before the time of the month. Most are relatively small with perhaps just a big one every month (the kind that takes days to form and even longer to fade). When deciding on which skincare products to purchase, I usually look for products that are gentle on the skin and help to keep my pores clean without drying out my skin. I don't go for facials, laser resurfacing or peels although I may try them out in the future.

For facial cleansers, I'm currently using REN Rosa Centifolia Facial Cleansing Gel in the mornings and Coast To Coast Rainforest Clarifying Facial Cleanser.

I like to use the REN cleanser in the morning as it is an light, slightly watery gel cleanser that is extremely gentle on the skin. It leaves my skin feeling clean and soft without any dryness. It has a lovely soft rose scent. REN is a UK brand that does not use petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrances or colours, glycols and silicones in its products. It is available at Escentials in Tangs Orchard.

The Coast To Coast cleanser is a light foaming gel cleanser meant for oily and problematic skin. I use this in the evening after using a cleansing oil to remove makeup. It cleanses effectively without stripping my skin.

For removing makeup, I usually use a cleansing oil, such as those by Shu Uemura, followed by a facial cleanser. Currently, I'm using the Body Shop Moisture White Shiso Make-up Cleansing Oil, which works well too although I haven't noticed any significant whitening effect from it. Recently, I also picked up Bioderma Sebium H2O Micellar Solution. This is a non-rinse cleansing water for acne-prone skin. While it does remove makeup quite well (but not waterproof mascara), I found that it leaves my skin feeling taut after some time.

For removing eye makeup, I always use an eye makeup remover. My favourite is Cleansing Express but right now, I'm using a sample bottle of Jill Stuart Makeup Remover (Eye & Lip). It is a biphase remover that works well for removing eyeshadows and eyeliners but it doesn't completely remove some mascaras, like Suqqu Mascara Volume Long N.

After cleansing, I usually apply a toner or lotion with a cotton pad. Over the past month, I've used up two 50ml bottles of Shu Uemura White Recovery EX+ Whitening Lotion. It feels refreshing and hydrates my skin without leaving it sticky, but I haven't seen any significant lightening of my skin pigmentation.

After applying the lotion, I've been using Cosme Decorte Moisture Liposome. This does a great job of keeping my skin from flaking and prepping my skin for foundation in the mornings. I'm down to my very last sample sachet and am seriously considering buying a bottle. I've also been trying Lancome Genefique Youth Activator but it doesn't seem to do much for my skin, plus it feels slightly sticky unlike Moisture Liposome which absorbs very nicely into my skin.

For protecting the face from UV rays, I like to use Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Mousse SPF50 if I'm not wearing makeup. RMK's Face Protector is nice too but on the pricey side. If I'm wearing makeup, I usually use either a primer or a foundation with SPF.

For the delicate eye area, I've been alternating between Lancome Blanc Expert Anti-Dark Circles Eye Serum, L'Occitane Angelica Eye Roll-On and Kenzoki Belle de Jour Angel Eyes. The Lancome eye serum absorbs very nicely without stickiness. The L'Occitane eye roll-on feels cooling and therapeutic thanks to the metal roller ball but I've had problems with the roller ball either getting stuck in the cap or failing to dispense any serum. The Kenzoki Angel Eyes has a slightly creamier and denser consistency than the Lancome serum, but it also helps to hydrate the eye area effectively.

For exfoliating the skin, I use my Clarisonic Mia a few times a week (never more than once a day) or a facial scrub like RMK Gel Scrub or Benefit Refined Finish Facial Polish. Once or twice a week, I also use a clay mask which helps to combat the oiliness. I've been using Suqqu HA White Mask, which is alright but super pricey. I've just started using Avene Cleanance Mask, which also has glycolic acid, salicylic acid and tiny scrubby bits for an exfoliating effect.

I've also been trying Garnier Self-Heating Sauna Mask with zinc. The heat sensation is interesting but I'm not sure if it actually has any significant effect on the skin. If my skin is looking dull or flaky, I use My Beauty Diary sheet masks. For de-clogging my pores, there's still no other product as effective as Biore nose strips. I use these not only on my nose, but also my forehead and cheeks as the pores in these areas get clogged too. Kose Seikisho Mask White works too but it is painful to remove.

And finally for keeping my lips from chapping, I use an assortment of lip balms from Paul & Joe and Fresh. Recently, I've also been using Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Black Honey almost every day, including the recent look that I did with the YSL Midnight Garden palette.

All of the above products were purchased by me, except for the Body Shop Cleansing Oil which was provided by the PR company.


shopaholic said...

hi, I was told by the BA to use the Cosme Decorte Moisture Liposome right after cleansing & before toner.

Haru said...

I don't like doing that because I feel like that would be a risk of wiping off some of the Moisture Liposome.

saltvinegar said...

Hey there i'm nearing 30's and the clogged and enlarged pores with acne problem still plagues me.Does Biore have cheek peel off strips? Did the clarisonic improve the condition of your skin?

Rei said...

What an informative post, thanks for sharing this with us :-) I love REN products, definitely going to check out the REN cleanser as I have oily skin as well.

Haru said...

hi saltvinegar,
Nope, Biore only makes nose strips but you can always use them on the other parts of your face. Sometimes I cut them up to fit the particular area that I want to use them on, like the area between my brows, which is especially prone to oiliness and clogged pores.

I do like the Clarisonic as I find that it is good for exfoliating and thorough cleansing, which helps to prevent clogged pores and more severe breakouts.

Hi Rei,
Glad you found the post informative!

MatryoshkaDoll said...

Great post, I have super oily skin too, so I love reading what other people use for it! That Kose mask sounds interesting.

Vanessa said...

Thanks for sharing! Now i feel like trying out the moisture liposome.

Tania said...

Are Fresh Cosmetics available in Singapore? I was looking for the Honey lip balm but was told the brand isn't available in Singapore yet.

Haru said...

hi Tania,
I heard that Sephora in Singapore will be stocking Fresh products soon, so perhaps you can check with Sephora?