Happy Memorial Day! 🙂
Proper skincare is the basis of healthy skin. I’ve strictly followed a skincare routine since I was eighteen years old, though the products I use have slowly changed with time and age.
When I was eighteen, my sole concern was dealing with acne. When I started university and had to constantly walk back and forth between campus and my apartment, my main problem was sunspots and skin discoloration. And now that I’ve reached my early twenties, my skin’s gone through another evolution, making it drier and more sensitive than ever.
I had to switch out a lot of my products from the years before, since they were more focused on acne and oil control, as well as skin whitening, which are actually much too strong for my now sensitive skin.
Instead, I’ve moved on to lighter, more moisturizing products that do a good job of maintaining my skin’s natural glow while replenishing it with all of the nutrients that it so desperately needs.
My skincare routine now consists of:
1. Cleansing with Innisfree Green Tea Pure Cleansing Foam
As with any good skincare routine, the first and most important step is cleansing. If your pores are still clogged with dirt, oil, and makeup, your skin can’t possibly absorb any of the products that you lather on, no matter how effective or expensive they are.
I squeeze just about a dime-sized amount of cleanser into my palm, adding just a few drops of water to work up a really rich lather. That’s one of the reasons why I love this Innisfree cleanser so much – with just a little bit of product, I can already work up such a rich foam. And after I wash it off, I’m left with squeaky-clean skin, so a little of this stuff really does go a long way.
Especially in comparison to my previous Shiseido Benefique NT Cleansing Foam, Innisfree is much more affordable (~$30 versus ~$12.00), and it works just as well, if not even better.
Optional: Clarisonic Mia 2 with Acne Brush Head
I cleanse my skin with this every other night or every two nights, depending on my skin’s condition. Even though it was a total splurge, it was really worth the purchase because it’s made such an improvement to my skin.
2. Toning with Laneige Perfect Renew Skin Refiner
After cleansing, it’s really important to tone the skin so that the newly cleaned and opened pores can receive it’s proper nourishment. I know a lot of people skip toner because they think it’s an unnecessary step, but I cannot stress enough how much of a difference this step makes.
Not only does it help refine the pores (which in the long run, can significantly reduce its size and the amount of oil produced), it also allows your skin to absorb all of the other skincare products you apply on later.
I’m currently using Laneige’s Perfect Renew Skin Refiner. Rather than the traditional water-consistency that most toners take form in, Laneige’s toner is almost like a gel-like serum, but it provides ample moisture, literally satiating the skin as you apply it. Also, because of its gel-like consistency, it can be applied massaged onto the skin with the fingers, which not only saves you money for cotton pads, but also helps the bottle of toner last longer, on top of aiding in blood circulation due to the warmness of your fingertips as you massage your skin.
Budget-Friendly Alternative – Innisfree Rose Clear Skin Toner
However, for those who are on a tighter budget, or are students who are barely getting started in establishing a skincare routine for themselves, I strongly suggest Innisfree’s Rose Clear Skin Toner. This is a really light, refreshing toner that is made with rose water and green complex. The best thing about this toner (aside from its affordability – ~$12) is the fact that Innisfree uses all natural ingredients and no alcohol. This is important, particularly for individuals with sensitive skin like me, because alcohol can irritate the skin further. However, this Innisfree toner is soothing and gentle, almost comparable to Fresh Rose Floral Toner (which is ~$40).
A tip for applying water-based toners like Innisfree’s – when using a cotton pad, make sure you’re using cotton squares (typically ones that you can find at Chinese, Japanese, or Korean marts) and not traditional cotton balls or rounds (like the ones that you find in Target or Wal-Mart). This is because cotton balls and especially cotton rounds don’t help transfer the toner to your skin, but rather, absorbs all of the product. This. Is. Bad. I cannot stress this enough. Not only does it waste your product, it also wastes your money (on both the toner and the useless cotton rounds).
Cotton squares, on the other hand, are thinner and softer, and while they do soak in the product, it’s thinness allows it to transfer onto your skin. An added bonus – the friction of the cotton against your skin will take your cleansing one step further, wiping away any leftover dead-skin cells that your cleanser might have missed (especially in areas around the nose).
I typically use both of these toners on a rotating basis (I’ll switch it up every two days or so) so that I can hydrate my skin with the more moisturizing Laneige toner, but when I want to have the added effect of a mild cotton-pad-exfoliation, I opt for Innisfree’s toner.
3. Refining with Ole Henrikson Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster
Next in my skincare routine is serum. I never used serum when I first started taking care of my skin religiously at eighteen because I didn’t need it. But now that a few years have passed, and I’m entering my twenties, I really notice the drastic difference of when I use serum and when I don’t.
In the past two years since I’ve started using serums, I’ve been on the lookout for a perfect one, and though I haven’t found one yet, I’ve definitely come close with Ole Henrikson’s Truth Serum.
This Vitamin C Collagen Booster goes on smoothly and dries quickly, and it smells so invigorating, it feels like your sense are literally waking up all at once.
Though I’ve yet to see the collagen effects (I’m only on my second bottle, and I know these things take time), but after the first month of using it, I did notice less redness (which was a problem I was dealing with due to my sensitive skin) and my pores were a lot tighter (especially when I applied makeup – it made my skin look a lot more flawless than before).
The only mildly negative thing I have to say about this product is definitely the price – $48 for only 1 oz. of product, and even though I use it very conservatively, it probably lasts about three months at most.
Budget-Friendly Alternative – Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
So once again, for students on a tighter budget, a serum that I really recommend is Innisfree’s Green Tea Seed Serum. With organic green tea seeds fresh from Korea’s Jeju Island, this serum boasts all natural ingredients, is relatively lightweight, very refreshing, and effectively replenishes moisture to dehydrated skin. The price is also a lot more affordable in comparison to the Ole Henrikson (~$25 for 80 mL versus $48 for 30 mL).
However, what prompted me to change serums wasn’t because Innisfree’s wasn’t good, in fact it was wonderful and super moisturizing, and every time I’m shopping online for skincare/makeup, I’m tempted to buy it again (shop-a-holic issues, I swear T-T). But what made me decide to take the plunge with Ole Henrikson was because my sensitive skin and redness were becoming worse (due to stress from work and the long hours that I clocked in at the office).
But if you’re just a student that is starting out in their skincare routine, Innisfree’s Green Tea Seed Serum is definitely one of your top choices, especially for the affordability and its effectiveness.
4. Treat with Skin Food Tomato Whitening Spot Serum
This step is optional, and I actually only use this whitening spot serum when I discover a sun spot or freckle (which typically happens if I’ve spent a prolonged amount of time in the sun without sunscreen – something that hasn’t happened in a long time because I apply sunscreen religiously LOL).
For its price of ~$15, this whitening spot serum is really effective! Remember how I said that I had some sun spots and freckles during my first and second year of university? Even with sunblock on everyday, my skin was slightly damaged by the sun because I had to walk around outside so much everyday. But with this, my sun spots disappeared in half a year, and I have to say that I’m very happy with this product’s effectiveness. It also works wonderfully on acne scars, though it can be a little drying, but that can be compensated with moisturizer.
However, the downside is that Skin Foods has actually discontinued this product. Luckily, though I didn’t know it was going to be discontinued at the time, I bought two of these, so now I’m still using my second bottle. Once I’m done with it, though, I’ll be on the lookout for another one. Any recommendations? 😉
5. Moisturize with Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
In order to seal in all of the work we’ve done to our skin, moisturizer is the key step. Not only does moisturizer replenish the skin of all of the nutrients that were stripped away due to environmental factors and free radicals, a proper moisture also aids the skin in reproducing damaged skin cells as well as natural oils that balance our pores.
Clinique’s moisturizer comes in a gel-creme form, and it does a really great job of giving skin ample moisture. After using it, I can actually see my skin glowing from within, and after I wake up in the morning, my skin quite literally shines (yes, it’s that great). 🙂 Fragrance-free, and going for ~$52 for 2.5 oz, it is definitely worth the little splurge.
Winter Alternative – Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
During the colder months, I actually use the more intensive moisturizer from the same Clinique line. It’s much more thick than the gel-creme, though it provides such a strong punch of moisture, I’d say the itsy bit of initial stickiness is so, so worth it (and besides, the skin just absorbs it after about five to ten minutes).
6. Medicate with Origins Super Spot Remover
The last step of my skincare routine consists of medicating acne spots or pimples with Origins Super Spot Remover. Though this step has been a staple in my skincare routine in the past, it’s now only done when I have a really bad pimple that needs to be taken care of ASAP.
The formula used in this spot treatment is salicylic acid, and while I do notice on other individuals that benzoyl peroxide tends to dissolve pimples faster, I only stick to salicylic acid, which I’ve been using since seventh grade. I never use any other acne spot treatment because my skin actually had a really horrible allergic reaction to benzoyl peroxide before, so I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Another big plus is that Origins spot treatment doesn’t clump at all during makeup application or throughout the whole day! 🙂
Budget-Friendly Alternative – Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment
For ~$15 for a small little 0.3 oz bottle, Origins can be a bit pricey for the average student, but a really good and comparable alternative is Clean & Clear’s Advantage Acne Spot Treatment, which I’ve been using since eighth grade. At ~$8 for a 0.75 bottle, Clean & Clear is a lot more affordable, and it’s also very easy to obtain (any local drugstore will have it).
Even up until now, I still keep one in my bathroom shelf, just in case I run out of the Origins. However, one down-side is that if you apply the Clean & Clear, it does clump together a little bit during makeup application. But only during. It doesn’t clump at all under the skin throughout the day, so I don’t know why this happens when you initially put on your makeup… A good way to avoid this issue, if you’re really concerned about it, would be to apply the spot treatment only at night.
Optional: Innisfree Olive Real Essential Oil
This last step is completely optional, and I generally don’t use this unless I am traveling because there’s just something about airplanes and staying in a different place that makes my skin so dry. When I use this, I generally just take two drops in the palm of my hand, rub my palms together to warm up the oil, and then I just press my palms against my cheeks, forehead and chin, under the eyes, and neck. Just two drops of this is already extremely moisturizing, and it really helps, especially when your skin gets all dry, patchy, and blotchy when you’re traveling.
So that ends this post on my skincare routine. The products shared are the ones that work for me, but everyone has different skincare needs, so what works for me may not work for all of you. Likewise, skincare is about a lot more than what you use because it starts from within. In order to take care of your skin’s health, you have to first take good care of your body by eating regularly, drinking lots of water, and consuming more fruits and vegetables.
Taking care of skin is a lifelong journey, and I’m always happy to learn more! 🙂 Please let me know what products you’re all using, what your skincare routine is, and what you thought of my choices as well as this post!
P.S. I’m scared this was too long, especially in comparison to my OOTD posts, but I just wanted this to be as informative as possible. Please let me know if you’d like to see more beauty related posts in the future! 🙂 Also, would you prefer it if it were in written form (like this)? Or in video form? Just let me know in the comments because I’d love to share even more beauty tips with you all! Thank you!
Note: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me and were in no way sponsored by these brands.