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Current Skincare Routine

Skincare has always been a necessity to me. I realized this when my lifestyle shifted drastically as I entered in college. With all the stress and all-nighters, I knew that I had to do something to help prevent further damage to my skin. I started with the basic: cleanser + toner. This was what my mom taught me. She's always had normal, worry-free skin. But little did I know that what works for my mom doesn't necessarily work for me. This is when I started to experiment. And yes, the sad thing is I had to do all the trial and error before doing any research.

Reading and hearing nothing but good things about the 10-step Korean skincare routine, I really tried my best to complete it. Only to find out that I don't really need 10 different products every morning and night just to achieve that happy glowing skin. I just needed to find out the products that really work for me. However, I'm not gonna lie, my skin's far from that glass skin everyone's raving about. But I am quite alright with how I look right now. I do wear makeup whenever I go out, but I'm not afraid to go out barefaced.

A disclaimer for everyone thinking that I'm an advocate for clear skin, no, not really. I'm just all for that being-confident-in-your-own-skin type of vibe, friends! And hey, acne is not an imperfection. It never is. We're all different from one another and what's important is that we respect each other. Because let's be honest, what your definition of beauty may be different from others. So as long as someone's confident in their own skin and body, let them embrace it and respect them for it.

Anyway, so much for a really long introduction, here's my skincare routine that may be of use to you guys. My skin type is oily, sensitive, and I guess acne prone? I also live in a tropical country, which is why humidity will always be a factor. Keep in mind, what works for me may not work for you!

When I go out, I wear makeup. Be it the usual concealer-powder-eyebrow pencil-lip and cheek tint combo or the full face makeup. When I get home, I remove my makeup and the gunk that I've accumulated throughout the day.

I use the Garnier Micellar Water Cleanser, specifically the pink variant which is fit for sensitive skin. Despite this having a mild formula, this still effectively removes mascara as well! All you have to do is use a cotton round or square, put a few drops of the makeup remover, and let it soak on your eyelashes for a bit until you can slowly wipe it away.

By the way, yes, I put most of my skincare products in smaller containers just to keep my desk looking less cluttered and for me to be able to pack them much easier and faster when travelling.

After removing my makeup or when starting and ending the day, I cleanse my face. I do this to make sure that there is no residue or gunk left on my face. This is The Face Shop's Herb Day 365 Cleansing Foam in Aloe. This has always been my brother's HG (holy grail) cleanser. He suggested this product to me when I kept breaking out despite using a cleanser I've been using for almost a year. This worked out fine for me! It doesn't leave my face feeling stripped of oils (well, it actually depends on how much product you used). It leaves my skin feeling soft right after cleansing.

Right after cleansing, I immediately use toner as an extra cleansing step and also helps balances the pH level of the skin. If you're keen to read more about pH levels, I suggest reading this link as this helped me understand more about it.

I use the Thayers Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Toner and this is my HG! The pH level of this product is around 5.5-6, which is ideal when you want to keep the pH level of your skin at bay. This product doesn't really have a scent to it and I like it as is.

The next thing I do is I moisturize my face. Despite having an oily face, moisturizing is essential! Letting your skin feel moisturize will help it produce less oil. But if you do it too much, it will just make you much more oilier, hahaha! It's tricky, I know. But once you get the hang of it and if you use the right product for your skin type, it will definitely work for you. This is why the term YMMV (your mileage may vary) is very important. What works for me, may not work for you.

Cetaphil's Moisturizing Lotion does the job for me. I only apply a pea amount on my face and another if my face feels like it needs some more. Although the recommended moisturizer for oily skin is a gel moisturizer, I'm still using this as I haven't had any encounter with a good gel moisturizer yet. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

Ah, facial oils. This step is an essential for me at night as this helps keep my skin from acne (with our formulation of this DIY facial oil). However, facial oils don't all have the same purpose or effect as each one aims to solve particular issues of a person's skin. But in general, oil can be good for the skin as long as you don't apply too much. Like what I said previously, oily skin or not, your skin needs the proper hydration to keep its natural generation of oils on the skin. This is why facial oils may help bring moisture to the face. But keep in mind, oil is known for clogging pores and breakouts which is why you need to exfoliate once or twice a week as needed.

This DIY facial oil was a discovery by my mom as she explored the uses of essential oils. She stumbled upon a Facebook post on a group where people shared their own concoctions with the use of essential oils. The post included the recipe of the concoction for a "facial serum" where she used the key ingredient: tea tree oil! This became part of her skincare routine and it helped get rid of acne and keep them at bay as well. We've been using this concoction for months already and it does help, especially when I breakout! I apply a small amount for spot concealing when I'm at home.

Here's another facial oil that I tried using. This is V&M Naturals' CPC+G Oil. CPC+G means Calamansi, Papaya, Camellia Japonica, and Grapefruit Extract. This claims to lighten dark and damaged skin. I personally think that this is similar to the vitamin c serums out in the market. I tried using this on my skin but immediately stopped it when my skin reacted to some product that I was using. I can't tell if it's this one but I knew I had to stop the recent additions to my skincare routine. However, I use this for my knees and elbow as they are darker than my skin tone. I've noticed a change in the color as it does help lighten them. I've yet to use this as a spot treatment for my dark spots.

Sunscreen is an essential when it comes to skincare. There are many negative effects when being exposed to the sun, and this includes UVA and UVB rays. While UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and such, UVA rays are as important to avoid as this deeply affects the skin which may cause skin aging and even skin cancer. To learn more about this and the different types of sunscreen, here's a very informative video all about sunscreens.

My problem about sunscreens is that I think SPF actually breaks me out. So I'm currently looking into trying these two sun creams in moderation. The RA&GOWOORI Real Kill 9.9 Sun Block already has a makeup base which comes in handy. This is a physical sunscreen and has the usual sunscreen/sunblock consistency and smell as well. The Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, on the other hand, is a chemical sunscreen and has a gel-like consistency. I don't have much to say about these products but I hope either one of this will work for me as sun protection is really important!

So there's my 5 (or so) skincare routine. I always do this every night and day. I forgot to list down an important step: clay mask. I use the Aztec Secret - Indian Healing Clay once a week. I also use the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask from time to time as my lips tend to get dry and chappy when not given enough care.

If you have any recommendations and HG products, please comment below. I'd love to learn more about skincare!

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