It took a while but I think I’ve finally found a good skin care regimen to fit my current needs. I’m still struggling with the oiliness in my skin when I wear makeup, but I think I have found a balance when it comes to cleansing and nourishing my skin. As I’ve mentioned before, my dermatologist put me on a regimen for combination skin when previously I had been treating my skin as though it were dry (which it used to be — very dry). I saw my derma again just yesterday and I didn’t have any new pimples to show her at the time, but I do still get the occasional blemish. She told me to keep applying the same products and to use the medicine she gave me three times a week (I had been applying it only when pimples popped up). I also have quite a bit of hyper pigmentation left over from dried up pimples, but those will fade in time. What’s important is that my skin is now much more balanced and less prone to pimples.These are the products I’ve been using to keep my skin balanced and clean and I just thought I would share them with you today. I do think that it is important to note that skin care is incredibly specific to every individual and so even if you also have combination skin, these will not necessarily work for you. I will however do my best to share what I can about the products, maybe helping you kick off your research in a way too.
Aside from having combination skin, other things that are important to note about my skin are that I have a history of skin asthma, my skin is sensitive, I am Asian, and I’m 23 years old so my skin has been exposed to the elements of this earth for just as long.
As a makeup junkie, I can’t stress enough how important it is to remove your makeup thoroughly whenever you wear any. Even if you just used sunscreen with a powder over top, you will still need to remove that well because dirt sticks to it throughout the day and will settle in your pores. Gross. It’s also practically impossible to nourish skin properly when you don’t have a clean base to begin with. These are my favourite cleansers:
1. Bioderma Micelle Solution (approx. 800Php from Mannings in HK) – I only use this to remove my eye makeup when I am not wearing a waterproof mascara. I have a different remover for when I’ve used waterproof makeup. So I moisten a cotton pad with this stuff, press it against my eye area holding it there for about 20 seconds, and then I lightly swipe/rub the makeup off. Bifesta is supposed to be a good locally available alternative, but I didn’t really like it when I tried it.
2. Shu Uemura cleansing oil (Fresh variant for enlarged pores) – Expensive but so totally worth the investment. It may seem counter-intuitive to use an oil to remove makeup when you have slightly oily skin, but anyone who has tried the Shu cleansing oil will understand that it’s not that kind of oil. I use two or three pumps of this stuff (depending how heavy the makeup I wore was) rubbed into the skin and then I rinse it off with water. The oil clings to the oils on your face and on contact with water, everything just breaks down and washes away. Of course that’s not all there is to it. Each variant of the cleansing oil has other ingredients in it to treat your skin too. Now that all that makeup has come off, I can move on to the “standard” way of cleaning my skin: cleanse, tone, and (sometimes) moisturize. At night, I treat my skin with the medicated cream OR I use a face mask. The cream goes on thrice a week and the masks I use once or twice. Masks won’t be included in this post because I don’t really consider them to be basic care.
3. VMV Hydra Balance Gentle Cream Cleanser for combination skin (620.00 Php) – This super soft and gentle cleanser is specifically made for combo skin, so it neither strips my skin down nor does it leave it too slick.
4. VMV Super-Skin 2 Toner (830.00 Php) – “Acne-managing, deep-cleaning, firming + mattifying mandelic acid + monolaurin daily toner for Combination Skin.” — according to the VMV website, and I don’t know what much else to say about it except that this really works! It makes my skin feel super clean too.
5. Physiogel AI Cream (1,139.00 Php for a pack of two, approx. 600.00 Php for 1) – I used to think that the “AI” in this cream moisturizer stood for something fancy, but it turns out that it just means “anti-itch.” It’s the one moisturizer that I truly believe in because it calms redness, heals my skin-asthma-induced rashes, and is super gentle. I don’t use this every night though. I only use it when I feel that I have dry areas or on rashes/redness.
6. My medicated cream – Prescribed specifically to me by my dermatologist, this is a cream that I apply thrice a week as instructed. This step is usually reserved for a serum that treats your specific skin concern. Mine is obviously acne, so I use this as a preventive measure in lieu of a serum.
7. Lancome Genefique Yeux – Eye cream has become an indispensable part of my skin care regimen because of this product. I really see and feel a difference between when I use it and when I don’t. I just have a sample and I think a purchase of the full size is imminent, though I have voiced my frustrations over the steep price and the pot packaging. The newly released Visionnaire Yeux looks like it may be a good alternative though!
8. L’Oreal UV Perfect Sunblock SPF 50 +++ ( xx.xx Php ) – An old reliable. I use the “even complexion” variant and damn this stuff is like a great moisturizing primer with a crazy high SPF! The only time I don’t use this is when my base/foundation already has SPF in it. Miscellaneous products:
9. T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel (approx 350 for 8 fl oz.) – Witch Hazel is a natural astringent that you can use as a toner (are all toners astringents? the definition is: “a substance that causes the contraction of body tissues, typically used to protect the skin and to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions”). I use this on my neck and upper chest area instead of the VMV Super skin toner 2 because that one is medicated and I don’t need medication on my neck and chest. This stuff is gentle but effective and it’s pretty affordable, too! Available at Healthy Options.
10. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (approx. 1000.00 ++ Php) – The ultimate concentrated moisturizer. I keep this beside my bed and use it as a lip balm at night and also on any dry patches on my body. When I travel, I use keep the lip balm shaped version in my bag at all times. It’s great to have the huge tube at home though. I find more uses for it than I ever thought I could!
And that’s it my skin care routine! Hope you enjoyed looking at the products and reading about them. :) Again, skin care is very specific to every person’s needs and finding the right regimen should be anchored in knowledge of your own skin. The search for the perfect products is also never-ending because skin changes throughout the years (aging being the biggest agent of that change).