Until some months ago, I was struggling with white heads, blackheads, dry skin, cystic acne, dull skin, large pores, you name it. My skin was quite sensitive too. And I knew that my skin badly needed hydration. And I tried to overcome it with Laneige Water Bank line, but it just did not work for me (or maybe it was something to do with the makeup I used at that time, which makes my skin problems even worse?).
And so since few months ago, I started to be more active in searching THE RIGHT combination for me. And I’ve tried several skincare products that do quite amazing job. I know, that every skin is different and not every product does the same wonder to different people, BUT when some bunch of people say that is good, then it is worth trying (samples are great). So I also wish to thank some bloggers who dedicate themselves and their time into testifying the products.
And I can say that I’m so glad that I can repair my skin towards better direction nowadays. Not perfect, but at least most of the problems are almost gone by now. And I see my skin in its best after years of neglecting it.
So here, I’m gonna list down skincare products that I currently use and they work like magic for me (note: NOT NECESSARILY FOR EVERYBODY, and yes, they are all K-beauty products).
Cleansing Tissue: Innisfree Green Barley Multi Cleansing Tissue
This cleansing method is only additional, when I am wearing heavy makeup or when I feel the need to remove my makeup immediately after coming home. Otherwise, I will always start from the first cleanser.
The sheet is quite awesome and my skin has no problem with it. I don’t favour the smell, although it is still bearable. Effectiveness of a product always comes first.
The only complain I have is the packaging not sturdy enough. I bought it from a Korean online shop and when it arrived it was wet all over and the cap almost came off. (Or maybe the online shop did not wrap it well?)
Eye & Lip Makeup Remover: Aritaum Fair Smile Fermentation Bboyan Lip & Eye Remover
This is only when I am wearing eye makeup. The reason I bought it was purely economical. It is very cheap for such quantity. Later I heard it is quite recommended product because not only it is very effective in removing makeup, but also gentle to the eye.
It cleanses very well, but unfortunately, I can feel it sting my eye every now and then. I tried Laneige’s one. It never sting, but costly. So I think I’m going to look for another alternative when I run out of the Aritaum later.
First Cleanser: Banila Co. Clean It Zero Purity
It is a very good cleanser. Effective and the texture is lovely. This is an alternative when you want an oil cleanser with less messiness.
I’d really love to try the original (pink) one, but unfortunately it has paraben in its ingredient list, so the Purity version it is for me.
Second Cleanser: Laneige Pore Deep Clearing Foam
It removes well the oil of the first cleanser. It contains Morocco clay, yet it does not make my skin dry. I like it and I’ve been using three tubes already, but I am actually looking for a cheaper alternative to replace it.
Exfoliator: Neogen Bio-peel Gauze Peeling – Green Tea
So I was kind of jumping into the bandwagon by trying this. Honestly, it just doesn’t impress me. I think I still want to try another product which is less harsh (?). I’ve been eyeing on the gel one (Missha Super Aqua D-Tox Peeling Gel maybe?). But I need to finish this whole jar first (it is still a lot T__T).
I don’t do this step routinely. I just do it when I feel that my face needs it. Well, this is also because the bio-peel is kind of harsh. It stings and if I don’t moisturize well enough my face will have dry patches the next morning. So after exfoliating, I always make sure that I put thicker cream than usual, and skip the vitamin C serum for that particular night.
First (Cleansing) Toner: Son & Park Beauty Water
I avoid paraben as well as I can. I was actually dreading to try this. It had various kinds of parabens. But after my son turned 2 few months ago and I stopped breastfeeding him, I decided to try this. I was in desperate need for first toner and this one is probably the most recommended out there.
I would say this gives me squeaky clean feeling. Not the kind that feels dry, but more on the fresh side. It is so gratifying to see little stain on the cotton pad after wiping my face with it. It means my face is ready to absorb the next products since impurities are gone.
The good news is, I heard Son & Park has renewed its ingredients and now paraben-free (today I check Sokoglam, and indeed no more paraben). The bad news is I have to finish the old paraben-ed 340 ml bottle first before buying the renewed one T___T.
First Essence: Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence – Intensive Moist
I almost finish the first bottle, and no other word than satisfied! I’m going to continue using it for as long as I can. This essence probably one of the major factors my skin becomes less troublesome. Sometimes in my lazy days, after cleansing I only use cleansing toner plus this FTE. And the morning after my skin is still good, a little oily than when I do full routine, but it still has that glow. It is soooo good. Rather expensive but worth it!
Emulsion: Laneige Balancing Emulsion Sensitive
I used to use this with Laneige Skin Refiner (toner) and the Water Bank line. This is one of two things remains from my old Laneige regime (the other one is Pore Deep Cleansing Foam). Actually, I find this quite nice when it is combined with non-Laneige products. Honestly, I think emulsion stage is not that crucial, but since I use Missha FTE that contains niacinamide and vitamin C serum, somehow it acts as some sort of “barrier” in between the two products. And I have quite sensitive skin, so I always think it is better to layer something before vitamin C (although this vitamin C I use is designed for sensitive skin too, but still…).
It adds moisture for sure. An okay one at that. But I will try to find another alternative to replace this, the cheaper one of course ^^ (I am eyeing Etude House’s Soonjung Emulsion).
Active/Serum: Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
Some people say it is active but others say it is serum. But because I put this after several products, so I can consider this as serum. It contains 5% of ascorbic acid, which is quite low compared to some other vitamin C skincare products. But this is only because it is designed for those with sensitive skin.
I have many scars after the acne fighting episode. And I think this product has big role in making it fading. They are not yet gone completely, but after some months I see major improvement, and I mean very, very, very major improvement. I looooooove this product.
Sometimes my skin stings on first seconds after dropping it. Some other times it only feels warm. That is why I still dare not put this one right after cleansing. And also because I still prefer Missha FTE to be applied first.
I have mentioned about “separating” FTE and vitamin C serum. And I separate them not only by product, but by time too. After FTE, I put minimum 30 minutes before putting this serum. So I apply FTE, wait 30 minutes, apply the emulsion, then vitamin C serum.
This is from what I read. FTE contains niacinamide, of which when it meets vitamin C (ascorbic acid), they neutralize each other, which means both products won’t be effective. Some also report skin redness or flushing after using both. However I also read that there should be certain “situation” that makes them become flushing factors. And I try to eliminate that “situation” by putting 30 minutes time constraint and by using emulsion before the serum. And voila, so far so good.
Essence: Innisfree Orchid Enriched Essence
I’ve been using this for around 3 months, and I can positively say this one is awesome. You’ll only find your skin glowing the next morning (because of this plus the combination of other products that I use, of course).
It says it fight wrinkles, dull skin, and pore problems. So this has been my saviour too!
The texture is rather thick and sticky. Thicker than Laneige Water Bank Essence_EX that I used before. But still less thick than the J.One Jelly Pack though, and less sticky too. The smell is sooooo nice. Once you apply it, it really hydrates and you can feel that instantly. I am in love with it and so far have no intention to replace it with other product.
Eye Cream: A.H.C The Pure Real Eye Cream for Face
So far, I have not found any eye cream that screams wow. This one is good though. It has helped prevent any wrinkle from showing. My dry skin episode somehow gave me clue that eye wrinkle would come out soon. I saw the sign and I felt horror at that time. But now, I can proudly say it has been prevented.
I have been using several kinds of eye cream products: Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel, Laneige Perfect Renew Eye Cream, and lastly the A.H.C one.
Water Bank one is quite refreshing. But sometimes I felt my eye kind of swollen in the morning after using it the whole night (or did I apply too much?).
Perfect Renew is moisturizing enough. But it did not help my wrinkle enough though.
As for the Real Eye Cream, somehow I can see the wrinkle improvement. My crow feet signs have completely disappear also. Maybe because it hydrates very well. The texture is lighter than the previous eye creams. So I like it better.
Still, my problems with the eyes are unsolved. Visible dark circles and eye bags is just aaargh! Should I use some eye mask, eye pad? Or maybe I just need good night sleep–which I don’t get for years, I mean two kids…
And.. this is not important, but… what’s with the tacky name like “eye cream for face”. I mean you can use it for face too, but it’s still an eye cream. I mean name it better. And what’s with the “season”. What I use now is called “season 5”. I mean why?? It feels like watching american series (or Indonesian drama too in that case). I mean whyyyy???
Cream: Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
What I love about it is its ingredients. No animal-derived ingredients. Which means it should be halal. I am a muslim, and this one is a great concern for me.
And this one is real good moisturizer. It is so creamy. It soothes. Although sometimes I feel the Orchid Essence is thicker than this, but in the morning, I can see that my skin absorbs it too. I won’t change it for something else (unless I can no longer get this in Indonesia, I mean what’s up with the customs recently and until WHEN?? ¬¬).
Masks: Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask & Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet (Orange & Royal Jelly)
I prefer using mask at night. And right now I am using these two products.
The clay mask cleans pore well. Although it dries my skin too. So I guess this one is very good for people with oily skin. I bought it when I was fighting with my pimple, hoping it would somehow do magic. And this was not the answer for me. But somehow it shrinks pores. I am finishing the jar. I guess it’ll take a while. And I don’t plan to re-buy.
I prefer the mask sheet though. I am buying this sheet because it is very cheap. Orange is for dull skin and royal jelly is for nourishment. I use this whenever I want to. Especially when I have a lot of time in hand for night time routine.
Cleanser: It’s Skin Green Tea Calming Cleansing Foam
This has a lot of of beads/scrub, but I don’t know is that green tea extract or maybe the walnut powder?
Honestly, at first I chose it because it said “foam” and “green tea”. Also the price was cheap. I thought to replace my Laneige Pore Deep with this one. But then when I tried it, the first impression was it wasn’t “strong” enough to remove makeup. And when I massage my face the way I use Laneige Pore Deep, my skin becomes tight. So I decided to use it as a morning cleanser, because then I just need to lather up, massage it very lightly, and wash off. No tight feeling and it’s just great.
The ingredients list of this cleansing foam is actually quite great. It even has saccharomyces ferment in the list. However, I’m not sure about its pH level.
But even as a morning cleanser, I think I don’t need that many beads, really. Because I’m afraid they will only irritate my skin. For night cleanser too, I don’t think I need beads. I almost finish the tube, and will replace it with Acwell Bubble-free pH Balancing Cleanser. And if the Acwell is good enough, I will use it as night cleanser too. Wish me luck for this.
First (Cleansing) Toner: Son & Park Beauty Water
I use it for day toner too. It preps my skin pH and clears impurities for the next step of skin care.
First Essence: Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence – Intensive Moist
This is for the day also. Because it is soooo awesome I just can’t miss it.
Serum: Skinmiso Pore Corset Serum
At first I was not very sure of its effect. I looked at the product page and saw testimonies, and I thought it was maybe marketing gimmick. But then one day there was discount for this and why not gave it a try, I thought.
And I was so surprised that it indeed shrunk my pores. It says leave it for 20 minutes, but sometimes when I’m in a rush and can’t wait, I only wait until it dries up (while putting lotions all over my body) and layer it with the next product. And it is still good. This serum also has this cooling sensation. I only apply it on the areas where my pores are huge (cheek and nose).
I think maybe people misunderstand that it can make your pores small the longer/the more you use it. But to me, it is more of an instant effect to help cover enlarge pores and control sebum which lasts for 12 hours or so. So it is not healing, but it helps to shrink pores for certain amount of time. And that is why, it is very very good under makeup.
Not to mention that it also has great ingredients. So I have no plan to replace it with anything. THIS is my day serum.
Essence/Cream/Pack: J.One Jelly Pack
Some people probably give up this pack because the texture is unusual. But this one is an amazing product, once you can handle it.
I mean, it saves a lot of time of preparing your skin in the morning, especially when you’re rushing. Not to mention abundant ingredients that are just soooo good. It is essence, cream, face pack, and primer all in one. You may even skip toner and apply this after the cleansing stage. It is just so awesome.
It also covers pores very well. So after Pore Corset, I put this and my pores are fixed.
This is also rather on the pricey side. But I prefer primer that is actually skincare than the primer that is actually makeup. And I can see the comparison on my skin too. Less trouble (acne) and more benefit (glowing healthy skin).
Sunscreen: Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care SPF50+ PA+++ & Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream Long Lasting SPF50+ PA+++ for Dry Skin
I love these two. The Triple Care is when I want a matte one and Long Lasting is when I want it dewy.
I have only little experience with face sunscreen (I only use two brands so far: A.H.C and Innisfree), but these two from Innisfree are good enough in my opinion. They have white cast a while after applying, but gone in minutes. Some people against white-cast, but to me it is very helpful because you will know if you apply the sunscreen evenly or not. Because the point of using sunscreen is to spread it evenly and liberally. White cast is good, as long as it is gone later on ^^
When I don’t want to use any makeup in particular day, I usually go for the Triple Care one. I use this one the most. But there are times when I feel like my skin needs hydration, then I’ll pick the Long Lasting.
Whereas, under makeup, I choose based on the cushion foundation I use. I like to finish my makeup a little dewy. My main cushion foundations are watery/have very dewy finish (Hera UV Mist Cushion Nude and Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion), so I usually pair it with Triple Care. The weather in my country is tropical, so in order to have slight dewiness, I tone it down with matte sunscreen.
And there are certain days when I want to use Etude House AC Clean Up Mild BB Cushion, such as when some pimple comes up, I will use Long Lasting. Because AC Clean Up Cushion is quite matte, so I will still have a little dewiness for finish look.
Overall, I am very satisfied with this skincare combination I use right now. And maybe I will post more on cosmetics later on, when I have time. The conclusion is: I am glad as long as my skin is glad :).