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Friday, April 17, 2015

10 Step Skincare Regime

I've been meaning to do up another beauty related post for quite a while but I just couldn't seem to find the time (and motivation) to do so. Tonight though, while I have a sheet mask on my face, I thought I would finally sit down and do up my 10 Step Skincare Regime.

In today's day and age, it's really hard to find time to do elaborate skincare regimes. I mean who really wants to sit down for a good half an hour massaging various products into their faces? Ain't no body got the time for that. However, I really feel that if you were to take a look at the steps in this skincare regime, you'll realise that you're probably already doing most of these steps.

Not all of these steps are relevant for you (especially if you do not put on makeup) and not all these products may work for you, but I'm just sharing my skincare regime today.

1. Make Up Removal

Removing of make up effectively is essential if you want your skin to stay blemish-free. After all, the top cause of blemishes is clogged pores which come about if you do not remove make up properly.

Most of us love putting on make up, I mean, who doesn't want to look pretty right? However, we also tend to get lazy at the end of the day, and removing make up is definitely a hassle. I do not know any one who actually enjoys scrubbing all the make up off their faces. But this is a very important step because improper removal of make up can lead to clogged pores which of course, end up in pimples.

What I usually do is to first soak a cotton pad with Innisfree's Apple Juicy Lip&Eye Remover and press it firmly on my eyes for maybe 10-15 seconds before gently moving the cotton pad off my eyes. This lip and eye remover does a pretty good job of removing all my eye make up, even waterproof mascara and it smells really good to boot.

Next, I will use a face make up remover to remove my base make up. The one I'm currently using is Lancome's Galateis Douceur which is a cleansing milk. I'll dispense the product on my hands before gently rubbing it into my skin, slowly breaking down the make up on my face before using a tissue to wipe the cleansing milk off my face.

Honestly, I don't think this is the best face make up remover and I'm just using it because I haven't finished my bottle yet haha. I bought quite a few face make up removers when I was in Korea so definitely stay tuned to my reviews on those when I finally finish this bottle!

2. Cleanse

The next step is to cleanse your face. Washing your face with a cleanser equates to doing a double cleanse which I feel is important to remove any residue of your make up and any traces of your make up remover. Also, if you use oil-based make up removers, this will remove the oily or greasy feeling you may still feel even after washing your face with water.

Be mindful to use gentle, circular motions to really massage the cleanser on your face and avoid rubbing too hard because this may injure your skin and cause it to lose its elasticity in the long run. It is also best to first use warm water to open up your pores to allow the cleanser to deep cleanse your skin and to rinse off the cleanser with cold water to close your pores and tighten them.

I alternate between two facial cleansers simply because I feel that they suit different purposes. In the day, I find myself reaching for Simple's Kind To Skin Moisturising Facial Wash because it is good for sensitive skin and it is light on my face. I feel that I don't need a heavy-duty facial cleanser in the mornings.

At night, my current favourite facial cleanser is Mamonde's Super Moist Foam. I feel that it is super hydrating and it doesn't leave my skin feeling tight at all although it does its job at removing all traces of make up.

3. Exfoliate

Exfoliating your skin with a good, well, exfoliator is important to remove all dead skin cells from your face, dirt from your pores, and promote skin cell renewal. Dead skin cells tend to stay on our skin's surface, which hinders all the good stuff from your skin care products from being properly absorbed into the deeper layers of your skin.

I usually exfoliate my skin twice to thrice a week, depending on how my skin feels. That being said, if you have sensitive skin, it is probably best to only exfoliate your skin once a week to avoid putting too much stress on your skin.

I've tried a few exfoliators but I always find myself going back to St. Ives Apricot Scrub because it's not only really affordable but it does leave my skin feeling brighter and baby-butt-smooth without feeling raw or tender.

Make sure your skin is damp before gently rubbing this onto your skin in circular motions. Be careful not to use this on the skin around your eyes as this may damage the thin layer of skin and cause premature aging.

4. Clarifying Masks

I have noticed that this step does not seem to be featured in most skin care regimes however I think it definitely is a pretty important step! Everyone knows that clay masks do wonders for the skin. They soak up all traces of dirt and grease and some even help to tighten pores in the process.

My current clay mask is from Innisfree and it is their Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask. I religiously slap this baby on my face at least once a week to suck up all the impurities from my face. Just apply it on your face and wait for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off in circular motions with warm water and you'll definitely see your skin condition improve over time!

Another good clay mask option would be the Mask of Magnaminty from Lush. I love how it feels super minty and refreshing on your face and due to the particles in the mask, it exfoliates at the same time. Thus, if you use the mask of magnaminty, you can easily skip the previous step. (You can read my full review of this mask HERE.)

5. Tone

Toning is such an important step because it not only prepares your face for all the skin care products to come, it also helps to remove any residue leftover from your facial cleanser. Toners have an array of skin care benefits depending on the brand and the type. Some help to brighten the skin, restore the PH on your skin, tighten pores, hydrate your skin, cleanse your pores....

Just soak a cotton pad with your toner of choice and sweep the cotton pad all over your face and neck. Don't be alarmed to see traces of make up on the cotton pad! This may happen more often than not.

I typically alternate between two toners, once again, one for the day and the other for the night.

For the day, I use the Cleansing Toner All Bright from Boots' Botanics range. My mum brought this back for me when she last went to the UK but I believe Boots is now available in certain Watsons/Guardian stores in Singapore. I'm not sure if they brought their Botanics range over though.

This toner has definitely helped to brighten my skin and keep it from looking dull which is why I love to use this during the day before my make up for clearer and brighter looking skin.

At night, I prefer to use Etude House's Wonder Pore Freshner. This toner is known to help deep cleanse pores, tighten pores, control sebum production, minimize appearance of pores and to help hydrate the skin. All good stuff which I want for my skin. (You can read my full review of this toner HERE.)

6. Serums

Serums are essentially liquids with high concentrations of goodness. Think of all the good stuff in your moisturizer, just more concentrated. This step is considered the most important step for many people because serums tend to be lighter in consistency which means that it gets absorbed faster and easier into the skin as compared to moisturisers. Also, because it is less oily/greasy than moisturisers it is ideal for people with oily skin.

You may choose to only use one serum or to layer a few. The rule of thumb is to use the most watery product first before proceeding to the thicker ones so that your skin is able to absorb all the products effectively.

Typically, I dispense the serum onto my hand, rub my hands together, and then pat my hands all over my face. The heat from my hands helps to break down the active ingredients from the serum and allows my face to absorb the product better.

I use two serums on my face. The first being Innisfree's Green Tea Seed Serum. This little baby is packed full of moisture and anti-oxidants which protects your face from premature aging. It is also really lightweight and does not leave your skin feeling greasy at all.

My next serum of choice is Innisfree's Eco Science White C Pore Double Serum. If you love citrusy scents, this is a definite must buy for you because it smells amazing! This serum is also pretty lightweight (though it is thicker than the Green Tea Seed Serum) and has a velvety finish when applied on the face.

This little baby has both benefits of brightening the skin and tightening pores which is the best two-in-one product that suit my skin care concerns at the moment. I'm all for the Korean bright skin look, and I want to minimize the appearance of my pores and this serum definitely does both! It has also helped to control sebum production and I find my T-Zone to be a lot less oily than before but it does not leave my cheeks feeling dry at all.

7. Sheet Masks

I believe I've said this many times before but sheet masks are a must for me! I apply make up for long hours every day and I work in an aircon environment which leaves my skin feeling dehydrated at the end of the day. Sheet masks definitely add a boost of moisture back to my skin and also plays a part in my unwinding at the end of the day.

Sheet masks are amazing because unlike creams or serums which evaporates after a while, sheet masks force your skin to absorb the nutrients and moisture better since you're leaving them on for a good 10-20 minutes. The effects of sheet masks are also immediate. After removing the sheet mask, you can see your face looking slightly more plump and brighter thanks to all the moisture the mask injects into your skin.

I don't do sheet masks every day, I alternative days, because I think it will be too heavy for my skin but I know of people who do sheet masks every single day. I wouldn't say sheet masks are a must for every day use but try to do it at least twice a week?

What I like to do is to place the sheet mask on my face before either watching YouTube videos or catch up on Running Man. After 10-20 minutes, I'll peel the sheet mask off and pat the remaining product into my skin.

I bought back a whole bunch of masks from Korea (you can read about my mask haul HERE) and my current favourites are from Innisfree and The Face Shop. I think any of the sheet masks from these two brands are pretty decent however my favourites are definitely the Rice, LemonLime and Royal Jelly ones from Innisfree.

8. Eye Cream

The thin, fragile skin around your eyes is the first area to show signs of aging and if this isn't an important reason to show care to the area around your eyes, I don't know what is. 

Many people I know tend to skip this step because they don't feel that it is important since they don't show signs of aging just yet. However, the skin around our eyes lack glands which produce sebum to keep the area hydrated. Also, the skin around the eyes is under the strain of 22 muscles in perpetual motion and 10,000 blinks per day. This probably makes the skin around our eyes the most stressed part of our face and this is why this area typically is the first to show signs of premature aging.

Do note that not all facial products are suitable for the eye area because of how thin and fragile the skin there is. It is best to use an eye cream or a face cream which specifies that it is gentle enough to be used around the eye area.

I love how Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is really hydrating and isn't greasy at all! Although it has a thick consistency, it does not cause my eye make up to cake even if I apply it before my make up. It also does not cause oil seeds to form around my eyes.

9. Moisturisers

A moisturiser is essentially a product used to lock in all the goodness from earlier steps into your skin by forming a barrier between your skin and the external environment. Moisturisers also, typically, hydrate your skin.

Moisturisers come in many forms, from light gel-like textures to heavy creams, and it is best to choose one which suits your skin type. If you have oily skin, a gel moisturiser would be best for your skin because it will hydrate your skin without leaving it feeling too greasy. If you have dry skin, than a thicker cream would be better suited to hydrate your skin.

Always remember, just because your skin is oily does not mean that your skin is sufficiently hydrated and that you can skip this step. You skin may produce excess sebum because it is dry and thus produces more sebum to coat your skin in an attempt to lock your skin's moisture in.

My current obsession is from Laneige and it is their famed Water Bank Gel Cream_EX. This moisturiser is pretty light weight and it absorbs really well into my skin without leaving it feeling greasy.

10. Sleeping Masks

Really? Yet another step? Well yes, my dears, the road to beauty is a long one, but it is definitely worth the investment both in time and money.

Sleeping masks are essentially masks which you apply on your face and leave on overnight instead of peeling it off (as you would to a sheet mask) or washing it off (as you would for clay masks). In the morning, just wash it off and you are good to go!

Because I sleep in an air conditioned room (can you really sleep without air con in Singapore's crazy humid weather?) I aim to pack my face with as much moisturising goodness as I can before I sleep to prevent my skin from being dehydrated and this step is important for me waking up to plumped and hydrated skin.

My favourite sleeping mask has got to be Laneige's Water Sleeping Pack_EX. I've been using it for more than 2 years and I still love how my skin feels the next morning.

If you feel that using a sleeping mask after your moisturiser is a tad too much, what you can do is to skip your moisturiser at night and apply the sleeping mask directly. Or alternatively, you can skip this step altogether and just stick with your moisturiser.

And this, concludes my 10 step skincare regime.

This may be a tad too much for you to take in, especially if you're new to the whole idea of using skin care products. If this is the case, it would be best for you to start with the 3 basic steps of Cleansing, Toning, and Moisturising first before adding other steps into your regime.

Always remember that it is best to not overwhelm your skin by starting all these steps at one go. Instead, slowly introduce one step and one product into your skincare regime at a time and allow your skin to get used to that particular product before adding another one. This also allows you to troubleshoot which product is unsuitable for your skin should your skin start acting up.

I hope this post helps in explaining what each step essentially is and what each type of product featured in each step helps to do to your skin!

(All photos in this post were taken from google.)

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