Skincare History and Routine

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Aloha!

I thought that this little slice of the internet which I've claimed as mine would be the best place to share my current skincare routines, mostly for the fact I can look back on this in a few months and see whats changed and also so you lovely readers can see if your routines are similar or hopefully you can try out some of these products too! Prepare for an extra LONG post today!

Over the past few months I've become literally OBSESSED with Asian Skincare Cosmetics. I found the Sub-Reddit r/AsianBeauty whilst browsing Imgur and Reddit one day (something I do on a daily basis) and fell in love. I didn't realise how much greater Korean Cosmetics are compared to our Western products, we're so used to our 3-Step Skincare Routine but in fact the Asian Routines have everything from 6-20 products! There's everything from Starfish Extract to Bee Venom to Snail Slime in their products (it's not as weird as it sounds I promise) all which have amazing benefits for your skin. If you want to learn more about Asian Beauty Cosmetics click HERE!

Naturally this meant that I had to order a bunch of things from Korea which I had seen had been peoples HG's (Holy Grail Products), I probably ordered around 10 different things that I had researched online and hoped for the best. In the past I have made the rookie mistake of just applying everything to my face at once because I get too excited and can't wait to try everything out at once. THIS IS A BIG NOPE. Please, for the love of burgers, do not do this! I ruined my skin a few times by not learning from this lesson and it's taken a few months to get it back to normal... I will admit right now that I am still in a learning curve and as soon as my Asian Beauty products came through I DID throw them all on my face at once without testing them and well... my skin freaked out because it wasn't used it to it and then I realised my mistake and had to start from the beginning again, introducing products s.l.o.w.l.y

I had naturally clear skin with the occasional blemish when I was in my teens, I had a horrible diet and never drank water but for some reason my skin never let me down, until I grew into my twenties... I was around 21 when I started getting cystic acne spots and let me tell you, cystic acne spots are the WORST. I don't have normal acne thankfully but I do get deep cystic acne spots on my chin and nose sometimes and most of the time they come in clusters. They're deep down in the skin that 90% of the time they never come to a head and they hurt. They usually stick around from 1 week - 3 months... yes, 3 months! They are the perfect good skin ruiner and I've been trying to defeat them for the past 6 months with a new diet and drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. Whilst that has helped, I always had a bad skincare routine which involved cleansing my face with face wipes (something I had done for years until I realised how terrible this was for my skin) followed by a moisturiser.

I went to see a dermatologist for the first time this year and she informed me that I have oily/combination skin with dry cheeks. I always knew I had an oily t-zone but to learn that I had dry cheeks when I thought my skin was normal, was a shocker. She recommended me some products, unfortunately they were all very high end ($60-150 per product) and out of my current budget range. I did however ask her for recommendations from drug stores and asked her about Asian Cosmetics in regards to skincare, she did tell me that Asian Skincare is around 10 years ahead of America and Europe which was comforting to hear from her as I'm always skpetctial about what I hear online. With her advice and my findings online, I began to create my new skincare routines!

Below is my current routine and layout for both AM/PM. I am still currently introducing new products into my routine as I am still searching for the perfect routine for my skin type, one day I will find it!

Products

Tony Moly Nutra-Energy Cleansing Oil
Tony Moly Nutra-Energy Cleansing Oil - $20 - PM ONLY: This is an amazing product to take off make up/sun screen at the end of the day. I never used a cleansing oil before and this is great! After doing my research online I decided to purchase this. There is a Korean Grocery Store by my apartment and they have a beauty section which contains a huge amount of Tony Moly. I'd much rather purchase something in person than online given the choice, so I went for it and grabbed this one! I don't know how I haven't used a product like this before, long gone are the days of using expensive make up removers and facial wipes, this stuff is the real deal and even takes off the toughest make up. Oil Cleansing isn't for everyone, I tried to use pure oils (Grapeseed and Jojoba) but it was too much for my skin and caused me to break out, this product doesn't cause any break outs and leaves me skin feeling soft. I use 2 pumps on dry skin at the end of the day, adding a little bit of water to lather the oil. I usually massage the oil for 1-2 minutes and then rinse by splashing water gently onto my face. I use this as my first step in my cleansing in the evenings.

Repurchase? - Possibly, may try a different oil cleanser from the Tony Moly line once finished, I want to try them all! 
Recommend? - Only to those who are into oil cleansing.
Value - 5/5
Rating - 4/5

Avene Cleanance Gel
Avene Cleanance Gel - $25 - AM/PM - This product was recommended me by a friend who has been using it for 5 years! She would always talk about how amazing it is and gave me a sample to try. I automatically fell in love. I have used so many cleansers and never found one that I have fallen in love with, this product cleared up some of blemishes within 2 days which is one of the fastest turn arounds with a new product I've ever had! This is a HG product for me. I use it every morning and evening, in the morning first thing and in evening after the Tony Moly Cleansing Oil. I use a pea size amount and lather into my skin, you really don't need much of this product as it is a gel and becomes foaming when contacted with your skin. A little goes a long way!

Repurchase? - Yes, HG!
Recommend? - Yes for those with acne prone/blemish prone skin. 
Value - 4/5, I do think the value is great due to it being such a great product but it's only 200ml and if you use a lot of this product it can become empty pretty quickly. 
Rating - 5/5

Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner
Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner - $10 - AM/PM - I use this every morning and evening after cleansing. This toner is alcohol which was a big selling point for me. It smells lovely and doesn't irritate my skin, it's a very gentle cleanser which is perfect. Their whole line of toners are meant to be amazing but I would totally recommend this one for anyone who wants a toner that is non-irritating!

Repurchase? - Possibly, may try a different toner next time.
Recommend? - Yes, for those who want a toner that has a light flower scent and doesn't irritate. 
Value - 5/5, it's 355ml for $10! Bargain!
Rating - 5/5

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence - $15 - AM/PM - This is one of my HG Asian products! It contains both Snail Extract and Bee Venom which are great for skin, some of the benefits are healing old acne scars and brightening skin tone. Asian Essences are similar to our toners and should be applied after cleansing as they stick to the skin to benefit moisturisers when placed on top. I always like to apply this one after using the Thayers Toner, it has a strange texture, somewhere between gel and water but I like it. I apply 2 pumps to the back of my hand every morning and evening then massage onto my face and neck. 

Repurchase? - Yes, HG!
Recommend? - Yes
Value - 4/5, this will last a long time with only 4 pumps a day!
Rating - 5/5

Avene Clean-AC Cream
Avene Clean-AC Cream - $20 - AM ONLY - I purchased this item when it was on sale for $15 as I was researching on Avene's website for what would be a light moisturiser for day time. I had previously used the Vichy Hydrating Acne Care Moisturiser but my skin didn't take a liking to it, I believe it was too thick for me to use in a morning and it just felt too heavy. This moisturiser is super light and leaves your skin feeling non-sticky. It also claims to be used on skin which is needing extra moisture due to acne treatments. Sometimes I do use spot creams and treatments so having this as my daily moisturiser makes me feel confident if I do need to up the spot treatments at night! The only downside is that this is 40ml for around $20, such small packaging for an expensive product but it's so great I may only have to repurchase when it's on sale!

Repurchase? - Yes, only when on sale!
Recommend? - Yes, great for those with oily/combo skin with occasional blemishes. 
Value - 3/5, due to it only being 40ml.
Rating - 4/5

Missha All-Around Safe Block Mild Essence Sun Milk SPF45
Missha All-Around Safe Block SPF45 - $18 - AM ONLY - I will be the first to admit that I have never really worn SPF on my face unless it's in my foundation or it's summer time... that is terrible I know, but growing up in England and then moving to Vancouver, BC where it's not that sunny all year round I never thought I had to wear it. When I went to see a dermatologist they explained just how important it is to wear sunblock/sunscreen every single day (you may be safe on the days when you're staying inside and/or its dark and rainy out) and considering how pale I am, it's MAJORLY important that I wear sun block. I then realised that I better get on the sunblock wagon immediately and purchased this! This is another Asian Brand and I love it! I always found sun screen very thick and that my skin wouldn't soak it in properly but this one works wonders. As the rest of my products from Asia, I found this one through the Asian Beauty Sub-Reddit and decided to give it a shot. It doesn't feel oily on my skin and it feels weightless which is exactly what I wanted. It also doesn't break me out which is a huge bonus. I sometimes forget to apply it as I'm still not used to wearing Sunscreen but it is a great product (when I do remember to wear it...)

Repurchase? - Yes
Recommend? - Yes, for those who have oily/combination skin 
Value - 3/5, it's a little pricey but worth it for a sun screen that doesn't break me out and doesn't leave me feeling oily. 
Rating - 4/5


Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream - $15 - AM/PM - Eye Creams have never been my thing but I thought it was better to be late than never to using them, as I am hitting my mid-twenties this year. I picked this one up online due to a million recommendations of how great it is and the rumours are true! It makes my skin around my eyes feel super soft and has actually improved my under eye circles within the past 2 months of using it! It's a great product and if you are new to eye creams I'd highly recommend this one. This is another product by a Korean Brand named Mizon, you can learn check out their website here! I use a small amount of this product dabbing it along my eye area and lids then lightly patting it into my skin, it soaks into my skin within 2-3 minutes. 

Repurchase? - Yes
Recommend? - Yes, especially for newbies with eye creams!
Value - 5/5, a little goes a longgg way with this product meaning it'll last a few months.
Rating - 5/5

OST C20 Vitamin C Serum
OST C20 Vitamin C Serum - $20-25 - PM ONLY - I am very late to jumping onto Vitamin C Serums bandwagon, the only ones I have used were from The Body Shop years ago which I barely used and then threw into the back of my skincare cosmetics never to be seen again, the horror! This is also, once again, from a Korean Brand called OST. I picked this up online due to reading many reviews on the product. It claims to brighten the skin after daily use and to reduce dark spots, which is wonderful as I have some spot scarring on my face and being so pale with red spot scars is not fun! This is one of the products that I have just recently started using within the past few days so my opinion on this product isn't as good as it could be but I have high hopes! I hope to come back and review this in a few months with hopefully results!

Repurchase? - Too early to tell
Recommend? - I would for the recommendations and reviews I've read on this product but check back in a few months to get my latest opinion on this product!
Value - ?/5, too early to tell
Rating - ?/5, too early to tell


Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum 

Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum - $20 - PM ONLY - After my trip to the dermatologist she recommended that I use BHAs and AHAs, obviously I had no clue what she was talking about at the time but AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acids which is used to speed up exfoliating for your skin to get rid of your dead skin cells to reduce blemishes and scarring from old acne and dark spots from sun damage. Pretty fancy huh? I currently use this product every other day in the evening. I usually wait 15-20 minutes after applying before doing the next step of my routine so it has enough time to work into my skin. This product actually comes with a pump in the screw top which is handy, I then dispense the product onto my palm and pat into my skin. This product dries SUPER quickly so you better be fast at getting it onto your skin. It also can have a little stinging sensation when you first apply it, don't be alarmed, apparently this is common and I have had no side effects from this thus far. I'm hoping to see changes in my skin within the next few months of using this product!

Repurchase? - Possibly, may need something stronger for my skin but time shall tell!
Recommend? - Yes, to all those wanting to start with AHAs. More info can be found here!
Value - 5/5, you get what you pay for with this product 
Rating - 3/5, I have high hopes for this product but time will tell if its a HG product for me.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Cream
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Cream - $30-40 - PM ONLY - This was another product recommended to me from a friend. It's a gel texture and it is a light blue colour. I've always tried multiple night time moisturisers and many have been too heavy for my skin and left it feeling too heavy. Sometimes I even have the horror of the moisturisers balling up on my fingers when applying, if you don't know what I mean, its where you rub in your moisturiser and it starts to ball up and flake off... does that make sense? Gah, it's hard to explain! Anyway, this product doesn't do that and it's amazing. I wake up and my skin feels hydrated. It's a little pricy but you get a lot for your money and in the morning when I go to wash my face it feels so soft and it's all thanks to this!

Repurchase? - Yes, but only when on sale (love a bargain!)
Recommend? - Only for those who don't have very dry skin. This wouldn't work well for those who have very dry skin but is hydrating enough for my oily/combo skin.
Value - 4/5, expensive but worth it!
Rating - 5/5, this is my HG night cream.

Routine Order

AM -
Avene Cleanance Gel
Thayers Toner
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
Avene Clean-AC Cream
Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
Missha All-Around Safe Block

PM -
Tony Moly Cleansing Oil
Avene Cleanance Gel
Thayers Toner
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
OST C20 Vitamin C Serum - Wait 10-15 minutes
Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum - Wait 10-15 minutes
Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Cream


Well, that was a long post and took a few hours to type! Do you use any of these products and had any good or bad results? Would you use any of these within your current skincare routine?

Let me know what you think!

- JR

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