Two lies and one truth: 1) I follow a 14-step routine, 2) I took out a loan to fund my AB obsession, or 3) I barged into the local Club Clio five minutes before closing time to get my hands on their sheet masks. Guess correctly and I’m buying you coffee.
Here’s the thing: I never meant to jump into the whole AB (Asian beauty) thing. It just started with a sheet mask. Then Japanese sunscreen. Then a clay mask. Next thing I knew I was in the deep end of the pool and someone pulled a move_objects ON and deleted the ladder so I can’t get out. (So I guess I’ll just die?)
Kidding aside, I love doing my multi-step routine. (Spoiler: no one really does 10 steps every day so let’s just call it that.) I find a lot of comfort in the whole ritual: the precise order of layering, the waiting time between products to let them really penetrate the skin, the patting motions for the liquids and gels, etc. I’ve heard some people refer to it as “radical self-care” and I completely agree.
June 2017 Skincare Routine
Before we get to the routine, say hello to the focal point of my bathroom:
I printed out this guide early this year and I often get asked if I do all these things every day. Truth bomb: I don’t. I don’t even follow this particular routine anymore. Now it’s just more of a layering guide more than anything because surprise– your skin changes, so you should listen and adapt!
My routine for the last month focused mostly on hydration and repair because of a bad reaction I had with a new essence. Happy to report that my skin has cleared up since then! Now I’m easing into my old routine again, which was more for treating hyperpigmentation.
Anyway, let’s just get to it, starting off with:
Cleansers and Exfoliators
I used to be over-zealous with cleansing and exfoliating because I thought that was what my oily skin needed. Now I just wash my face with water in the morning, then double cleanse at night.
- Heimish All Clean Balm – Ordered a few samples of this to try it out. It’s a good first cleanser but I’m not a fan of the smell and it stings when it gets in your eyes so I might go back to Banila Co. Clean It Zero when I use this up.
- Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Foam Cleanser – Doesn’t leave your skin feeling tight and dry. Plus, you don’t have to use a lot of product to get the job done.
- Skin Food Black Sugar Mask Wash Off – I only use this maybe once every 2 weeks because I’m trying to steer clear from physical scrubs. Smells really, really good.
- Calmia Oatmeal Therapy Peeling Gel – For when I need gentle exfoliation but have no time for AHA. Seeing the grits is also very satisfying.
A lot of people skip toner but this is seriously my favorite part, especially after discovering the 7-skin method. (If you want to learn more about this, Gothamista has a really helpful video about it here.)
- The Face Shop Rice Ceramide Hydrating Toner – One of my earliest AB purchases. I only use this occasionally; can’t seem to part with it because I love the scent.
- Skin Genie ACV Toner – This helped a lot when I was treating my breakouts last month. Still using it now as a pH balancing toner.
- Hada Labo Shirojyun Lotion – I love this toner. Sometimes I feel like I can end my routine with just two layers of this. Plus I’ve been using it since January and I’m not even halfway through the bottle. Super worth it.
Might as well call it the COSRX portion. This is where it gets a little complicated with the waiting times and the ordering and the scheduling. But trust me, the payoff is great.
- COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid – Twice a week, following up with a clay mask for maximum degunking. (Might do a separate post on this, stay tuned!)
- COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid – After months of tweaking, my skin has decided it likes AHA more than BHA. 2-3 times a week, especially when I plan on sheet masking. (Tip: decants are your friend.)
- COSRX BHA Skin Returning A-Sol – Prior to the ACV toner, I was using this to calm inflammation and redness. I still use this as a spot treatment, or to boost other actives.
Essences, ampoules, moisturizers
Switched to lighter formulas for the summer but I realized my skin favors them over heavier creams so I guess I’m sticking to this!
- Missha FTE Intensive Moist – Still looking for an FTE to give me that nice glow. This 3rd gen formula helped improved my skin’s texture though, so there’s that.
- Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence – Another ‘just okay’ product; nothing particularly amazing. I just mix this with my next product for a little snail boost.
- Celeteque Hydration Moisturizer – Been using this on and off since college but I’ve decided it’s The One.
- Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule (breathes) – This came with the FTE sample and started using it to help repair my skin during The Breakout. Surprisingly this worked really well for me, despite the less than stellar reviews!
- Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – I only use this after I sheet mask to lock everything in. I treasure the experience. I have to because this is expensive lol.
SPF, Vitamin C, etc.
Sorry, I put sunscreen in the “after everything else” portion but I swear it’s important!
- Bioré UV Aqua Rich Water Essence with SPF 50 – I think this is my third repurchase. Solid product. If you haven’t added sunscreen to your routine, you should start with this!
- Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence – I felt like it wasn’t working for me, but then I used it in the morning after washing my face. Definitely getting better results after the switch.
- Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream – For something that’s around Php 300~, this is a hardworking product.
- COSRX One Step Pimple Clear Pads – Another product I added during The Breakout when I had to skip the stronger actives. I cut the pads in half because I’m a cheapskate but hey it still works.
The photo is a lie and is supposed to hide my sheet my sheet mask addiction, which actually looks like this. These are my recent favorites from the Goodal Water Full line. And yes, I barged into Club Clio right before closing to hoard these babies, and then some. (My kumare and skin twin Chai wrote about the Club Clio opening in this post if you want to check it out: Club Clio now in Manila)
I hope you guys find this useful! If you have any thoughts or questions, just leave a comment. Also if you really believed I took out a loan for my AB stash, I hate you a little. xo