25 October, 2013

Chic 101: Lesson 1 -- Your Skin

I'm of the school of thought that anybody can have good skin, provided that they use the correct skincare products for their skin types. When you begin with a good foundation (and by that, I mean your skin!), you get much better performances from your makeup. My advice is: be realistic about what your skin concerns are, and use products that you feel are best for you. Ignore the hypes, or fear-mongering, surrounding certain products or ingredients. Instead, take them as guidelines, but in the end, follow your heart. If Ingredient X works miracles for you, or conversely -- puts your skin through hell, do what you feel is best, despite what others may insist.

My skin is extremely oily, along with sensitive as well. I also get small breakouts all over my face very easily, so I have to be very diligent with my skincare, at times vigilant, even. As you can see, good skincare does not necessarily mean using only expensive, high-end products. I use a mixture of the more expensive and budget brands together, and they work.

As of Fall 2013, my skincare routine is as follow:

1) I cleanse my face each morning and night with Le Couvent Des Minimes 3-in-1 Micellar Water, using Japanese cotton pads, instead of soap or any other cleansers. Like many, I used to think that if I had oily skin, I should use a soap-based cleanser, and a toner with high alcohol content, that could remove all of the excess off of my face. While that method worked very well for the first three days, or even the first week, my skin always ended up even more oily than it was a few days prior. 

This 3-in-1 micellar water, made in France, has three functions: removes makeup; cleanses; tones. No rinsing is needed. The alcohol-free and soap-free micellar water also has the following skincare properties:

  • Damask Rose floral water: refreshes and softens.
  • Centifolia Rose absolute essence: tones.
  • Wild Rose hip polyphenols: reveal radiance and protect protect against free radicals.
As mentioned above, I use the micellar water each morning and night with Japanese cotton pads, because they are sturdy yet silky-soft at the same time. These cotton pads aren't as rough-feeling as American cotton pads, so they do not aggravate the top surface of your skin, further irritating it. Mine is from a brand called CS-Being, which I pick up at the local Mitsuwa supermarket. However, if you are having a difficult time locating some in your area, Shiseido also makes the same product as well.

2) In the morning, the SPF product that I use for my face is Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer SPF 21. This primer isn't just a primer; it is also a very effective skincare product with a good amount of stable sun protection. Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer mattifies the skin, smooths it out, prepares it for foundation, and evens out your skin tone. Because of its ability to even out the skin tone, it can actually be worn alone without foundation, should you wish.

3) For my neck, I use Avon Rejuvenate Revitalizing Cream SPF 25, which is an amazing non-greasy "cream" that is actually more like a light lotion. The reason why I use this cream on my neck is because despite being non-greasy with amazing anti-aging properties, my facial skin simply likes the Shiseido SPF primer much better, which doesn't do much for my neck skin. The Avon cream offers a good amount of sun protection, along with moisturization. Not only that, but it has a small amount of salicylic acid, which gently removes the top layer of dead skin, revealing a smooth and youthful neck. We take care of our faces, but oftentimes neglect our necks; let's not forget that important part of the body, too!

4) At night, after having cleansed my face and neck with the micellar water, I'd first apply a layer of Olay Regenerist Regeneration Serum Fragrance -- Free, to my face and neck.  This non-greasy, silky, totally matte anti-aging serum has a high enough amount of niacinamide, which increases the skin's ceramide and fatty acid content. This results in healing your inflamed skin, along with reducing and preventing hyperpigmentation (Source: Paula's Choice). What I love most about this serum is that it naturally hydrates without adding oil.

5) Following the Olay serum, I then apply Yonka Phyto 58 for Normal to Dry Skin. Despite being in a squeeze tube and appearing like a cream, this product feels more like an oil-free lotion that hydrates and heals the skin at night without adding oil to my skin. This nighttime treatment contains nice-smelling plant extracts that are aromatic and help you sleep better at night with their aromatherapy qualities, such as rosemary, lavender oil, geranium oil, cypress oil, and thyme oil.

How about you? What are your skin concerns? Favorite skincare products?

Where to buy: 

A) Avon Rejuvenate Revitalizing Cream SPF 25 can be purchased at Avon.

B) Yon-Ka Phyto 58 can be purchased at Skinstore

C) Le Couvent Des Minimes Micellar Water and Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum can be purchased at Le Couvent Des Minimes

D) Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer SPF 21 and cotton pads can be purchased at  Nordstrom

Note: If you don't already have an Ebates.com account, I highly recommend it, as you get a percentage of your money back for every purchase that you make online. Click here to sign up if you haven't yet.

All of the products mentioned in this blog entry were paid for by me. This blog entry contains affiliated links.

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