My 11-Step Skincare Regimen (Which I Totally Swear By)

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Brace yourselves, this is a rather engaging and peppered-with-details read. I just cannot proceed with my new foray into beauty blogging without letting this very important cat out of the bag. :)

Let me be transparent about one thing: I LOVE skincare. I am one huge skincare geek freak. As much as I love putting on makeup during the day, I look forward to removing them all at night to usher in a ritual of cleansing, nourishing, and pampering my skin with heavenly goodies.

Heavenly goodies, yes!

Slathering skincare is one of my favorite me times. The rich tactile and olfactory experience during my quiet moment in the bathroom is a much-needed luxury for me these days. Oops, I just remember I am a mom with a little clingy toddler who goes with me everywhere I go, so scrap that quiet me time. But I do indulge and luxuriate in my creams even with a noisy and curious toddler hovering and shadowing me.

Sticking to a skincare regimen is like performing a familiar ritual. It involves steps -- probably seeming too much and too tedious to someone who is not as hooked into skincare as I am. (Don't judge me, pretty please?) But trust me, it is scientific! Every step and product in my routine has a specific purpose. My (oily, greasy) skin is definitely far from being perfect, but I can say it is looking rather fine, perhaps even in it's "best state ever!" than at any point in the past few years!

Just some of the goodies I currently use. :)
My 11-step nighttime skincare routine consists of:

1. Double cleansing - First cleanse, the surface cleanse
Are you wearing makeup? Yes, even "just a light dab of powder foundation" classifies as makeup. Are you wearing sunblock? If you are, you better double cleanse, girly! And if not, well maybe it's time you start wearing sunblock on a daily basis. :)

Double cleansing is a two-step cleansing process wherein balms, oils, an the like are used to remove makeup, grease, and other surface grime, followed by a more hardworking cleanser. I know it sounds tedious, but really, what is an extra two minutes of massaging in some cleansing balm (it's quite relaxing) and rinsing if it translates to soft and smooth skin, reyyyt? :)

2. Double cleansing - Second cleanse, the deep cleanse
The first cleanse is only meant to "wipe" off the surface dirt, and not exactly deep cleanse. And this is where the second cleanse comes in. I do my second cleanse as soon as I take off all my makeup, sunblock, and invisible tons of dirt and city grime (did that gross you out? it should! LOL) sitting on top of it. Ahh, I can always hear my skin singing thank yous to me as soon as I'm done with my deep cleanse.

Some cleansers on rotation.
3. Micro-exfoliating cleanser (Twice a week, as a second cleanse)
Two times a week, I switch my usual gentle cleanser with a more potent micro-exfoliating cleanser. Don't worry, it's gentle enough to be used twice or thrice a week. A micro-exfoliating cleanser gets rid of all the dead skin cells (that need to be sloughed off, anyway) and encourages faster skin regeneration. I'm not referring to physical exfoliators here with all those rough particles, but more of chemical exfoliators like AHA and BHAs, some heroic acids I'm going to touch on later.

4. Facial mask (Twice a week, as an additional step)
I love facial masks! Most skincare brands have at least one. They come in various texture, color, smell, and purpose. As of the moment, I am drawn to facial masks that suppposedly purge all the clogging in them pores. I do feel the difference, as I am no longer as prone to blackheads as before. Although of course, it's not just because of the mask itself. Which leads me to my next step.

Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse!
5. Acid toner
Ever feel like your toner is not doing anything beneficial to your skin at all? You know, that hunch that toning is absolutely an unnecessary step, and yet you keep at it while clinging to the glimmer of hope that someday, maybe someday, you will feel the difference and see the results? Only to be broken hearted? I have been there. At some point, I got so frustrated and skipped the toner altogether. I was in for the biggest turning point in my beauty junkie life.

As it turns out, I have been using the wrong toners all this time. I found my HG toner, a balancing acid toner infused with potent yet gentle BHAs like glycolic acid. And my life has never been the same!

I swear, my skin has been rebirthed twice over since I got hooked with acid toners. With the right toner, serums, creams, and moisturizers are able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. And wouldn't you want that, instead of letting them just sit idly on top? :) Be warned, though - if you have virgin skin, aka never used any form of acid or exfoliator before, you might want to acclimatize and go easy on 'em first.

HG status. You can say I'm addicted to these acids. LOL
6. Serum
I've come at a point in my life where basic moisturizers just don't cut it anymore for me. I just have to have serums. Serums are hard workers, toiling the night away (so to speak) and doing the quiet, hard work. Because of their form, they are easily absorbed by our skin. They are generally more pricey than moisturizers but they do target specific problem areas. You want an anti-ageing serum, skin-firming serum, or maybe a brightening one? No problemo, your options are far and wide! This is a must if you want to upgrade your skincare game. :)

I cannot live without serum. :)
7. Moisturizer
Ahh yes. My first foray into skincare consisted of THE basic moisturizer. I cannot sleep without putting some on; otherwise, my already oily skin overcompensates and produce more oil than I could deal with. And yep, it's not true that oily-skinned gals don't need moisturizer.

8. Eye cream/ Eye gel
Pardon my vanity, but really, dark, crepey, and dry undereyes do have a HUGE impact on one's overall appearance. So another stepping up - a more dedicated eye cream - I go. I notice that my undereyes are in a poor state whenever I'm sick, sleep-deprived (which is like, all the time. LOL), too stressed out, dehydrated, or marching towards those dreaded red-letter days in the calendar. Eye creams do save the day, and prevent further darkening or drying of the undereyes. I've noticed the improvement in my undereyes since I stepped up my eye cream game a while ago.

9. Night cream
Luxurious, decadent, rich, seriously hydrating. I usually put my night cream on top of my moisturizer as they are heavier. They seal the moisture in. They are a lot more hardworking than the basic moisturizer and are also generally more expensive. I wake up with soft, supple, and sufficiently hydrated skin, thanks to night creams. So yes, indulge in them I do.

All nourishing and hydrating stuff.
10. Facial oil
This is a bonus step for me. I have consumed an entire bottle of cold-pressed organic argan oil and I say at this point (what with all my acids and serum and creams) it's an optional step, at least it is for me. But I'm open to changing my mind once I find a really good facial oil. (Sunday Riley, I am looking at you:)

11. Lip moisturizer - cream or balm
So let's see, what have we covered so far? Cleansing, check. Hydrating and nourishing, check. Undereyes, check. But what about the lips? Oh yes, those luscious puckers! I used to ignore them and I would always wake up with dry, cracked, chappy lips. Ouch. And then I got hooked with matte lipsticks at some point. They not only accentuate the problem, but further exacerbate it. Hastily applying a lip balm in the morning as a last-ditch saving grace is futile. I discovered the only way to revive dehydrated, chapped lips is to soak them in lip moisturizers overnight. Try it; I swear you'll wake up to soft and lipstick-ready lips. :)

Oils and eye creams and lip balm.
There you have it, my 11-step nighttime skincare routine. Eleven?! Did that freak you out? LOL. Trust me, it's not as tedious and time-consuming as it sounds. And nope, I don't lock myself up in the bathroom doing my girly rituals all night. After all, I am mom to a toddler who demands my full attention whenever I'm home.

It's also important to note that I DON'T do all these things all in one go. Good heavens, that would be a total wastage! :) We have to give time (at least 20 minutes, they say) for our skin to fully absorb all those wonderful products. So as soon as I get home, I do my double cleanse and tone. In an hour or so, I sneak out of my little guy, run upstairs and slather on moisturizer. All the others, I do during the quiet moments before I go to bed. :)

Some of my current edits. Constantly evolving. :)
What is your skincare routine? Do tell me, coz I am very curious! Who knows, maybe I'll pick up an extra step or two (or three) from your skincare regimen. :) Ha ha!

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