July 2016 – Current Skincare Routine

There’s been a giveaway challenge floating around Instagram hosted by the dynamic duo @MindYourBeauty and @Martemorphosis, which has resulted in my 1) putting more thought into how Asian Beauty has changed my skincare routine (and skin) over the last few months, and 2) putting lots of items on my every-growing wishlist.

My Instagram Entry is relatively brief, so I thought I would use a blog post to share a bit more detail about how I feel about my current routine, specifically, the current products within my routine. We were requested to omit acids, so those are not included here, although I have barely started adding acids into my routine at this time.

Current Skin Condition: dry, dehydrated, combating flaky patches (specifically on either side of the nose and right between the eyebrows) and occasional hormonal acne.

Climate I live in: Super duper dry! Our Canadian winters are dry, and summers are mostly dry as well, with the exception of some super hot, humid days. We complain about humidity, but in reality, it’s nothing compared to the humidity of Hong Kong (at least, in my experience!)

Note: I don’t apply make up on a daily basis, hence, I omitted the oil-cleanser and double-cleansing step (GASP), as I find the cleansing routine enough to remove my daily sunscreen.

July 2016 Regular Routine
July 2016 Regular Routine – Entry for the #MindYourBeautyGiveaway

My daily routine pretty much looks like this for both day and night:

Step 1: Cleanse – Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
**Do not cleanse with hot water! This will dry out your skin! It’s so easy to develop this bad habit because cleansing in the shower is so easy sometimes, but trust me, it will make a difference to your skin! I get lazy too, and conveniently forget this, but I am doing my best to break this habit!

This low pH cleanser doesn’t strip my skin at all! I’ve seen reviews about how the tea tree scent is strong, or even overwhelming for the morning, but I actually don’t mind it. It’s weird, because I’m not usually a fan of really strong tea tree scents. This cleanser foams up a little bit, nothing like the tall, dense foam I could get from my previous cleanser which takes away from the skintertainment of looking like a cloud, but it does it’s job well and even when I wait several minutes to move on to my next step, my skin doesn’t cry for help.

Status: I have other cleansers in my stash to work through, but would likely repurchase this in the future, it’s just so gentle! Wishlist item though, is the Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Cleanser!

Step 2: Tone – Laneige Power Essential Skin Toner for dry to normal skin
I apply this either by hand or with a cotton pad. Using the cotton pad helps to remove dead skin, which is very important for someone with dry skin like mine. This step helps to prep my skin for the next steps.

Status: I’m not committed to this, even though this is my second bottle. I have a Scinic toner in my stash, but beyond that, my wishlist item is actually the cult favourite Son & Park Beauty Water.

Step 3: Essence – Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
This is the favourite step I have added to my routine. It has made all the difference in the way the products absorb into my skin and leaves my face plump even the next morning. It is a little gooey to apply, which I actually don’t mind. It takes a few seconds to absorb before I move to my next step. For a newbie, with the assumption that they do the basic cleanse-tone-moisturize, if they were to add just ONE step to help their dry skin, I would recommend a hydrating essence for sure.

Status: I LOVE IT. I will try other essences as this is my very first one, but I can definitely see myself repurchasing this! I’ve got a couple others on my wishlist, one of which I received a decant of from the ever-generous Janessa (@MindYourBeauty)!

Step 4: Moisturize/Sleeping Mask – Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Mask
I’m using a western brand for my current moisturizer, but within the AB realm this is the only one that fits the bill for now. This sleeping mask works very well if I apply a slightly thicker layer, but also works as a daytime moisturizer when applied as a thin layer. It’s important to note, though, that I have never tried applying make up over this. This particular product has helped to brighten my skin! It makes a difference in how hydrated my skin is when I wake up in the morning. Fiddy wrote a wonderful Honey vs Rice showdown post that definitely enabled me to buy this product!

Status: Love it! Would love to try the honey, too, and other sleeping masks, but I would likely purchase this at sooner than later. Wishlist Item for a moisturizer at this time, though, is the Innisfree Orchid Intense Cream, though I’m not sure it would be suitable during summertime.

(Daytime only) Step 5: Protect – Innisfree Eco Safety Daily Sunscreen SPF 35
After applying those products to prep and hydrate the skin, the next and final step in my daytime routine is sunscreen. I really like this as it doesn’t leave a super white cast on me, make me oily, or smell like sunscreen all day. It doesn’t leave any tacky sensation, and despite the SPF being relatively low, it works for my drive in to work.

Status: It’s the sunscreen I would willingly apply. Wishlist item includes the community favourite Missha ones, but still trying to decide which to try!

Optional 1-2x per week – Exfoliate – Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Washoff
With dry skin like mine, it’s important to regularly exfoliate to remove the dead skin cells and dry patches. I love this washoff mask as it is gentle enough when used with water, and best of all, works to hydrate the skin as well! I highly recommend this washoff mask, and it smells lovely, too!

Status: I want to try the other Skinfood ones, including the Rice, and Sesame ones!

Optional 2-3x per week – Sheetmasks
My skin feels overwhelmed if I sheetmask too frequently, but twice or thrice a week seem to work well. I look for sheetmasks that can pamper, hydrate, brighten, and moisturize. On occasion, to sooth any redness or pimples as well. The one pictured is one of my go-to’s, as it is budget-friendly and does exactly what I need it to, every single time. It’s fast being overtaken by the Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Mask which I just reviewed.

Status: I love sheetmasks! There are so many more to try, but I think the only ones remaining high on my wishlist is the Donkey Milk Aqua, and the Innisfree Second Skin masks, the latter of which is certainly not a budget-friendly mask!

As I mentioned, I am working on introducing some gentler acids to help with acne scarring from hormonal acne. It seems like a losing battle, because once the spot starts to fade a bit, the next batch come in and it’s so discouraging. I’m researching what items I may be able to use to help to keep the acne at bay, if that’s at all possible. Thus far, the best thing I have used to reduce the zit and scarring are the Cosrx Acne Patches, which I have already repurchased, and can’t imagine being without!

So that’s my current routine! All of the entries in this challenge have left me wanting to try so many more products, although I am doing my best to be responsible and use up what is in my (ever-growing) stash. I am very curious to see how my routine will change in a few months or a year from now, to see if I have done well to combat these pesky flaky spots on my skin that are always highlighted by make up.

If you have product or routine recommendations, please do share them! Are there any steps that have made a world of difference for you?

Disclaimer: This routine and all thoughts are my own. I did receive the Cosrx Cleanser and Skinfood Washoff Mask from a giveaway by the generous @beepgirlab. I am not any kind of skincare expert, and am simply exploring products in search of my holy grails.

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