OK.. so since people were interested, here’s the skincare post :)
To start off, my skin right now is… Normal. It’s clear most of the time, with no breakouts. Sometimes my nose gets a bit oily so I’ll use an oil blotter, but maybe once every few days (usually when the weather is humid/warm). Other than that I don’t have any skin issues, concerns or drama.
It didn’t always use to be like this.
I’d like to say that I’m one of those girls that was born with naturally nice skin, but sadly, quite the opposite. For a long time, I struggled with breakouts, really oily skin (needed 2 sheets of blotters every single day) and it basically drove me crazy. It also didn’t help I was obsessed with trying out skincare – if you thought I tried out a lot of makeup (maybe 1,000+ products), I was WAY WAY WAY worse with skincare! I basically tried everything I got my hands on, and trying out multiple new products at the same time – so I never could figure out what was good and what was bad :P
So I started teaching myself as much as I could about Dermatology. I learned about the anatomy of skin, the different chemicals and what they do and what vitamins work etc. To the point where I actually wanted to study and practice Dermatology as a career. Through that, I learned what my skin needed and started to be a lot smarter in what I slapped on.
Then, I stumbled on a brand called Rationale Skincare – an Australian company that is stocked with dermatologists and cosmo physicians. I was impressed with the quality ingredients and the no-frills packaging. They look like little medicine bottles :P There’s no fancy marketing (in fact, none at all), no fancy packaging, and no fancy words and proclaimations. Just “this is what it is”-type wording on their bottles.
And it’s worked WONDERS. It’s the single, most effective skincare I’ve ever used, after having tested a few thousand skincare products. I’ve used it for a few years now and have no desire to ever change my skincare routine again. Sometimes, I’ll add/alternate in other skincare, but the staples are always my Rationale serums. They’ve also opened my eyes up to the ridiculous claims MANY big companies out there do a song and dance about.. and fall short when you analyse their ingredients list.
Then, the single, most effective facial I’ve ever done is…….. Microdermabrasion. I do this once a month at a facial place, and it’s made HUGE improvements in my skin. It’s made my pores visibly smaller, my skin way less oilier (to the point where I rarely use blotters now), and my skin tone a lot more even and glowy.
So that’s my secret.
The skincare (see below) + monthly microdermabrasions.
Now you know :)
Soooooo…. let’s start off with removing makeup. I alternate because I like 2: Helena Rubinstein Prodigy make up remover which is an emollient cream that you smooth over your face and remove with a cotton pad. It’s mild on the skin and does its job well. The other I use when I have a full face of makeup on, Softymo speedy cleansing oil. This is similar to Fancl’s cleansing oil (which is more easily available worldwide, I believe). I massage the oil into my skin for 1 min, then rub a bit of water in. The oil immediately turns into a milky cream and then I just splash it off. It leaves NO oily residue and just soft, very clean skin. Holy grail!
Now, in the morning, I skip the above makeup-removal step (obviously). In the morning, I just use Rationale preparatory cleanser, which is a soft cream cleanser. It’s fantastic in the morning because I have no make up anyway, so I want something mild. This is by far better than other cream cleansers because it’s not oily, doesn’t leave a residue, but just nice soft skin. And it has no lathering agents (which aren’t good for the skin and can block pores).
In the evening, I use something a bit more to ensure I’ve got every last bit of makeup off. And so Softymo airy whip works for me. It’s a physical-foaming cleanser – which means it doesn’t have the self-foaming properties and lathering agents (remember, these are not good for your skin). But it totally strips my face clean yet doesn’t make my skin feel dry.
Morning and Evening face cleansers
In the morning, after cleansing, I use the Rationale niacinamide serum. What’s niacinamide? Read about it here or better yet, do a Google search. This one has 10% concentration. I don’t think my skin can survive without this serum – it has really balanced my skin
In the evening, after cleansing, I’ll use 1 of the 3 serums below (in rotation). Rationale retinaldehyde serum has smoothed my complexion and this has a 0.1% concentration. This is Vitamin A, and you can read about it here.
The other serum is Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrate – the concentrate, not the regular version, which does nothing for me. This one feels wonderful on the skin and I love using it especially after microdermbrasion treatments.
Finally is Rationale skin refining serum. This is like a fast track to nice skin, with 18% of AHA and BHAs. Read about it here. My skin ‘zings’ after using it whilst the AHAs work their magic. Never fails to make my skin smoother and brighter the next morning.
After applying 1 of those 3 serums, it’s time to moisturize. I only do this at night before bed. I prefer moisturizing oils – they penetrate faster and I think they’re more effective. HABA squalane oil is amazing. Normal skin contains squalane already, but the % of it decreases as you age, and so this replaces it. I just put a few drops on my hands and pat over my face. It absorbs within minutes, and leaves no oily residue. You can read about HABA squalane oil here and here.
On alternate nights, I’ll swap it with Kosmea 100% organic rose hip oil. If you haven’t heard of rose hip oil or use it on a regular basis, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! Info about this little gem here. I pat a few drops on my damp face before bed and it works wonders.
If you have oily/combination skin and are worried about putting oil on your face, fear not. These are oils that hydrate without making your skin go super oily (but to be safe I use them at night), and really plumps up the skin. I used to be so scared at the thought of putting oil on my face, but now I realise when you put good oils on your skin, it can work wonders.
Evening oils (moisturizers)