Wow, that title has so much alliteration. Also, hi! I was thinking this morning about how I’ve sort of evolved my skincare routine from the spring version to summer without thinking too much about it. But! My skin is so,so gloriously happy right now I realized I had to share it with you all. Now that may be because the summer humidity is helping, but I also feel happy with this routine in a way that I have never felt before with previous ones. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s wonderful!
I also feel I’m starting to narrow down what masks are really killing it for me after what seems like countless sessions of trying out different things. I can’t say what works for everyone, but for dry skin these masks are a true blessing and truly stand above the rest in terms of effectiveness.
So here’s what I’m currently using, step by step:
As I’ve said before about the DHC oil, it’s my holy grail for oil cleansing and I don’t bother to try other things anymore, even out of pure curiosity. My skin has transformed completely since I started using DHC daily last year, and it allows me to spend time on the massage step of my routine without drying up as I go. If you’re curious what I mean by massage step, go check out my post on it — if you aren’t doing facial massage as a part of your routine, you’re missing out!
I got into a snit after the famous Su:m 37 Rose Cleansing Stick broke me out terribly as I wanted to use it so much (and it was SO pretty), so I decided to try to find low pH cream options that were rose scented to ease my pain. The Nuxe is a solid product, the pH is below 5.0, and it smells lovely. I’ve really enjoyed using it and may reorder if my curiosity about Cosrx’s Good Morning Gel Cleanser doesn’t get the best of me.
Toner/Lotion: Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion
I used the regular Hada Labo Gokujyun lotion for months until I saw 50 Shades of Snail’s review of this one. Curious, I ordered one (and it took months to get here). Her rave was well-warranted, I quickly discovered. Much thicker than the other formulation, this product is aimed at a more intense moisturizing effect. A tiny bit goes a long way, which also means the bottle lasts a long time. I got mine in April and have used about 30% of it since, and that’s with daily am/pm use. I will never go without this stuff, it’s magical – and you can truly SEE a difference in your face the day after you use it. All hail hyaluronic acid!
Another life-changing product. As readers of my blog know, I was pretty scared of actives for the first few years of this skincare journey. Now I can’t imagine going without them. I think this product made the transition easy for me because it is gentle, and the green tea and chamomile do comfort the skin while the glycolic acid does its work. 8% is a pretty low number to start with when it comes to glycolic treatments, but it’s also a good way to ensure you don’t damage your skin. I can’t say I’ll never try other AHAs as this was my entry drug, but I do like it a lot and the results are very noticeable. If you have any fear whatsoever of actives this is a lovely gateway (and PC is also cruelty free which is a nice touch).
Essence: J’ers J:Dew Green Moist Essence
My readers may recall that I reviewed this essence back in March. Here we are in late July and I’m still using the bottle. When it comes to essences I am basically a traitor and will try anything just for the fun of it, which means I may try out something different when this bottle is dry. That said, I have truly enjoyed using it for its wonderful fragrance and light moisturizing. The only bummer about J:Dew is it’s a lot harder to get than the other products on this list, as you must order it directly from Korea. I hope that changes soon and it appears on some curators websites, as it really is a lovely product and I’d love to check out the rest of the line.
Serum: c20 Original Vitamin C Serum
Right before I tried this product, I went through a bottle of the Klairs Freshly Juiced Drop Serum, which was excellent and I intended to buy again. Then I got the C20 serum in a package for review from Pink Seoul, which is one of the best k-beauty curation services out there. I was sort of meh about using vitamin C serums that weren’t stabilized because they have to be refrigerated, and it was so much trouble for me to walk from my bathroom to my fridge for my serum step (also, I’m lazy). But I trust Pink Seoul, so I finally tried it anyway and was truly amazed by this serum. Now only is it cheap, but it’s super effective! It contains 20% L-Ascorbic Acid, which is what makes the aftereffect so stellar. It’s also a much thicker product than the Klairs, which my skin loves as it’s always thirsty. I’ll be using this serum for the foreseeable future.
Mask time! My picks:
These four masks all stay moist after 20 minutes and can be worn up to an hour without drying up. They also produce the glowiest, plumpest skin results I’ve seen after trying about 50 mask varieties.
Eye cream: Goodal Moisture Barrier Eye Cream
I bought a container of this eye cream in October 2015. I’m still using it. If that doesn’t tell you how amazing it is and how little you need for results, i don’t know what will. I don’t believe in pricey eye creams. No magic potion will stop aging. Massage and consistent skincare can improve the process, though. The picture above is only a little larger than the actual size of the container, which also impressed me as eye creams tend to come in tiny containers. I will be using this one for a long time as well. Goodal is an excellent line and everything in the Moisture Barrier collection has impressed me to no end (see reviews here).
I’m typically so-so about Laneige products (they’re nice but I always feel as if I can find better), but I got this Water Bank Moisture Cream in a sample and was pretty impressed. It’s rich and absorbs well, leaving me with a lovely glow and that “chok chok” effect this blog was named for. I have tried a lot of different creams since losing my Mizon Starfish Cream to the evils of being discontinued, and its been tough to find one that suits my needs and provides that same luxurious effect that the Mizon did. This did it though, so I recently purchased the full size, which is the easiest to get of any of the products on this list since it’s sold at target.com.
So what’s my skin look like after doing all these steps? Happy, clear, and super glowy. After this I just apply some sunscreen, a bit of BB cream and gloss, and I’m off. As I continue to tweak and perfect my skincare routine I find makeup less necessary than ever. Sure, it’s fun, but how awesome is it to just like your face, plain and simple? That’s an ever greater joy in a world where women’s looks are always such a big deal. I like the feeling of liking myself without makeup, not feeling I have to “pull myself together” in order to look and feel good. I already do because I go hard on my self-care. It makes a big difference — so much so it shines right through you. No makeup can produce that!