There’s only one thing that I’m sure of in these uncertain times. Before I get into that, you may ask, “What are you uncertain about?” Well, like a lot (or maybe not a lot) of folks, I would like a life compass which shows me my destiny. “Walk here, and you’ll find true love! Wait! Don’t walk there, your career will go up in flames! Turn left and you’ll find people who actually like you!” Does that sound familiar? I hope so.
So while all these thoughts whirl in my head, I’m thankful that at least I’m sure of my skincare routine at this point. Screw all the naysayers that say Clinique sells overpriced skincare with outdated ingredients. If something works for you, huzzah! Bathe in the karmic delight of sharing great things with other people without expecting anything back!
Here’s what I do now during the daytime:
Step 1: Clinique Liquid Facial Soap for Oily Skin. I don’t need a full pump for this to work. Normally 1/2 pump will dispense enough soap for it to get frothy without leaving my skin stripped.
Step 2: Clinique Twice-a-Day Exfoliator (Strength 3). The alcohol smell in this is enough to disinfect my nostrils. However, it works for me BUT I have to be exceedingly careful when to apply this. I don’t apply this right after and the morning after an exfoliating treatment.
Step 3: Clinique Dramatically Different Gel Moisturizer. Previously this left a sticky film on my skin, but I’m finding that it now sinks in nicely and plumps up my skin, thanks to the reformulated Exfoliator and my night treatment. I’ll talk about that more later. It’s a basic moisturizer and I got it at around SGD45 per 125ml pump bottle. My only gripe? Packaging. Globs of moisturizer get stuck on the corners of the bottle and the only way to maximize what you pay for is to buy travel tubes from budget websites or selected stores.
Step 4: Any sunscreen I have on hand. My favorites include Lancome and Yadah.
And here’s what I do at night:
Step 1: Remove my face! The Bifesta cleansing waters are a staple and I’ve been using them for a few years now. Any of them are fine, but my personal favorite is the green bottle meant for oily skin. They don’t last as long on me anymore. Previously I stated somewhere on this blog that I only needed 2-4 soaked cotton pads for this to remove all my make-up. Well, either I was kidding myself or didn’t wear enough make-up to now warrant at least 8 cotton pads to properly remove my makeup. For heavy-duty eye makeup, I use a separate remover.
Step 2-4: Repeat morning routine IF I’m not doing my exfoliating treatment. If I am, then I only cleanse (Step 2) and move straight to the treatment.
Treatment step ONCE A WEEK: Alpha-H Liquid Gold. Ruth Crilly turned me onto this. It’s 5% glycolic acid and most of you may have some knowledge of acids and their exfoliating properties. I won’t pretend to understand the differences between AHAs and BHAs – if you’d like to know more, please read Karen’s entry here to find out which one is more suitable for you.
My skin is rather interesting. I have the occasional cystic acne, a lot of marks below the skin surface, thus creating uneven skin tone, sun damage (which I only found out after I did one of those space-age skin scanning things) and blocked pores (a mix of white and blackheads and keratin build-up). Based on Karen’s blog entry, I can use both AHAs and BHAs to address my issues, so once a week, I use Alpha-H Liquid Gold at night right after cleansing. No moisturizer or serum needed – just soak a cotton pad, swipe all over the face, jawline, neck, and decolletage, and sleep. It feels a little sticky and stingy on my skin, and the first time I used it, I thought I’d made a very expensive mistake.
I woke up in the morning to beautifully smooth skin.
Now – the thing is, obviously I got very excited and very happy about it right? So I went a bit overboard and started using it every alternate day. NO. That was wrong. It reduced the efficacy of Alpha-H and I ended up dehydrating my skin. The sting became a burn. So, I now only do it once a week to maintain my skin texture. I’ve had comments from people saying that my skin appears smoother and it’s now even-toned without my make-up on…which means perhaps in the foreseeable future, I’d be able to get out of the house without make-up? Huzzah! Huzzah! One thing to note – I’ve said it up there – do NOT exfoliate your skin before or after Alpha-H. No scrubs, no salicylic acid toners, NO. Just be kind to your skin; it just went through a workout where its first layer almost literally melted off and your raw new skin is exposed – maybe not as dramatic as it sounds, but you get the picture.
So here we have it – my basic routine now and the one product I love so much, I purchased 2 more as a standby. Available at Luxola and you should definitely wait for those 30% off bargains. I got one at 30% off and one at 37% off, which greatly lightened the original price of SGD56.00. Go grab ’em!