June 08, 2017 / 23:58 PM
(SON&PARK Beauty Water from Shop Pibu, P1,200)
If you’ve been neglecting a toner in your routine all these years, it’s about time to include one! It restores your pH level – retaining moisture to the skin – and prepares it for the rest of the steps leading to better absorption and protection. You basically add back what you lose during the cleansing process. It also wipes away grime and residue left. Some Western (astringent) toners tend to be drying because of the alcohol content so I personally prefer Korean brands.
Watch: Everything You Need to Know About Skin Toning via WISHTrend TV
The SON&PARK Beauty Water is liquid gold for all skin types. I’ve heard so many Korean beauty gurus and experts rave about it – even Soko Glam #GirlBoss, Charlotte Cho, author of The Little Book of Skin Care. TBH, this wasn’t love at first swipe. I first tried it during my Osaka trip in January where it was winter. My skin was so dehydrated, and I was underwhelmed. Back in Manila where it was summer, it worked fantastic.
What is Beauty Water?
A brain child of Son Dae Sik and Park Tae Yun who are both famous Korean celebrity make-up artists (Jeon Ji Hyun, etc.). You can think of the product as a bridge between cleansing and the other steps. It works amazing as a toner but it also functions as a make-up remover (think micellar water), a gentle exfoliator, and a facial mist. It’s also made of natural plant extracts!
Use it after the double cleanse (morning and night), before you apply make-up, or when you just need a clean canvas. You’ll end up with hydrated, plump skin! This allows make-up to look so much better. It’s so gentle that you can layer the product multiple times. Use it with a trusty cotton pad or your bare hands. I’ve been using this since January, and it’s still half full; talk about a bang for your buck!
Get the travel-sized bottle (60ml) for P450. I bought this from Althea Korea during its release (P1,269).
June 03, 2017 / 14:43 PM
I never had to go through bad acne as a teenager – it’s probably my dry skin and genes (thanks, Ma!) – so when I had the *worst* breakout of my life in February which lasted until May, I didn’t know what to do. After panicking trying to figure out what caused it (most likely a barrage of new products I was testing) and feeling completely insecure – people kept pointing out how bad my skin was – I researched and finally found products to effectively treat and prevent acne. I also discovered how to fade acne scars!
First, let me get this straight. As much as media, myself included, bombards – even pressures – one with the idea that a multitude of products (10 steps, anyone?) promises best skin, that may not always be the case. Skin is different for everyone; what may work for your favorite b/vlogger may not work for you. Skin can get over-irritated, products (especially acids) may counteract each other, weather changes, and the list goes on.
I advocated this overwhelming regimen, which worked for me at the time but after the entire drama, much has changed. Especially if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to keep to the basics: the double cleanse, a toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen – at the very least. You can keep it simple, and it’s also best to do your research. Layer if you must (yes, sir!) but know what works for your skin. Moderation is key! Introduce new products slowly; let your skin adjust. And, please give your skin a break once in a while, and cut down on the full-coverage foundation. Okay?
Watch: Is 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine Popular in Korea? via Liah Yoo
Toner & Exfoliator
COSRX One-Step Moisture Up Pads (Shop Pibu, P850)
A sure way to agitate your acne is manually exfoliating it with harsh scrubs (anything that has beads or rough texture *cough* St. Ives Apricot Blemish Control Scrub *cough*). I plead with you, don’t do it. If you want to eliminate dirt and dead skin cells, a weekly clay mask like Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Mask is fantastic. For gentler everyday exfoliation – which works as a toner as well – the COSRX One-Step Moisture Up Pads are wonderful. Being a fan of the COSRX One Step Pimple Pads for the longest time, I knew I had to get the product!
The pre-soaked cotton pads sweep away filth and leftover make-up that the double cleanse didn’t pick up. It contains hyarulonic acid, which is a humectant (a moisturizer) so it’s good even for those with sensitive skin types. The propolis extract (honey) in it functions as a disinfectant, great for fighting acne. It’s also formulated with BHA to help clean pores.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil (The Body Shop, P795)
For spot treating, I used to apply The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil directly on my pimple. It would decrease the acne size overnight but it dries it out and produces a nasty acne scar. Now, I mix it with my moisturizer (St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Moisturizer) as the last part of my skin care routine at night and before my sunscreen in the morning. It makes all the difference! I’ve shared this with my twitter followers and a number have messaged me to say that this cleared out their skin!
You can get the smaller bottle (10ml) for P495.
COSRX Centella Blemish Cream (Shop Pibu, P900)
For acne-prone skin, the COSRX Centella Blemish Cream is magic in a tub. Centella asiatica is commonly known as an antibacterial which treats acne and even heals wounds. It also fades acne scars! Use it to target blemishes day and night after moisturizer. This deflates the size overnight! The only downside is it’s a thick cream that can leave a white cast, just like a sunscreen would. This is life-changing especially if you’re going through major, stubborn breakouts.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch (BeautyMNL, P180)
Now, this is where it gets really interesting! The COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch includes 24 patches in different sizes. It shortens its life span because it removes whatever pus is inside (provided that it’s “open” and not just a big lump). This is also much better than drying up a pimple with Tea Tree Oil or the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion via spot treatment because again, there are less chances that you’ll get an acne scar that will haunt you for months! It even acts as a protective shield from 1. your stubborn finger and 2. elements that can worsen its state. This is so effective (!) for emergencies, and it’s also travel-friendly!
Be kind to your skin, and don’t stress about it too much. Acne isn’t forever; it just takes time to treat! Here’s to hoping this list helps in any way! 💙
What products work best for you when it comes to treating and preventing acne? I would love to know! Leave them in the comments below. ✨
May 09, 2017 / 12:42 PM
Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop (Althea Korea, P1,010)
I’ve been suffering from the worst breakout of my life since February. It started with a huge pimple on my nose, then it transferred on my cheeks and chin. The constellation of distressing acne’s made me so insecure. I took a break from my BB Cream and went back to my full-coverage foundation, the Flormar Mat Touch Foundation. I lessened my use of *blinding* highlight because it accentuates texture on my skin. Most days, I don’t wear make-up at all. Trying to find the cause, I’ve reduced my skin care routine to the basics – cleanser, toner, eye cream, moisturizer – and removed any new products I was trying – essence, sunscreen – during the period when it all began. I stopped drinking coffee for a while and drank tea. I slept, a lot. I find it so strange, considering just a week before said dilemma, I had the best skin of my life.
My skin is healing with the help of the potent The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil – diluted in my moisturizer but, as per usual, I’m left with very bad scarring and hyperpigmentation. From past experience, these fade in months so I eventually gave in and purchased the much talked about K-Beauty multitasker: the Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop. It was 30% off during Althea Korea’s Trendy Best-Sellers Sale! I’ve incorporated it in my regimen for the past 2 months, and let me tell you something, it is liquid gold.
How do I use it?
I immediately used it the day it arrived after my (recently emptied) Inisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask. The combination is divine; I’ve never had smoother skin in my life! Once applied to the face, it feels warm and greasy but the slight discomfort fades. This makes my skin extra dewy. Great amount of pure Vitamin C can be harmful to skin, so I use this once a day (night) as a serum all over my face – after my toner and before my eye cream and moisturizer. Half the dropper is more than enough! If you plan on using it in the morning, don’t forget to apply sunscreen since you’re more susceptible to UV rays.
Read: Ingredient Spotlight: Vitamin C via The Klog
What does it do?
It evens out my skin tone – from all the years I refused to wear sunscreen. It’s made my skin so much brighter that I became a foundation shade, or two, lighter. This may be a big no-no for some people, so just a head’s up. In a few days, it changed the texture of my skin; my face feels like a baby’s bottom! In a few weeks, it’s recognizable how my acne scars have faded; others have completely disappeared! It contains Centella asiatica, commonly known to treat wounds. This claims to shrink pores but I can’t attest to that because I already have small pores. This is recommended, even for sensitive skin types, but if you’re wary, you can always mix it with your moisturizer to dilute it.
If you have stubborn acne scars or pigmentation that just won’t go away, this really does the job. Believe me when I say that it’s magic in a bottle!
April 30, 2017 / 22:41 PM
(On the photo: Flormar Mat Touch Foundation in M301)
For April’s Favorites, Lately, I’ve been enjoying a variety of make-up bases from the drugstore for every mood…and skin issue. I’ve been a firm believer in a good full-coverage foundation for the longest time until I discovered some make-up game-changers: the cushion foundation, tinted moisturizer, and BB cream. I find it silly how in the past, I wouldn’t invest in a good base but in time, you realize how everything else is secondary. A great base will allow all the other products you put on your face appear intact and stay on longer.
L’Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion in W5.5 (Watsons, P900)
I never thought I’d find another drugstore cushion compact I’d love as much as Maybelline’s Super BB Cushion until I discovered L’Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion. I purchased it during their month-long sale for P675! It is *pricey* for a drugstore product but, well, it is L’Oréal. The recent (Philippine) release appears in 6 shades, which I find to favor morenas. This achieves the glowy look a cushion foundation promises while also covering blemishes so well. I personally love the supaaaah fresh finish it gives but I got the wrong color because my skin’s been getting brighter because of the Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Serum (separate review soon) I’m using to fade my acne scars. It also wears great throughout the day; it stays on pretty long.
I wouldn’t recommend this for people with oily skin. I suggest a matte foundation – hopefully the Infallible Pro-Matte lives up to its claims. I usually forego setting my face with loose powder for cushion foundations for the intense Koreana, dewy look I’ve been loving but this leaves my face a mess, especially this summer. Still, I think this may be the best cushion I’ve tried – considering I’ve only tried a few.
City Color Glowing Complexion Tinted Moisturizer in Beige (Watsons, P229)
Now, this was love at first swipe. The City Color Glowing Complexion Tinted Moisturizer leaves my skin extra glowy but it barely gives any coverage. This is for people with great skin or for that quick trip to the supermarket or gym – masabi lang na you have something on your face. This is also a good, hydrating primer or strobing cream!
Flormar Mat Touch Foundation in M301 (Watsons, P749)
I cannot even begin to explain how life-changing Flormar’s Mat Touch Foundation is. My Twitter (and IRL beauty) friends know how much my skin’s been at its worst state for a month now – thus the lack of make-up selfies, ha-ha. It’s slowly healing so I’ve been going out with a bare face but for days when I do want to put make-up on, I use this foundation. It’s so intense, it actually feels like a luxury product.
Flormar had a summer sale so I only purchased this for P399…acca-believe-it! This makes my skin look Photoshopped, I’m not even kidding. I also find that it applies best with a make-up brush instead of a beauty blender/sponge. If you’re on a budget and are looking for a full-coverage foundation, you’ve been informed.
Maybelline Super BB Cream Fresh Matte in So Natural (Watsons, P399)
I feel so bad for my college self – light years ago – since I’ve only understood the appeal of BB Cream now. This would have made a pretty good everyday product back then! The Maybelline Super BB Cream Fresh Matte may be the best one I’ve tried…yet. I love this because it covers my pores and blemishes, plus it dries matte! It’s no-fuss and super friendly for students and working gals alike. The downside is the very limited color selection the Super BB collection offers – Light and So Natural – but you can always blend it with a separate lighter or deeper liquid foundation or cream concealer. Basta, trust me, just get it.
Have you tried anything from the list? What have you been loving lately? Let me know in the comments below! ✨
April 17, 2017 / 23:29 PM
I was (am) in my early 20s, still using the classic Pond’s Cold Cream to remove make-up, a generic Western facial wash that stripped my skin of moisture, and a harsh alcohol-based toner – masabi lang na I was doing something for my skin. I was clueless, hoarding the latest in beauty knowing I can cover up my skin issues – hyperpigmentation, hormonal acne, uneven skin tone, and super rough texture – with a good foundation and concealer.
Skin care…isn’t that for old people? That was me, half a year ago. As much as I enjoy the occasional beauty splurge, I’ve delved more into skin care and have been getting insider information from The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin by Soko Glam founder and esthetician, Charlotte Cho. And, it is gold.
With her charming yet culture-shock (well, I mean, for me) inducing stories of Korea and their “skin-first” philosophy, you’ll peruse every page. Charlotte educates newbies and even gurus regarding misconceptions about skin care e.g. a routine is only for mature skin, layering is unnecessary, the order of products doesn’t matter, stick to one brand, etc. and help you follow a routine that’s perfect for your skin type! She breaks down the mysterious and life-changing Korean 10-Step Skin Care Routine I’ve incorporated to my every day. Bonus (!), she features beauty stories and secrets from men and women from the industry – entrepreneurs, models, and YouTubers. She even helps you plan your trip to Korea! The book also features dainty, humorous illustrations by World Wide Web-famous Gemma Correll, so you can think of it as an adult storybook – perfect for your top shelf.
Read: What Makes K-Beauty Special? via The Klog
So, what is the Korean 10-Step Skin Care Routine?
- Make-Up Remover and Oil Cleanser: This is an essential step for your nighttime routine since skipping this can lead to congested pores and premature wrinkling.
- Water-Based Cleanser: The infamous double cleanse ends here, clearing whatever film is left from the oil cleanser or cleansing balm.
- Exfoliator: It’s a weekly date with a gentle exfoliator, sloughing dead skin cells and impurities from harsh environmental factors.
- Toner: This restores PH balance and perfectly preps your skin for the next steps to better absorb products. It’s also called skin, refresher, or simply, water.
- Essence: For Koreans, essence is the heart of the entire routine since it targets specific skin issues like wrinkling and hyperpigmentation.
- Ampoules, Boosters, and Serums: These are pretty much like essences but thicker and deliver instant results.
- Sheet Mask: Treat yourself with an essence-filled sheet mask at least once a week for that extra moisture and hydration! Super *kawaii* packaging also helps, eh?
- Eye Cream: No time to snooze? An eye cream is a life-saver especially since skin around your eye area is the thinnest on the face. Need I say more?
- Moisturizer: Seal in all the steps with extra moisture!
- Sunscreen: This is the most essential step for daytime routine which everyone – male and female, young or adult – should incorporate in their every day.
I mean, The Little Book of Skin Care is 200+ pages of beauty greatness. Good skin care is a must for anyone, and it’s never too late to start a routine – and actually stick to it! You might get lost in the gobbledygook midway – I know I may have snoozed during the über lengthy sunscreen lecture – but this isn’t meant to be digested in one sitting. Wear a sheet mask, pack your face on with moisture and hydration, and thank me later.
You can purchase this locally in Fully Booked or order online via Book Depository.