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Best of 2016: Skin Care

2016 was all about rekindling my inexhaustible love for beauty and educating myself with the Korean 10-Step Skin Care Routine. If there’s one thing I learned from watching snippets of my mother’s Koreanovelas, it’s that Koreans have the best skin. It’s all about layering! I’ve been a religious follower for months, and my skin has never been better – with the exception of stubborn acne during that time of the month. Texture’s improved so much, and I owe it to these life-changing products. Of course, drinking water is still my number one essential! A useful tip, if you can’t remember the order, apply the product with the lightest to the thickest consistency.

My personal x-step routine – devoid of a holy grail sunscreen and eye cream for now – is all about curating products that work for my (dry to combination) skin and making a conscious effort to follow through every day. Discipline, my friends! It only takes 5 minutes in the morning and 10 in the evening (if you don’t include the occasional masks). It may be overwhelming for beginners but it’s also very exciting especially when presented with a myriad of possibilities from the local drugstore and online beauty shopping platforms like Beauty MNL, Zalora, and my personal favorite, Althea Korea.

I cannot reiterate how important it is to take care of one’s skin. Not only does the process improve its quality over time, it allows make-up to adhere to skin better, and more so, uplift one’s confidence and change one’s lifestyle.

Make-up Remover

Cleansing Balm

Banila Co. Clean It Zero Super Size (Beauty MNL, P1,250)

My two-step cleansing process begins with the game-changing Banila Co. Clean It Zero. If you remove make-up properly – especially when you have a full face like I do every day – you allow your skin to absorb other products and prevent breakouts from occurring. It’s fast, easy, and foolproof! I’ve been using it for the past 3 months and am close to emptying it. The only thing that bothers me is how it blurs my sight when applied to my eye area. It’s a temporary affair but still a very strange sensation.

Read: Unboxing: Banila Co. 

Micellar Water

L’Oréal Micellar Water in Moisturizing (Watsons, P225)

For those on a budget, the recently released micellar water from L’Oréal does a stellar job of removing make-up. I’m so relieved that there are actually drugstore options now including Simple, Garnier, and Bioré. It’s so gentle, almost as if it were really just water; others have a tendency to sting. It’s perfect for removing elaborate eye make-up including budge-proof mascara and even long-wearing lip products. I just find myself reverting to Banila’s cleansing balm because I don’t like wasting cotton pads – the Cuddles Cotton Rounds (P55) and the Cleene Facial Cotton Pads (P65) being my favorites.

Cleanser

Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash (Watsons, P299)

The water-based cleanser I’ve thoroughly been enjoying is the Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash. It actually reminds me of the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser because of the gel-like consistency. It helps remove whatever oil residue remains from the cleansing balm.  It’s recommendable for all skin types and leaves the skin feeling fresh and smooth.

Exfoliator

Collagen by Watsons Moisturising & Gentle Peeling Milk (Watsons, P249)

Now, this is where it gets fun! Exfoliating is always so satisfying especially since you see results quick. The Watsons skincare line is so good, I can’t believe people don’t talk about it. It’s a great local drugstore alternative for skin care products. The Gentle Peeling Milk is the first product I’ve tried from the brand, and it’s incredible. I use it once a week to remove dead skin cells without drying or irritating my face. My skin feels like an actual baby’s butt after use!

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Scrub Foam (Althea Korea, P450)

I can probably live on Innisfree everything. I use the Jeju Volcanic Pore Scrub Foam once or twice a week before the Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask to remove impurities, control sebum, and unclog pores. Every time I have a really long day and get home from a tough commute, I use this, and it immediately transforms my skin.

Read: Unboxing: Althea Korea (Innisfree)

Toner

Watsons Collagen Youth Lock Essence Water (Watsons, P359)

Toning is such an overlooked step on every girl’s regimen. It restores skin’s PH balance, removes impurities and pollutants, and prepares it for the next steps.

Aside from the Watsons Collagen Youth Lock Essence Water, I really love the Nivea Mattifying Toner (P174), which I abused in the beginning of the year. The Essence Water is almost like a toner-and-essence combo because of its thick consistency but I prefer having 2 separate products since I’m a crazy skin care lady. I also prefer toners with more natural ingredients and less alcohol; it proves to be more refreshing and less drying. I plan on purchasing the much raved about Son & Park Beauty Water (P,1850) when I finish this – maybe in the year 2058 because this contains so much product.

CosRX One-Step Pimple Clear Pad (Watsons, P665)

If you’re lazy and having 65 steps on your routine is simply unintelligible, I recommend having the award-winning CosRX One-Step Pimple Clear Pad on your top shelf. It delivers instant results! These convenient pre-moistened pads removes impurities from skin, wipes away excess sebum, and helps treat and prevent breakouts. It has two sides: the textured for exfoliating and the other for a gentle cleanse. It’s not only great for days when I’m struggling with major skin issues but it’s good for daily use.

You get a ton of product on each pad (70 pieces/pack); it’s more than enough for your face and neck! Because of how expensive it is, I only use it at night and use the Watsons Essence Water in the morning. Saving tip: You can cut the pad in two. You can also purchase this on Althea and Beauty MNL but for a heftier price tag. I plan on exploring the brand more in the future. Of course, it’s a plus that the packaging design is really swell!

Serum

Collagen by Watsons Youth Lock Intensive Serum (Watsons, P349)

Serum is still a mystery to many but I find this step to produce instant results! As with essences and ampoules, it usually addresses specific skin care problems. The Watsons Collagen Youth Lock Intensive Serum retains the suppleness of skin and makes it extra firm and smooth. The product comes out looking and feeling like a moisturizer but more lightweight. I’m really impressed by the Youth Lock line from the brand; it’s so underrated!

Moisturizer

St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer (Watsons, P249)

I’ve never enjoyed a moisturizer as much as I have the St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer. It’s not at all greasy or sticky. This seals in all the other products applied previously. It definitely changes how my make-up applies. When I’m lazy, I also use it as a lotion. It also comes in a huge tub which will last anyone a really long time.

Masks

Face Mask

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask (Althea Korea, P560)

Masks are my favorite. When I feel like pampering myself at night, I apply the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask once a week for around 10 minutes. It rids my skin of filth and excess sebum, makes my pores smaller, and exfoliates! It’s also super cooling.

Daiso Charcoal Face Mask (Daiso, P88)

The Daiso Charcoal Face Mask is the first mask I’ve ever tried. I started using it this summer (once a week) and am surprised how it isn’t empty yet. I leave it on my face until it completely dries and peel it off to reveal cleaner skin. It dries my skin unlike the Pore Clay Mask but nothing a good moisturizer won’t solve. Did I mention that it’s also P88?

Sleeping Mask

The Face Shop Jeju Aloe Fresh Soothing Gel (The Face Shop, P195)

The Face Shop’s Jeju Aloe Fresh Soothing Gel completely changed my skin! I’ve been struggling with strange, tiny bumps on my face for months until I watched a video on how to get clear skin. I tried it every night for a week as a sleeping mask and in just a few days, the bumps decreased. It absorbs to your skin which leaves you with a very smooth canvas.

Aside from using it as a sleeping mask, this multi-purpose gel can be used as an all-around moisturizer. It hydrates skin and retains moisture. It also calms the redness and inflammation of pimples. Major plus, it also helps relieves insect bites and sunburn. What a miracle worker!

What were your favorite skin care products from 2016? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know!

P.S. Use my discount code for Althea! Click here.

P.P.S. All my favorite sheet masks require a separate entry. Wait for it!