My Daily Skincare Routine

Now that my skin seems to be calming down pretty nicely, I thought I’d take a moment to write about the skincare routine that I’ve sorted out for myself since I’ve started working with Eastern products rather than Western.  Since I still have a number of Memeboxes coming, plus a lot of products that I haven’t patch tested or tried out, my routine is going to be constantly evolving, but this basic setup seems to work really well for me.   I’ll split this post into three parts: my morning routine and my evening routine, and then products I use on a non-daily basis.

Morning Routine

My morning routine is really not particularly complicated – it’s only got four steps, unless I feel like there’s a particular need for some sort of product that I don’t usually put on.
1.  Splash face with cold water.
This is pretty self-explanatory, I think.   I find that with some products (specifically some of my spot treatments, or if I am trying out a new item) there is a residue left over after I apply them in the evening.  I want to make sure that when I put skincare products on in the morning, there’s nothing in the way of them being effective.
2. Missha’s Time Revolution First Treatment Essence
Missha claims that this product is “the stepping stone to a healthier and new skin”.  It’s labeled as an essence but I use it as a toner, which seems to be what Missha intends as the instructions say to use it right after cleansing.
This product is supposed to help with the following things:
  • Defining
  • Rejuvenation
  • Restoration
  • Lifting
  • Anti-Wrinkle
  • Radiance
  • Hydration
  • Tone Balancing
But the main two points, as far as I can tell, are fixing fine lines and improving skin tone.
It’s clear and very watery.  I usually use between three and four drops and it covers my whole face pretty evenly.  It takes maybe two or three minutes to fully absorb (my skin is oily so EVERYTHING takes a while to absorb), and is lightly moisturizing.   Does this get rid of wrinkles, or prevent wrinkles?  I honestly couldn’t say.  On the one hand, apparently oily faces are less likely to wrinkle, so there wasn’t really anything there for it to correct.  At least there’s one benefit to being a walking oil slick.  On the other hand, I have no way of knowing how many wrinkles I would actually be developing if I wasn’t using this, so there’s no real way to know whether it’s actually preventing anything at all.  I guess I have nothing really to report there.
As far as skin tone, nobody’s really said anything either way about my skin tone.  I think it’s helping – it certainly isn’t hurting – with reducing the aftereffects of my last ridiculous breakout, but I can’t really quantify it.  I’ve heard other people say they’ve seen the results in only a week.  I’ve been using this for only about two weeks and I don’t know that I’ve seen anything that drastic.
3. LJH Tea Tree Essence 90
This essence came in my Luckybox, and I’ve been using it ever since, with the exception of about a week where my skin was so upset that I didn’t use any products at all.   It’s been really great at helping get rid of clogged pores.
This product is also clear and watery, but you can really tell that it’s got an oil component in it.  I use two or three drops to cover my whole face – if I use more, then I just feel kind of sticky.
4. Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen
I’ve been using this product for a while, and I continue to be impressed by it.  You can read more about it in my sunscreen post here.

Evening Routine

1. Enesti Rice and Milk Foaming Cleanser (with Missha’s Natural Konjac Cleaning Sponge – Bamboo Charcoal)
This cleanser came in the Milk Memebox.  I’ve been using it for a few days.  It doesn’t foam up as much as I would have wanted – you know, in that hilarious way that happens when a little kid dumps a whole bottle of bubble bath in a bathtub – but it absolutely cleans everything off of my skin.  I was kind of afraid that it would smell a little like milk that’s gone off, but that isn’t the case at all.
When Missha’s recent sale came around, the konjac sponges were discounted to something like $2.50 per sponge.  Since I’ve never used a konjac sponge before (heck, I’ve never used a sponge PERIOD on my face before), I figured even if it totally sucked and I hated it, at least I was only out like $5.  I bought two, just in case I loved the results.  I used it for the first time a few nights ago, and I thought it was AWESOME.Let me give you some background:  I got my eyebrows waxed the Saturday morning before last. And before I could speak up to say “wait please holy sweet lord no” she smeared some sort of product all over my forehead to deal with the post-waxing redness and/or irritation.  She meant well, of course, but the next morning my poor forehead was a hot mess, and it’s been slowly recovering ever since.  This sponge is not harsh at all – it feels kind of like you’re running a wet, softened paper towel over your skin.  I used it at night with my foaming cleanser and afterward my skin felt so clean and soft, it was great – and my pores seemed to be a lot less clogged as well.

2.  Mizon AHA/BHA Toner
I purchased this toner because Samplehime recommended it.  I use it every night, and sometimes in the morning if I’m feeling extra extra oily, or like my pores are more clogged than usual.  Like Missha’s First Treatment Essence, it’s a clear, watery product. This comes out of the bottle much more rapidly than the First Treatment Essence, so I have to be more careful when I go to pour it out, otherwise I end up with a small puddle of product in my hands, and that’s just a sad waste.  It absorbs really quickly, and I usually wait a few minutes after I use this before I put anything else on my face.   The point behind this product is that the AHA and BHA components exfoliate and encourage cellular turnover, and in theory that helps get rid of any dead or damaged skin and keeps your face looking all fresh.
I wouldn’t know my facial cellular regeneration process if it walked up and hit me, but what I can say is that my face feels nicer when I use this toner, and less nice when I forget (or am on vacation and using something else).   As I’ve written previously, when I jumped into using Eastern products I put them all on at the same time and caused a massive skin breakout, resulting in a lot of cystic acne, which I’ve almost never had before.  Since I’ve started using this toner (and the tea tree essence), the cystic acne is gone and my clogged pores are diminishing – and it’s happening faster than I would have expected it to.
3. Missha’s Time Revolution First Treatment Essence
Same as the morning routine.
4. LJH Tea Tree Essence 90
Also the same as the morning routine.  I like this stuff a lot.  I think I’m halfway through my bottle or so – I need to think about getting another one.
5. Missha’s Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activated Ampoule
It’s gooey.  Legitimately goopy.  It’s viscous, yellowy stuff that you smear all over your face.  It’s kind of like putting honey right on.   It’s supposed to help with wrinkle care, whitening, and “restoring elasticity”.  Again, I can’t comment really on the wrinkle care, but I do notice that my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation does seem to fade more quickly now that I’m using this product.

Non-Daily Use

1.  Sheet Masks.
I love sheet masks forever.  I’ve reviewed some of them here and here.  There aren’t a whole lot of sheet masks that I wouldn’t consider trying.  I haven’t been using them recently because it’s been so humid that my skin couldn’t take much more moisturizing, but now that the weather seems to be calming down I’l be getting back in the habit.  I have a lot to try that I’ve gotten from memeboxes and as samples from orders.
2. Velieve White Clay Mask
This came from the Pore Control Superbox. I like it, but if you’re in the US, you might as well use the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask that you can get at Target for like $5.  It does basically the same thing.
3.  Spot Treatment: Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel
This is a spot treatment with salicylic acid, a BHA.  It’s a clear gel that you’re supposed to apply directly to the particular blemish, which will then theoretically dry out and go away.   I have to say that this is only moderately effective in my view, and the only reason I continue to use it is because I haven’t found anything better.
The thing I really hate about this product is that when I apply it at night, the next morning when I wash my face those spots still have gel on them, and it feels all squishy and gross.
4. TonyMoly Pocket Bunny Sleek Mist
That discoloration on the bottom is a sad, sad side effect of living in my ridiculously messy purse. Sorry, bunny!
This product is designed to control oil production during the day, while also moisturizing and refreshing your face.  Generally I have a packet of blotting papers that I keep on my desk at work and I blot my T-zone over the lunch hour so I don’t frighten people during the afternoon, but using this mist is a great way to clear up my face without wiping a tissue all over. It smells nice and doesn’t leave any gross residue on my face, so I can go about my business pretending that that nasty oily feeling never happened.  If you have oily skin, go with the Sleek mist.  If you have dry or normal skin, go with the Moist mist instead.
5. Foot Peels!
Guys, foot peels are SO COOL.  I have TonyMoly’s Changing U Magic Foot Peeling Shoes that I’ll be testing out this week, and I’ll hopefully get some good pictures of the process to put up.    I don’t intend to make using these a regular thing  but I’ve got some serious calluses that need to go away.
6. TonyMoly Appletox products
TonyMoly has two Appletox products, and I use them both occasionally.
The Green Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream is a gommage (or eraser) peel.  You put it on your face and rub it around, then let it sit for a bit, then rub it around again. The idea is that while it sits on your face it attaches to the dead skin cells and then when you rub it around the second time, you get little blobs, which theoretically consist of the peel plus all the dead skin it adhered to.  You end up looking like you have eraser shavings on your face (so attractive), which you can then wash off, and your face is nice and clean.  The Green Appletox is an AHA gommage peel.  It’s gentle enough to use a couple times a week, if you want, although since I have a number of things I use sporadically throughout the week, I usually only use it once or twice.
There’s no reason for that leaf to be there, but I love that it is.
The Red Appletox Honey Cream is an AHA moisturizer, so it’s supposed to both aid in exfoliation and moisturize your skin.  It absorbs really quickly and has a gel-like texture.  I find this is way too heavy for me to use every day, so I use it only when it feels like my skin has dried out.  I could probably also use it as a sleeping pack, although I haven’t tried that yet.
Both Appletox products smell like cut-up apples, which I really like.  And the packaging is cute too, which is a bonus.

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