Skincare Summer/Autumn 2012
I don’t often blog about skincare because it’s one of those things you have to try out for a couple of months – almost comparable to being on casual dates – and if it works for you, it’s a keeper and if it doesn’t, well, shit.
My skin has been retrograding towards the bratty, pimply sort that reigned in my 18-year-old rockstar phase. It’s frustrating trying to deal with spots at my age when everyone tells you acne should stop when you’re in your early 20s or you’re probably doing something wrong. Lies. I just happen to have overactive hormones that enjoy attacking my chin every month, that’s all. It sucks but I know people have it far worse than a few zits on the chin so I really should be thankful. I have gone through a ton of products to get to the current line-up you see here and I’m pretty happy with it – I think it’s almost perfect, it just needs that one amazing, to die for product that erases zits and the angry mark they leave behind in 24 hours. We can all dream
1. Naruko Tea Tree Oil Out Acne Cleanser – Nadz’s been telling me all sorts of great things about the Naruko skincare line and she bought me a bottle of tea tree serum to try, swearing it would absorb instantly into the skin, your skin will be matte all day, miracles will happen etc. I can tell you there were no miracles, only break-outs. It’s stupefying because everyone seems to rave about the damn serum but my skin just hated it – that’s how picky it is. Anyway, one of my readers, Shafah, works in Taiwan (where Naruko’s from) and she got me their blackhead remover to try. Now, that’s a product I like. I don’t have blackheads but I like using as a t-zone mask and mm, what a scent.
Not willing to give up on Naruko, I picked up this cleanser before I left. I’ve been using it for about two months now and hrm I don’t know..it’s clay-based and has the same beautiful scent as the blackhead remover but I’m starting to think it might be a little too drying for my skin? I like it too much to throw it away though so I use it on nights when I feel my skin’s gone cray cray with its oil production. Also works well as a mask too LOL.
2. Sukin Cream Cleanser – HOLY GRAILLLLLL. It all started with my roommate actually. My skin was a little dry one night so I asked her if I could use her cleanser instead. She’s a bit of an Estee Lauder maniac and her mom recently got her this tube of EL’s cream cleanser for dry skin. Oh my god. I never knew something so heavenly existed. It’s got plenty of squalane in it so you’re supposed to tissue it off instead of washing your face – which I did – and I woke up with nice, plumped up skin.
That same morning I had a skincare breakthrough: why haven’t I considered cream cleansers before? My skincare routines were always caught up in the cyclical remove oil, remove remaining grime and kill all spots. Maybe I really was doing it wrong – I was just stripping my skin of everything else and perhaps, if I focused on skincare that was gentle to the skin, things would get better. It did.
I didn’t want to spend so much money on the Estee Lauder cleanser and I reckoned it was going to be too rich for everyday use anyway so I bought this $10 alternative. Sukin’s an Australian skincare brand and they’re known for their paraben and sulphate-free products. I’m pretty sure you can find it in Singapore’s Watsons? I’ll get back to you on that.
The cleanser’s made from a blend of rosehip, jojoba and avocado oil with some cocoa and shea butter in it so if you have really sensitive skin (or are acne prone!), this is going to be so good for your face. You can choose to wash it off or remove it with cotton wool/tissue so I usually wash it all off in the morning but sometimes when I feel my skin needs some moisturizin’, I tissue it off. Scent-wise, Estee wins but the Sukin cleanser’s scent is a nice homely orange-vanilla. It’s just hard to win against a cleanser that smells like the petals of a hundred flowers went into each bottle LOL. But hey, at $10 – Sukin, I adore you.
3. Jurlique Calendula Cream – This is tons better than the Naruko serum imo. It’s a bit scary out of its pretty tube packaging: a very thick yellow cream that smells like plastic. But you’re only supposed to use a tiny amount, warm it with your fingers and press it into your skin. Hey presto, it absorbs instantly, soothes the skin and has such a nice matte finish. The perfect moisturiser for day. Calendula is also good for acne too, I hear. This picture also reminds me I’m running low and need to buy a new tube stat. For the first time in my life, I will be repurchasing something other than pimple cream – you know it’s good.
4. Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant – A trial tube I purchased from eBay, it’s a 15 minute mask that actually does what it says on the tube. Will be investing in a full-sized tube when I run out.
5. Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream – If you think night creams are heavy, very emollient and the recipe for a potential break-out – this stellar product from Jurlique breaks that stereotype. I can never stick to moisturizers because all the previous ones I’ve tried never seem to sink into the skin but srsly, JURLIQUE CHANGES EVERYTHING. Bad news is it’s slightly expensive but worth every damn penny. That scent, that lightness – perfection.
6. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist – I really have to credit my best girl, Amy, for introducing Jurlique to me. I never took notice of the brand until she gifted me the Calendula cream, this toning mist and a truckload of other Jurlique samples for Christmas. My skin has never looked better. The rosewater balancing mist is probably the best rose-scented item ever, after Paul Smith’s Rose, and I am OBSESSED with it. So obsessed, I already have another back-up next to it LOL
7. Alba Botanica Papaya Enzyme Mask – This works like the Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant except you’re only meant to leave it on for 5 minutes. I can’t decide which one works better though: I think the Dermalogica one is good for clearing zits while this papaya mask seems better at refining and clearing pores. This mask has a sticky gel texture to it so I only use it in the shower.
8. Epiduo gel and Clean & Clear Persa Gel 10 % – Holy grail zit busters. Epiduo gel is prescription-only so you have to see a doctor before you can get it. Unfortunately, it isn’t available in Singapore when I checked in February so boo ;( Epiduo’s pretty intense and it will make you peel like crazy but the results are well worth it! The Persa gel works really well too, without the peeling side-effect, and I’m using it so I can slowly wean off my dependency on the epiduo gel.
9. Shu Uemura Skin Purifier: still the best make-up remover ever since its conception ;p You can read a more comprehensive and comparative review here.
Not pictured: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (review here) – it was in the shower so I forgot to take a photo of it lol. My love for it is still going strong!
Also, remember my holy grail Neutrogena scrub? I had to stop scrubbing my face with it because I now use the Clarisonic Mia when cleansing so I’m not allowed to use scrubs with particles in it sigh. Such a shame really, it’s one of Neutrogena’s best products and I would recommend it to anyone who suffers from hormonal acne, or acne in general.
Good god, this entry is way too long and look, you’ve read it all! Thank you so much for reading it all/tried to read it all but tl;dr halfway through LOL. It’s nice to be back here, rambling about my favourite things and with everyone of you as a willing audience..k this is beginning to sound like an obituary piece. It’s just been a hard month for me so far: they say the last year of uni is always the hardest and ugh, every bit of it is true. Still, I will never give up this space – it reminds me that yes, I am capable of creating beautiful things, words or pictures, and I take comfort in that somewhere in the world, you share the same dreams as I do.
This entry is for Sarah Karenina who suggested I share my skincare routine with you guys in my previous entry. Thanks for reading, Sarah! x