#NoFilter #NoMakeup. I wanted to wait until my regular routine gave me consistent results before dedicating a full post to it. I’ve been using the same products for a few weeks now and my skin looks and feels great! I do have some minor blemishing on my cheeks and jawline, but for the most part I’m pretty happy with my bare face (minus my uneven eyebrows). These are the products that are working well for my sensitive, oily/combination skin during this dry winter season. Heads up: lots of best sellers and cult favourites ahead!
Cleanser: Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
This is raved about a ton in the kbeauty community and I finally got to try it out. This giant tube of product cost me under $15, and is absolutely amazing! It’s extremely gentle and helps maintain the skin’s regular pH level. Although it’s a gel cleanser, it still foams up a bit to cleanse effectively. Choosing a morning cleanser can be tricky, because not much happens overnight that requires something harsh. Some people even swear by using just a cleansing water, or just water alone! But my skin is too oily for that so I need something gentle, and this cleanser is just right.
Note: since this cleanser is pH balancing and non-stripping, I actually skip toner in the mornings now because I don’t need it!
Serum: Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
This is one of Innisfree’s most famous items that I picked up in Asia. I think this is great for oily skin actually because green tea is usually used in skincare as an antioxidant and to ease irritation, but it’s also used in this serum to lock in moisture! This is basically a hydrating serum, which helps to keep my face moisturized and plump throughout the day. Sometimes I get dry patches but they don’t pop up as frequently anymore since using this, which is very important for days where I wear heavy foundation. I like to apply this serum immediately after I towel dry my face while it’s still slightly damp. This helps to really lock in the moisture.
Moisturizer: Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream
I talked about this already in a previous post, but this is essentially a very heavy cream (but not greasy!) and full of many different root and herbal extracts. There are no harsh chemicals despite the long ingredients list, and smells just like the manuka honey and ginseng in it. This cream seems thick and heavy at first, but absorbs immediately into the skin without leaving an oily residue. It can be a bit much in the summer, but during the winter this cream is perfect. It’s kind of pricey so I don’t know if I’ll be repurchasing, though.
Cleanser #1: Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, or Banila Co Clean it Zero
I’ve explained already why double cleansing is so important for removing makeup at the end of the day, and provided some reviews of these 2 products. To quickly summarize, I apply a cleansing oil/balm to my dry face and really massage the product into my skin to remove absolutely everything. Both of these products are very effective, gentle on the eyes, and wash off easily. The oily residue left behind is minimal, and it doesn’t matter to me anyway because I always follow up with my second cleanser. I’d highly recommend both of these products!
Cleanser #2: Consonant Natural Foaming Face Wash
I’ve already raved about how amazing this product is. Seriously, if you haven’t tried this yet, what are you doing?? I will never use another cleanser in my life because this solves all my problems. I won’t gush about it too much again, but it’s totally organic, natural, and amazing for sensitive skin. Each time I stop using this and go for something else, I see and feel the difference immediately. It cleans super well and just makes my skin glowy and soft like a baby’s bottom. It’s available at Sephora and I highly recommend this to literally anybody. You’re welcome.
Toner: Shiseido Pureness Balancing Softener
This is another very well-known item, and also for very good reason! It’s such a simple product – it’s basically an alcohol-free “toner” that balances your skin’s pH after cleansing, prepping for the rest of your skincare routine. I’m not even entirely sure what’s in this, but it always makes my skin softer and has such a big impact on my pores. When I use this product, they get clogged less often and appear smaller as a result. It’s funny because I could probably use another toner that’s targeted to do something specifically, but this simple, generic toner that doesn’t do much ends up doing it all! I also love how this bottle has a pump, and 1.5-2 pumps on a cotton pad are all I need. I swipe it all over my face, focusing on my nose and forehead.
Essence: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
This is a cult favourite essence that contains fermented ingredients – a source of amino acids and known to do almost everything for your skin: anti-aging, hydration, improving texture, tightening pores, brightening, etc. I thought for the longest time that this wasn’t doing much for me, especially considering the high price tag but I’ve discovered that when I stop using this, I can see and feel a difference. I spill a small amount into my hand and pat it into the skin gently until it’s fully absorbed.
Oil: Clinique Smart Treatment Oil
I also talked about this oil in my post about eczema. It’s primarily made with safflower seed oil, which is a type of oil high in linoleic acid (long story short… it helps rebalance the oil/water content in your skin and results in hydration without excess sebum). I apply 3 drops of this oil to the palm of my hand, and then apply it to my face, focusing on areas where I tend to get dry patches (corners of my nose, around my mouth and chin). It absorbs into the skin very easily and doesn’t feel greasy afterwards. This oil is unscented and keeps my skin hydrated all night long, even helping with makeup application the next morning!
Moisturizer: FAB Ultra Repair Cream
I’m basically still using half the products from my eczema routine lol. This stuff is absolutely amazing for sensitive or combo-dry skin. It’s formulated with soothing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, therefore perfect for skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. If you suffer from any skin abnormalities, from dry patches to sensitivity to redness, this cream will definitely help you out. I love it as a night cream, but I probably wouldn’t use it as a day cream since it’s so heavy.
Spot Treatment: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
This is a soothing repair balm that comes from a brand focused on skin healing and science. It’s unscented (as all their products are) and uses a soothing ingredient called Madecassoside which is very hydrating and highly effective for redness and sensitivity. I was recommended this at Shoppers Drug Mart and it definitely does what it says, and more! If you’re someone who suffers from any sort of dryness or redness problem, this balm will definitely improve your life. At night when the area around my nose and mouth are feeling inflamed or dry, I slather this on before I sleep and I wake up to regular skin again. 100% would recommend to anyone with skin issues.
Mario Bedescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb and Rosewater
This is by far the most affordable yet effective hydrating mist you can find here in Canada. It smells great, sprays very evenly, and works well under and over makeup. I love keeping a bottle of this in my purse to use at my desk or on-the-go (yes, I’m one of those girls) but honestly it’s so refreshing and I love using it throughout the day. Sometimes I’ll even use this at the end of my day or night time routine to hydrate even more. I’m almost out of my current bottle but I’ll definitely pick up another one next time I’m at Urban Oufitters.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
This is always sold out at Sephora but I managed to pick it up while I was in the states! It smells like Strawberry Pocky and applies like a thick gel. I use this at night as often as I can and it really does keep my lips moisturized all night. I actually prefer this to using Eucerin Aquaphor or Vaseline, because it’s more pleasant and more effective. A little goes a long way so this jar will last me a while.
Skinfood Rice Mask Wash Off
Read more and see the product here! A few times a week if my face is feeling a little rough or clogged, I’ll use this mask for a couple of minutes after my cleanser and before my toner. I scoop out a bit onto my hand, and then massage in circular motions all over my face, focusing on the areas I want exfoliated. I then leave it on for a couple of minutes as a brightening/hydrating mask, and I wash it off. Not sure what’s in this stuff but my skin always feels totally smooth and soft immediately after. It’s also very gentle at the same time, and doesn’t irritate or dry out my skin. It’s like magic… especially with the ~$10 price tag for this jar!
Yeah I know, I’m missing sunscreen and an eye cream. I claim to be high maintenance but in reality, this is probably the most I can handle at once. I don’t like to apply sunscreen because most of my BB creams or foundations have SPF already, and I don’t use eye cream because I can never remember to apply it each night. Sorry for the long read, but I hope you enjoyed reading the products I’m using at the moment 🙂 if there’s something you can’t live without, or agree with me on, definitely leave a comment below!