A Guide to Deep Cleansing

Every day, our skin faces a lot of stressors – pollution, dirt, and sweat, among others. Add the daily makeup we put on our skin. For someone with oily skin like me, if I don’t deeply cleanse, my skin can feel congested, rough, and just plain tired. This will lead to blackheads, breakouts, and all those unfortunate skin problems. So I take some time on a weekend, usually Saturday morning, or afternoon when I prefer to sleep in, with some music on, to provide extra care on my face. The goal is to have cleansed pores and healthy skin.

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Cleanse Thoroughly

As soon as I wake up I use a cleansing balm to remove what the skincare products I put on the night before. Something that will remove everything like the All Clean Balm from Heimish or the Pore Cleansing Oil from Roccoco Botanicals, to start anew. Then I proceed with a cleanser like the Jelly Cleanser from J.One or the Deep Cleanse from Tatcha to remove other impurities that are still on my skin and prevent future breakouts with the use of a cleansing brush like the Clarisonic Mia 2. If you’re looking for something gentler, you can use Opus Luxe from Nion, which uses a vibrating anti-bacterial silicon to cleanse the skin. I pat my face afterward with a soft facial towel, not rub, to not irritate my skin.

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Exfoliate with a Passion

Some would go for a scrub but it’s a matter of preference. I don’t like small rock-like textures rubbing into my skin. I go for rinse-off exfoliating pads that won’t make my skin red. They help to remove dead skin cells, smoothen the skin’s texture, and balance the skin. You can check out the Centenella Green Level All in One Mild Pad from Purito or Milky Piggy Hell-Pore Perfect Wine Sparkling Peeling Pad from Elizavecca. They will further get rid of dead skin cells, which can clog the pores that lead to breakouts. These pads will also brighten the skin and give it a nice glow, countering the dull-looking skin.

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Mask and Take a Selfie

A favorite part of this ritual, I use a facial mask. It’s one of the most important parts of my skincare routine, as someone who has oily skin and is prone to the occasional breakout. When I can feel a breakout looming, I grab Exfolikate from Kate Somerville. If my skin is feeling really congested, I pull out the Cleansing Clay Exfoliant from Alchemy Holistics. This is really great for oily skin types as it really sucks out everything but leaves the skin so soft afterward. When I’m feeling really oily, I go for Supermud Clearing Treatment from Glamglow or Noire Charcoal Mask from Cardea AuSet. These masks are sure to draw out excess oil, pollutants, and other waste materials that get trapped inside pores.

Twice a month, I follow masking with the Baby Facial from Drunk Elephant, for an at-home facial experience. It contains a 25% AHA and 2% BHA blend with Glycolic plus Tartaric, Lactic, Citric and Salicylic acids. I will have a guaranteed baby-soft skin afterward.

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Moisturize Like You Mean It

After all that cleansing, I spray on a facial mist like ENature’s Vita8 Nutritive Mist to refresh the skin and provide instant hydration, like a tall drink of water. I will then lather on a moisturizer to seal in the skin and protect everything I just did. I usually go for the Pure Whipped Chiffon Moisturizer from Serumtologie or the Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel from Boscia. These two will moisturize and hydrate the skin and make it feel plump and healthy

Happy Selfcare!

**published on puropulence.com last March 2018

Skincare in your 30s

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the many tubs of skincare

Along with the crippling fear and doubt about how your life is going when you reach your late 20s, for most of us, our skin will also be a big concern. As if things aren’t already getting more and more complicated.

I work in PR and getting product samples are as easy as clocking in but I chose makeup over skincare. I was 25; I thought I was done with my hormonal acne battle. My skincare routine (if you can call it that) is a routine I’ve had since I was 13, a routine suggested by my mother to pacify my oily, filled with teenage acne face – Liquid Neutrogena. I rarely washed my face at night, I also do not remove my makeup after a night out, and I do not wear sunscreen. Luckily, I almost never bother to wear makeup and I was never the outdoorsy type. Still, I was doing badly in life – skincare and other stuff (but that’s for another story.) It was a time where I had more scarves than skincare products and I was happy with it.

I did not know how awful I was being to my skin. Well, I did but I thought I could get by with just sheer luck from my genetics. I was too lazy to care, too proud to ask for advice, and too busy doing other things. Like texting and updating my social media profiles.

That is until I started getting pimples and post-acne spots were everywhere on my face. I was scared but apparently not scared enough. I still stuck with my trusted cleanser and just tried to solve my problems by cleansing twice every day. Obviously, it didn’t work. My skin was looking sallow and my once-rosy cheeks are not so rosy anymore. I was literally looking and feeling rough. I was 28 and I didn’t know what was happening to my skin. So, I turned to my long-time friend – Google.

Apparently, my skin cell turnover and skin metabolism are slowing down. My skin is going through a drastic change and my routine should too. It was time to use the help of skincare products, effective skincare products that are right for more skin. I researched and researched – read through countless websites and blog posts because taking the plunge and buying. Some products worked, some didn’t. I tried the 10-step method and modified it to whatever my skin liked later on. It took months of trial and error before I got into a routine. Let my mistakes serve as a warning and my solution an example.

Cleanse. Then cleanse some more. I never knew how effective double cleansing was until I tried it. Banila Co’s Clean It Zero removed makeup and dirt from my skin. It still amazes me to this day how quickly it can remove liners and foundation. As a second cleanse, Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam was one of the first cleansers I bought. It’s gentle but it thoroughly cleanses my face. After all these years, I still use this as my night cleanser.

Prep. I had no idea what essences were until I read about it. This was my most hesitant purchase but now, I can’t go to my routine without it. My face immediately fell in love with SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence that I have gone through bottles. For me, it helped control oil and it prepared my skin for the next steps in my routine.

Exfoliate. When I was in my late 20s, I have already noticed signs of aging doubled with hormonal zits and putting on a mask twice a week, helped keep dead skin cells away. I use Glamglow’s Supermud  ClearingTreatment to rejuvenate my skin and spot treat some of the blemishes I still have because of those lovely hormones. I have also incorporated Sunday Riley’s Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment in my routine and it helped dissolve hyperpigmentation and refined my pores. These days, I have a couple of masks and acids in the rotation.

Treat. The first one I got was OST Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum (now called Ti’am My Signature C Source) to get rid of those annoying post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The results were slow but it was worth it. After six months, my skin cleared up and brightened. With the help of other serums, like Jordan Samuel Skin’s Hydrate Facial Serum and Glossier’s Super Pure, my skin was also hydrated and healthy. I alternate serums and use different products in the morning and evening.

Moisturize. This was the trickiest part for me as I thought that moisturizers are only for those with dry skin. I never knew that my oily skin gets oilier because I was dehydrated and because I wasn’t moisturizing enough. It was a long and hard journey to find that perfect moisturizer. I kept on looking for that one moisturizer that will hydrate my skin without making me look like a grease ball. After so many tries, I found Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion. I have also stuck with the very much-hyped (but rightfully so) Laneige Water Sleeping Pack. Nothing has made my skin as soft and as moisturized as it did.

Protect. Me, who rarely used sunscreen before, came to love them. All the sunscreen I had before were thick, sticky, and tacky until I found Shiseido’s Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion. I never appreciated sun protection until I got older and the lines showed up on the corners of my eyes. Premature aging of the skin is not a myth, guys.

**as published in puropulence last September 2017