Skincare Musts and Essentials!

When I was a teen, I had greasy skin and hated anything glowy, dewy, or luminous. A decade later, my skin is a lot drier and I’ve realized that greasy oily skin is not the same as dewy glowing skin. I started the blog to keep track while searching for my holy grail products. Hundreds of products later, I have found some essentials, and learned a lot about skincare along the way. My journey is by no means complete, but The Glossier‘s beauty essentials challenge inspired me to share my philosophy and essentials so far on the blog. Glossier is a beauty brand that focuses on simple beauty products with good ingredients. I haven’t tried their products before, but their blog Into The Gloss is one of my favorite with clean layout and good contents. But anyways, skincare! First of all —

Never skip skincare at night.

Even if you don’t wear makeup, all the dirt, bacteria and oil from the day can clog your pores, not to mention the environmental stress that ages the skin. Your body also repairs itself during sleep so it is especially important to do your skincare before bed. After all, you can either spend hundreds on anti-aging skincare later, or take advantage of your body’s natural repair and renewal process by doing your skincare every night. Another bonus for me is that the skincare routine helps me to relax and unwind at end of the day. And wouldn’t you rather waking up to healthy glowing skin rather than dirty dry skin?20160420_121844

One product that really helped to make sure I do skincare at night is Koh Gen Do Cleansing Water. I’ve tried dozens of makeup removers in liquid, water, oil and balm form and this is one of the best. It’s no rinse so you can use it anywhere anytime, to fix your makeup during the day, before cleansing, or half asleep in bed at night. It leaves the skin feeling clean, comfortable and hydrated. I don’t recall ever going to bed without washing my face, thank to the bottle of cleansing water I keep by my bedside. On days where I’m too tired or busy, I would just do cleansing water, moisturizer, and sleep. I’ve actually got more bottles than pictured lying around with liquid in it for traveling. And speak of traveling —

Keep the skin hydrated, everywhere, anytime.

Water and oil are different, that’s why even oily skin can become dehydrated. Not only does the skin looks dull and feels dry, dehydration also damages the skin and slows the healing process. Your skin might get bumpy, flaky and irritated. Makeup won’t look as good and it can take days or weeks to get the skin back to normal. Dehydrated skin can be due to dry weather, indoor heat, not enough hydration or inadequate moisturizer. But the fix couldn’t be easier—face mists!


As much of a skincare addict as I am, I don’t like doing skincare in public or on the plane because of the hassle and it seems unsanitary. But a mist is quick and hands-free, so it can be used anywhere anytime to give your skin a little glow and hydration. I’ve reviewed quite a few mists, but my favorite have to be Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist and Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. Omorovicza is paraben and alcohol free, it feels just like water so it’s lightweight enough for even oily skin to use but it is much more hydrating than pure water. Tatcha is a bit more emollient and absolutely essential for me while traveling, especially on planes where the more watery mists seems to evaporate rather than absorb into my skin. If you don’t want to spend money, it is also ridiculously easy and cheap to make. It is a handy, quick and sanitary way to keep your skin hydrated and healthy no matter where or when. I recommended both so you can pick the one appropriate for your skin type, which leads to my next point:

Don’t listen to others, listen to your skin!

This is perhaps the most important lesson I learned throughout the year. Just because the product description says “all skin type” and have 1384938 five star reviews doesn’t mean it will work for you. That’s why I always try to mention skin types and recommend/compare multiple products. Besides, the rules are always changing anyways. Today all-in-one product is all the rage, then tomorrow 10 step Korean skincare is the must. Yeah…no. Some people may just need the basic while others may actually need the whole nine yards. Overwhelming your skin with moisture, exfoliation or active ingredients may be as harmful as not using anything at all sometimes. My skincare regimen is anywhere between 2 to 9 steps depending on my skin condition. 20160420_123051

However, there are two essential products that I always have to help my temperamental skin adjust to season and different products I’m testing: Dr. Jart+ Water-Max Sleeping Mask and Boscia Tsubaki Beauty OilSkin feeling sensitive/irritated due to exfoliation or weather? gently pat some oil on. Moisturizer not moisturizing enough? add a few drops of oil to it. Makeup looks a little flat and need a little glow? dab/press on some oil (don’t rub, or you will smear your makeup). You only need 3-5 drops to cover your whole face but if you are tentative about putting oil straight onto skin, try mixing a drop or two into your moisturizer instead. My favorite is Boscia Tsubaki, but oily skin may prefer lighter oils such as Fresh Seaberry or Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil while drier skin might prefer heavier oils such as Julep Argan Oil or Sunday Riley Flora.

Another essential to keep my skin hydrated is Dr. Jart+ Water-Max Sleeping Mask. I didn’t see the point of sleeping mask at first, but I felt the difference after I stopped using my humidifier. To keep your skin healthy and hydrated, you need something that hydrates AND protects it against moisture loss. If you live in a dry environment, your skin may feel perfect right after you apply the moisturizer, but dry again only hours afterwards no matter how much you apply. Because dehydrated skin is different from dry skin, a thicker moisturizer may not help and end up clog the pores instead. Sleeping masks prevent moisture loss so the good stuff goes into your skin instead of evaporate into the air. I’ve only tried a few overnight/sleeping mask, but Dr. Jart+ Water-Max Sleeping Mask is the only one where when I wake up, my skin feel just as soft and hydrated as when I first applied it.

So, those are my skincare musts and my essential products. What are your tips and must haves?


3 thoughts on “Skincare Musts and Essentials!

  1. I love this! Every once in awhile, I skip my nighttime routine and I always wake up with a breakout. It’s so important, and laziness prevails sometimes 😦

    1. Cleansing water, if I don’t have them I probably would’ve skipped skincare at least 2-3 times a month. I miss my low maintenance teenage skin so much, lol. Nowadays I get breakouts or dry itchy skin if I just skip my skincare once or use an inappropriate product once. =/

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