My Ultimate Guide to Skincare: What Changed the Game For Me

The questions I get asked most usually relate to my skincare routine! Truthfully, I have a hard time answering because my skin is constantly changing with the many factors that affect it (such as weather, water intake, traveling, exercise). I have gone through a journey with my skin to figure out which products work best in what conditions, and I have discovered holy grail products in the process, and I can’t wait to share them with you! Keep on reading if you want to know what my ridiculous process looks like! It’s ridiculous, but rewarding 🙂

 

SUPER IMPORTANT: As you read, please keep in mind that everyone has different skin types and problems. What works for me may not work for you. Skincare is a trial and error process, and it is intimidating, but absolutely worthwhile. Take the time to invest in your skin because happy skin is major key.

 

1) EYE MAKEUP REMOVAL

Product:

  • Bioderma Sensibio H20 (pink cap)

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

This is ALWAYS the first step in my routine (if I have makeup on). One thing has remained constant and unchanged in my routine, and it’s this bad boy right here! I know there are tons of micellar waters out there on the market now, but I’ve honestly never bothered to try them because Bioderma is my ride or die. Once you have a skincare product that never fails you, it’s hard to want to try anything else. I never experience any irritation with this product, it never stings my eye, and it removes the most stubborn makeup with one cotton round. If you’re following my video tutorial, I also like to pick up extra product with a Q-tip to get into the crevices of my eyes and make sure every last gunk of makeup is removed! Lash glue and mascara residue are the absolute worst! This step is essential for me because I personally don’t like using cleansers to remove my eye makeup. The makeup itself starts to run into my eyes and sting! In the photo, I poured some of the Bioderma into a smaller container to have one in the restroom and one on my vanity.

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Amazon (sells 3 sizes, largest 500mL bottle is $14.16)
  • Bioderma Website
  • Beautylish
  • Dermstore

BOTTOM LINE:

I can’t live without this step—I will do this no matter what type of makeup I have on.

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2) MAKEUP WIPES

Products:

  • Simple Micellar Wipes for Sensitive Skin
  • elf Active post-workout body wipes

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

I have two affordable options for makeup wipes! The Simple Micellar ones do a better job at removing my eye makeup HANDS DOWN. But I appreciate the elf Active wipes because they 1) smell delightful, 2) leave my skin feeling fresh, and 3) is a great option after sweating through a workout! I also use the elf wipes for removing makeup swatches and occasionally face makeup. However, if I had to choose between the two, I would pick the Simple wipes because it never fails me for any reason! It doesn’t irritate my skin or eyes at all and removes every bit of my makeup. I don’t reach for wipes ALL the time—I typically like to use them when I have light face makeup on. For full face beats and many layers of makeup, I like to use products in #3! Read on 🙂

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Target (for Simple wipes)
  • Walmart (for elf Active)
  • Local drugstores that carry the brands

BOTTOM LINE:

This step is OPTIONAL if you like to have a handy on-the-go product, but you can honestly skip to the next product to do a deep-makeup removal. If you choose to use wipes to remove your makeup, REMEMBER (SUPER IMPORTANT): that is not it. You should go cleanse again and rinse with water afterward. I believe in the convenience of makeup wipes, but I don’t believe they’re sufficient for complete makeup removal.

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3) MAKEUP MELTERS

Products:

  • Dermalogica Precleanse
  • The Face Shop Rich Cleansing Oil (Rice Water Bright)
  • Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

I call these my “makeup melters” because that’s literally what they do! The Dermalogica Precleanse and The Face Shop Oil both have oil consistencies while the Botanic Farm product begins as a solid and melts into an oil as it applies on your skin. These products are amazing if you have dry skin or experiencing skin that is more dry than usual (without being super greasy). It effortlessly melts off the toughest of makeup. You can use this to melt off your eye makeup and skip the first step, BUT I personally just like to use these to remove my face makeup if I’m not using the wipes. There’s a lot of options, I know. I’m not sure you would enjoy these products if you have oily skin. If you have oily skin, the next set of products in #4 may be for you.

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Dermalogica Precleanse
    • Dermalogica website
    • Ulta
  • The Face Shop Rich Cleansing Oil (Rice Water Bright)
    • Yes Style
    • The Face Shop website
  • Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet
    • Ulta
    • Botanic Farm website

BOTTOM LINE:

Look into these products if you enjoy an oil cleanser. If you have oily skin, see #4.

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4) DAILY CLEANSERS

Products:

  • Laneige Multi-Cleanser
  • NxN Fresh Start Foaming Cleanser

 

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

I have 2 holy grail cleansers to share with you. I have gone through about 4 of the Laneige Multi-Cleansers because I do seriously love it that much. I am almost done with my NxN bottle as well and will need to stock up on that very soon. The Laneige cleanser is geared towards all skin types, so it is my #1 recommendation for anyone regardless of their skin issues. It softly exfoliates, cleanses, and removes all my makeup and leaves my skin feeling super clean, but not squeakily dry. The NxN cleanser—first of all, smells delicious. It is more for those with oily and combination skin, also does a great job removing makeup, and leaving my skin nice and clean. I like to use this one after a sweaty gym session because it also cleans all the dirt that your skin gets exposed to throughout the day. You can skip the makeup melters and start with this step instead if you prefer!

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Laneige Multicleanser
    • Sephora
    • Laneige website
  • NxN
    • Shop through their Instagram
    • Website called 2minuteclub.com

BOTTOM LINE:

Perform this step after makeup wipes OR after eye makeup removal (if you skip makeup wipes). It’s great for all skin types & oily/combination.

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5) DAILY MICROFOLIANTS AND POWDER EXFOLIANTS

Products:

  • Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel
  • Kaplan MD Microfoliant
  • NxN Glow Remedy
  • Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

I’m going to break these products into two groups:

  1. A) Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and Kaplan MD Microfoliant

These can be used every day! They are super gentle and leave your skin feeling so smooth, and it’s the perfect last “cleansing step” in my opinion because it really gets into your pores and thoroughly cleans out EVERYTHING. It’s very worthwhile adding this to your routine.

  1. B) Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel and NxN Glow Remedy

I like using these products 2-4 times a week depending how much makeup my skin has endured. They are honestly gentle enough to use every day too, but it’s just personal preference! I feel like these products have more brightening power and the first two have more cleaning power.

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel
    • Sephora
    • Amore Pacific website
  • Kaplan MD Microfoliant
    • Kaplan MD website
  • NxN Glow Remedy
    • Shop through NxN Instagram
    • Website called 2minuteclub.com
  • Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
    • Dermalogica website
    • Ulta

BOTTOM LINE:

Use these products daily or as needed. They provide a very deep clean and smooth out your skin by exfoliating. It’s not exactly required in your routine, but highly recommend!

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6) TONERS

Products:

  • Laneige Power Essential Toner (for dry skin)
  • Laneige Balancing Emulsion
  • Pixi Glow Tonic
  • Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

Toners are a MUST. I feel like many people don’t understand this step or realize it even exists and is so critical to your skincare. Basically, what happens when you cleanse your skin is your pH levels become unbalanced. Toner is the product that restores this pH level and balances your skin level for the next steps such as serum or moisturizer. Often times, people tell me: “my moisturizer does nothing for me” and I will always ask: “do you use toner?” It’s typically a no. Once you add this step, your moisturizer may become more effective and absorb into your skin better at its balanced state.

I’m going to break these products into 3 groups:

  1. A) Laneige Power Essential Toner and Laneige Balancing Emulsion

These products are interchangeable. In the Korean skincare 10-step routine, they often have a step like “essence” or “emulsion” that goes after toner to FURTHER balance your skin. It’s not necessary in my personal opinion. Some days, I’ll do both for some extra hydration because these products are great for dry skin. Most of the time, I use just the toner alone and it is sufficient.

  1. B) Pixi Glow Tonic

This one is a more recent discovery for me. I like that it is drugstore-price and does a great job at prepping my skin for moisturizer. It also has a “glow” component, so it’s great at brightening your skin tone compared to the Laneige products which offer hydration.

  1. C) Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner

I feel like this one is a great one for oily skin. I personally don’t find it to hydrate my skin as much, but it just feels overall balanced and refreshing.

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Laneige Power Essential Toner (for dry skin)
    • Sephora
    • Laneige website
  • Laneige Balancing Emulsion
    • Sephora
    • Laneige website
  • Pixi Glow Tonic
    • Target
    • Pixi website
  • Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner
    • Ulta
    • Dermalogica website

BOTTOM LINE:

You need this step in your life! That’s all I have to say!

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7) SERUMS

Products:

  • Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum
  • Laneige Water Bank Serum

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

Can you guys tell I love Laneige? I’ll discuss these products separately.

  1. A) Laneige Water Bank Serum

I’ve gone through this whole bottle and definitely need to stock up! This product is a dream for someone with dry skin. It adds the most amazing about of hydration and I wake up with supple and happy skin! Highly recommend.

  1. B) Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum

We need to have a long chat about this product. It has literally SAVED. MY. SKIN. I was NOT a believer especially since it is priced at ~$140. That is an arm and a leg for a night serum! But everyone and their mother said this is the miracle product, and I have been experiencing a crazy amount of texture in my skin, breaking out where I’ve never broken out before, and my skin just absolutely hated me! So I went into Sephora and picked this up, used it every night with my normal routine for a week straight, and the results are unbelievable! After just ONE night, I noticed a significant difference in my texture and breakouts. They weren’t cleared obviously—it’s not magic. But it’s pretty darn close. My skin calmed down a LOT in one night. In a week, 80% of my texture was gone, and all my breakouts flattened (now I’m just waiting for the marks/scars to fade away). This is my discovery of the year for 2018, and I can’t stop raving about it now despite the hefty price tag. They sell a smaller size for less too!

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Laneige Water Bank Serum
    • Sephora
    • Laneige website
  • Drunk Elephant Serum
    • Sephora
    • Drunk Elephant website

BOTTOM LINE:

Laneige Water Bank Serum is amazing for dry skin. Drunk Elephant Night serum is amazing for literally everyone. SUPER IMPORTANT: Be sure to wear SPF if using the Drunk Elephant Serum because it will make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.

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8) MOISTURIZERS

Products:

  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice
  • Sulwhasoo Hydro-aid Moisturizing Soothing Mist
  • The Face Shop Chia Seed Moisture Recharge Cream
  • Belif Aqua Bomb

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

These are all amazing, hydrating moisturizers! The Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice is a bit of a new discovery for me, but I can already tell it will be a new favorite! It literally smells like a watermelon jolly rancher DREAM. The Soothing Mist is EXTRA and not needed—sometimes I like to spray on top of my moisturizer for extra hydration. The last two products are very similar in its abilities. I use all of these interchangeably, but I reach for the Belif Aqua Bomb the MOST! You won’t be disappointed in any of these products.

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice
    • Sephora
    • Glow Recipe website
  • Sulwhasoo Hydro-aid Moisturizing Soothing Mist
    • Need to confirm*
    • I would do a google shop and it will pop up!
  • The Face Shop Chia Seed Moisture Recharge Cream
    • Yes Style
    • The Face Shop website
  • Belif Aqua Bomb
    • Belif website
    • Sephora

BOTTOM LINE:

You can’t go wrong with any of these products! They’re all wonderful staples (except the soothing mist, which is optional).

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9) EYE CREAMS

Products:

  • Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift
  • elf Illuminating Eye Cream

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

I wanted to provide an affordable and high-end option for eye creams! I love to use these before bed or even before applying concealer sometimes (I let it dry while doing my eye makeup) for a really smooth under-eye. These products are great at making my eyes look less puffy and dark, but remember there are many factors that affect your under eye area. You can use as much product as you want, but if you’re not sleeping sufficiently, drinking your water, or managing your stress, you probably won’t notice a life-changing difference (like me).

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift
    • Ulta
    • Dermalogica website
  • elf Illuminating Eye Cream
    • elf website
    • Target
    • Walmart

BOTTOM LINE:

These are worth trying, but be sure to consider other factors that affect your under-eye area too such as sleep, water intake, and stress management!

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10) NIGHT CREAMS 

Products:

  • Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon (RECENTLY RELEASED)
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
  • elf Nourishing Night Cream
  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

I will discuss these four separately. This is the last step in my skincare routine at night.

  1. A) Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon

This is a newer product that recently released, but I definitely see this being a new holy grail. It contains lavender essential oils to help you sleep restfully and lavender has amazing calming and de-stress benefits! This is the definition of a NIGHT cream for sure! The packaging is also very innovative and convenient. The product pumps out of that small gray nozzle and gives you the perfect amount.

  1. B) Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask

This is not a new product, but it’s new to me, and I just started loving it! Once again, it smells like a watermelon delight. It also has an AHA/BHA blend (similar to the Drunk Elephant Night Serum), so I love pairing these products together for smoother and brighter skin.

  1. C) elf Nourishing Night Cream

This product is so damn underrated—it makes me sad! I bring this with me every single time I travel! It is so affordable and so game-changing for your skin! Every time I apply this, I’m still in awe by how smooth my skin feels during application and the next morning. It is very worth looking into!

  1. D) Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

This is the first sleeping mask I ever used. I have another one stocked up because I love it so much! If dry skin is your problem, this product is the answer! I can’t say this is similar to the elf Night Cream because they are somewhat different in its makeup, but if this option is a little bit pricier for you, then I say just begin with the elf product!

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon (RECENTLY RELEASED)
    • Dermalogica website
    • Ulta
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
    • Sephora
    • Glow Recipe website
  • elf Nourishing Night Cream
    • elf website
    • Target
    • Walmart
  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

BOTTOM LINE:

The elf night cream is a great start for a skincare beginner looking for an affordable option, but if you have a bigger budget, then either of the other options are great products too!

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11) ACNE FACE WASH

Product:

  • Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

This product is so special—it has its own category. It completely changed my life, and I’ve been using this since I hit puberty. My mom is an esthetician, and she loves to use Dermalogica products on her clients. The photo below is the professional bottle that my mom purchases, but you can buy the regular retail product and the packaging will be different, but it’s the same thing. When I started experiencing breakouts, she introduced me to this and it has worked like a charm for nearly the past decade for me. I occasionally have severe back acne breakouts, and I’d use this twice a day for a week and it instantly clears up! SUPER IMPORTANT: This is an as-needed product. If you use it every day, your skin will dry out.

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash
    • Dermalogica website
    • Ulta

BOTTOM LINE:

This changed my life.

 

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11) SPF 

Product:

  • Dermalogica Skin Perfect Primer

WHAT IT IS & WHY I LOVE IT

This product fairly new to me, and I haven’t set a holy grail SPF yet, but lately this is all I’ve been using so I did want to include it! It has a universal tint that evens out my skin tone so I don’t have to wear makeup and I’ll still look fresh! I’ll update you as I continue to use it, but so far, so good! I’m open to any SPF recommendations in the comments below!

WHERE TO PURCHASE

  • Dermalogica Skin Perfect Primer
    • Dermalogica website
    • Ulta

BOTTOM LINE:

To be determined.

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That wraps up this very in-depth skincare guide! I hope it has helped you out or at least given you an idea of what goes into a skincare routine. Comment below what your favorite products are, if you own any of the ones I mentioned, or topics you want me to discuss in future posts! Have an amazing weekend xo

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