“Look after yourself from within, and your beauty will shine through on your skin.” -Shanina Shaik
I have always believed that one’s personality makes him or her more beautiful. I have met people who just became so much more beautiful in my eyes the more I got to know how good they were. While I advocate for inner beauty more than appearances, I also have to admit that taking care of our skin is one way of being kind to ourselves.
I’ve had acne since I was eleven or twelve. To be fair, my acne wasn’t that terrible. I did not have a lot of them and usually broke out only when I was on my period. However, my skin is so sensitive that I scar very easily. When I scar, they take years to get rid of.
I started wearing powder foundations early, in attempts to hide the imperfections on my skin, not realizing that they were making my acne worse. The worse they became though, the more dependent I became on makeup and the less confident I was to get out of the house barefaced. The makeup felt like a security blanket of a sort that I couldn’t go without.
These days, I still get acne, most of them the hormonal ones around my chin and jaw. They aren’t as plenty unlike when I was in my teenage years, but they still do scar. I have learned to accept them as a normal part of life and putting on makeup because something I enjoyed as a means of expression rather than a means to hide imperfections. Most recently, I decided to try Korean skin care as opposed to just my usual face wash, toner, and moisturizer routine.
My ever loving sister who spoils me all the time recently went to South Korea and got me lots of Korean skin care products, most of which were from Innisfree’s bija line. I just loved the pretty blue color of the packaging! Aside from these products, she also gave me a Foreo Espada, Blue Light Acne Treatment, a Petitfee Koelf Madecassoside Clarifying Body Spray, COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, and COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad. Whew! So many products!
For myself, I bought bentonite healing clay from Luxe Organix, which is an alternative to the Aztec Healing Clay that went viral in 2018. I also got the Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Lotion from The Face Shop. Lastly, I got myself some lip care products such as the Bubblegum Lip Scrub from Lush and a sampler of Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask.
Currently, here’s my skin care routine:
1. Micellar makeup remover wipes (Night)
I use waterproof mascara and eyeliner pen every day, so it takes me a while to get rid of them. I use makeup remover wipes that I soak further with micellar water to get rid of my makeup.
When using wipes soaked with micellar water, I first wipe off the makeup on my face and neck before focusing on my eye area. That would help make sure I do not squeeze some of the micellar water and get some in my eyes because it stings.
I also like the micellar water from Garnier and from Nivea so you can try those as well.
2. Bija Trouble Facial Foam (Day and Night)
I only use a tiny bit because it suds up really well. I still wash my face to get off any last bit of makeup remaining on my face. I also read somewhere that micellar water shouldn’t really be left on the face, hence I make it a point to still wash my face.
This facial wash does not give me that squeaky clean feel, but I do feel like my skin has been cleansed thoroughly without being stripped dry. It smells more medicinal than the rest of the products in the Bija Trouble line. That is probably the soap content of the facial wash that makes it smell the way it does. Thankfully, I am not bothered by it when I wash my face.
3. Luxe Organix Bentonite Clay Mask (Once every two weeks)
This dupe gets the job done, but I still prefer the original Aztec Healing Clay one. The dupe does not bubble and dissolve in apple cider vinegar, but dissolves well in water. It’s also a sickly kind of green that reminds me of Shrek and Fiona. After rinsing off, I still use a wet wipe on my face because I still get some green stuff that rinsing alone couldn’t get off completely.
Still, it still feels like the Aztec Healing Clay once it’s on my face. There is the familiar pulsing feeling on my skin and the warmth after rinsing it off. It helps dry my zits more quickly too.
4. Foreo Espada Blue Light Acne Treatment (When I have acne breakout)
This pretty, pink baby uses blue light technology to get deep into the skin and kill acne-causing bacteria. It has a laser-precision targeting mechanism that allows you to target the imperfections you want to expose to the blue light. And because it has T-Sonic pulsations functionality, this little baby vibrates as you bathe your blemishes with light.
The wand does not react to anything but skin.
My sister swears by this device, but I have not tried it enough to know if it works as it should. Maybe that is something I can discuss in a separate post.
5. COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad (Day and Night)
I love the packaging, but I love the contents even more! Inside the pretty tub are 70 very thin cotton pads soaked in a toner that smells wonderfully of lemons! My day brightens when I smell the toner they used on this product and I feel instantly energized!
The toner does not sting my face, but it does contain a type of alcohol called Ethyl Hexanediol. I used the product on my face, neck, and chest too, because I also suffer from chest acne. I actually get acne on my back too, occasionally. The alcohol content makes it refreshing to wipe all over your face and neck.
6. Any brand and type of sheet mask (Once every two weeks when I use the clay mask)
I go crazy when these go on sale and I then buy a lot of them. Yet, when I use them every now and then, I find the process a little too messy and wet for my liking. I am not exactly sure how sheet masks make skin care better and how it is better than just smoothing serum all over my face.
Anyway, after putting on the sheet mask, I leave it on for ten minutes, then take it off. I rub the crumpled mask all over my neck and on some parts of my body like my knees and elbows because there’s still so much product left of the sheet after ten minutes. Plus, there’s also so much serum left in the pack so I make sure to use that up as well.
7. Koelf Madecassoside Clarifying Body Spray (Day and Night)
I normally spray this on my chest and back after I shower, but at night, I spray it on my chest after using COSRX Original Clear Pad.
This product does not have a terrible smell, unlike other back acne sprays I have tried. It does not sting my skin either, so I like it a lot! I have actually noticed the acne on my chest (cystic ones most of the time) starting to become smaller and flatten out. If only it helped with scarring too…
8. Bija Cica Skin (Day and Night)
It’s another toner that moisturizes the skin while protecting it. I use this to bring back the moisture on my face that might have been dried by the COSRX toner pads with their alcohol content.
I like the texture of this toner; not too runny and not too thick. Because of the texture, I do not use a cotton pad anymore to apply the product on my face. Instead, I pour some on my hands and then I pat it all over my face.
The product does not smell like anything at all. I mean, I tried sniffing a little of the product that I poured on my hand and could say that it is fragrance-free.
9. Bija Trouble Lotion (Day and Night)
The lotion is lightweight and gets easily absorbed by the skin. It has a very faint scent that there’s almost none. It smells around 80% lighter than the facial wash from the same line.
I use only half of what I would normally use to moisturize my face because I am using another lotion as well. I use it all over my neck as well.
10. Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Lotion (Day and Night)
This product, I like so much! It smells lovely because of the citrus fruit peel oils in the ingredients such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit. The scent isn’t as strong as the COSRX toner pads, but the lotion smells fresh and fun.
This lotion is not as lightweight as the Bija Trouble Lotion, but I like that it has volcanic ash that aims to absorb excess oil on the skin. I use this on my face and neck.
I am not a huge fan of sheet mask despite my habit of buying them, haha. I find it a little messy to work with and am not exactly sure how different it is from just putting
11. Whitening Pore Cream EX (Night)
My skin scars very easily, but the scars take very long to fade. I need to use whitening products to help speed up the fading.
It smells faintly of citrus and it is not as lightweight as the Bija Trouble Lotion. It’s expected anyway because this is cream.
I use this product all over my face and neck with more concentration on areas with acne scars. I use it on areas of my chest with acne scarring too.
12. Bija Trouble Spot Essence (Day and Night)
The product has a light beige color. It’s also thicker in consistency than the Bija Trouble Lotion. I use a tiny amount over trouble spots.
13. Capsule Recipe Sleeping Pack (Night)
To seal everything in, I use a sleeping pack which I believe is made with Jeju bija and tea tree. It smells stronger than the Bija Trouble Lotion, and I actually love the scent of this clear gel sleeping mask.
It’s so tiny, but I was able to stretch the contents to 10 uses because the product is easily spreadable all over my face and neck.
14. COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch (At night on cystic acne)
I love these hydrocolloid patches! With these, I noticed that my cystic acne clear faster than they would.
The patches come in three sizes and there are twenty-four patches in one pack. I love the big ones for my cystic acne, but I kind of which there were more of the tiny ones too. Maybe they can increase the number of patches in a pack because quite frankly, twenty-four pieces only per pack is a huge waste of packaging materials.
So far, I still get hormonal acne breakouts, but they heal quicker than they normally would. I also noticed that my skin has become way more moisturized and soft unlike when I did not use all these products. Even after putting on mineral powder foundation, my skin has a dewy glow, which I am not used to because I’ve always loved the matte look. I still oil up a lot, as if I were still a teenager, but it’s not the sticky, grimy, yucky kind of oily. I just blot throughout the day with a paper towel.
I will keep using these products and see if my skin will improve over time. Since these products are not cheap, I guess I will have to use them up until I empty the containers. That’s going to take three to six months, I think.