Friday, 14 October 2011

Basic Skincare Basics

(yes, as in Darling Mermaid Darlings, or Boutique Travel Travel Boutique...)

A reader emailed me a question (*plays it cool, is squealing inside*) about my current skincare routine so here goes. My skin is dry and sensitive so I do best to keep things minimal / simple / cheap. On the other hand, my product-junkie/mad-scientist ways ensures that I'm almost always trying out a few new products (usually just on one half of my face, so I can see how effective they are...) alongside the old reliables.
I'm also staying in Hong Kong at the moment where 'lows' are generally around 25ºC and humidity doesn't drop below 70, so bear that in mind.

1. Cleanse with konjac sponge (pink/sensitive version) -- a tip-off from one of my favourite MUAers, firsttaste. Usually any physical exfoliation flares my eczema/rosacea, but this has been keeping my skin happy and flake free for a few months now.
2. Hada Labo Hylaruonic Acid Lotion, a moisturising, alcohol- and fragrance-free toner.
3. Juju Aquamoist 100% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum: sinks in immediately without stickiness -- good for Hong Kong weather and summers in the UK.
4. Sisley Sisleya Global Eye and Lip Contour Cream around eye area, patting excess onto lips. This is the only cream that keeps my extremely dry eyes moisturised all day and sits beautifully under concealer, while minimising my hereditary dark circles and puffiness.
5. AMPM Skin Ecological Indoor Defense Cream -- feels thick but is very spreadable and sets matte; a nice basic day cream for hot weather.
6. Ducray Melascreen SPF50 emulsion -- a fragrance-free, avobenzone-free, high PPD sunscreen to replace my beloved Avene when they reformulated last year (Ducray and Avene are owned by the same parent company). Sets demi-matte on me and keeps my pale skin from burning.
7. Clarins SPF30 Eye SPF cream, zinc oxide based, doesn't sting my sensitive eyes.

1. Brush Kiss Me Heroine Make Mascara Remover through lashes, leave on for 2 minutes while brushing teeth.
2. Apply 1 (bare-faced day) or 2 (full makeup day) pumps of Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil with dry hands to dry face, taking it over the Mascara Remover still on the eyes. Massage all over face and eyes as quickly as possible (under 10 seconds preferably), then emulsify with a little water and rinse.
3. (as with day)
4. (as with day)
5. Naruko Magnolia Brightening and Firming Serum -- currently trying this out. Offers immediate tightening/firming effect, nice floral-medicinal smell as with all Naruko stuff, v light, no irritation.
6. Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Eye Cream -- okay as a basic moisturiser if I put a lot on, does nothing for my darkness/puffiness. Won't repurchase after finishing.
7. AMPM Overtime Intensive moisturiser -- a very light, mostly HA-based night-time moisturiser. Sinks in immediately.
8. Naruko Magnolia Eye Gelly -- layered over the BB to give some extra moisture and prevent major puffiness from having to slather that stuff on... I find all the Naruko jellies nice but only necessary when I stray from Sisleya in an attempt to save money (hah!)

At home, I also incorporate some actives: vitamin C (The Body Shop capsules) in the morning, and a niacinamide serum (Olay Regenerist fragrance-free) or retinaldehyde treatment (Avène Diroseal) on alternate nights. As I'll be travelling so much and living out of suitcases for the next two months, those are on hold for now.


  1. You're in HK? Ugh I'm so jealous! I used to come there every year before moving back to the states. So many goodies to try *dies*

    How are you liking the Naruko AMPM stuff? I've heard good things about Ducray SS too, must try it soon!

    Thanks for sharing your skincare routine with us! :)

  2. I was wondering about naruko (good for sensitive skin etc. results, etc.). I love melasceen ss in summer. that konjac spondge is great isn't it? I love it so much:)

  3. Charisse: I hope it's helpful :) I know you're a fan of the Juju serum too.

    Re Naruko: I've tried about 6 things from the line over the past year and haven't had a reaction to anything. Most things are strongly scented with the natural extracts he uses so I'm not sure they're a safe rec for sensitive skin exactly. I'm mainly sensitive to alcohol and a few known ingredients (aloe, geranium oil etc.) and can avoid those.

    I prefer the AMPM things I've tried so far. They are less fragranced, have simpler ingredients lists and are a little less 'gimmicky'? (Not that there's anything wrong with gimmicky as long as it's fun...) Both this day and night-time moisturiser are great, and I love the hygienic packaging and small sizes (so things stay fresh).

  4. I need to pull out my half used Olay Regenerist fragrance-free serum and use it again. :D I have been loving my Embryolisse creme recently for my skin which is combo but surprisingly dry and wrinkled these days :(

  5. Gingi! :D Thank you for reminding me -- the AMPM day cream is actually a lot like Embryolisse :) And uh...wrinkles? Why must you pollute my blogspace with LIES?

  6. Where did you get Juju aquamoist?

    SRSLY, this is helping me so much in preparation of what skincare I should bring. I know I don't have dry skin like you, but it is pretty dehydrated...

    Thanks so much MUS <3 I really want konjac. Thinking about the pink clay one.

  7. Hi J :*

    Juju is in every drugstore in HK: Sasa, Watsons, Mannings etc.

    Back home I tend to order from adam: