Current Skincare Routine (Winter 2022)

I don’t know why exactly but I feel compelled to document my current skincare routine just so I can see what I was using, maybe because I suspect I’m using products just for the sake of using them but they’re not doing much for me.

My family has decent skin genes, so I am already lucky enough to have a fairly agreeable skin canvas to work with. My T-zone gets oily in the summers and my cheeks get very dry in the winters. My skin concerns are around texture, brightness, and moisture, with the goal of maintaining what’s good about it and preventing future damage.

Here’s a list of products I’m currently using, and what I may add/swap in the near future

Morning routine:

  • Water cleanse, sometimes with a konjac sponge
  • Essence: Neogen – Real Ferment Micro Essence
  • Serum“: Krave – Great Barrier Relief
    • Prize won at Krave’s Waste Me Not pop-up and I don’t like it oops
  • Moisturizer: Clean & Clear – Dual Action Moisturizer
    • Fun fact: I have been using this moisturizer nearly daily for 20 years!
  • Sunscreen: Isntree – Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel

Evening routine:

  • Cleanser: Dear Klairs – Gentle Black Facial Cleanser, sometimes with a silicon scrubby
  • Toner: CosRX – AHA BHA Vitamin C Daily Toner
    • Sought out after I tried a toner sampler trio from TJ Maxx, I was excited to see the full-size at a Marshall’s months later when I decided I wanted to buy this one from the set
  • (sometimes) Essence: Neogen – Real Ferment Micro Essence, when I need a bit more care
  • Serum: Beauty of Joseon – Glow Serum
  • Moisturizer: CosRX – Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream
    • Recently replaced the Innisfree Cherry Blossom Jelly Cream as my moisturizer because of its thicker texture for winter
  • Lip balm: I’m From – Honey Lip Balm

Sometimes… when I feel like it:

  • Cleansing balm: Heimish – All Clean Balm
    • For days I wore makeup or just want a more thorough clean
  • Lip scrub: Burt’s Bees – Conditioning Lip Scrub
  • Exfoliant: Secret Key – Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel
    • Maybe once a week when I’m particularly bothered by recent skin texture which often happens after I’ve been slacking on the above routine
  • Eye cream: Benton – Fermentation Eye Cream
    • A generous gift with order I received so I am finally using eye cream for once
  • Spot treatment: Mario Badescu – Drying Lotion
    • For the scant but distracting breakout pimples I get
  • Morning mask: First Aid Beauty – Ginger and Turmeric Vitamin C mask
    • For a bit of extra pampering in the mornings
  • Anytime mask: Versed – Doctor’s Visit Instant Resurfacing Mask
    • Also handy when I’m bothered by recent skin texture
  • Overnight mask: Cocokind – Resurfacing Sleep Mask
    • The trend with me and masks is I use them to try to make up for slacking in my skincare routine, and I like to do so if it’s not a sheet mask, those are not as much of a thing for me
  • Pimple patch: CosRX – Acne Pimple Master Patch
    • I have a relatively big stash of these considering I only use them for those occasional pimples that I need help not picking at, but they don’t expire so I also have Some By Mi patches and a box of star-shaped ones because they’re star-shaped

Shower why not:

  • Shampoo: Trader Joe’s – Peppermint & Tea Tree Shampoo Bar
    • My first shampoo bar but it’s a bit too stripping on my hair
  • Conditioner: Ryo – Super Revital Total Care Conditioner
    • This was randomly included in my Asian grocery order as a gift or something, it smells like ginseng and the bottle is all in Korean except the words I typed up there
  • Back acne wash: 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Wash (generic Panoxyl)
    • I’ve become a lot more rigorous about my bacne this past year so after I put conditioner on, I put my hair up in a shower cap to marinate, lather the BP wash on my back to sit for at least 5 minutes, and then do the rest of my body wash
  • Body wash: Krave – Matcha Hemp Body Wash
    • The result of Krave’s efforts to reduce waste from their pilot production of cleanser, reformulated to be a body wash, but I don’t really like it sorry
  • Loofah on a stick for reaching my back and my legs
  • Cleanser: Dear Klairs – Gentle Black Facial Cleanser, sometimes with a silicon scrubby
  • (sometimes) Body scrub: Soap & Glory – Magnifi-coco Buff and Ready Body Scrub
    • A gift from an influener friend, not sure how effective it is as a scrub yet but it smells nice
  • Lotion: Trader Joe’s – Hydrating Hyaluronic Body Gel Cream
  • Back acne spray: Versed – Back-up Plan Acne Control Spray
  • Back acne treatment: Adapalene Gel 0.1% (generic Differin)
  • Leave-in conditioner: Aussie – Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner
    • To be really honest I rarely use this but I probably should use it more, it’s been sitting around for way too long and my hair needs more moisture

Products I may add/change:

  • Vitamin C serum: I had been using one consistently for about a year without much result so I didn’t replenish, but I am wondering if my skin texture would improve to how it was at one point in that year and am considering getting a lower-cost one since I really felt bullied by the internet to get one at all
  • Body lotion: I do like the Trader Joe’s one, but it’s not quite thick enough for these dry winter days, so I may pause it and swap in something more hydrating. I remain grateful to it for having such an easy consistency that helped me start actually lotioning my body after every shower instead of like 4 times a year
  • Sunstick: My old one ran out but I just bought a new one, just in time for some upcoming travel, as I like carrying a sunscreen stick to be better about reapplying
  • Shampoo/conditioner: Once I make a final call on whether I’m going to recolor my hair, I will be getting new shampoo and conditioner, since the shampoo bar is very drying and the conditioner was just a free gift with purchase
  • Eye cream: I like using one but am not sure this one is doing anything, so I actually already have a new one on the way with a recent order
  • Serum: I actually dislike the Krave GBR so I am eager to replace that when I’m done with something that actually helps my skin barrier or addresses one of my other skin needs
  • Sunscreen: I already have 2 on deck for when this one runs out, because I just really love SPF apparently

Anyway, if you have product recommendations or want more in-depth reviews on any of these above products or these product categories — these are just what I am using right now, but not necessarily my favorites of any of these product types — let me know!

As you can see, I also do very erratic skincare shopping primarily from the drugstore, something that catches my eye at TJ Maxx/Marshall’s, oo35mm (small business in NYC that ships internationally), or one of the many online Asian beauty shops. (I use YesStyle most, as in more than once.)

To be clear, I still have MANY products I didn’t list here that I might still occasionally bust out, like a clay mask for when I do Fifty Snails’s pore clearing method, or when I take a bubble bath, or when I want to apply/layer some fragrance, or when I do decide to use one of the handful of sheet masks I have, and more. But this is more or less the “routine”, since I find comfort in falling back onto one, but also in having the flexibility to mix things up and add new things to keep me from feeling bored. My skin is thankfully pretty resilient (although I don’t do anything too daring) and doesn’t seem to be too affected by products except really exceptional ones.

It looks like my current routine is a lot of Korean beauty, but I have my drugstore favorites, very rarely visit Sephora or Ulta, and occasionally have French and Japanese beauty staples in rotation. If I’ve been to China or someone from China is visiting me, I may also try whatever products are gifted to me then, too haha. Lately, I’ve been trying to get better about throwing away old products that I don’t like but felt like I needed to keep for some reason or other, and I am embarrassed to think about how long some items have been with me. (I once used a foaming face wash for years and years, because I needed such a tiny amount, it came in such an economical bottle, and I mostly do water washing because cleansing is my least favorite face skincare step. Looking back… maybe face wash shouldn’t last more than 5 years???) (I did finish it though!)


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