I have dry combination skin and constant problems with dehydration, acnes and dark spots. My pores are quite large, sadly due to my lack of awareness of skincare during my puberty years. I have skin fatigue, a bit of redness, dark circles, hooded eyes, and sagging skin. I’m a bit fair among my friends, which makes my skin problems stand out more. I’m no expert on dermatology, but I guess it’s easy to see how I got these skin problems from. I’m 27; my job requires me to sit by my laptop at least 10 hours/day. I usually go to bed after 1 a.m., and my menus are not too healthy either. So guys, don’t be like me:) Better not have pimples than cure them, right?
Around this time last year (October 2015), I had a serious breakout which was followed by yet another one in January. My skin has since not gone back to its track and I know it’s not easy. That unfortunate breakout was one that I owed to either constipation problems or cleansing oil, which I’ll explain later. The following is my favorite skincare products, which I’ll surely buy again unless better alternatives come up.
Cleansing: DHC Cleansing Oil or Shu Uemura Ultime8 Cleansing Oil
I started out with Shu Uemura Ultime8 Cleansing Oil last year and I kinda blame it for my breakout about a few weeks following that. HOWEVER, it was my failed attempt to emulsify (i.e. use a little amount of water to massage the oil residue into white liquid and until the liquid is completely washed off) that caused the breakout, not the oil itself. As I learnt to emulsify properly the oil began to take effect and I now enjoy it immensely. The oil is rated 4.2 on MakeupAlley and I totally agree with it.
I tried out DHC Cleansing Oil as I couldn’t bring my Shu Uemura bottle back and forth between Jakarta and Hanoi. The texture is thicker than that of Shu Uemura, and the smell is more ‘oil-like’ because you know, the SU oil is full of fragrance which makes me feel for it less. DHC didn’t cause me a breakout even with improper emulsification, but it doesn’t give me that kind of glowing skin vibe after use like the SU oil could. I still feel tempted to try out other types of SU oil especially the green one for fatigued skin, but to be fair DHC brings about the same cleansing effect with a better price.
I would totally buy both of them again, as I’m stick with DHC for now due to the price and the compact packaging. My wishlist includes Fancl, but I’m a bit reluctant to try out new products for fear of a new breakout which may take a year to heal (just half).
Facial Oil: Kiara Phytoceuticals Argan Oil
I discovered Kiara Phytoceuticals Argan Oil from a beauty blog and actually as of when I’m writing these words I had only used the oil for about five days. I had wonderful first impression with this product as it was the perfect remedy for my skin after an overnight transit. Anyone ever pulling a white night before may know terrible your skin looks in the next day, with all the purges and fatigue and dark circles. As I remember, this facial oil cured my skin completely within a day or two.
I use Kiara Argan Oil after toner so as to retain the moist in my skin after cleansing and toning. However, I became so addicted to it that I now use it every time I am bored (lol). The oil is perfect for my dry skin and I guess for anyone that prefers the greasy glowing feel on their skin. I think this oil can save you on a $15 facial mist unless you prefer mist to oil. This oil can be mixed with moisturizer as a performance booster, but I personally am not very fond of it, because the mixture feels very light on the skin when applied, as if there is no effect, and it smells like root beer.
It’s a cute exfoliator, as it totally works for sensitive skin like me but not as much for those who need a real physical scrub. Minus point is short expiry date.
Wash-off masks: Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque & Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore
Since the start of my breakout, I’ve been seeking remedies for dark spots. I did lots of search on the Internet and found La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast, Vitamin C 20%, and Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque, and somehow they worked especially the latter 2. Cicaplast is advertised to be effective on newly planted dark spot but to be honest the result is very limited. The Kiehl’s turmeric masque is, more than treating dark spots, also effective for skin redness and irritation. I still have dozens of dark spots yes I do, but I think those dark spots have started to become less visible and contract in size. Side note: since I kept using Vitamin C and dark spot treatment for my whole face (somehow my acnes spread over the U-zone lol), my skin tone has somehow gone from fair to very fair, which is a very disturbing fact to me because it’s like you’re trying to lose weight but your diet only works on your chest and butt hence your belly fat sticks out even more.
The Kiehl’s earth masque is more to the cleansing side, as it helps clog your pores without leaving a dry and irritating feel on your skin like other mud or clay masques. Best use of Kiehls’ rare earth deep pore masque is to steam your face before use and use pore treatment after use. Since both of my Kiehl’s masques are clay/mud type which can drain oil and leave a dry finish on my skin, I usually add a layer of tofu masque following the wash off. Side note for the common notion that clay/mud type of mask dries your skin hence only suitable for oily combination to oily skin, it does dry your skin!, but don’t worry because (1) a sheet mask/tofu mask will return the taken moisture, and (2) Kiehl’s earth masque is super soothing for a clay/mud mask. I’m just not going to introduce the tofu masque here since it doesn’t do me any good.
After two months of use I must add these two into my permanent buy list. My skin has gotten smoother on the cheeks, but on the other hand the earth masque didn’t induce purging as I had expected. Maybe I need something stronger for those hateful tiny pimples on my chin and forehead.
Moisturiser: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
I have such a bias for Kiehl’s products that I’ve become addicted to their signature un-delicious scent. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is light in texture and keeps your skin soft and moisturised for the whole day long. I actually used a La Roche Posay’s before and the effects came similar to this but well I’m not fond of tube packaging so A+ for Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Will definitely buy again.
NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm & Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
Just saying, I have a bad habit of peeling my lip skin (even now!). I once had very dry lips which sometimes bursted bleeding, which probably explained why I hated lipsticks and was so convinced that no lipsticks worked for me. After these two, my lips were cured. I once tried with other chapstick-type of lip balm but none of them worked because it either dried off too quickly or was way too greasy and shiny. Since my friend introduced Nuxe to me, I have bought four of it for myself, my grandfather and my mom.
The lip sleeping mask is unexpectedly effective together with its sister face sleeping mask. It works exactly like it is claimed, and it’s like.. never ending amount of lip mask in a compact 20g package.
–So these are my game-changing skincare products that I strongly recommend for troubled dry combination skin. My skin has improved a lot since I took skin care serious, which makes me happy and tempts me to buy even more of these babies. My wishlist includes a Vitamin C, and that Kiehl’s calendula toner, and some refreshing mask like Lush. *Patiently waiting for payday mode* —