Just the other day at a dinner party, someone guessed my age to be 18. 18! Seeing the reactions I get when I say my actual age never gets old. When I told them I am turning 24 this year, their eyes bulged out and some jaws were dropped. It could be due to my short height or that I was standing next to my little sister, who is actually in high school, but I like to think that a part of it is due to my young looking skin. Because usually, the next question is “What do you use for your skin?”. And that is quite a complicated question, but here is part of my answer and if you have skin similar to mine, hopefully, this can help you as well!
My skin has always been on the dry and sensitive side, but it became even more apparent when I lived in Sacramento, CA. Before moving there my skin was pretty consistent, a blemish here and there, but for the most part, I never had to switch up my skincare as the season changed. Moving to Sacramento and living there for 5 years drastically changed my skin and I went through a lot of trial and error to see what worked for my skin. Not only did I have to deal with Summer heat, but also the icy winds in the Winter and Autumn.
Because my skin is so sensitive, I found that a lot of American skincare brands were too harsh and would make my skin red. Growing up with a lot of Korean friends, I was introduced to many Korean skincare brands and my skin loved it! Back then, it was really hard to find Korean products in stores, but as K-beauty has gotten bigger I no longer have to ask friends to bring me back things from their trip to Asia. Also, I have noticed that a lot of American brands are looking towards K-beauty and developing their own take on similar products!
My skincare routine used to very complex! Almost a 15 step routine morning and night. My roommates would joke that the time I used to apply my skincare, they could shower, eat breakfast, and pick out their outfit for the day. But my thoughts were, you only get one face, so you should take care of it. However, there is also the thought “too much is never a good thing”, but then there is always “more is more and less is less”. During my college time, I spent lots of time and money on skincare and beauty regimens. Though my choices for daily skin care is still large, my skin depending on the day might need something different than the day before. So depending on my skin when I wake up, my toner or facial serum/oil may be different. Here is my list of things I use to get my skin through the winter months.
- POND’S Dry Skin Cream
Even though this cream is really thick, my skin gets so dry that this was the only thing that helped moisturize my skin and didn’t make me break out. I put this on as the last step before my sunscreen to lock in all the moisture from the steps before. All you need is a little dab on your forehead and cheeks, then massage it into your face and neck.
- Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner
After I was my face if it is feeling really tight and dry, then I will use this as my first step. This toner helps hydrate and rebalance the pH of my skin. I like this toner because it doesn’t sting my skin and I can apply it with just my hands as the consistency is a little thicker than water. It instantly makes my skin feel better, especially after a long day walking in the cold wind.
- Son & Park Beauty Water
This is a new addition to my skincare box, however, it has quickly become a favorite! Now I know why so many people rave about this product! This product was created by Son & Park who are two of the leading celebrity makeup artist in Korea, famous for the dewy no-makeup look and two of my favorite artist for inspiration. I use this beauty water as a toner or cleansing water when I am in a hurry at night time. You could use your hands to apply this, but I prefer to use a cotton square to sweep it over my face. It could also be used as a last cleansing step to make sure all your make up is gone. I have found that this product has helped tighten my pores and brighten my overall complexion.
- Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
Eye cream made its way into my skincare routine even before I entered college. The skin around your eyes are the thinnest and most sensitive, therefore to prevent wrinkles and dryness eye cream is a must. Though now is more of a prevention and insurance action than actual wrinkle battle, this eye cream is light and hydrating. I have been using this eye cream for over 2 years now and have repurchased it many times. This eye cream is also a great base to put concealer on as it doesn’t settle into fine lines around the eye.
- Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule
I purchased this ampoule after my long-time favorite Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate ran out and it has been doing wonders for my skin. Even though the name says night repair, you can use this day and night. I can visibly see the difference in my skin when I wake up after using this. This has also helped to lighten my acne scars and even out the tone of my skin. I usually fill the pipette all the way and use half in the morning and the other half at night.
- Facial Serum/Oil:
On days where I wake up and see a dry patch on my face I will usually use one of these to add extra moisture to my skin. This usually happens after I apply acne medicine the night before and the surrounding skin gets dehydrated as well.
- Mizon Hyaluronic Acid 100
This product contains 50% hyaluronic acid for deep and immediate moisture without being heavy. My skin drinks this up when I apply it and it doesn’t leave a sticky residue. This also doesn’t irritate my skin!
- Nature Republic Real Nature Rose Ampoule
The first time I bought this, it was on a whim when I was passing through the Nature Republic store in the Korean International market in Roseville, CA. The worker said young women love this due to the rose scent, but it also helps retain skin elasticity and provides deep moisture. I love the smell of roses, so the fact that this smells so nice was a plus and it gives me extra moisture on days where my dry skin is peeling. And the rose scent lingers a little for some aromatherapy!
- Botanics Organic Facial Oil with rosehip
This was the first facial oil I purchased and it is easy to get a hold of since I can buy it at Target. I am now probably on my 4th or 5th bottle of oil as its such a good day to day oil. It doesn’t make my face oily but gives my skin an extra moisture barrier for days where I know I will be walking outside a lot. Being infused with rosehip oil it has helped with fading my acne scars/ hyperpigmentation, improving my skin’s tone and bumpy texture, and has antioxidants to help against damage due to free radicals. I usually use this in the morning, but you can use this at night as well.
- Mizon Hyaluronic Acid 100
- Elta MD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40
I have had a lot of trouble with sunscreen in the past. Some would make my skin turn red and cause irritation bumps, and some would just break me out like crazy. For the past few years, I have been using this sunscreen by Elta MD, on a recommendation from the Dermatologist I had in Sacramento. This sunscreen is light-weight and non-greasy, has hyaluronic acid to help with moisture retention, and doesn’t leave a white cast on the face. This sunscreen was designed for those post-procedural or photosensitive skin, which makes this great for those with super sensitive skin like mine. I used to buy things from the counter in my Dermatologist office, but now I can buy it at Walmart for even cheaper!
- Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence
When my skin went through a crazy acne break out during my second semester of school, this helped fade the many acne scars/hyperpigmentation spots that followed. Don’t be scared by the name, this doesn’t “whiten” your skin, instead, it helps brighten your skin tone. So for those that have scars/hyperpigmentation, this does wonders to bring your skin back to normal. And even for those that don’t have scars, this can help brighten dull skin for a more lively skin tone and fight against wrinkles. So if you are looking for an all in one bottle to battle inflammation, redness, irritation, and aging look no further!
This is what I have been using to keep my dry skin hydrated and moisturized during the colder weather. This may seem complex to some, but my love for skincare and beauty is deep and it is very therapeutic for me when I apply skincare in the morning and night time. It helps me get into the right mindset for the day or calms my body down to sleep.
Aging is a fact of life. Looking your age is not.
— Dr. Howard Murad
What do you use to keep your skin hydrated?
Any recommendations? I would love to know!
Every day, Lai day! Happy moisturizing~