If you have been following me on Instagram, I shared a snap on my Instastory about layering my moisturisers and hoping it won't cause my skin to breakout. So here's a post about it.
As usual, I did a "little" manual extraction to physically remove closed whiteheads and blackheads. To clean and calm my irritated skin, I cleaned my face with cotton pads soaked in Cosrx Clarifying Treatment Toner (RM45; 15ml). After the toner, I applied Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Boosting Ampoule (RM89, 25ml) with Cica and Firming Effector (RM23 each; 7ml) to hydrate and prep my skin (functions similarly as the Innisfree Green Tea Serum). I'm happy to report that the ampoule does not leave a sticky residue and it is absorbed into the skin in less than a minute.
To hydrate my skin further, I tone my face with cotton pads soaked with Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Skin (RM62; 200ml). After this step, my skin looks and feels plump. To keep my closed comedones in control, I apply Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid (RM56; 100ml) with my finger focusing on areas where I have pimple/acne scars and breakouts. This powerful bugger does sting and the scent isn't exactly enjoyable but heck, it works and that's all that matters. Once I have applied AHA, I will let it sink in for about 20 - 30 minutes before continuing with my next step.
After 20 - 30 minutes, I continued with First Aid Beauty Retinol Serum (RM278; 30ml) - focusing on areas where I have fine lines such as my forehead, malar area and nasolabial folds. I would try to apply a thin layer on my marionette lines (near the mouth) because that's the area I tend to experience dry patches, which shows prominently whenever I use foundation or powder. Based on my current experience, retinol or actives tend to leave my skin feeling tight and sometimes a sharp, stinging pain if I don't hydrate or moisturise sufficiently. To counter that, I sealed my skin with a layer of Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Lotion, which cools and leaves my skin oh-so-plump.
Not taking any risks, I add another layer of Innisfree Bija Cica Essence (RM118; 50ml), which contains bija oil and D-panthenol that helps reinforce and rebuild weakened skin barrier - something my skin desperately needs. After using this essence for about 2 - 3 weeks, I noticed that whenever I remove my sunscreen and powder/foundation at the end of the day, my skin does not feel taut and uncomfortable. So I'm guessing this essence does help rebuild my skin barrier. Will definitely do a thorough review when I have finished it.
Since I used AHA and retinol, I added Innisfree Bija Cica Balm (RM106; 40ml) to my layering but I only applied on areas where I needed more moisturising such as the forehead, breakouts, malar area and marionette lines. I might want to switch to Innisfree Bija Cica Intense Balm once I have finished using this.
After following @makeupbypapot for some time, I learned more than a thing or two about "sealing" your skincare. She does a great job of simplifying and explaining complicated stuff, especially when it comes to ingredients or skincare. To seal in my 'hard work', I used Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream, which retails for RM200+ (can't recall the exact price, will update once I have referred the receipt). I initially planned to use it as a day cream but since my night cream (Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Cream) finished, I decided to use it as my night cream instead. I have been using it for about 1-2 weeks now and I was expecting breakouts and a whole load of drama on my skin. To my surprise, I woke up to a hydrated skin with my pores minimised and plump-looking skin all the time.
YASS (* o *)
As for the Stratia Liquid Gold, I purchased it at RM125 (60ml) from @makeupbypapot. This was my second time using it and since I did not experience any adverse reactions from the first use, I thought - hey, why not layer on top of my Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream? I mean, what could go wrong? Right? Ehehehe. So with crossed fingers, I layered it on top of my first moisturiser and prayed. Guess what, NO BREAKOUTS! HAH. Might try this again and see how it fares in a long-run. Will update this post if I'd ever breakout from this combo. Heh.
For my eyes, I have been using this duo combo for a month now and I'm liking the results. I discovered this Clinique All About Eyes Serum during my honeymoon last year when I was oddly experiencing extremely dry under eyes. Retails at RM157 (15ml), it's pretty steep for me but I am glad I took the plunge because it does help de-puff my eyes, especially in the morning. It's not sticky or oily and it absorbs into the skin fairly quickly. The roller does leave a cooling sensation, which helps to reduce the puffiness. I use this mainly to help with the puffiness, not fine lines or dark circles.
I don't believe in eye creams/serums that claim to reduce dark circles. If you read up about it, dark circles are caused by:
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Contact dermatitis
- Fatigue (lifestyle/sleeping patterns)
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Heredity (genes)
- Pigmentation irregularities
- Rubbing or scratching your eyes
- Sun exposure
- Thinning skin and loss of fat and collagen
Source: Mayo Clinic
So until you have narrowed down exactly what causes your dark circles, try to hold back from splurging on creams that promise magical effects on dark circles. However, I do believe a good eye cream/serum can help with fine lines. After much research (googling lah), I decided to lay my hard-earned money on Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix. This luxurious-looking bottle retails for RM315 (15 ml), which was why I held back for so long but as I was desperate to rid of the fine lines under my eyes - I took the plunge. I have been using it for about 4 weeks now and I can feel and see a difference. I am planning on reviewing this eye cream with before and after pictures, so keep your eyes peeled. Or simply, you can just follow me on Instagram for the update.
Welp, that all for now. Toodles!