Saturday, 14 March 2015

My Holy Grail Series (2): Daily Skincare Routine

The year I hit 29, I underwent a facial skin pilgrimage. Plagued by the thought that I was approaching my Big 3, I vowed to start a suitable skincare routine in order to gear myself up for the coming Big 3. (I wasn't using a moisturiser prior to that. Horrors of horrors!)

I made a fatal mistake back then.

It just wasn't the right time to change my beauty products, at one go somemore. Back then, I wasn't aware that my hormones were holding my 30 year old birthday bash in my body! HAH!

Furthermore, I was stressed out by many nitty gritty stuff such as my life direction, my family, my relationship, my finances (okay, not that nitty gritty), and even my pet bunny's happiness index. Hah.

Coupled with all these factors plus my sudden change in beauty productsmy face BROKE OUT with more than 15 pimples ALL OVER THE FACE, especially prominent on the cheeks!

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Couldn't find the photo of my then bare face. Probably deleted it as I couldn't stand the sight of blemishes on my face!

In the above photo, my real face was hidden behind 3 layers of foundation, 1 layer of concealer and 1 layer of tinted sunblock. Total of 5 layers! And you can still see the active pimples!

I cried myself to sleep almost every night. I was so depressed because I spent so much money on various skincare products, new & better quality makeup, countless facials but my skin just betrayed me like that.

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One day, I decided I need to visit a skin doctor for professional help. After reading online reviews, I tried an aesthetic doctor and another dermatologist. Eight painful months later, my skin was finally totally cleared.

Now, my skin occasionally still breakout when my hormones are in a mess, eg. before/during menses and around the time of ovulation. However, it is MUCH MUCH BETTER compared to the situation 4 years ago.

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My recent face with no makeup.
Unedited shot, except to blur out my hubby. Was kissing him. LOL.

Our skincare routine needs to be regularly updated, because as we age, our skin needs will change. Therefore, I am constantly looking for good skincare products to add to my skincare routine.

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So after a LONG term of trial & error and frequent tweaking, I finally put together a set of skincare products that I am certain will work for me for a long time. I believe they can work for you too if you have acne-prone, sensitive combination skin like mine.

Sharing my holy grail daily skincare routine in this post...

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From top to bottom (I use these products in this order too!):

  1. BIODERMA Sensibio H2O Makeup Remover for Sensitive Skin
  2. L'oreal Gentle Lip and Eye Makeup Remove for waterproof makeup
  3. IOPE Enzyme Powder Treatment Wash
  4. Specialist Skin Clinic Soothing Toner
  5. IOPE Bio Essence
  6. Innisfree Green Tea Seed serum
  7. Specialist Skin Clinic Waterbased Face Cream
  8. LUSH Breath of Fresh Air Toner Water Spray (ONLY when I am out and my face needs a perk-me-up)
  • Step 1 and 2 only applies to when I have makeup on. I do not include these two steps in the morning.
  • I don't do Step 8 daily; only when I am out of my home, and my face feels dehydrated or when my makeup needs some freshening.
  • If I am heading out in the daytime, I will supplement this routine with a sunscreen or a foundation with sunscreen properties. I have not found my Holy Grail sunscreen yet; will update this list when I do!
Disclaimer: This is a perfect combination for me, day & night. Some may think these are too many products; others may feel this routine is not enough for them. Different folks, different strokes. I just wanna emphasize, these has WORKED FOR ME for months and are still working well at the moment.

That being said, I am not going to introduce about each & every of the product featured above since some of these have been in the market for a long time and needs no introduction. 

Products I am going to talk more in-depth here are as follows:

  • IOPE Enzyme Powder Treatment Wash
  • Specialist Skin Clinic Soothing Toner
  • IOPE Bio Essence
  • Innisfree Green Tea Seed serum
  • Specialist Skin Clinic Waterbased Face Cream

  • IOPE Enzyme Powder Treatment Wash
    Iope Enzeme Powder Treatment Wash

    Iope Enzeme Powder Treatment Wash
    Pour a SGD ten-cent coin size. Diameter approximately 1cm.
    Keep your hands dry BEFORE pouring out.

    Iope Enzeme Powder Treatment Wash
    Add 3-4 drops of water and lather a little.

    Iope Enzeme Powder Treatment Wash
    Swatch on my hand for you to see its texture,
    Remember: A Little Goes A Long Way!

    This cleanser works like a foam. It cleanses cleanly and doesn't leave a residue nor a tight feeling on skin. It controls oil very well, my face remains matte even after a few hours after washing it!

    Specialist Skin Clinic Soothing Toner
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    I purchase this from my dermatologist office at Specialist Skin Clinic at Grange Road.
    It is only for sale to their patients.

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    The toner is very mild and hydrating. It contains natural ingredients of green tea and huangqin. 
    Quite a strong herbal scent yet soothing to sensitive skin. No alcohol. 
    I place a twenty cent coin amount on a cotton pad before I gently pat all over my face.

    IOPE Bio Essence

    Iope Bio Essence
    Star product of IOPE!

    Iope Bio Essence
    I pat into my face without using cotton pads. 4 drops for my entire face & neck.

    If you are a K-beauty fan, you'd have already heard about this product one way or another. Otherwise, listen up! You NEED to have this! At least get hold of a sample and TRY it! 

    You know the SKII Treatment Essence, loosely termed as "Miracle Water"? Yep, this is a dupe of it... and a better version, in my opinion! Piteria, an ingredient in SKII sometimes can irritate sensitive skin. And the smell is awful. BUT this IOPE essence delivers twice the brightening/hydrating/anti-aging effects sans the SKII infamous smell, and at half the price!! 

    What are you waiting for?

    Oh, you probably wonder where to get this if you are in Singapore and not heading Korea anytime. Fret not, Qoo10 is your answer. Just do a search and buy from a Korean-based seller that you are comfortable with. They even sell miniature sized bottles at less than SGD 15.

    Innisfree Green Tea Seed serum

    Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum

    Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
    One fully depressed pump for the entire face. Two pumps for face + neck.

    Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
    Feels watery, lightweight & non-sticky. Pleasant scent is a bonus!

    My super sensitive and irritable skin usually does not like serums. Many serums give me issues - either break me out in 2 hours, or break me out in 2 weeks. Seriously, I rather forgo the radiance or correcting effects I am craving for in a serum, than to have breakouts on my face (again!).

    To my sweet surprise, this highly raved Innisfree serum calms my skin and offer hydration benefits. You can never get too hydrated, you know. SO it is good to have more hydration before we use our day or night moisturizer at the last step to seal up everything into our skin.

    Specialist Skin Clinic Waterbased Face Cream
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    Again, this is from my dematologist office. A water-based cream with the minimal ingredients.

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    Use a spatula for hygienic purpose. Easier to gauge the amount of product you pick up.

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    About a scoop of this size is ample for my face and neck

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    A scoop = twenty-cent size coin
    There is another face moisturiser that is popular among Specialist Skin Centre patients - Sodium PCA moisturiser. That has worked well for me for years, but lately I realise that I need a lighter one, so I opted for the next in line.

    SSC Water-based Moisturizer can sometimes feel heavy on the skin, if applied too much. I heard feedback that it sometimes causes makeup to slide, but not in my case. This cream helps me to hold makeup better than other moisturizers in the market that I have tried.

    Do note that this is just a very basic moisturiser cream, used for day & night. Nothing fancy. No added benefits like anti-aging, whitening, brightening, etc. But sometimes, less is more. At least in my case.

    Skincare Tip: Keep products simple when you have sensitive skin. Check the ingredient list before purchase. The shorter the ingredient list, the least likely your skin will react adversely. The first 3 ingredients on the list are the main ingredients, so if you're sensitive to any one of them, please do not use it!

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    LOTD #throwback #yesterday

    Hope my sharing helps you in some way! Cheers to good skin, awesome health, and a long, love-filled life!

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    1. Nice detailed post n reviews babe

    2. Love your blog! And your skin now is glowing from within thanks for tips and tricks!

      1. Hi Syikin Karim! I tried replying to your comment a few times, the week when you first posted...but I don't know what happen to Blogger - it just didn't register! Sorry for this late reply!
        Thank you very much for reading and for your sweet encouragement! I am glad you like my posts. :) Xx

    3. Hi may I know where to buy the enzyme cleanser ? Hear from u. can email me at

      thx u

    4. Are all Qoo10 Kproducts geniune? :) I would love to try but a little skeptical. Please let me know. Thanks! :) beautiful blog by the way, and so are you. ��

      1. Thank you for your kind comments! I can't guarantee authenticity from every seller on Qoo10 as I don't own it or have any affiliation to them. I can only say I haven't received problematic products for my Kbeauty orders so far.

    5. Excellent post, Very informative post, Thanks for sharing, keep sharing new post
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