It’s Sagittarius season! And that means I’ll be turning 36 in a couple of weeks (noooooooooo), but it’s not so bad since people 10 years younger than me ask why I look younger than them. The secret is to take care of your skin. If your skin is great, makeup would also be unnecessary, which is helpful if you travel with just a carry-on bag like I do. Less to pack! Am I a skincare expert? No, but after experiments and trial and errors, these are the products that worked best for me. Most of these are k-beauty products and I am obsessed! Do note they may not work for everyone since we all have different skin types and reactions. I have oily, sensitive skin and this is my daily (excluding masks/peels) skincare routine that I do twice a day, mornings and nights:
Step 0.5: Makeup Remover
This step is only for your night routine and only if you wear makeup. If you don’t wear makeup, skip this step and head straight to Step 1. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, For Waterproof Makeup is gentle but powerful. With a cotton pad, it removes waterproof makeup without harsh rubbing. I use waterproof mascara that used to take me forever to wipe off but with this, it removes so quick and easily.
I don’t have an absolute favorite cleanser I swear by, because these have both been great for my skin. I just buy whichever one is on sale or cheaper at the time. I use It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser ($25.00) or Fresh Cleanser ($44.50). They’re both gentle on my sensitive skin and leaves it feeling so fresh, clean, and doesn’t make my skin feel tight and dry afterwards. Remember when drying your face with a towel, gently pat it dry, not rub!
$25.00 – $44.50
Step 1.5: Mask or Peel (Once a Week)
Since I have sensitive skin, I will use either the The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Face Mask ($28.00) or The Body Shop Drops of Youth Liquid Peel ($17.50) once a week depending on my mood or how my skin feels. If my skin feels gross and needs a deep clean, I use the mask to unclog my pores. I leave the mask on for about 10 minutes and it creates a tight, tingly sensation and makes my skin feel so clean after I rinse it off. I use the peel when I’m feeling too lazy to put on a 10 minute mask. After cleansing and drying my face, I rub the peel on my skin and it gently exfoliates and peels impurities and dead skin cells. They both give me a youthful glow! If you don’t have sensitive skin, you can use them more than once a week but I suggest no more than twice a week.
$17.50 – $28.00
Step 2: Toner
This Glow Recipe Watermelon Toner is AMAZING. I’ve tried different toners for years but never really saw a difference in my skin and couldn’t even tell if toners did anything at all. My pores tend to get clogged because I have oily skin and I never knew how clogged they were until I started using this toner. I applied it with a cotton ball and after a few times, it pulled out some gunk from my pores! It sounds gross but it was very satisfying to see. This toner can also be dispensed directly into your palms, which I do in the morning. For night, I use a cotton ball to help remove any extra oil.
Step 3: Serum
I love The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate ($36.00) and Belif Hungarian Water Essence ($42.00) equally! My skin just absorbs both of these up and they both make my skin feel so soft like a baby’s. My absolute favorite is Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate ($49.98) that I got as a sample but it’s a bit more expensive. If you have the money, go for Shiseido, but The Body Shop and Belif are my cheaper go-to’s.
$36.00 – $49.98
Step 4: Eye Cream
I’ve always had trouble with dark under eye circles and every eye cream I’ve tried didn’t seem to make a difference until I discovered DEWYCEL Eye Cream. My undereye has brightened up to the point I don’t need to wear concealer to hide my dark circles anymore anymore and it makes my skin feel softer and moisturized without it feeling sticky and heavy. I use my ring fingers to gently and slowly tap this under my eye since under eye skin is more thin and sensitive. Be gentle!
Step 5: Moisturize
My absolute favorite skincare product is this moisturizer that I’ve been using for years: Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb. It’s my must and I’m convinced this is what has been keeping my skin so youthful. I used to have acne prone skin and wore foundation to hide my uneven skin tone, but ever since I started using this, my skin has gotten so clear and I haven’t had to wear foundation in years. I have oily skin and Aqua Bomb is perfect for me, but if you have normal to dry skin, I suggest Belif the True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. I use the Moisturizing Bomb in the winter since my skin is dryer during the colder months and also because I love to buy the Belif Holiday Merry Merry Gift Set that usually releases in November of every year. It’s the same price as just the moisturizer but comes with travel sized extras! For the rest of the year, I use the Aqua Bomb since it’s more lightweight.
The Body Shop Almond Milk Body Yogurt is my favorite body lotion! It’s for sensitive skin and is very light, doesn’t feel greasy, and dries almost instantly — perfect for me because I’m super impatient and can just put my clothes on immediately without waiting around for it to dry. Best of all: it smells sooooo nice.
Discovering this shampoo and conditioner was a total accident. I’ll be honest, I never really cared too much about taking care of my hair and just used whatever smelled nice. A few years ago, while showering, I ran out of my shampoo and conditioner, so I used the ArtNaturals Argan Hair Growth Shampoo and ArtNaturals Argan Hair Growth Conditioner that was totally not mine but was in the shower. I didn’t read the labels and just used them for a few weeks because I looooooooooove the smell of the conditioner. After about 3 weeks, I noticed I grew about 3-5 inches of new hairline and thought it was really odd. I showed my partner my new hairline saying it’s weird how I’m suddenly growing a hairline and it makes me look younger. He asked if I’ve been using his shampoo because it was a hair growth shampoo (I totally got caught for stealing his shampoo/conditioner), so mystery solved on why my hair was growing like crazy. I had no idea! So it’s confirmed, it totally works. After showering, I let my hair air dry and do not put products in it. I often get compliments on my hair and asked what I use. This is it!
I hope this list has been of some help. Do note that products don’t always work the same for everyone. Reminder: I have thick, wavy hair and oily sensitive skin. If you have the same hair and skin as me, maybe these will work for you too! I tend to buy most of my skincare products during the holidays because that is when all the holiday sets are released. They usually include mini sized versions of my favorite products which are perfect to bring along with me when I’m traveling. Now is the time, so shop away!