Skincare Routine

My current routine is sorta all over the place, honestly! It’s a combination of skincare and makeup products that make up (hah get it) how I go about my day.
This is just a snapshot of what I have right now, and what I’ve tried, but I’m looking to switch out some of the products and add some more (a serum, for example). Full disclosure though, a lot of what I use is (most of the skincare) is from the Face Shop, because I currently work there, but I am looking to branch out because of various reasons.

So let’s start off in the morning, like any logical person would.

Step 1: Cleanser

s1686294-main-zoomThe Belif Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist
(USA | CA)
I just refer to this as the Belif Cleanser. What initially drew me to this, and the entire Belif line, honestly, was the dedication to sensitive skin, and all the issues associated with it. I love this cleanser. It cleans my face, but it doesn’t dry me out! Even when I skip my makeup remover, it gets everything off (I still need a makeup remover for my eyes, however cause this will sting your eyes). Plus it smells really good, with the trademark citrusy Belif scent.

 

Step 2: Toner

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The Face Shop Chia Seed Hydrating Toner
(USA | CA)
This was the first toner I ever used. As far as starting skincare, it’s good. It smells really nice; not overly floral and not cloyingly sweet. It’s refreshing. It’s meant for combination skin, and I found that it hydrates really well! I have, however cycled it out for the Bergamot toner below, and now I use it for toner masks for an extra bit of hydration. I didn’t have any problems with it, I just wanted to try something different to see the difference between the regular Face Shop stuff and the Belif products they started carrying!

belif-bergamot-herbal-extract-tonerBelif Bergamot Herbal Extract Toner
(USA | CA)
I’ve been using the Bergamot toner for around 4 months now, and I really like it. The texture isn’t too sticky, or too thin, and it feels amazing after you wash your face. Compared to the Chia seed toner, it’s made my skin softer than the chia seed toner, and I find it’s smoother and glides better on my skin. My one concern with this toner in particular, however, is the Bergamot in the formula. While a lot of sources say that bergamot oil has a lot of benefits for the skin such as brightening (evening out skin tone), healing acne scars, and disinfecting effects, they also are unanimous in its relationship to sun exposure. It’s more or less agreed upon that bergamot, when applied to the skin, can amplify skin damage from the sun, and increase the chances of skin cancer. So I’m definitely looking to change this up and see if it’s the reason my skin has been acting up lately.

Step 3: Serum

Belif Hungarian Water Essences1686351-main-zoom
(USA | CA)
I first tried this essence when the Belif line came to Canada, and I was amazed by how lightweight and seemingly hydrating it was. While I didn’t buy the full size of it to try (I got it in the travel set I purchased), I was really disappointed in it. While the Belif line was designed for sensitive skin, this seemed to miss that. After a few days of using it, my normally non-acne-prone skin developed not just normal acne, but cystic acne. Plus, aside from giving me acne, it didn’t really boost my hydration levels, and so once the novelty of the water essence wore off, I was just left with painful acne. 😦

Step 4: Eye Cream

I get puffy eyes every so often, and very easily, and it’s something I just sort of ignored for the longest time. I mean usually it’s not super bad, and I’m pretty sure I was the only one who noticed it, but it’d also be accompanied by dry or sore eyes.

TonyMoly Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stickpanda_s_dream_so_cool_eye_stick_sb05005000_3_
(USA | CA)
This was the first “eye cream” sort of thing I tried. Admittedly, I never used it much, and I got it mostly for the novelty of the cute panda packaging, but I rationalized it with the really nice cooling effect it gave when I tried it on my hand. Unfortunately, it didn’t really work for me, as it stung my eyes a bit and often made my eyes feel like they were swelling more. I really wanted to like this product a lot more than I actually did, but it just didn’t work for me.

raspberry20roots20depuffing20eye20gelRaspberry Roots Depuffing Eye Gel
(Unfortunately, this product has been discontinued)
This eye gel (cream?) works really really well. It does everything that it advertises, plus it’s relatively cheap for an eye cream. While it’s supposed to give you anti-aging benefits (helping with dark circles, wrinkles), it’s main draw is the depuffing aspect, and let me tell you, it WORKS. It uses Sage, Chamomile, and Aloe to soothe your puffy eyes, and you can see and feel the difference in a matter of minutes. I never leave this behind when I travel, because it’s just so good!

Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Creams1686435-main-zoom
(USA | CA)
This is the first really anti-aging eye cream I’ve tried. I got a 5ml sample of it in a travel kit I bought, so it wasn’t really an intentional buy. I honestly can’t give that good of a review for it, since I don’t have any fine lines or sagginess that needed fixing (lucky me). The texture is really nice though, and I use this occasionally when I want to feel fancy, honestly. The cream itself is really thick, and a tiny bit goes a loooong way. I’ve used my sample a dozen times and haven’t made a dent!

Step 5: Emulsionbelif-milky-moisturizer-hydra-balancing

Belif Milky Hydra Balancing Moisturizer
(USA | CA)
This is the only emulsion I have ever used, and I’m really satisfied with it. Because my skin gets oily very easily, I have a lot of problems with moisturizers that don’t absorb well. That’s where this comes in. Because it’s an emulsion, and not a cream, it doesn’t sit on the surface of my skin, and instead just hydrates my skin from the inside out. My only complaint with this is that it is designed with the use of a cream afterwards, so you will need some form of a cream on your dryer days.

Step 6: Moisturizing Cream

702002-100507-1016-bThe Face Shop Chia Seed Moisture Recharge Cream
(USA | CA)
This is the cream I first purchased when I began my explorations into skincare. It’s meant for combination skin that doesn’t really get oily, and tends to be on the dry side. That being said, it works relatively well for me, but I can’t use it during the night as I usually get oily overnight. It has a gel consistency so it absorbs really well, and feels very hydrating and soothing when applied. Even so, I only really use this when I’m feeling extra dry.

The Face Shop Chia Seed Water 100 Cream01_34100012_tsx1
(USA | CA)
This is a discontinued item, but it comes back to The Face Shop every so often. Not sure why or how, but it does, and so I decided to give it a shot. The texture itself is a bit smoother than the moisture recharge cream, but also a bit more silicone-y. It’s definitely less natural-feeling than the newer Chia Seed cream they carry, but it does give your skin a smoother more matte finish comparatively. I feel like it’s a little bit less hydrating than the Moisture Recharge cream, too which I liked for my skin.

s1686427-main-heroBelif Aqua Bomb
(USA | CA)
The Belif moisturizers are some of the highest rated moisturizers out there, holding the #1 rank at Sephora in the US. Honestly, it’s easy to see why; the aqua bomb itself is super hydrating without leaving an oily or sticky feeling. Compared to the Chia Seed creams, I found that it absorbed faster, however it also gave me way too much moisture (keep in mind that I am more on the oily side). While this moisturizer is definitely one of the best for combination skins, it’s not ideal for oilier skin types.

Belif Moisture Bombs1686419-main-hero
(USA | CA)
While I was trying out the Aqua bomb, I figured I’d try out the Moisturizing bomb. It’s designed for dry skin, and sometimes I wish I had dry skin so I could use it. Unlike a lot of the dry skin moisturizers out there, the Moisturizing bomb absorbs really well, and doesn’t feel stifling; it doesn’t just sit on top of your skin all day. I have a small travel size of this cream that I use when I’m in exceptionally drying situations (ex. on plane rides), and it’s worked out really well. It is definitely not good for everyday use for me though.

bare-minerals-complexion-rescue-tinted-hydrating-gel-creamBareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Gel Cream
(USA | CA)
Ok ok, so this isn’t a moisturizing cream in the classic sense, but this is what I find works the best for me, especially when I wear makeup on a consistent basis. I’ve tried out a lot of moisturizers (and will continue doing so), but so far, the BareMinerals tinted gel cream gives me the best results when used with my toners and emulsions. It’s essentially a CC (colour correction) cream, but it works as a tinted moisturizer. Bonus: it has SPF, which gives me an illusion of sun protection in my makeup. Because I don’t have acne or serious acne scarring, this works really well for me. The Complexion Rescue cream gives me just enough hydration, with a very sheer coverage that balances my skin tone and enhances the natural skin glow that comes from proper hydration. This is honestly my favourite step in my skincare/makeup routine.

 

Step 7: Sunscreen

So this is a relatively new step I’ve added to my skincare, because I am a negligent pleb. Really, though, the reason for my lack of sunscreens in the past is wanting to avoid the typical sticky feeling on the skin that seems to be a trademark of sunscreen.
I’ll definitely be making further posts as I try out more sunscreens!

Algenist Sublime Defensesublime-defense-ultra-lightweight-uv-defense-fluid-spf-50_30_1
(USA | CA)
I decided to try this sunscreen because of the overwhelmingly positive reviews on the Sephora website. When I first tried it, I was concerned with the texture of it. Yes, it was much lighter than the typical cream sunscreens, but it still felt a bit cloying. Much to my surprise, it soaked right into my skin, and didn’t leave a single trace of having been there. I typically use this underneath the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue cream, since its consistency is more liquidy than the foundation, and I’ve had really good results thus far.

Step 8: Makeup Removal

I’m going to put makeup removal in with my skincare routine, because I feel like it’s pertinent to skincare.

lancome-bi-facil-double-action-eye-makeup-removerLancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover
(USA | CA)
This is the best shit out there, pardon my French. Seriously though, this is by far the best eye makeup remover I have ever (and probably will ever) use. It gets everything off and it doesn’t hurt your eyes. Waterproof makeup? GONE. Mascara? GONE. Eyeshadow? GONE. Glitter? GONE. I can’t say enough good things about it, I’ve tried so many makeup removers and products over the years and I keep coming back to this one. It is expensive, but it’s strong but gentle, and any residue comes off with water. It is an oil-based cleanser though, so if that’s not your thing, they do have a non-oil-based version.

mini-camomile-eye-makeup-remover_lThe Body Shop Camomile Eye Makeup Remover
(USA | CA)
This is the worst makeup remover I’ve ever tried. It claims to be gentle, and for sensitive skin types, but it burns. I tried these because my mom buys things from the body shop all the time and they always for some reason give her one of these, and every time it’s in a different packaging, and every time, it burns my eyes. On top of that, it doesn’t really get your makeup off. Not even the stuff that usually comes off with warm water. It isn’t oil based, but it appears to be mainly acid-based. It definitely isn’t gentle.

41ueydxzfbl-_sy355_The Face Shop Green Tea Eye Makeup Remover
(USA | CA)
This eye makeup remover was recommended to me by a coworker, and it works pretty well. It’s definitely okay for sensitive eyes, though it’s not as heavy-duty as the Lancome makeup remover. It’s also not as oily as the Lancome makeup remover, and works well enough for non-waterproof makeup. It does need a little bit of extra rubbing for eye makeup that has more hold, but overall I’m pretty satisfied with it. I won’t be repurchasing this, however, since at the end of the day, it was just a mediocre eye makeup remover.

camomile-sumptuous-cleansing-butter-1-640x640

The Body Shop Sumptuous Cleansing Butter
(USA | CA)
Despite being from the same line as the eye makeup remover, the cleansing butter actually works. I use this one when I wear a lot of makeup, and my skin feels kinda dry. I find this cleansing butter works really well for getting everything off, all over your face, while being gentle enough to be used around the eyes. The texture is also really rich and smooth, and leaves your skin moisturized. That being said, I definitely recommend using a cleanser afterwards.

shiseido-perfect-cleansing-oilShiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil 
(USA | CA)
I tried this product while staying over at a friend’s place, and honestly it’s really good. Though I am admittedly new to cleansing oils, I definitely understand the charm of them after trying this one out. It can be used alone or with an additional cleanser, depending on your skin type, and personal preference. It’s strong enough to get everything off your whole face, but not overly oily as to leave you feeling gross. It’s a great one-step cleanser for all you lazy people out there, though it can sting a bit if you get it into your eyes too much.

Step 9: Exfoliators

The Face Shop Papaya Peeling Gelfaceshop-peel
(USA | CA)
This was the first gel exfoliator I really tried, and the first exfoliator that I tried as more than a novelty. Because I have more sensitive skin, I’ve always been leery of exfoliators and possible micro-abrasions caused by granules in exfoliators. That’s where this peeling gel comes in. It can be used before or after you wash your face, on dry skin, and leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth and moisturized. It’s basically just papaya enzymes that help to pull your dead skin off, and it’s formulated to keep your skin hydrated despite exfoliation. Plus, you see immediate results when your skin pills into little beads and fall into your sink. Gross but satisfying!

 

s1686302-main-zoomBelif Mild and Effective Facial Scrub
(USA | CA)
In my quest for the perfect exfoliator, I was torn between this one, and the papaya scrub. Unlike the papaya gel, the Belif scrub uses actual physical abrasives to help the exfoliation process, but because they’re natural (bracken seeds and cotton fibres), they don’t cause micro-abrasions like many stone/sugar/shell based exfoliators do. When I tried the two side by side, however it was clear that while the papaya kept my skin more hydrated and had more physical results, the Belif scrub actually left my skin smoother and softer.

Holika Holika x Gudetama Smooth Egg Peeling Gel
(USA | CA)
I bought this because I love Gudetama. holika-holika-gudetama-sleek-peeling-eggWho doesn’t love a lazy egg? In my dedication to my egg son, I didn’t even look at what the actual product was, aside from a peel of some sort. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out it was an exfoliator like the ones I’d previously tried (and liked). The Gudetama peeling gel was about as effective as the Belif scrub, to my surprise, however it did leave my skin more dry. I would consider this as an in-between for the papaya and the Belif, and more suitable for oilier skins.

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