In addition to the salicylic acid doing daytime duty, I use either a chemical or physical exfoliator once or twice a week.
The chemical exfoliator is a type of Japanese invention where you apply the gel to your DRY skin’s surface and rub in circular movements. “Supposedly” the gel makes the excess keratin and dead skin cells magically clump into white things and you just wash that off. I also use it on my hands.
My favorite chemical exfoliator is definitely the Japanese brand Natural Cure. I grabbed it in Kyoto, but on the way back the airline wouldn’t let me take it on the plane. DAMN. And it was a large bottle that cost USD$30. Damn.
I managed to crazy-woman style pour the liquid into some extra travel bottles I had on me (read: pour out the mouthwash in front of the security woman, rinse it with my water bottle water, and pump the gel into the mouthwash bottle). But still, I only managed to carry like 1/8 of the product back home. But damn, that 1/8th amount is much better than the other brands they have available here in Taipei. So I’m still a little sad.
My physical exfoliator, which I use in the shower, is the wonderful two-step Philosophy Microdermabrasion kit. First you apply the very nicely scented Vitamin C crystals to your skin and gently rub (if you wish) and then wait for however long. Usually I will do something else in the shower so like I don’t know, wash my body with soap, so maybe 3-5 minutes. Then you apply a layer of the salicylic/lactic acid liquid over the crystals and wait again. There is a slight warming feeling at each step of application, but that goes away quickly. Then you rinse and VIOLA!
Clear, blackhead free, bright skin. No, for real.
When I was trying desperately to understand why my skin was in such a horrific state, this is one of the first products I bought to replace my shit Clinique stuff I had been using. I was AH-MAZED. I’m pretty sure this was the moment of truth for me and the prequel to my dropping my half-assed Western skincare and the beginning of my Asian skin care enthusiasm.
In the morning I use a Japanese brand salicylic acid in alcohol to help my skin shed the dead skin.
At night I use my retinoid Adapalene .1% gel. This is the generic form of Differin.
I’m waiting for the OST Vitamin C20 to arrive in the mail. Will let you know how I feel about that later xD
Usually I’ll apply a mask in the daytime after I come home tired (from working mornings and having the afternoon/night off), haven’t slept enough, or its just after a shower and I feel like putting one on. It’s step #4 or #5 in my “nighttime routine” (which is also my mid-day, take off the makeup and lounge around the house routine). They’re also excellent for travel and planes. I always pack 2 or 3 in my toiletry bag.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the My Beauty Diary facial masks. Its a Taiwanese brand and most people who have used them swear by them. In my opinion, for the price, the quality of ingredients and effectiveness are unparalleled. Here in Taiwan, I usually pick up two boxes for the price of one and it comes to about USD$1 per sheet. I simply don’t often have a reason to buy other masks!
One of the great things about these masks is that they come in all sorts of flavors (yes, if you translate the Chinese, its not “types” or “styles”- they say flavors haha) My favorite one is the Aloe Soothing Mask and though I’ve tried and liked a few of them, I just keep going back to the Aloe. One of the main ingredients in most of the flavors is Hyaluronic Acid- which means the moisture level is by default higher than any other thing you’re gonna put on your face.
Just be careful if you are prone to break outs: many of the mask flavors contain algae and that is like a 5 on the comeodogenic scale (0-5). So really, watch out!
So that about wraps up my usual routine. Let me know if you have any specific questions on any of the products. I’ll be posting reviews little by litte xD