Current Skincare Routine Spring/Summer 2016

As promised in the last beauty post, I am sharing my daily skincare products for you guys in this post!  I have not written a blog post in a while due to finals and deadlines - as my semester is reaching an end soon.  Beside the stressful final weeks, I can only think about my coming trip to Hanoi this summer break!  I just can't wait to visit my family at home...
I hope that your summer will be excited and full of surprises as well!  Without further ado, I will show you my current skincare routine!

After washing my face, I use a toner to balance out the pH of the skin and prep for the next steps of other skincare products.  Using toner is a first prep step for more effective moisture absorption after washing your face.  For two years, I have been faithfully using only this Dermalogica Multi Active Toner.  This toner is a spray toner, in which you can spray it directly onto the skin surface without using cotton pads. Dermalogica Toner is very light, fast-obsorbing and refreshing (contains no artificial fragrance or color).  This toner is packed with moisture-binding humectants and antioxidant ingredients such as Lavender Extract, Cucumber Extract, Balm Mint, and Aloe Vera.  It truly helps hydrate and even out my skin porosity.

Then, I would use a light chemical exfoliator after toning my face.  In the morning, I skip this extra step because I want to keep my skincare steps fast and simple during day time.  Plus, because exfoliating increases my skin's sensitivity, I never use exfoliation products before exposing to the sun.
Paula's Choice Resist Daily Pore Refining Treatement 2% BHA was my very first chemical exfoliation product that I discovered two years ago.  But recently, I have been trying out the COSRX AHA Whitehead Power, BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. Basically, AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) help dissolving the bonds between your dead skin cells in order to solve skin problems like ageing, breakouts, dullness, etc.  When choosing chemical exfoliants, make sure that you check the pH of the products before using.  It is recommended that the pH should fall between 3 - 4.5 range in order to work effectively.  High acidity (< 3 pH) will irritate your skin, and low acidity (> 4.5 pH) will not able to remove built-up skin cells.  The term "chemical exfoliant" might sound scary to a lot of people, including me at first!  However, they are much gentler than a cleansing brush or strong physical exfoliators.  After using AHAs/BHAs for a while, I definitely notice how they slowly help unclogging my pores and smoothing out my skin surface.  Read more about chemical exfoliation via Paula's Choice's Article.
NOTE: If you are allergic to aspirin, please do not use BHA exfoliants!  (BHA = salycilic acid / Aspirin = acetylsalicylic acid)
Do not use AHA if your skin is extra sensitive to glycolic/lactic acid as well.  I suggest you use light exfoliator formulated without AHA & BHA like the Tatch Polished Rice Enzyme Powder (formulated with pearl extract, rice powder, papaya extract, green tea extract).

Before applying moisturizer, I normally wait for 20-30 minutes to let the exfoliator works its maximum result (chemical exfoliants require a "wait time" for AHA or BHA to neutralize its pH).  After the wait time, I will then use a serum or oil to bring all of the richness and hydration into my skin barrier.  I am currently obsessed with Tatcha and Shiseido products.  My current favorites are Tatcha Deep Hydration Firming SerumTatcha Luminous Overnight Memory Serum Concentrate, and Shiseido IBUKI Refining Moisturizer Enriched.  They are all formulated without Mineral Oil, Synthetic Colors, Fragrance, and Parabens.  Especially, the Tatcha products are rich in antioxidant botanicals, hyaluronic acid, and natural extracts (algae, rice, camellia).  The Tatcha Hydration Firming Serum even contains 23-karat gold with the purpose of lifting and firming the skin surface.

Choosing the right moisturizer to lock in all of the hydration and nutrients into my skin is a must!  I am quite easy with moisturizers, any product that is suitable for my sensitive and dry skin will work.  Depending on your skin types, do a little research and pay attention on the ingredient lists before choosing the right moisturizer in order to improve your skin concerns.  These are some of my favorite moisturizers for my dry and sensitive skin! Mario Badescu Cellufirm Moisturizer, Origin GinZing Energy-Booting Moisturizer, Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Oil Balm.

Lastly, if it's daytime, I would use sunscreen to protect my skin from the sun and UV rays (Biore UV Aqua Rich SPF 50+, Shiseido SPF 40).
But if it's night time, I would use a sleeping mask to lock the moisture in my skin while sleeping.  I love this Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm for its natural moisture contents from South African acmella plant (blackcurrant seed, ballon vine extract, sunflower oil), which are believed to help increasing the collagen production in your skin.  This night balm contains naturally derived ingredients and does not contain Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalates.  I have been experimenting with Farmacy Beauty for a while now and I have loved their skincare products ever since!
NOTE: Whenever my face feels dry or needs hydration, I use La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray or my DIY Facial Mist to keep my skin glow!

Shop Beauty Products

Dermalogica Multi Active Toner
Paula's Choice Resist Daily Pore Refining Treatment 2% BHA
Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder
Tatcha Deep Hydration Firming Serum
Tatcha Luminous Overnight Memory Serum Concentrate
Tatcha Camellia Oil
Shiseido IBUKI Refining Moisturizer Enriched
Shiseido SPF 40
Mario Badescu Cellufirm Moisturizer
Origins GinZing Energy-Booting Moisturizer
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Oil Balm
Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Barm
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray
BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

♥ The Rosemary Life 

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