First of all, I understand it’s easy to feel lost when we are constantly overwhelmed with new ideas and products for your skincare routine that are said to help us attain the clearest, most radiant skin. Don’t give up, and don’t hate your skin, read on to find out what you need most – the basics of great skin.
Skincare isn’t complex. It’s not about applying those exclusive, expensive, rare-this-rare-that ingredients on your skin. It’s about two key things: Fighting skin stressors such as airborne pollutants and UV radiation in the day, and helping skin repair and regenerate at night.
And that means that we need two different skincare routines in the Singapore climate – one for the day, and one at night. (Obviously, if you reside in a country with four seasons, or if you are travelling to a drier, cooler climate, you would need a different set of day and night-time skincare products.)
If you’re not sure where to start, here are my recommendations for specific steps and products for your skincare routine (read: these are suitable for most skin types):
Skincare Routine for the Day
STEP 1 – CLEANSE
Use a gentle face wash. If your face always feels dry to touch after cleansing, it could be due to excessive washing or wrong product use.
Tip: Never wash your face with warm or hot water as the high temperature will irritate and dry it out. Use water at room temperature.
Products to try: Bioderma Hydrabio Micellar Solution, $41.90 (150ml). Soak a cotton pad with this cleansing water, cleanse face, and follow with a splash of water at room temperature.
Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, $18.10 (200ml), is a personal classic that I have used for the past 10 years, it is a good formula that doesn’t leave the skin dry at all.
STEP 2 – PREP/TONE
A good toner hydrates the skin well enough to soften and plump it up so it does not feel dry. This step is important because with your skin lightly hydrated, you won’t have to apply too much face moisturiser further down your routine (read: overloading the skin with moisturiser can clog pores and cause breakouts.)
Tip: Also, always use your hands to apply toner. Pour or mist a 5-cent sized amount onto your palm. Instead of wasting cotton pads (hooray, save your money!), use your hands to feel out any dry, patchy spots. Always massage skincare onto the skin. Patting it on or dabbing it with fingers is unnecessary.
Products to try: Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Premium Hydrating Lotion, $24.90 (170ml), and Laneige Water Bank Moisture Mist, $22 (70ml), offer excellent hydrating properties, and you’d love how supple and fresh your skin feels after.
STEP 3 – TREAT
Use a vitamin C-based serum. Vitamin C helps boost the skin’s collagen production, combats skin discolouration, calms irritation, and protects from free radicals, ozone and UV radiation (a great reason why you should use it in the day) Think of it as a second layer of protection underneath your sunscreen against UV rays.
Products to try: Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, $130 (30ml) – (this is one of my absolute must-haves), and Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster, $68 (20ml).
STEP 4 – MOISTURISE
Spread a pea-sized amount of moisturiser on your fingers. You should apply from the outer sides of your face inwards because the sides of your face tend to be drier than the T-zone. For those who require less hydration, use an emulsion or a gel moisturiser instead.
Tip: When applying a moisturiser, don’t just swipe it across your face. Massage it into the skin to help reduce puffiness and boost circulation.
Products to try: Renovatio Apskin Face Cream, $49 (100ml). This is incredibly lightweight in texture and yet hydrating enough to leave skin supple. There’s also an excellent amount of antioxidants in the formula to help reduce any skin inflammation too.
If you prefer an even more lightweight product, go for Bio-Essence Bio-Water Moist-In Water Gel, $7.90 (50g). This gel moisturiser texture is easy to spread and gets absorbed readily. It uses vitamin B5 to help increase hydration levels in the skin, and it also helps calm the skin. This is also suitable for oily skin.
STEP 5 – SUNSCREEN
Never skip this last step of your skincare routine. That’s because the sunscreen gives the ultimate skin protection and is the most important step for any anti-ageing routine.
You should apply at least a 50-cent sized amount of sunscreen on your whole face, including the ears and neck. You won’t get enough sun protection if you don’t apply an adequate amount. However, don’t go layering sunscreen over sunscreen because that’s much for the skin – pores will get congested and you risk getting a breakout.
Products to try: M.A.C Lightful C Coral Grass Tinted Primer SPF45/PA++++, $69 (30ml), also helps brighten your complexion.
Sunplay Skin Aqua Sarafit UV Milk SPF50+/PA++++, $14.90 (40ml), suitable for those looking for a matte finish (oily skin people, look here!), it leaves a powder-smooth finish, too.
Anessa Essence UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster SPF50+/PA++++, $39.90 (60ml), comes in a water-like texture and a groundbreaking technology that reinforces sun protection when your skin comes into contact with sweat or water.
Model Photo: Larry Yeo for M.A.C Singapore/Backstage at Issey Miyake SS2018