Life should be simple. When it comes to skin care routine, I go for the sophisticated one. When I was pre-teen, the routine simply called for Neutrogena cleansing bar and some pimple spot treatment. In college I graduated with an astringent and a face cream thrown into the routine. My routine got more complicated when I started to work; with the extra money I was able to afford some masks here and there and very occasional facial treatments.
I was always under the impression that the more expensive the skincare products are, the more effective they are. I got to the point that I would easily drop $250 on a skincare product, those that are marketed luxury and endorsed by celebrities, hoping that my skin would end up looking like theirs. I got allergic reaction instead and a bill from the urgent care providers for emergency shots of Benadryl and some steroid pills to calm down inflammation. Finding the right product was so hard that I went through many iterations with the same outcomes. The doctors wondered why I kept repeating the same torture - swollen face, red face, itchy face, and rashes. All in pursuit of youthful-looking skin.
Doing a deeper dive on the various concoctions that I was forcing onto my skin, I learned that I was slathering on cheap, synthetic, and toxic ingredients that I was paying a fortune for. In 2007 I started to dabble in DIY natural skincare halfheartedly because I was still struggling at that time how a simple concoction of mashed papaya and some milk or yogurt as a facial mask could actually make my skin smooth or how some strawberries could act as an astringent or how jojoba and some frankincense and carrot seed oil could be anti-aging. Due to my frequent business travels in various continents in the years that followed, I had to shelve any plans to completely go natural and healthy all the way. There’s just simply no time for all that fuss. So I went back to my duty-free shopping of luxury skin care products, while waiting for flights at various airports around the globe, that promised beautiful skin.
Last year, I had my unexpected discovery of what skincare should be while taking a deeper look at longevity, health, and beauty. I realized I was doing skin care all wrong. I found out that beauty is skin-deep. First, it’s about proper nutrition, exercise, sleep and emotional balance. Second, it’s about what I put on my skin. Third, it’s also about what I do on my skin. Let me break it down into steps:
- Stretch and meditate
- Drink 8 fluid ounces of lukewarm water with lemon and ginger
- Do light exercises (pilates, barre, light weights) for 20 min
- Blend and drink at least 16 fluid ounces of my Perfect Green Smoothie
- Do dry brushing all over body
- Put on pre-shower body oil
- In the shower, wash my face with a natural cleansing oil. Use natural moisturizing scrub and natural shower cream for the body.
- Out of the shower, immediately put on natural body moisturizer to lock in hydration while skin is still damp
- Put on natural facial toner, natural essence, and natural face serum (which depends on what I’m trying to target for the day - hydration, hyper-pigmentation, anti-aging, or exfoliation) and allow to absorb
- Put on natural light body oil to seal in moisture
- Apply natural face cream (which depends on what I’m trying to target again)
- Apply natural and high-quality sunscreen
- When everything is set, apply natural skin foundation and makeup as the last layer
- Wash my face with a natural cleansing oil and follow with a natural toner
- Twice a year, do a 12-week cycle of at-home laser treatment. In between, do at-home microneedling, dermaplaning and microcurrent practices. (I like getting professional grade treatments at a medical spa as a starting point, and then I use at-home devices for maintenance in between.)
- Apply natural face serum and allow to absorb
- Follow with natural face cream
- Follow with natural face oil
Twice a Week:
- Exfoliate using a natural glycolic scrub
- Put on natural facial mask (which depends on what I’m trying to target again)
- Follow with natural serum, cream and oil
This might sound daunting and complicated. It’s not really; once you have done all of them you will get your own feel for what works for you. I think this routine is sophisticated, modern, and effective. Taking care of the skin requires more than the typical wash-toner-cream cycle. But is it worth the time and effort? ABSOLUTELY!