"You could have used something else and your skin would have been better, but you never know because you choose that one cream and you think it works, but you don’t know if you could have looked even better with another cream." - Inez van Lamsweerde on "Into the Gloss"
I feel this truth of this quote more acutely now that I actually see my skin ageing – it’s no longer an abstract I read about in magazines. In theory, I accept ageing as due course. In reality, I have to restrain myself from losing all control in the beauty section of a department store and start flinging money at La Mer, La Prairie, SK-II, etc.
Still, I'm trying my best to fight the panic. I had been flirting with the idea of serums and other more potent products than my standard regime of moisturiser… and moisturiser. But a fling with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate left my skin breaking out more than usual and so I gave it to a friend. Testing out samples of other serums didn’t move me either.
So I came back to square one in the end – stick to my routine of a good cleanser and moisturiser and let go of the insecurity driving my burning desire for a miracle product. Instead, I’m dedicating this post to the little things I love that makes me feel better about my temperamental skin.
I’m big on moisturising – my skin is happiest when it's well-hydrated, so I devote a lot of time to finding the perfect one that hydrates without getting greasy in the tropical weather.
I’m not especially brand loyal, and I also think that often there’s no big difference between one product and another in terms of functionality – most things on the shelf are probably pretty effective, but no one brand works for everyone. It comes down to a mix of personal brand preference and finding something your skin “takes” to. You just have to keep trying until you find something that works.
Scent is very important to me when choosing a product. I find the smoothing on of something that smells fantastic very therapeutic and calming – at the end of the day it’s part of my “winding down” ritual.
Brands I’ve always liked are Shu Uemura, L’Occitane, Jurlique, and Aesop. All of them make great cleansers that clean very thoroughly without drying me out, and smell fantastic – Shu Uemura’s Foaming Cleansing Water, L’Occitane’s Imortelle Brightening Cleansing Foam, and Aesop’s Amazing Face Cleanser especially. I rotate between these three.
Jurlique makes the best exfoliating scrub I’ve ever tried – it smells like breakfast (oatmeal, honey, a hint of something tart) and your skin feels amazingly smooth (but not raw) after. It also leaves me with this zingy, glowing feeling. I can only describe it as sheer awesomeness.
Exfoliating is a big part of my routine – I do so at least once a week because humidity makes my skin clog up so fast. I also like Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Mask every other week for a real good clean.
I’ve had to change moisturisers a few times to keep up with the changes in my skin – it dehydrates a lot more than it did in my teens and early 20s. I no longer wash my face with cleanser in the morning because it’s too drying – water does the job these days. Shu Uemura’s Depsea Moisturising Lotion has been the best moisturiser for me by far, but recently I made the jump to Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion – it is hands-down one of the best-smelling moisturisers I have ever tried, and it does the job well.
I’ve been taking a bigger interest in Aveda because of their eco-credentials - the company, though owned by cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, is committed to responsible packaging, responsibly sourced and natural ingredients, buys wind power to manufacture its products, and doesn't conduct animal testing. Now that they have a store in Singapore, I have more opportunity to try out their products. Jurlique is also good if you want to try products that are grown and sourced sustainably. ASOS stocks a decent range of “green” beauty products, although that is probably cancelled by the carbon footprint of the shipping, haha.
For body, I like body lotions from Aesop (primary for the smell) and L’Occitane (excellent hydration, and smell). L’Occitane and Aveda are also my go-tos for shampoo, but when my budget is low, I like L’Oreal – and their new sulfate-free EverPure range rocks. It’s for coloured hair but it works pretty well for me, and smells amazing – rosemary and mint.
So that’s my beauty routine, in one very rambly post. Share yours? Even better, do a post! Everyone should have an Into The Gloss moment.
PS: I have fine lines forming under my eyes, and think I need to consider eye cream. Any recommendations?
Picture from restoration hardware, via remodelista