Skincare is a sensitive issue at FDHQ: everyone has their own routines, their favorite brands, their favorite tricks, but I’m probably one of the least enthusiastic when it comes to skincare. I’ve been using a random mix of drugstore and middle to high-end brands for the past few years, and I haven’t put any thought into changing that routine because my skin hasn’t become any better or worse for it. My makeup routine isn’t complicated either: I try to keep it light by wearing either a tinted moisturizer or BB cream before dusting a coat of compact foundation to seal the deal.
Basically, my skin isn’t terrible, but it isn’t in prime condition either. I get the odd zit every now and then, but they’re usually minor and happen if I, a) haven’t gotten enough sleep, b) have been eating too much salty foods, or c) if my dreaded period approaches. So as you can see, skincare was something I didn’t put much thought into, simply because I’ve been taking my okay-ish skin condition for granted.
But after a consultation at the Kanebo counter at Sogo Plaza Senayan, I quickly became encouraged to invest in addressing my skin concerns as a means of improving the already-decent skin card I had been dealt. The beauty adviser told me that save for some oiliness, my skin was otherwise all right: I had very few dark spots to worry about, no real acne issues, and an above average blood circulation. I wasn’t about to let a good thing go to waste, so I went for it!
My skin issues basically boil down to this: dehydrated oily skin with prominent patches of redness on the cheeks. I wouldn’t mind the redness so much if it didn’t make me look like an homage to the ’80s. (Funny story: I once walked into a makeup store, and the beauty adviser told me to not apply too much blusher next time. I would’ve taken his advice if I were actually wearing any makeup — my cheeks were already so red that they fooled even an experienced beauty adviser!)
The products I’ve been using comes from Kanebo’s gentle range of skincare products targeted towards people with sensitive skin who want brightening effects for more clear, translucent skin. I tend to be very cautious (and generally stay away from) products that contain the word “whitening” or “brightening,” but after being assured that the range is suitable for the most sensitive of skins and was aimed at bringing out the skin’s translucency, I went for it. Here is the lineup of products I’ve been using for the past few weeks:
Blanchir Superior Oil Cleansing
There are not enough words in the English language to express my love for this product. As a member of the double cleansing school of thought, a facial wash is just not enough for getting rid of the day’s makeup, oils, and grime. This oil-based cleanser effectively removes makeup and dirt by seeping into pores without dehydrating the skin. All it takes is a brief massage in circular motions on the face before rinsing it off with water, which emulsifies it into a milky liquid.
Impress IC Brightening Wash
The second step of my double cleansing routine comes in the form of this cream facial wash from the Impress IC White line. The Impress IC range of products are targeted for more dehydrated skin, which is perfect for my needs: while oily, my skin usually feels tight once it has gone through the cleansing process — an indication of dehydration. I feel no such tautness in my skin after using this product; if anything, it helps maintain moisture and prepares skin for the next step.
Impress Moisture Pack
This is a peel-off mask that I use twice a week after the cleansing process, containing ingredients that help to increase softness and elasticity. This is probably my favorite part of the entire routine, because it’s also the most relaxing! It involves plenty of massaging to help the product really work, and to improve blood circulation the face. After applying it evenly to the entire face, it takes about 15-20 minutes before it drying.
Blanchir Whitening Clear Conditioner
A concept introduced to me during my time using Kanebo products was something called Double Moisturizing: in the same way that Double Cleansing works to remove the skin of any impurities, double moisturizing will help the skin keep those impurities off. Skin has an easier time protecting itself from penetrating pollutants when it is is supported by moisturizing products; the Clear Conditioner helps treat dryness while prepping skin for the next round of moisturizing treatments. It is applied by dabbing the liquid onto a square of cotton pad and applying it onto the face in upward strokes, before lightly patting it on to help it absorb easier.
Whitening W Conclusion Alpha
After my 25th birthday last year, I was encouraged by my dear mother to begin a skincare regimen to conceal signs of aging, including the appearance of dark spots. My treatment came in the form of the W Conclusion Alpha, a serum of sorts that also helps to inhibit the formation of melanin through an ingredient called Magnolignan; this basically means that the product helps make dark spots less visible. The formula is light and runny, and is easily absorbed into skin.
Blanchir Whitening Milky Conditioner
Another product in my double moisturizing arsenal, the Milky Conditioner provides moisture without making skin feel overly heavy. Its texture is a viscous milk that runs thick, but don’t let appearances fool you: a little bit of this product goes a very long way, with no more than a single dab applied onto the five points on the face before gently massaging it into skin.
Blanchir Superior White Gel UV Block (SPF 50+ – PA++++)
I was initially hesitant about using this sunblock because I was put off by the name; I thought it would feel heavy on the skin because it was called a “gel.” It turns out my fears were unfounded, because the consistency was not like that at all: it isn’t really a gel in the traditional sense, having neither the thickness or viscosity I initially feared. It did not feel heavy on skin, instead having a consistency more similar to a serum. I also found that it has been great at mattifying the skin, keeping oiliness at bay. The high sun protection factor also means I can stay out longer without needed to reapply for a longer number of hours.
And that’s the round-up of products I’ve been using these past few weeks. I maintain this strict regimen in addition to the weekly facials I’ve been getting at the Kanebo booth at Matahari Mal Taman Anggrek. Did the products work? Wait up for Part 2 to find out!