With the recent heightened measures in place, work-from-home is back to the norm for most of us. At home, the lack of spatial demarcation between ‘mum’ time and ‘me’ time possibly points to increased sleep deprivation, stress and poorer eating habits, which can rob your complexion of its radiance. Skipping that crowded commute and staying indoors does not guarantee healthy and glowing skin as well. Pollutants, lack of fresh air, change in temperature can also cause facial breakouts.
An important determinant of healthy skin is its natural glow, which could be harder to achieve with a work-from-home schedule. The psychological distress arising from the unprecedented nature of the pandemic also warrants self-care days for us to take a breather from the daily grind. To truly indulge in self-care, we recommend a pampering day every week to work on a skin-care ritual towards naturally glowing skin from head-to-toe. Here’s a step-by-step guide with our list of best picks to repair and revitalise your skin for that glow-up before we emerge out of our houses once again.
Step 1: Cleanse
Consider what your skin is exposed to throughout the day; from makeup to sweat particles, your skin inevitably faces many external aggressors. For a thorough removal of external pollutants, double-cleansing is the way to go. Start off with an oil-based cleanser to remove traces of dirt and excess oils, next, proceed with a water-based cleanser to effectively hydrate and exfoliate skin. Skin Inc’s Pure Serum-Infused O2 Cleanser integrates the two-step technique into a one-step double-cleansing system, delicately removing pore-clogging sebum and other external pollutants to achieve cleaner skin.
Step 2: Tone
Primer in a makeup routine is to toner in a skincare routine. Just like how a primer optimises the skin surface before foundation is applied, toner preps our pores by bringing our skin back to its natural acidic state, allowing the skin to better absorb subsequent skincare products. For acne-prone skin, keep a lookout for toner filled with either BHA (beta hydroxy acid, like salicylic acid) or AHA (alpha hydroxy acid, like glycolic acid), which helps to unclog pores, prevent breakouts, and dissolve blackheads. Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner works best for normal and oily skin types with its alcohol-free formula that gently cleanses the skin.
Step 3: Essence
An effective skincare routine does not leave out the use of essence. Having originated from the Korean cosmetic realm, a facial essence contains a high dose of active ingredients, which enable deeper penetration into our skin barrier. The additional hydration then enhances the effectiveness of other products used after it. Perfect for Singapore’s humid weather, Orbis’ White Clear Essence leaves a light and non-sticky texture while restoring skin to its ideal glowy state. Orbis’ Wrinkle White Essence is also best paired with its White Clear Essence to prevent wrinkles while reducing pigmentation.
Step 4: Serum
At first glance, serums and essences are often mistaken for each other. However, they are not exactly the same. Essences usually have a watery texture while serums have a gel-like consistency. Besides that, serums tend to be more potent than essences. This is why most would recommend using an essence first, after cleansing and toning, and following it up with a serum. Serums are also beneficial in targeting specific skin complications – Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum delivers enhanced hydration, feeding our skin with the precise ratio of water and oil while Caudalie’s Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting improves dark spots, paving the way for glowing skin.
Step 5: Eye cream
Why should we invest in an eye cream? Well, the skin around the eyes is thinner and shows signs of aging more quickly than other areas. This thinness makes it more vulnerable to allergic reactions than other facial skin, thus we need to take extra care for this delicate piece of skin. Besides minimising the appearance of wrinkles, an eye cream also tackles concerns such as dryness, puffiness, dark circles and pigmentation.
Step 6: Spot Treatment
Lierac Lumilogie Persistent Dark Spots Depigmenting Double Concentrate, $108; Lierac Sebologie Micro-Peeling Blemish Correction Keratolytic Solution, $48; Lierac Sebologie Blemish Correction Regulating Gel, $58; Lierac Sebologie Correction Stop Spots Concentrate, $38; Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Glycolic Night Cream, $75
Currently, 41% of adult women still struggle with blemishes, shine and dilated pores. However, this does not have to be the case with consistent spot treatments. Spot treatments work by delivering acne-fighting ingredients directly to the offending blemish. This helps to reduce redness and swelling. LIERAC’s newly launched skincare lines – Lumilogie and Sebologie, are targeted towards fighting dark spots and blemishes. Ultimately, the application is the same for all spot treatment products. Dab a thin layer over the spot, wait at least a minute for it to dry. Then, apply moisturiser around the spots to prevent the treatment from spilling over to other facial areas.
Step 7: Moisturise
Be patient, we are reaching arguably the most important step of a skincare regimen: moisturising. Moisturising everyday reduces the chance of developing extreme dryness or oiliness. Both extremes are harmful for skin and cause common skin conditions like acne. Also, the products we have lathered on our faces previously can only achieve their optimal outcomes with a layer of moisturiser sealing them underneath the surface. Notably, Skin Inc’s Pure Serum-Infused Moisturiser, the world’s first customisable moisturiser, features a built-in skin care mixing “palette” designed with each customer’s unique skin care needs in mind. We love ourselves an ingenious product that’s both customised and efficient.
Step 8: Mask up
Just like a serum or moisturiser, a face mask is a skincare vehicle which drives highly concentrated nutrients to the skin. However, the difference lies in the fact that face masks are occlusive – they set up barriers that lock in beneficial ingredients. How do we then choose the right mask that suits our skin type? Cream-based masks such as Lumilogie Even-Tone Brightening Mask are great for adding moisture and nutrients back into the skin, helping it remain plump and hydrated. Peel-off facial masks such as TARA’s BHA Overnight Velvet Peel appeal to those who fancy a glowing skin texture by removing impurities while moisturising and supporting the regeneration of skin cells.
Step 9: Body Care
Notice how we mentioned a skincare routine from Head-to-Toe? As the largest organ of the body, our skin does not stop at our chin. The skin on our body has similar needs to those of our face. While our body does not require make-up removal, it will thank you for the daily cleansing sessions to remove all the sweat, sebum and SPF.
The first step of body care starts in the shower. Particularly for those living in humid climates, shower gels are most suited for your daily wash since they are usually less moisturising than body washes. Good for normal and dry skin, The Body Shop’s Cool Daisy Shower Gel is enriched with daisy extract and leaves the skin feeling cleansed and refreshed.
Upon stepping out of the shower, it is time to rejuvenate and nourish our skin. Smear a generous scoop of body butter directly on your skin and gently massage with firm and broad strokes. Pay special attention to the elbows, knees, hands and feet as these are typically problem areas that are more prone to dryness. The Body Shop’s Fresh Raspberry Whipped Body Butter sinks in without feeling greasy for 72hr nourishing moisture, leaving us with glowing skin. For those who experience itchiness due to extreme dryness of skin, the Derma B CeraMD Repair Lotion is a viable option to relieve irritation and soothe flakiness.
Part of self-care day involves booking hair removal appointments to eliminate unwanted hair. As effective as IPL, laser or LED hair removal treatments may be, the aftermath of these procedures can leave the skin feeling itchy and inflamed. Sounds intense? Don’t worry, there are steps we can take to lessen the discomfort. Formulated specially to soothe post hair removal skin, ONLYSKIN’s Post Hair Removal Ceramide Essence serves as a remedy to relieve irritation that results from the removal treatments. Besides skin irritation, depilatory creams used as part of the treatment can cause discolouration or darkened skin. Infused with Glutathione antioxidant that helps with colour correcting, ONLYSKIN’s White UV cream aids in enhancing overall skin tone immediately upon application on the underarms and the Brazilian area.