A perfect night wind down routine for me would be a nice leisurely hot shower listening to my “Songs to Sing in The Shower” Playlist on Spotify. After the shower, it will be followed by my more than 10 step night time skincare ritual, with five minute breaks in between serums, making sure they absorb into my skin properly. But in reality, I often find myself rushing through the whole process, because Martie, my 3 year old, is knocking on my bathroom door, demanding that I hurry up and that she needs her bedtime story. This nightly episode really makes me question who the REAL boss of this house is.
Make Up Removers:
- Cleansing Oil:
- Shu Uemura Ultim8 – I’ve been using various Shu Uemuras Cleansing Oils for decades. I’ve tried the classic, pink, green and this Ultim8. I like this the most because even after taking off all the makeup from my face, it still makes my skin feel soft and hydrated. My bottle has lasted for a long time. Unfortunately, Shu Uemura is no longer available here in the Philippines. (Tip: The duty free in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport has the best prices for skincare and makeup. Try to get those promo coupons that they give out. You can save a lot that way.)
- Clean It Zero – Travels well with no risks of spills. This is my favourite among the 3 because it feels so clean on my skin. I just wish it came in a tube instead of a pot for better hygiene. I hate dipping my fingers into a pot, so I use a small spatula to get the product out.
- Micellar Water:
- Garnier Micellar Water Pink – I use this to correct makeup mistakes, or when there is some stubborn eye or lip make up residue after my oil or balm cleanse. This is so cost efficient and it does the job quite well. Price is only 249 pesos for the 400ml bottle. But I don’t use this everyday. It can be drying for my skin. When traveling, I use this to quickly clean my makeup brushes. I run my brushes back and forth on a cotton pad soaked with micellar water.
- Cosrx Low PH Good Morning – Despite its name, I use this gel cleanser at night too. I like that this has tea tree oil, a natural antiseptic that helps combat those pesky hormonal pimples. It is affordable and most importantly, the ph level is good for my skin.
- Foreo Luna 2 Pink (for normal skin) – I use this every single night. It is so therapeutic. The Foreo Luna 2 is a face cleansing device, that uses ultrasonic waves to help clean your skin more thoroughly. The silicone doesn’t harbour bacteria. And unlike the Clarisonic, there is no need to change brush heads ever! One charge also lasts for months of daily use. I read so many reviews on this before actually taking the plunge and buying this last year. Now, I can’t live without it. I brought this during one of our tennis trips to Bangkok and I accidentally left it behind in the serviced apartment we were staying at! I was so panicked that I will lose my Foreo for good. Luckily, my daughter’s tennis coach was able to track it down, pick it up and bring it back to Manila for me.
- Clarisonic Smart Profile – A classic. If I want a deeper clean, I bring out this oldie but goodie. This is my second Clarisonic brush, bought after my Clarisonic Pro conked out after years of use.
- Cure Natural Gel – Another Holy Grail product (one of my all-time favourite trigger words). They say they sell a bottle of this every 30 seconds. It is weird. I put it on, then start massaging it until I get white libag.
- Innisfree Free Super Volcanic Clay Mask -I wish I had more time for this mask every week. I don’t. So it is a treat when I do get to use this. I slather this on. I use a small spatula. (I don’t like getting the black clay under my nails) It sucks out all the yucky sebum and oils from my pores. Try it. It is gross yet weirdly satisfying.
- The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% – Part of the haul L got for me from New York earlier this year. Another one of those product that has hundred of reviews on the internet. In the first few days of consecutive use, it will sting a bit. But it goes away after a short while. Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This toner is a mild exfoliator to help improve appearance of my skin, and promotes skin radiance and clarity.
- Misha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence – Reviewers say that this dupe works better than the original, SK-II. I honestly don’t know if this is true because I have never tried the SK-II. I love my Time Revolution. I am almost done with my first bottle and my second bottle is already waiting in the sidelines. I was scared to run out, so I hoarded. This is a cult favorite of skin care lovers because this repairs damage and evens out skin tone in just a couple of weeks. This newly upgraded formula contains:
- 90% Fermented Yeast Extract to effectively plump skin, refine texture, and reduce pigmentation.
- The Ion Fermentation Process also ensures rapid absorption of moisture, allowing skin to retain moisture for longer and restoring skin elasticity.
- Niacinamide brightens and clarifies skin tone
- Adenosine energizes for younger looking skin
- Shiseido Future Solutions LX Concentrated Balancing Softener – I remember when I bought this bottle in Tokyo. I was at a Shiseido counter in a department store. The saleslady could barely speak English. I was buying the Future Solutions Night Cream then, so she recommended the softener to go along with it. Then I ignorantly said, maybe I don’t need the softener. Who needs softener anyway? OMG. The look on the saleslady’s face was of pure horror! In her mind, she was probably saying, “Blasphemy, woman! What do you mean, you don’t need softener?!” Hahaha! Despite her horrified facial expression, being Japanese, she politely explained the importance of softeners in a complete skincare routine. I am an easy customer, easily enabled, so I purchased. And since then, the softener is always in my AM and PM skincare routines. FYI, the softener is an all over intensive moisturiser. It preps my skin for the next few steps. It heals and repairs my skin too.
Serums: If Martie is still knocking on my bathroom door at this stage of my routine, I pick any one of this. But on an easy night, I like to layer on any 2 of these serums.
- Shiseido Ultimune Serum – My most favourite serum. If I can just live with one serum, it will be this. I saw results in just 2 weeks of AM and PM usage. It protects against wrinkle-causing free radicals, hydrates, and strengthens the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Ingredients are:
- Glycerin, dimethicone, rose flower water to hydrate my skin
- ginkgo leaf which is an antioxidant that fights ageing, helps unclog pores and combats oily skin
- Japanese shiso anti-inflammatory to repair, strengthen the immune system and health of my skin
- Estee Lauder Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II – This is my second bottle. A true classic anti-ageing product. It was the first serum I ever purchased. Now that there are newer ones around that give faster results, I probably will not repurchase this anymore. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles, hydrates, and brightens my skin. I like this because I feel this is complete, a catch-all serum for all skin concerns.
- Shiseido Elixir – My most recent purchase and a high tech skin care product I have such high hopes for. It is actually another great dupe according to reviewers. I really wanted to buy the Pola Wrinkle Shot Medical Serum. But it is expensive. Reviews say that this is a good alternative. And since I love Shiseido, I figured, to give this baby a try. I just started using it. This was purchased in Japan. I will post a more in depth review on this next time.
- The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane – Kim Kardashian swears by this US$18 product. This is my very first retinol serum. I chose this because according to reviews, this is gentle with hardly any irritation. Redness and sensitivity is a common occurence with most retinoids. This helps prevent wrinkles, reduces dark spots, speeds up cell regeneration and eradicates acne.
- Shiseido Future Solutions Night Cream – This is a really wonderful luxurious cream that doesn’t feel greasy at all. This has emollients that absorb quickly, lock in moisture, and helps heal my skin from within. I love the pretty elegant black pot. I have a collection of empty ones that I have finished. I don’t know what to do with them, but I feel it is such a waste to toss them away. This cream contains the following:
- Hyaluronic Acid for hydration
- Super-yeast Extract, Star Fruit Extract, and Okra extract are the collagen boosters
- Uji Green Tea Extract to get your antioxidant fix
- Nivea Cream – I came across tons of reviews of how similar the ingredients of the humble Nivea cream is to the Creme de la Mer. Can you believe this? A British lady did a comparison, she put La Mer on one half of her face, and Nivea on the other half for a couple of weeks. Guess which half produced the better results? Yep. You guessed it. The Nivea side won. Read it here. More value for my money. This is bit challenging to use since I have to warm it up with my fingers and massage it in longer because it doesn’t absorb as quickly. I also have to wait until the serums from the previous steps are absorbed into my skin already. If I don’t wait, this will just slide off my face. Luckily for us, the Nivea Cream sold locally are made in Germany, which they say is better, since it is more similar to the Creme de la Mer. The large tin of Nivea Cream is only 126 pesos in Watsons.
- Shiseido Future Solutions LX Eye and Lip Contour – This is an ultra thick cream that promises to soothe fine lines around the lips and eyes, making skin soft throughout the night. It has great ingredients, so I need to be extra patient to warm this up with my fingers and tap it on. Ingredients are:
- Polymers which are wrinkle reducers
- Piperidinepropionic Acid to smoothen skin
- Glycerin, Dimethicone, and Petrolatum to moisturise
- Tocopheryl which is an antioxidant needed to combat ageing.
Sleeping Masks: I don’t like to use sheet masks too much. Crazy reason being is that the kids (I am looking at you, Macie!) make fun of me. She takes stolen shots and threatens (jokingly) to post them. So I prefer the leave on masks, the clear gels that I layer on top of my serums and creams that seal all the goodness in. I alternate and put on one of these masks every night.
- Pyul Yung Kang Moisture Ampoule – I like the brand Pyul Yung Kang because I know it is from a medical clinic in South Korea. You really have to squeeze the dropper hard to get enough product out. This is a mask, not a serum. It helps seal all the creams in so they can work while you sleep.
- Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – One of Laneige’s superstar products. Laneige says they sell one every 12 seconds. It attracts moisture that makes my skin look plumped and glowy. I put a small amount and rub and pat that in until absorbed. I do 2 layers. I feel like it really seals in the moisture with this method.
- Foreo UFO Mask – My first ever Kickstarter purchase. I figured since I love the Foreo Luna 2 so much, there would be no buyer’s remorse on this one. A sheet mask that is done in 90 seconds, perfect for me. Isn’t it awesome when technology and beauty come together to make an awesome product you didn’t know you needed. Will post another review on this awesome product.
- Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask – This is basically a thick, rich, emollient lip balm to put before you sleep. It smells like yummy berries. I look forward to putting this as this feels so good on my lips and is my last step in my long PM skin care routine. It’s loaded with vitamin C extracts of raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, and cranberry. It also contains a technology known as “moisture wrap,” which Lineage says locks in moisture so that the active ingredients can deeply penetrate the lips for the best possible results.
That’s it. I can’t do any more unless I want Martie to knock my bathroom door down. LOL. This may seem long but once you get used to the process, it is not really time consuming and is actually very therapeutic. I am always on the look out for amazing new products. What are you night time must-haves (trigger word!)? Do share.
Leona Trivet by @TheMasonryPH on Instagram.