“My mother taught me to cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice a day, so I always do that – I could be partying or working late, but I’m never too tired to take care of my skin.” – Emilia Clarke (via BrainyQuote)
Growing up, I never understood my mother’s face care routine. She would start off normally: using a cleanser and washing it off with lukewarm water. However, she would immediately follow up by washing her face in ice-cold water for a minute. She would also air dry her face for a few minutes by basically hitting her face dry with her palms. Her toner, moisturizer, and serum would also all be applied exclusively with her middle and ring fingers, never rubbing. This entire ritual seemed superfluous to me, but I was just a naïve child, unaware that no one was actually born with healthy complexions.
Going into freshman year of college, I quickly realized that while there is a generalization that non-white skins are stronger, not wrinkling and aging as quickly as their white counterparts, in general, healthy skin is crucial, regardless of genetics. It can streamline your makeup routine, and for me, a.k.a. an extremely lazy person, especially when it comes to makeup, I saw this as a brilliant way to kill two birds with one stone.
Obviously, we all know that regardless of gender, we should be cleansing and moisturizing our faces twice a day. Even if you didn’t wear makeup that day, we generally live in polluted areas, and our skins, which are like sponges, absorb horrible toxins in the air daily, so we need to rid ourselves of it daily. Also, by incorporating a little more skincare products into your daily routine (i.e. serums, masks), you would save both time and money. We would essentially spend less on our trusted makeup brands to cover our problem areas, and can wake up later because we would put on less makeup.
Initially, my skin routine was simple, consisting of only four things. Below is my original nighttime and daytime rituals, routines that didn’t work well for me:
- First, I removed my makeup with Q-tips dipped in makeup remover. There’s no clear reason why I did that, but everyone says that rubbing your face would agitate and cause early onset wrinkles, so I sought to remove my makeup with more precision. (Side note: when I say makeup, I mean eyeliner and mascara because I didn’t use it much, so Q-tips were actually a lot more convenient in removing it.)
- Then, I washed my face with Dove soap. Unlike other bar soaps, Dove is a reliable cleanser for a fraction of the cost. Also, good genetics prevented any drying out.
- Finally, I dried my face with a hand towel and put on the Shiseido Pureness balancing softener (toner) and the Shiseido Pureness moisturizer on with my palms.
The Shiseido Pureness balancing softener (toner) and moisturizer were recommended by the Shiseido sales representative at Macy’s – we went to the Shiseido section because my family has a history of sensitive skin, so it made sense to use the brand that everyone in my family used. The sales representative, who assumed that since I was 18, I had your stereotypical teenage skin. In hindsight, I realize that I shouldn’t have trusted her once she said “Teenaged girls all have oily skin” and directed me to the Pureness line, which targets that skin type with matifying solutions.
While we can blame the sales representative, my mother and I did not do our research, so we just followed her advice, especially since “all the girls your age use this line.” However, there were horrible consequences, as I immediately broke out after my first use, which scared me. Word of advice: know your skin type before you go out to buy something! Even if a sales representative tries to find a fit for you, in the end of the day, they’re hired to sell you a product, so proceed with caution!
After that fiasco, I began to experiment, taking matters into my own hands. Thanks to daring purchases and samples, I have found a skincare routine that has worked for me for the past three years. Below is my new and improved ritual that I adhere to daily:
- First, remove makeup with the Shiseido cleansing oil on a dry face, using your ring finger. Cleansing oil serves two purposes: to remove makeup and to remove dirt that has accumulated in your pores from your daily activities. It must be applied to a dry face because oils are hydrophobic, and one you add water to it, it becomes ineffective. This should be done with your ring finger, the weakest finger in your hand, to prevent premature wrinkling and sagging. Remember to thoroughly clean your last line because when makeup residue is stuck there, it will cause blockage, which leads to painful oil pockets along your waterline. This should be washed off with lukewarm water, as hot water dries out your skin, and cold water is ineffective in completely removing the oil.
- Next, double cleanse with a pea sized amount of the Shiseido Ibuki cleanser. The purpose of the double cleanser is to make sure that there is no remaining oil on your face, similar to dishwashing detergent on oily pans. This should also be washed off with lukewarm water, making sure to get near the hairline, so no soap suds remain. Immediately follow that up by washing your face with cold water for a minute. Some say that washing your face in cold water will tighten pores, though some dermatologists have said that it’s impossible to shrink them. However, I don’t think it wouldn’t hurt to do this because it is quite refreshing.
- Then, air dry your face completely, or gently blot it dry with a clean tissue, if you’re in a rush. I don’t know if people do the latter, but it streamlines the air-drying process without tempting you to rub your face dry with a bacteria-laden towel. Rubbing your face with a towel may feel refreshing, but you’re not doing your skin a service by giving it germs and premature wrinkles. It’s never to early to start worrying about aging!
- Next, apply the Shiseido softening concentrate (toner) and the Shiseido Ibuki moisturizer, about a pea sized amount each. Apply one after another by tapping your middle and ring fingers against your face, allowing your skin to accept its nutrients.
- 2-3 times a week, apply an exfoliating or a regular, preferably sheet, mask. It requires you to let it sit for 10-15 minutes, so your skin can absorb more nutrients. (Side note: like the cleanser, be thorough when removing masks because they tend to be annoying at the hairlines, sticking to your hair.)
The reason why I double cleanse is because I feel a sense of security in comparison to just using a makeup remover and cleanser. I also enjoy the feeling of my skin reverting to its original, baby quality at night, and double cleansing makes that possible for me.
While I did mention that it was my new routine, during the mornings, I only go through steps 2-4 because you don’t need cleansing oil when you spent the night indoors, and I certainly don’t wear makeup to bed. I think you’re supposed to double cleanse twice a day, but for me, double cleansing once a day seems quite adequate for my skin’s health.
Disclaimer (although a late one): obviously, my skin isn’t representative of all skin types, as I have yet to meet a person who has the clear, yet sensitive skin like me. My results are all from trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if this method doesn’t yield the same results as I have just described!
I would say that I’m still trying to find the best combination possible without becoming broke because we all know that Shiseido is ranked the world’s leading makeup brand, and the best is never cheap. That being said, I would love if Shiseido would send this poor girl some freebies, if they ever see this review, considering the fact that I’m running low on cleanser and softening concentrate right now.
the girl who likes pampering her skin
p.s. Listed below are the brands that I have mentioned, along with key points that you should consider before considering purchasing them.
- Shiseido Instant Eye & Lip Makeup Remover – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora
- Shiseido White Beauty Bar – Dove, Amazon, Target
- Shiseido Pureness Balancing Softener Alcohol-Free – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Pureness line is targeted for clients generally in their teens, who have oily skin and frequent break outs because of hormonal changes)
- Shiseido Essentials Perfect Cleansing Oil – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora
- Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
- Shiseido Softening Concentrate – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
- Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
- Shiseido Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
- Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The White Lucent line is targeted for clients with age spots who seek to even out their complexions; usually for older adults, though I did use a sample because it had the nicest rose smell ever)
- Fresh Soy Face Cleanser – Fresh, Sephora, Nordstrom (A great product, as it has the essential amino acids and nutrients that help feed and rejuvenate your skin, but for someone with similar skin types to me, it may cause some subtle reactions, usually from the soy)
- Skinfood Black Sugar Wash off Mask – Amazon, or any Skinfood store
- Fresh Rose Face Mask – Fresh, Sephora, Nordstrom