What Have I Been Putting On My Face?


Around April and May, I started switching out my skincare products for new ones that i wanted to try, after conducting a fair amount of research. This kind of research- checking reviews and ingredients and prices- is one of my favorite things to do and I can quite happily do it for hours… with skincare, cosmetics, perfume, clothes, books, films…. I just love it.

So around that time I started picking up the products I wanted to try, and these small purchases (general around $10) were an excellent way to reward myself after all of the stressful things going on. Finish a ballroom show? Buy yourself a moisturizer. Finish a final paper or exam? Good time for a new toner. Send in an application to your dream graduate program that you’re almost certainly not going to be accepted to? (OH MY GOD GUYS I WAS ACCEPTED)! Facial serums will lessen the appearance of any future stress lines.

Enough time has passed (2-3 months) that I can confidently judge how I like these things.
Spoiler: I do.
Even in the hot steamy weather my skin has been really excellent and glowy and fresh.
I’m going to do a quick list of what I’ve been using on my combination/normal skinned what I think.


  • Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser: This is one I haven’t switched out because I had so much of it left (one bottle at college and one at home). It’s a good basic.
  • Heritage Rosewater Spray: I use this as a toner spritz. It smells really really lovely and rosy and you can use it during the day whenever you’re feeling a bit too warm or humid.
  • Eva Naturals Niacinimide Vitamin B3 5% Serum: This is pretty thick for what I think of as a serum- it has more the consistency of a late cream. And it does feel a bit much in the heat.  I do wear it most mornings though.  I expect I’ll come to appreciate it more in the winter, and maybe cycle through a different serum next summer.
  • Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream: That name is a mouthful for such an easy product. It’s a lovely daily moisturizer and a little goes a long way. The scent is refreshing but unobtrusive and fades quickly.
  • MISSHA All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk SPF 50+: This is the best facial sunscreen I have ever used.  I’m coming to believe that Asian skincare has really made an art out of sun protection. Despite the high SPF, this dries to a feeling of not being there at all.


  • Repeat Morning steps 1 and 2.
  • Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum with HA and Vitamin E: Despite being oil-based, this product isn’t too oily and despite containing HA it’s not too drying.  I just pat three drops onto my face every evening, let it sink in, and then put on moisturizer.
  • Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream: This is a slightly heavier moisturizer that I use on my face and neck, it’s a lot like my morning moisturizer in that the scent is unobtrusive and a little goes a long way.  I like it a lot.
  • Unrefined Shea Butter as Eye Cream: This is really inexpensive and probably better than any other eye cream I’ve used. Using products with a lot of additives close to my eyes makes them water, and this doesn’t do that at all. you just rub your finger on the solid butter until you get a bit of the wax on it and then you can dab it around.  It’s surprising how well it soaks in.


  • Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Facial Mask: I like this a lot, not least because it turns a kind of pewter blue on your face. It’s easy to spread, dries quickly, and leaves your skin feeling clean, smooth, and baby soft when you take it off.
  • L’Oreal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water: I use this at night pre-step 1 if I’ve worn makeup during the day. It does an excellent job of just getting everything off. There’s a theory that an oil-based wash will cleans your skin of the oil-soluble things that are hydrophobic/not miscible in water, and that then you can wash with a water-based cleanser to remove everything else. Which scientifically makes sense but I prefer to think I don’t get that much stuff on my face except when I consciously apply it.

Do you have any favorite skincare products?

When my current face scrub (one of the St. Ives apricot ones) runs out, I want to get the Nip+Fab Glycol Fix Scrub, which I’ve heard good things about and have seen in CVS. I’ve used the St. Ives for years but have noticed that sometimes the apricot gets a bit stale-smelling, which weirds me out.
When winter and dry weather come again, I may think about getting the Innisfree Olive Real Cleansing Oil to swap in for the micellar water, since it will be more hydrating.
And lastly, has anyone ever used an overnight mask? I’m attracted to the Innisfree Wine Jelly ones, but have never used a night mask before and am suspicious/worried about smearing it all over my beautiful pillows.

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