Was your skin not a fan of the famous 10-step Korean skincare routine? Do ‘must-have’ products end up gathering dust on your skincare shelf? Here’s some good news for you (and your wallet): when it comes to sensitive skin, less is more. We know, it’s always so tempting to buy the latest ‘miraculous’ skincare products on the market because let’s face it, who doesn’t want healthy, glowing skin? But before you allow these impulsive purchases to cause reactionary breakouts, remind yourself that everyone’s skin is different – what works for others may not work for you, and vice versa.
Skincare acids have been all the rage, but they can be damaging when not used properly, especially to sensitive skin. That’s why it’s so important to research skincare ingredients and avoid combinations and frequencies that trigger irritation, redness and flare ups. You can check out our beginner’s guide to chemical exfoliation here. Don’t let that discourage you though (or give you FOMO) – read on for our review on two multi-tasking products from Threebs, a local online health and beauty store, that can help you benefit from the skincare acids without having to worry about getting a skin reaction!
Some By Mi
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of one of the best-selling K-Beauty brands in the world, Some By Mi. They were made famous by their cult-favourite Miracle toner, which has sold millions of units (one bottle every three seconds) with the promise of gently getting rid of sebum and spots. The clean beauty brand has made sure it’s suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin by using naturally sourced ingredients that comfort the skin, excluding worrisome and provocative ingredients that cause skin to become sensitive, and putting all products through a skin irritation test so that they can be safely used on sensitive, problematic skin. Here’s what we tried:
1. Some By Mi’s AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner
The combination of three skincare acids in one product may sound daunting to some, but fear not – we found that this toner quickly calms sensitive skin. While the AHA, BHA and PHA work together to remove dead skin cells and impurities, the 10,000 ppm of Teatree water acts as a good calming agent for the skin.
It left our skin feeling smoother, fresher and more hydrated!
2. Some By Mi’s AHA BHA PHA 14 Days Super Miracle Spot All Kill Cream
Another 3-in-1 product, this intensive care spot cream clears out sebum and impurities with the help of D-Panthenol, to control oil-water balance and recharge the moisture, and 750,000 ppm of Truecica™, an exclusive calming ingredient to quickly calm the skin. Unlike other spot treatments, this does not dry out problematic areas.
It didn’t cause a burning sensation, our spots felt calm and comfortable.
The Verdict: If your skin is prone to redness, stinging and tightness, give Some By Mi a try. Shop their products now on Threebs!
Known for their fashionable brands and fast delivery, Zalora is a treasure trove of lifestyle products, including Korean beauty. The global skincare phenomenon has become a new norm with their gentle ingredients and radiant results. We found these seven best-sellers for your shopping bag, which will hydrate your skin and give you that signature K-beauty glow:
Boom, pow! This ultra-lightweight, oil-free gel cream creates an explosion of hydration followed by a sensation of freshness for all skin types. Other than lock in the moisture, it also helps minimise the appearance of pores for smooth, supple skin.
With aloe to soothe and moisturise, this exfoliating toner also contains salicylic acid and snail mucin to hydrate and prepare all skin types for the rest of your skincare routine. This aids in the absorption of the following products.
Formulated with 96% snail secretion filtrate, the benefits are more attractive with the lightweight essence transforming skin through intensive reparation and hydration. Don’t worry, it’s 100% cruelty-free! (No snails were harmed in the making of this product.)
For those with sensitive skin, this magic cream is known for effectively soothing irritated skin and calming red complexions. It can either be used as a spot treatment or as a protective layer over your face to shield from dryness and environmental stress.
The nostalgic fruity fragrance will remind me of your old favourite lip gloss, but this lip mask isn’t sticky – it smoothly glides on your lips and melts away the dead skin cells. It will have you waking up the next day with soft, smooth lips. #IWokeUpLikeThis
For the first step in double cleansing, this gentle oil cleansing foam quickly dissolves makeup, sunscreen and other impurities with its rich lather. Your skin will feel nourished after, not necessarily needing another step with its one-and-done formula.
An easy and convenient way to exfoliate, these gauze pads are a gentle introduction to both chemical exfoliation and anti-ageing. Its standout ingredient, Resveratrol, is a powerful antioxidant that comes from naturally fermented red wine. Clink, clink!
Which of these cult-favourites have you tried? Let us know in the comments!
It’s important to be gentle with your skin from avoiding harsh ingredients to patting it dry, so when it comes to physical exfoliation – it can sometimes cause more harm than good. As rewarding as it might seem (you know, physically scrubbing off all the dead skin), some exfoliants are just too large and end up causing micro-tears in your skin. This is when chemical exfoliation comes in as a more gentle and effective way to polish your skin.
What is chemical exfoliation and how does it work?
Chemical exfoliation uses acids to get rid of dead skin cells, allowing it to go deeper into the pores than physical exfoliants. By safely removing the build up, softer and smoother skin can shine through – helping with texture, pigmentation, acne and even ageing.
What are chemical exfoliants?
The two main types of chemical exfoliants are AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids). You’ve probably seen these letters everywhere, including on cleansers and toners. AHAs are water-soluble and include glycolic and lactic acid, and BHAs are oil-soluble, meaning they can penetrate deeper, such as salicylic acid.
What should I start with?
For texture and pigmentation, start with a gentle AHA such as lactic acid or mandelic acid as they don’t penetrate your skin as deeply as a BHA. If you’re looking to treat acne, a BHA like salicylic acid can help reduce sebum and oil production, as well as unclog your pores.
Can I use them together?
Yes, you can combine AHA products with BHA products, but it is not recommended for beginners. Without a proper understanding of how the ingredients will react, you are at risk of over-exfoliating and even burning your skin. This is a common mistake when it comes to acids as users aren’t aware they need to factor in the PH levels, percentage of acids, timing and their skin’s sensitivity.
How should I start chemical exfoliation?
Start with a low concentration, once or twice a week – over-exfoliating can cause irritation and breakouts. Apply the exfoliant after you cleanse and tone, preferably at night as acids can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun (make sure you wear sunscreen!).
You can find good introductory products from The Ordinary and The Inkey List.
With cleaning and disinfecting becoming a habit, it’s time we finally apply it to our skincare and makeup routine as well. Here are 10 things you might be overlooking when it comes to sanitisation:
- Wash your hands
Yes, even in the cleanliness of your own home – washing your hands should be the first step in your skincare and makeup routine to keep it sanitary.
- Have a separate towel for your face
Don’t use the same towel as your body, and especially not your hair, as it transfers bacteria and products that might irritate your face.
- Wash your hair before your body
If you have body acne, it might be from conditioner clogging your pores. Try washing your hair first followed by your body to remove all the excess oil and irritants.
- Don’t store your products in the bathroom
Not only is it filled with bacteria, skincare and makeup products should be stored in cool, dry places – the heat and dampness from your showers can cause ingredients to break down, oxidise, melt and even mold. Yikes!
- Throw away expired products
We know it’s hard to part with some of your faves, but when makeup and skincare ingredients expire, it allows the products to become a breeding ground for bacteria. This could be the cause of your acne and skin irritation.
- Don’t touch the dropper
Whether you use it on your face or in your hand, don’t touch the dropper as it’ll transfer the bacteria back into the bottle and contaminate the whole product. We see this faux pas in beauty videos a lot.
- Use a spatula
Stop using your fingers to scoop the product out of a jar, instead use the cute baby spatula that comes with it to avoid contamination. Don’t forget to keep them clean!
- Clean your brushes every week
But if you have an active skin breakout, wash your brushes after each use to avoid spreading the acne-causing bacteria the next time you wear makeup.
- Wipe down your metal tools
Sanitise your trusty tweezers and eyelash curlers with anti-bacterial wipes twice a month to avoid a build-up of germs and get rid of mascara gunk.
- Change your pillowcase twice a week
You might even sleep better knowing that your pillowcase is clean from all the oil and dirt built-up from both your hair and face.
We hope you make it a habit to keep your skincare and makeup routine clean!
What – we have to wash our face twice in one routine?! You don’t have to, but it has been proven to be an effective way of cleansing your face and removing all traces of a hot, sweaty day (and a beat mug!).
Following the 60 second rule (twice), double cleansing consists of two cleansers – an oil-based cleanser and a water-based cleanser. The oil-based cleanser is used first to dissolve oil, remove makeup and debris, while the second cleanser targets your skin type and concerns. Licensed aesthetician, Nayamka Roberts-Smith (@LaBeautyologist), suggests doing this twice a day – in the morning to prepare your skin and the evening to remove impurities.
It’s important to remember that skincare always depends on your skin type, so make sure you choose the right cleansers to make this routine work. Look out for gentle cleansers with hydrating ingredients to avoid over-washing and over-drying your face. Here are a few suggestions from Sephora:
Farmacy – Green Clean Cleansing Balm & Clean Bee Gel Cleanser
Clinique – Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm & Liquid Facial Soap
Fresh Beauty – Seaberry Skin Nutrition Cleansing Oil & Rose Cleansing Foam
With double cleansing doing the extra work to remove stubborn pore-blockages and acne-causing bacteria, you should be able to see your skin glow and provide a squeaky clean canvas to skincare treatments for better absorption and maximum results. Try it out!
What if we told you this must-have addition to your skincare routine is absolutely free! That’s right – no tools needed, just 60 seconds of your time.
The #60SECONDRULE was created by licensed aesthetician, Nayamka Roberts-Smith (@LaBeautyologist), to help her clients get the most out of their cleansers. A nugget of knowledge, she shared that gently cleansing your face, with your fingers, for 60 seconds activates the ingredients and allows the cleanser to work. Most of us have been guilty of washing our face for less than 15 seconds, but by following this tip – you’ll notice softer skin and better texture.
Skincare Twitter swears by the #60SECONDRULE – the once trending hashtag is filled with testimonies of transformed skin. However, as with all skincare advice, do remember that it ultimately depends on your body, but there is no harm in experimenting with a few more seconds! By thoroughly washing your face, you’ll be able to dissolve the sebum and blockages better, which then improves overall evenness.
Try it out and if you need a more fun way to keep count, Roberts-Smith suggests singing along to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. Go get that glow!