Easy and Quick Skincare Routine to Look Young in Your Late 20

Hey, everyone!

I think it’s really the first time I talk about skincare on this blog. I always talk about makeup while actually I care about my skincare as much as I do about makeup. For me, skincare is even more important that makeup, and I was interested in skincare first even long before I was interested in makeup.

I mentioned briefly how I was first interested in skincare on this blog post. And since that time, I have tried so many skincare products and have gone through so many trials and errors in skincare routine. Gladly I don’t have sensitive skin, so I rarely (or almost never) had a bad experience when trying new products. However, there were several products I felt really did something on my skin, while some others did almost nothing.

These past 8 months, or to be precised since August 2018, I’ve been using the same skincare routine. And just recently I realized that my skin has never been this clear, supple, and elastic. My makeup also sticks better onto my skin effortlessly. And countless times when I didn’t wear any makeup, I was mistaken for a college or even high school student by people I met on the street, while actually I’m a 28 year old married woman with one kid XD But it actually has some drawbacks, too. For example, when I was browsing through a makeup display in my local drugstore, the BA wasn’t even trying to recommend me any product. Maybe because she thought I was a student so I wouldn’t be able to afford any product she recommended anyway XD

Oh and first of all, just for transparency, I wasn’t sponsored by any brand I mentioned here. I purchased everything with my own money. I’m (sadly) just a small blogger, those brands don’t even know that I’m existed in this world XD So don’t worry, what I wrote here is based on my real and honest experience πŸ™‚ But, I mean, in the future even if I was sponsored to make this kind of post, I’ll always stay honest with my review!

So, if you want to know my skincare secrets, just please keep on reading!

Prolog

I adopted this skincare routine actually from the infamous 10-step Korean Skincare Routine. Let’s admit that we, average women in late 20 with all of our everyday routine activities, ain’t always got time for that, right? Just thinking of that and watching beauty bloggers apply that 10-step skincare routine already makes me headache. So, I made my own version of it that is easier, quicker, and more realistic!

First of all, even though the name is “10-step Korean Skincare Routine”, doesn’t mean we must use ALL Korean skincare products. The most important thing is to understand why those steps are implemented. When we understand the purpose of each step, we can clearly eliminate some steps or alternately change some steps so that the phrase “10-step” is no longer overwhelming. And along with it, we can freely choose which product we want to use in each step, as long as it fulfills the purpose of that step.

10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

When talking about “steps” in skincare routine, generally people will ask “why this step is after that step” and vice versa. Actually, the answer is easy. We want to apply products from the ones that have lighter consistency to the ones that have heavier consistency.

Here I will give you a quick explanation of each step, along with the label of which step we can completely skip and alternately change. I will also mention which products I’ve been using for each step.

Oil-based cleanser

I’m sure you are aware that oil can’t be mixed with water. Now let see, what does our skin produce during the day? It’s oil. Even if you have (relatively) dry skin, your skin still secretes oil everyday (it’s just less amount compared to other people). So, what happen if you wash your face with water-based cleanser only? It won’t be able to get rid off oil-based dirt that our skin has produced.

So clearly, this step is a MUST and the first step that you want to implement on your skincare routine. Only oil can help pull out other oil-based impurities, for example sebum.

Products that I’ve been using in this step are Banila.co Clean It Zero and Garnier Micellar Oil Infused Cleansing Water.

Banila.co’s consistency is kind of like balm, but as soon as we apply it on our face, it melts even the most waterproof makeup easily. But, this feels uncomfortable on the eyes. It doesn’t stink, but if it exposed to our eyeballs, it’s going to be like there’s a kind of layer on top of them and it’s slightly obstructing our view.

That’s why on the eyes, I prefer to use the Garnier one. This works perfectly for waterproof makeup, too.

Water-based cleanser

The same principal to the previous step, water-based cleanser helps draw out water-based impurities that aren’t picked up by the oil-based cleanser, for example sweat.

This step is obviously a MUST, too. And I’ve been rotating between Garnier Micellar Water, The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash, or Cetaphil Facial Wash. I use the Garnier one when I’m too lazy to wash my face with facial wash. And I love the Body Shop and Cetaphil ones because they are so gentle on my skin. Even though I feel completely clean after washing my face with them, my skin doesn’t feel tight.

Exfoliator

To make it easier to understand, generally exfoliator comes in a form of scrub, because, exfoliator is used to clean clogged pores or remove dead skin. Therefore, we need a product that contains small grains to make it possible to enter our pores and clean them.

This is a step that we can ALTERNATELY CHANGE with other steps. Actually it’s better to NOT do this step every day because it could scrape not only dead skin but also moisture or other important properties that our skin has. I personally only do this step twice a week, and the products I’ve been rotating to use are Freeman Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask + Scrub, Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Mask Wash Off, Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, and Cure Natural Aqua Gel.

The Freeman and Skinfood ones are clearly scrubs, so you know how to use them and how they feel.

The Cure one looks like a normal facial wash with jelly-like consistency. Even though it looks like your typical facial wash, it removes dead skin like magic. And the Kanebo one can be used as scrub or gentle facial wash depending on how much water you add to it. I’ll write more detail about the Cure and the Kanebo on another post I’ve planned so make sure to follow this blog if you don’t want to miss it!

Toner

Toner helps restore moisture to our skin after cleansing and exfoliating. It also helps balance our skin’s pH because cleansing our face with facial wash increases our skin pH (remember, soap is an alkaline so it has high pH). However, actually if we use gentle facial wash, it’s not as harsh as usual facial wash that is made of soap, so toner can be skipped. But toner also helps prepare our skin for the next products that are going to be applied to our skin. Therefore, for me this step is also a MUST.

For this past months, I’ve only been using The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner. I never use a cotton pad to apply my toner because I feel it absorbs a lot of liquid so I think it’s a waste of product. I always use my hands to apply my toner.

Essence

The one common question about essence is “what is the difference between essence and serum?”. Generally, essence is liquid product that has consistency between toner and serum. If you know SK-II Facial Treatment Essence or Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence, both of them have the similar liquid-y consistency, which is a bit thicker than a toner, but not as viscous-y as a serum.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Missha Treatment Essence

In terms of composition, according to Fashionista on their article here, technically essence and serum are actually the SAME thing! Both of them have key ingredients that are formulated to resolve certain skin problems. I mentioned about texture above, but recently (according to Fashionista also) essence is getting thicker while serum is getting more lightweight, so the consistency line is getting blurry.

In summary, since both of them don’t have distinctive difference, IMHO, if you’re on a budget (just like me!) you can choose only one of them. I personally completely SKIP essence, and go straight to serum after my toner.

Serum

As I mentioned briefly above, serum is a liquid product that has key ingredients that are formulated to resolve certain skin problems, such as acne, hyper-pigmentation, dark spots, wrinkles, etc. For me personally, I’ve been using this same serum for 8 months, which is The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, that has brightening effect and also reduce the appearance of blemishes and balance sebum activity. For more detail information about this product, please refer to this link.

I started to use this serum because before I was using them, I had severe acne scars problem. Before, I always broke out during menstruation. And after that, it left acne scars every where on my skin. Although it is said on the website that this doesn’t have direct properties to reduce acne, after using this (and other products I mentioned and will be mentioning here), I rarely break out these days. And my old acne scars is getting disappear!

So clearly, this step is a MUST, and you can use any other serum that suits your skin needs! I do recommend checking out The Ordinary, though, because they are fairly affordable, cruelty free, and a lot of their products are paraben free, gluten free, and vegan!

Again, I’m not sponsored to say this XD I truly am in love with this product and will keep repurchasing it in the future. Now I’m already on my third bottle, by the way!

Sheet mask

Actually, sheet mask is just a mask that is soaked into an essence or a serum. The natural way of using it (by putting it onto our face and leave it for a couple minutes) is able to prolong the contact of that essence/ serum to our skin, thus enable our skin to fully absorb the ingredients and moisture. So actually, we can ALTERNATELY CHANGE the usage of sheet mask with our essence/ serum. When I use my sheet mask, I don’t use my serum, and vice versa. I only use sheet mask once or twice a week.

I’ve tried so many sheet masks from different brands, but recently, I’ve been using and keep repurchasing these sheet masks by Etude House. It has very thin layer and it sticks well onto my skin so I never feel it slips off my face whenever I’m using it. It also has perfect size for my eye and mouth holes.

Eye cream

Our eye area is the most gentle part of our skin. When we’re getting older, this is the part that gets wrinkly first, so taking care of it as early as possible is a MUST. Eye cream is formulated to hydrate eye area, reduce the appearance of wrinkle, and prevent dark circles or puffiness.

I used Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream for months before completely running out of it just a month ago. For now, I’m using Safi Age Defy Eye Treatment because I wanted to try more affordable eye cream. The Safi one definitely is more lightweight thus it’s suitable for using on AM routine underneath our makeup. The Innisfree one is much more thicker, and I must say it’s better to be used on PM routine only.

When I run out of my Safi one, I think I will buy both of them because I feel the Innisfree one is more hydrating, thus I need it on my PM routine much more than the Safi one. Of course currently I can’t say many related to the long time result, but I’ve been enjoying the two of them so far, and I rarely had a problem with dark circle or puffiness!

Moisturizer

Moisturizer, just like its name, is mainly used to provide extra moisture to our skin. There are many kinds of moisturizer on the market, so my advice is to choose one based on the ingredients or the consistency that suits your skin needs. For me who have normal to oily skin, I chose the one that has lighter consistency, so that it won’t add too much moisture to my skin that is fairly hydrated.

This step is a MUST for PM routine, and I’ve been using Laneige Water Sleeping Mask as my moisturizer since it’s very lightweight and absorbed pretty fast. But according its manual, this sleeping mask is not for everyday use, so I just use it three times a week.

Sun protector

You know what it is, it’s to protect our skin from damage caused by UV rays. This step is clearly a MUST for AM routine. Don’t forget to apply it not only on your face, but to all skin area that is exposed to the sun light during your daytime activity.

Sun protector or sun screen was the first skincare product that I owned, long before I know toner, serum, etc. And believe me, I’ve tried so many different ones, from Indonesian brands, to Korean brands, to western brands, but the best one yet is the one that I’ve been using now, which is Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++.

This one is perfect to use underneath makeup. It’s absorbed fast, not greasy, and not sticky at all but still helps add more adhesion to our makeup. 10 out of 10!

Face Oil (Additional)

I add an additional step to my PM skincare routine which is face oil. Having oily skin doesn’t mean we don’t need face oil. By adding face oil, it helps decrease the secretion of our natural oil during the night. After I incorporate this step as my very last step of my PM routine, I feel my face is less oily now, and I suppose that’s why I also don’t break out as much as before.

The face oil that I’ve been using is The Ordinary Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil. I only use it three times a week and a little goes along way. I’ve been using it for eight months but still have 2/3 left. This step is an ADDITIONAL step but I highly recommend you try it out!

Summary

So, to summarize all of the things I mentioned above, here are my AM and PM skincare routine for the past eight months that helps me reduce my break out, makes my face less oily, and brighten up my face, thus help my face look younger (according to the people I met on the street):

AM

Water-based cleanser (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree or Cetaphil Gentle Facial Wash

Toner (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner

Serum (everyday): The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Eye cream (everyday): Safi Age Defy Eye Treatment

Sun protector (everyday): Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++

This AM routine only has 5 steps!

And if you want to see me applying this routine, check it on my video here!

PM

Oil-based cleanser (everyday): Banila.co Clean It Zero or Garnier Oil-infused Micellar Water

Water-based cleanser (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree or Cetaphil Gentle Facial Wash

Exfoliator (twice a week): Rotation between Freeman Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask + Scrub, Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Mask Wash Off, Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, and Cure Natural Aqua Gel.

Toner (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner

Serum (everyday when I don’t use my sheet mask): The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Sheet mask (once or twice a week): Etude House

Eye cream (everyday): Safi Age Defy Eye Treatment or Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream

Moisturizer (three times a week): Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Face oil (three times a week): The Ordinary Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

This PM routine has 5 steps that I do everyday, and 4 other steps that are alternately change with each other.

I’ll make sure to film this routine also in the future, so don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel and follow my Instagram account!

Final Advice

Thank you so much for you who made it until this part! Such a long post, isn’t it, but I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I love sharing it with you. My final advice would be:

  1. It’s important to know the “why” before actually implementing a particular skincare routine.
  2. Choose products based on your skin needs. Check the ingredients and don’t buy/ use something just because the hype of it. Just because we’re on our late 20, doesn’t mean we ONLY need to use products that have anti-aging properties in it. If you, for example, have severe acne scars or break out, fix that problem first, because clearer skin looks healthier thus makes you look brighter in general.
  3. Choose products based on your skin condition. For me who has more of a normal-oily skin, I tend to choose products that is not really thick, not greasy, and absorbed fast.
  4. Apply the products from lighter to heavier consistency.
  5. Be consistent! I’ve been implementing this skincare routine for eight months before sharing it with you as now I can see clear result on my skin.
  6. “You are what you eat”. Recently I also have been trying to eat “okay” (I want to say “healthy” but I don’t think I’ve reached that level as for now) . I’ve been drinking 2 L of water everyday, and also avoiding processed food as much as I can. I believe what comes from inside is also important to maintain what is seen from the outside.
  7. Be happy! Surround yourself with positive people and positive activities!

So yeah, that is all for today’s post! I hope you don’t feel overwhelmed by so many products I mentioned here. That’s just because I love trying skincare products, so I try to rotate them as much as I could to be able to finish all of them. But, among all of skincare products I’ve tried, the ones I mentioned here are the ones that have clear positive impacts to my skin.

I hope this post is somehow helpful for you and don’t hesitate to correct me if I’m wrong.

What is your current skincare routine? Will you implement this routine to your routine? Did you find your holy grail products here? Let me know on the comment section below!

‘Till next time!

Reading sources:

10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

The Difference Between Essence and Serum

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Be Grateful

Hey, all.

Today’s post is actually very short, but I just want to give you a quick update.

So, just recently I got new job! I can’t thank God enough for this! Well, actually it’s not ‘new’ new, but here’s the thing.

From the beginning of this year, I want to give a shot once more to this blog. I have this blog since 2012 but I never write it regularly with a specific theme, so I always ran out of idea of what to write in this blog. So, on January, along with the start of my low-buy year project, I revamped this blog, and actually set a designated schedule to write. I’ve been enjoying writing in this blog, updating my Instagram account and Youtube channel, and I was able to meet new friends from all over the world, all because of this new blog that I have.

Besides that, teaching Japanese has always been my passion also. So, in the beginning of this year, I also posted some advertisements on some local medias here in the city where I reside about me opening a private Japanese lesson. Since then, several people contacted me, but none of them finally became my students. It was like this until March, so I just focus on this blog, my Instagram account, and my Youtube channel. I tried to not have high hopes for my Japanese class.

However, in the beginning of April, suddenly two people contacted me about my Japanese class, and both of them finally decided to study from me! I am so grateful and couldn’t be anymore happier than these days. Three days a week now I have my teaching schedule for these past two weeks.

Therefore, consequently, I have less time to update all of social media accounts. Because of this new schedule that I have to add to my previous existing schedule, I couldn’t finish some drafts that I have prepared for this blog. I need to re-arrange my schedule ASAP!

So, I hope you don’t mind that there will be no beauty-related content this week. I have prepared two posts for the next weeks, but I need more time to do my research related to those posts. I don’t want to upload a blog post just for the sake of uploading every week. I want the content to be comprehensive and actually helpful for you who read it.

Regardless, I’m so grateful for my new job, and also for you who have followed me and read my blog posts. I hope I can sort everything out quickly and have a normal schedule again!

Thank you for bearing with me, and see you on my next post!

Super Easy Way to Make A Sushi Roll

Hey, everyone!

First of all, no, you are not opening a wrong blog. This is still me, Unpretty Vanity, and this time I want to share with you something a little bit different than what I usually write. But of course, this blog ain’t gonna change to a recipe blog. This blog will still be a beauty & lifestyle blog. And since Japan-related lifestyle is also part of me, I think it’s not out-of-nowhere that I write this kind of post once in a while!

Actually, I haven’t really told you about myself and maybe some of you who followed me just recently was a little bit confuse why Japan is related to me. If you’re Indonesians or understand Indonesian, you can read my previous posts about my life in Japan on the menu ‘Japan’ and ‘Monbusho’ on this blog. But if you’re neither, I’ll make sure to write more detail about my life in Japan later, of course if you are interested to know a little bit more about myself! For now, let’s diggin’ into this post!

If you happened to come across this post hoping for some fancy sushi roll recipes, I’m sorry that this post might disappoint you. Here I’ll mainly give you a SUPER EASY STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO MAKE A SUSHI ROLL WITH INGREDIENTS YOU PROBABLY HAVE AT YOUR HOME. If it’s your cup of tea, then just keep on reading!

Sushi roll is probably the easiest kind of sushi we can make by ourselves at home. You can literally fill it with any veggies or meats you like.

A couple days ago, me and my husband wanted to have fun a little bit at home, so we decided to make a simple sushi roll. Our son is only two and a half years old so we also wanted him to learn making food and we thought sushi roll is not dangerous to be made by toddler. Here were all the ingredients and tools that we used.

Ingredients: rice, fried chicken nuggets, fried chikuwa (a kind of fish sausage), furikake (food sprinkle) in any flavor (this time we used nori-flavor), and some sheets of nori (seaweed). You can find these ingredients in your local Asian market. You can of course change the filling with some healthier ingredients such as cucumber or carrot.

Tools: knife (to cut the ingredients), cutting board, and sushi roller. This sushi roller we have we bought in Daiso in Japan. I’m sure you can find it in Daiso or any Japanese dollar store in your area.

First, mix the furikake with the rice evenly. It makes the rice looks pretty and very Japanese. Also cut the ingredients (in our case: nuggets and chikuwa) into long and slim shape so it will fit inside our rice roll without making the diameter of the roll too big.

Next, spread one sheet of nori on the roller, and put rice as much as one third of the nori, and then put the ingredients on the center part of the rice. If my words don’t make sense, just see the picture below XD

Next, roll up the roller until in covers all first components that have been added above, give it some pressure until it feels tight. And then, add one third of rice again without opening the roller, just like the picture below:

Yes, we were using our son’s table to make this dish and don’t worry even though there were knives there, our son was completely safe from them XD

After that, open the roller, but immediately roll it again until it covers the second component of rice that has been added just now. And then, add a little bit of rice to make the rest of the nori part sticky, and lastly, roll it again until the roller completely cover the sushi roll. Give it some pressure again until the roll tight and firm like on the picture below:

Now, just cut the roll into some bite-sized pieces!

So it’s basically done! Super easy, right! It was also super fun to make with kids at home to make bonding time without having to go outside πŸ™‚

That’s all for today’s post. I’m sorry that it’s very short, but I hope you enjoyed and got some inspiration for when you don’t want to cook complicated meals!

What do you think about this kind of post once in a while? If you like it, I’d more than happy to make this kind of post again in the future. Please tell me what easy Japanese recipes you want to read next on this blog!

Still want to read some more from this blog? Here are some of my popular posts:

Halal in-flight meals review (in Indonesian)

MEXT scholarship selection process (in Indonesian)

Life as a blogger (in English)

Tips for shopping on Colourpop website (in English)

Thank you for reading today’s post! Until then!