I always have issues with occasional breakouts. When I was in high school, I followed my skin care to a friend who has an oily skin because I thought that having breakouts meant oily skin. I started using really strong acne products (that also contained alcohol, which is the worst ingredient that you can put on your face) that eventually dried out my skin and had me even more blemishes. I then realized that my skin wasn't oily. It used to be normal but because of my horrible teen years of abusing inappropriately-formulated products for my skin-type, it is now combination skin. Combination simply means that you have a mix of oily and dry. Where you have your oily or dry zones depend on each person, but to give you an idea; my T-zone is oily, my cheeks are normal/dry, and my U-zone is normal. You also have to consider weather changes into account as well. In summer, my skin (in general) becomes a bit more oily while in winter, it tends to be a bit more dry. I was basically a non-educated person in skin care.

Back then, I didn't even know that sunscreen is an absolute necessity. Sunscreen is the only way to protect your skin against wrinkles, which are caused by UV-ray damages (age is another factor, but think of Asian women to Caucasian women; Asian women tend to have less wrinkles than Caucasian women because they like to keep their skin pretty fair, including myself. This means no tanning. Caucasian women, on the other hand, love tanning. Tanning means Sun, and Sun means UV-rays.). A sunscreen also has to be well-formulated to be effective against UV-rays. Not all sunscreens (whether they are from drugstore or high-end brands) are well-formulated.

All of the information regarding skin care took several years for me to gather. It was a long, time-cosuming process, but with the skin I have right now, it was well worth it for me.

My ultimate source is Beautypedia. Beautypedia is a site that's made by Paula Begoun (also known as Cosmetics Cop) and contains product reviews both in skin care and makeup. Paula is my heroine. She really has passion to recommend products that are both effective and beneficial for the appropriate skin-type because she also struggled to find products for herself when she was a teenager. You can read more about Paula here. I cannot live without Beautypedia. If I hadn't found Beautypedia, I don't think I'd ever reach the state that my skin is in right now. I love Beautypedia because it bases its ratings/reviews on the ingredients. Ingredients are the most honest part when buying skin care products; please do not fall for marketing hypes.

Paula also created her own cosmetics line, Paula's Choice, in search of well-formulated, essential skin care products for appropriate needs. On Paula's Choice website, you will find tons of skincare information to educate yourself. If you wish to learn, please click here, and explore your way through.

I can never emphasize enough of the importance of using well-formulated products. Hence, Beautypedia and Paula's Choice. I highly recommend both sites to educate yourself in finding your own skin care product list to get the healthy-looking skin you desire.

Enough of ranting. Here are the products for my skin care routine.

Makeup Removers

1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Make-up Remover: only for eye + lip makeup removal

2. Neutrogena All-in-One Make-up Removing Cleansing Lotion: to get rid of heavy-duty makeup such as foundation and concealer


3. Olay Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin: my morning and night face cleanser to get rid of makeup residues or dirt


5. Paula's Choice Lip Exfoliant: to get rid of my dead skin on my lips (even more essential for matte red lips) - I use it once a week more or less

6. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment: BHA prevents any further breakouts and gets rid of blackheads (you can find more information regarding BHA or AHA products and why it's necessary to exfoliate your skin here) - I use it morning and night following the cleanser

Acne Treatment

7. Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Fighting Treatment (2.5% concentration): benzoyl peroxide is the most effective blemish treatment - I apply a thin layer over my forehead, down to the nose, and my chin to prevent/treat breakouts both in the morning and night in summer & only in morning in winter (again, you can read more about acne treatments and benzoyl peroxide here)

8. Clean & Clear Persal-Gel 5: 5% benzoyl peroxide concentration - I use this when I get stubborn blemishes both in morning and night until it's gone (it's more potent than Paula's Choice regular strength benzoyl peroxide)


4. Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil

9. Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum, Fragrance-Free: used in the winter time only to help further with my dryness

10. Olay Complete Ageless Skin Renewing UV Lotion SPF 20: my daytime moisturizer because it contains both anti-oxidants + sunscreen benefits

11. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture, Sensitive: my nighttime moisturizer (it's not enough in the winter time, which is why I add the Olay serum before this)

All of the products were each carefully thought out to be part of my skin care routine. I've tried several other alternatives to the ones mentioned above (that got the same rating on Beautypedia), but the above list is what I've been using for more than a year now. I think I'll eventually try other moisturizers because Olay is becoming quite pricey.

I truly believe that you can achieve your best skin without using expensive products. As long as the product itself is well-formulated and appropriate for your skin needs, it will be a breeze.

I know that this post was long, but I hope it was helpful. 


  1. This is so great <3. I love how you also use drugstore brands, which makes it more affordable. I love your blog! -DLY xoxoxo

    1. thanks so much! means a lot to me.
      It would be wonderful if every cosmetic products is affordable.