Katrina Labra

stories

Doing the Least: A Skincare Routine

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I have always identified my skin as normal. I didn’t have acne growing up and wasn’t particularly oily, unless it was a really hot day in the middle of summer. Which is why, after months of scrawling through r/skincareaddiction in an attempt to address this weird dry patch just below my chin, I am quite surprised to learn I have dehydrated skin. In fact, I have that and dry skin.

My skin doesn’t have a lot of bounce, looked dull and feels tight every after wash. And every time I tried a new product, my skin burned like I just poured acid on it. It also didn’t help that I tried a couple actives to ease the dullness. Also, while I am grateful for the experience and opportunities, the change in climate, weather and plane rides added on to the damage. That plus other innocent yet harmful habits like burning hot showers and forgetting to drink water, my skin suffered.

It seems like I’ve tried it all - 3-step routine, 10-step Korean skincare routine, oil cleansing, facials and air drying. I must have spent countless hours on research and dollars on highly raved products. But nothing helped. It ended up with my skin dry as ever and a few thousand pesos poorer.

Ultimately, I found a routine that works. And guess what, I only use three products.


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My Skincare routine

I always thought the more you do for your skin the better. But what I found this year, when I cut down 90% of the products I used, was that in skincare, less really is more.

Upon waking up, I wash my face with tepid water and nothing else. I air dry and when it’s about 80% dry, I slap on CosRx’s Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. I’m not sure if I see a difference really but it’s gentle enough to layer for hydration.

After, with this year’s wide-awakening discovery, I use urea cream all over. Urea has long been in the skincare game but with new products popping in, it kind of lost its charm. Basically, how urea work is that it absorbs and retains water on your skin. It also increases filaggrin, creates a lipid barrier and builds your skin’s defense mechanism. Not to mention, it also regulates cell cycle which gently exfoliates your skin while repairing your damaged moisture barrier. In other words, it’s so damn good.

I found this is the saving grace for my skin. My face remains hydrated and plump all day and when I wake up in the morning, I get that dew. Currently, I’m using Hamilton’s Urederm although I have yet to try Eucerin’s urea cream - it’s said to be magic.

It’s best to layer moisturizer over the cream but I haven’t found one that didn’t break me out. (Khiels’, I’m looking at you) So, I slather La Roche Posay’s Anthelios Dry Touch sunscreen in the mornings because wrinkles ain’t gonna get me just yet. In the evenings, I seal everything in with Herbivore’s Phoenix facial oil or The Ordinary’s Rose Hip Oil. Be careful with the latter though, it smells really… special.

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