Come on, skin-y love.

A few weeks ago, my friend J called to say that after 28 long years, he’s finally bought his first facial moisturiser because he’s noticed a few teensy wrinkles under his eyes. Hooray, welcome to the fascinating world of skincare for men, J.

My mother didn’t give me make up lessons nor did she teach me how to cook (because she can’t!) but one thing she taught me at a very early age was to invest time in taking care of my skin. Rebel that I was, I didn’t really bother much as I felt I could ride on the forever-young-looking gene my parents have. It’s actually quite flattering when people comment on how my mother and I can pass off as sisters.

With my parents, fresh(?!) off a long haul flight. Mom & I are makeup free.
There’s 135 years worth of life in this photo. December 2012.

Last year, there was a time when felt like the years of embracing the sun with minimal SPF, late nights and not putting enough slap on my face finally caught up. My skin didn’t feel like a baby’s butt anymore and this made me realise how serious my mother was. One may be blessed with youthful looks but it seriously is true when they say beauty is skin deep: the minute you see a little line here or a wrinkly spot there, no matter how small it is, you will definitely feel it.

So I started to really take care of my skin. Here are some tried and tested products I use daily.

The best facial wash I’ve ever used. It’s mild and gentle on the skin yet it really helps cleanse your face. I’ve tried a number of facial wash products before but Cetaphil is the only one that really made a difference. It has never left my face any sort of irritation or blotchiness after washing.

Some exfoliants tend to leave red patches on your skin but it’s really important to exfoliate so your skin gets to feel healthy and glowing. St Ives Apricot Scrub is an absolute classic and it’s a cheap trick that’s been handed down from generations to generations. It really gets rid of unwanted dead skin cells (which you get more than you feel) and leaves your skin feeling as fresh and as polished as a new sports car. I like that I can use this for my face and for my body too.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner is good for sensitive skin. I used The Body Shop’s Vitamin E toner before but my consultant said that though Vitamin E has a lot of benefits, it actually made the skin on my face thinner. This meant that when I go for facials, my dermatologist would find it hard to touch some areas for fear of making the peeling worse. I’ve been recommended this oil-free toner from Kiehl’s and I’m loving the results. I feel like my skin’s gone healthier and stronger and it feels hydrated all the time without feeling oily. It also acts as a post-cleanser cleanser, removing all traces of remaining dirt.

I have a splattering of freckles over my face which I adore, but I don’t want to have more and look like an Asian Lindsay Lohan. Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution has actually worked wonders helping minimise the appearance of my freckles. It’s also known to help prevent them from developing while evening out your skin tone. I only use two drops daily; this little bottle goes a very long way!

I was reluctant to try this because my skin didn’t seem to be compatible with other Olay products so I was surprised that this daily moisturiser has been good to me. It’s so important to wear products with sufficient amount of SPF even if you do not work outdoors. People with desk jobs and computer facing roles still need to use it so their skin is protected. I love that Olay’s Complete Care Multiradiance Daily Moisturiser has SPF 15 protects my skin while making my face feel bright. It also works as a good primer!

Wrinkly eyes can definitely make anyone look older than their years. Kiehl’s Line Reducing Eye Brightening Concentrate really does what it says on the package. I’ve only been using it for a month but my eyes look brighter and the darks circles seem gone. The lines also feel and look reduced and I feel like I’ve been sleeping more than eight hours a day instead of my usual four.


I love the Shue Uemura range of cleansing oils. My favourite Fresh Cleansing Oil serves as an awesome make up remover, leaving face spotless even when I wear waterproof makeup. It emulsifies amazingly and serves as a decent facial wash at night. I’ve ran out of it (it lasted me for almost a year) so I’m now finishing up on my Ultime8 cleansing oil travel bottle. The Tsuya Skin Serum is a wonder serum I slather my face with when I don’t feel like wearing makeup. It isn’t a tinted moisturiser but it does give your skin a sort of radiance and smoothness that doesn’t need any coverage.

One of my favourite night time products, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is something I would really recommend to girls my age as it kinda acts as a paracetamol for the skin. Two drops of this serum each night makes my skin feel relaxed in the morning, even after a heavy night out! My face definitely feels refreshed and smooth when I wake up and I swear it feels like they’ve packed some facial fairies in this bottle to work miracles as we sleep.

I interchange the Midnight Recovery Concentrate with No.7’s Protect and Perfect Intense Night Cream too. They have the same effect, except I actually like that I can use this cream on my neck without feeling guilty!

*Whew* (Trust me, some people actually use more products than I do!)

You see taking care of your skin is a really intense process because:

  • you have to really invest time and make sure you don’t get too lazy for it - especially at night time when your skin is tired after a long day and all you want to do is burn sleep. You have to be super diligent and super disciplined in using your products for maximum results.
  • some products can be pricey but they can also work wonders for you.
  • you really need to find the right product for you. All products are different just like how our skin types are different. You can buy the most expensive, most promising, most positively reviewed product in the market and still end up with minimal effects. Instead of trying and testing products on your own, consult your dermatologists and ask them which products could work best for you and your skin.
  • you also have to know how to apply your products and when to stop. Some people tend to put so much slap on their faces thinking the more products they use the quicker they see results. It doesn’t work that way. This can also be very dangerous because some products should only be applied in the littlest amounts to avoid further skin damage! Read the label, consult your doctor!
  • you should also remember to nourish your skin the natural way. Don’t think that just because you have amazing slap you can forget about drinking your daily eight glasses of water, having enough sleep and eating your 5-a-day portion of fruit and veg. The natural process is still, in my opinion, the best way to have glowing, healthy skin.
I realise now that there is more to skincare than just looking great on the surface because it really benefits you in the long run anyway. It’s never too early nor too late to start taking care of your skin and the best way to kickstart the whole process is to definitely pump up the positive attitude and wear a genuine smile.

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