Saturday, September 14, 2019

7-Day Skincare Challenge + Results

I have always wanted my skin to look radiant and healthy but the idea of a 10-step skincare overwhelms me and I cannot be bothered to have such extensive routine because I do not have the time I am lazy.

When I started to look for products I could use, I realized that I had no idea what my skin type was. I did tons of "research" and experimented on a few different products. And like anybody who is just starting skincare, I am reluctant to invest on expensive products. Luckily, I did not have to go great lengths to actually see good results.

I'm not here to endorse a brand nor convince you to use the products I use because I’m fairly new to this. There could be a thousands of options that I do not know of out there. But when people compliment me, they also ask what I use for my face. So I just want to share what has truly helped me achieve a healthier, glowing skin. Here's the skincare regimen I tailored for my skin needs (dry, morena skin) that I find simple yet effective.

Step 1: Cleanse

I've tried different facial foams, facial bars, even regular body soaps on my face. But I always go back to MySkin Origins Pore No More beauty bar. I love how it makes my face radiant without drying. Plus, it does deliver its promise to minimize pores.
Price: Php 350.00 / 150g
Where to buy: MySkin Origins website

There are also times when I'm too exhausted lazy to move a muscle that I'd skip the washing and forget all about the other skincare steps that follow. I would just wipe my face with Nivea MicellAir 3-in-1 Caring Cleanser. I know it is a mortal sin in the skincare world but I think I can getaway with this because I don't use makeup. (Although I wish I knew how to put on makeup. Haha)
Price: Php 99.00 / 125mL
Where to buy: Watsons

I don't double cleanse. I only use micellar water when I don't wash my face. I'm not saying that you should follow my lead. What I'm trying to say is, if you can't wash before hitting the bed, at least wipe that dirt off with a gentle but effective cleanser.

Step 2: Tone

I use Skin Genie Apple Cider Vinegar Toner with Vodka and Witch Hazel. Say that again? Apple cider vinegar and Russian vodka on the face? I gotta be sh*tting you but these seemingly dodgy ingredients do well in keeping my skin hydrated, fresh, and clear (although I get a pimple sometimes when Aunt Flo pays a visit). This is by far the only toner that does not cause me breakouts. All the other toners I have tried would surprise me with a pimple or two the next day.
Price: Php 250.00 / 100mL
Where to buy: BeautyMNNL

Step 3: Nourish

I never really thought I needed one until I tried SkinPotions Tomato Serum. I only bought one because of the hype and started using it during the course of the 7-day skincare challenge. And it was only then when the tiny bumps in between my nose and cheekbones that can't seem to go away gradually disappeared (see photo below). Plus, I love waking up with a pinkish glow.
Price: Php 295.00 / 30mL
Where to buy: BeautyMNL
Close up of the tiny bumps on my face. These are not exactly white/black heads. I'm not really sure what this was. They appear reddish and seem more prominent when it's hot/humid. See photos below for results after 7 days.

Step 4: Moisturize

I use Esfolio Pure Snail Moisture Soothing Gel in the morning. Yes, snail slime. If you're new to skincare, you would probably be grossed out. But this is not uncommon. Kbeauty products can get more bizarre but who cares about that when we see stunning results? It smells nowhere near a snail anyway. And no, I haven't smelled an actual snail and I don't plan to.

I massage this gently on my face since it glides easily. It does have a tacky feeling after I smother this on. But once it sets in, it does not look and feel heavy. I love how it has really gotten my skin softer and well-moisturized without making it look greasy.
Price: Php 349.00 / 300mL tub
Where to buy: Watsons / BeautyMNL

At night, I use Esfolio Milk Shape Memory Jelly Pack. Milk shape? Memory? Jelly pack? I honestly couldn't put the words altogether.  But whatever that is, sure makes my skin look healthier and well-rested when I wake up in the morning as if I've had enough sleep (my eye bags show otherwise). It's a bit thicker than the snail gel but a little goes a long way. It was on sale when I got it (Php 375), so it's definitely a steal.
Price: Php 749.00 / 100g tub
Where to buy: BeautyMNL

For my lips, I use Vaseline Lip Therapy. I have both cocoa butter and rosy lips variants. I am actually addicted to lip balms. I have it everywhere in the house. On my dresser, my desk, in my bag, and even in the car. I put this anytime I want to. The result? Soft, rosy lips (just so you know, I used to have dark lips like that of a smoker and I don't even smoke).
Price: Php 125.00 (Vaseline) / 7g
Where to buy: Watsons

5. Protect

My go-to sun protection is MySkin Origins Breathe Oxygenated  Silky Day Cream, SPF 45. Since this product is in demand and is frequently out of stock, I only use this whenever I go outdoors. I love that it's light and my face is not sticky to touch. It has a light to medium coverage and it blends well with my skin tone. I know some people who use this as a primer and it works pretty well for them.
Price: Php 545.00 / 15mL
Where to buy: MySkin Origins website


This is not exactly a part of my daily skincare routine since I exfoliate only once or twice a week. I'm not a fan of abrasive facial scrubs no matter how gentle they claim to be, so the iWhite 2-Minute Whitening Miracle Gel takes the cake. I use this before toning.
Price: Php 209.00 / 70mL
Where to buy: Watsons / BeautyMNL

That's it! I have used these products individually for a week to a span of few months (trial and error) before I finally came up with this combo. So I know each product works well for me. And of course, I give my neck the same love I give my face.

I do not know if beauty products plateau—you know, when they become less effective after long time use. But so far, using these consistently for a week has drawn compliments about my skin. Bottom line, regardless of what products you use, skincare is important as it gives your skin a healthy boost.

The 7-Day Skincare Challenge 


Back then, I only have a 2-step routine: wash with regular soap and moisturize. I also had this terrible habit of not washing my face before going to sleep. But you see, when everybody around you looks so glamorous and aging comes knocking at your door (I'm in my mid-30s btw), you just feel the need to level up the routine. Besides, self-care is not bad. Not at all. If anything, it makes you feel good.

I regret taking such good cake of my skin ⁠— said no one ever

I am already starting to keep up with the trend (a good one, that is) that I never thought I would find myself digging into beauty apps, even having 10 different serums in the cart waiting to be checked out.

BUT! While I have always wanted to achieve that healthy morena glow, I am also too lazy to keep a religious routine. I only do it when I feel like doing it. I would sometimes pause for a week. So after a nasty breakout (either from the lack of skincare or those frequent OTs at work), I decided to do a fun little experiment where I did my skincare routine for 7 days WITHOUT SKIPPING. And I'm loving the results!

Before anything else, let me make it clear that I do not filter my photos, but sometimes, good lighting does make my skin look better and lighter than it actually is. Here goes...

Day 0: Bare face. A week after skipping skincare. You can see the scars from the recent breakout. Photo taken under fluorescent light.
Day 1 to 7: Photos were taken in the morning with natural light (except Day 7). Skincare was done the previous night. I literally woke up like this (except Day 6) but photos were taken just after the puffiness around the eyes subsided.
Day 1: You can already see there's an improvement. Although I appear brighter because of the lighting, you could say that it doesn't look dull as Day 0.
Day 2: The skin is noticeably hydrated.
Day 3: I'd like to believe I look a little flushed here. Haha
Day 4 - I exfoliated the night before. My acne marks are still visible (Of course, I'm not expecting an overnight miracle. I just want to show a clearer view of the blemishes).

(with SPF photo) No makeup. Just the usual skincare + Breathe oxygenated day cream (SPF) and a lipstick. I love how Breathe evens out my skin tone. This is the skin you often see in me on social media.
Day 5 - I'm loving the dewy finish.
Day 6 - Fresh from the shower + usual day time routine (steps 1-4)
Day 7 - Exfoliated the night before. Taken under a fluorescent light since it was rather gloomy that time of day.

This is actually the longest time I have done skincare consecutively. Because unlike others who get obsessed when they get the results they want, I slack off and just start over as panic ensues when I wake up one day with a face full of acne. Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle. So I really hope I can continue this. I'm on Day 8 as of this writing.

The result was pretty good. The acne scars are still there (of course, it's only 7 days). Change isn't that tremendous. But I would say there's an improvement and my skin looks a lot healthier.

If you are wondering what my skin might look like WITHOUT ALL THESE STUFF I APPLY, here is a zoomed in, unfiltered photo of my face with absolutely nothing:
Day 7. Washed with Pore No More, no other steps followed.
You could see my blemishes, pores, whiteheads, dry patches, wrinkles, dark spots, and whatnot. My skin will always be a work in progress. But I swear this would have looked a lot worse if I haven't committed in doing the skincare steps above.

Maybe my skin could still get better if I experiment and try on new and maybe expensive products. But for now, as long as these products do not trigger breakouts, then I'm good. Aside from having facials at MySkin Origins (I need to set an appointment, it has been 5 months since I gave my face some spa-loving), I think the other things I need to do to keep my skin beautiful would be to eat healthy, have enough sleep, and drink a lot of water—the last two are going to be a real struggle for me. Hahahalp!

Anyway, I know I also need to deal with the skin under my eyes, given that I haven't had enough sleep lately. If you have suggestions that may address this concern and is budget-friendly, then that would be much appreciated!

Like I always say, all the products I review here on my blog are either sponsored or bought from my own money. Regardless of how I got them, whatever I say here is factual and only based on my experience. What works for me may not work for you, so please take my words with a grain of salt. This is an honest review and not a paid post.

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© Life is so full of tae!
Maira Gall