Updated Spring Skincare Routine + Glossier's Solution Review
I'm constantly tweaking my skincare routine, but I've been loving some new products lately. Some are cult favorites like Glossier's Solution, some are big brand favorites like Kate Sommerville, and a couple others classic K-beauty staples.
I've been obsessed with Korean Skincare for the last year or so, and am dedicated to a Korean routine, but not all of my favorite or current products are from the Kbeauty world. I've seen first hand the wonders that a good double cleanse and toner can do, and while I've repurchased the All Clean Balm from Heimish and am on my fourth or fifth bottle of Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner, I also love trying new things.
I sheet mask a couple of times a week, I'm currently playing around with oils, and I've gotten serious about regular exfoliation. I'm trying to limit myself to using one active in the morning and one at night, which is more difficult than you might think.
I've tried a bunch of chemical and physical exfoliators, including these Insta-famous wine pads from Neogen, a crazy Korean peel that is grossly satisfying, the cult-classic Exfolikate from Kate Somerville, natural masks and a facial brush. My current favorites are Glossier's Solution and Exfolikate.
I'd been using Ole Henriksen's Vitamin C serum (which may or may not be considered an exfoliator or a collagen booster depending on who you ask). since last summer, but recently stopped. The thing is, Vitamin C is wonderful, but can oxidize. Water-based Vitamin C destabilizes when exposed to air. When they destabilize, instead of protecting against free radicals, the chemicals actually bind with oxygen in the bottle and can damage skin cells. You should be suspicious if your product changes color or gets darker/more orange over time. The other reason I stopped has to do with how many actives I was using.
I've been trying to limit myself to one active in the morning and one at night. Vitamin C is a little finicky. You can't use Vitamin C and acids together, the difference in PH levels render the Vitamin C ineffective. I've also read that Vitamin C and Niacinamide shouldn't be mixed. To add to the Vitamin C discussion, water-based Vitamin C products (like the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum) Either way, Vitamin C is a well-studied skincare ingredient that fights visible signs of aging. If you're interested in learning more about Vitamin C, water and the controversy surrounding water-based suspensions, I highly recommend reading this article by Deciem, The Ordinary's parent company. They do a great job of explaining the background and chemical aspects without killing you with jargon and technical chemistry isms.
A little more on Glossier's Solution: I've been using it for three months, and immediately started to notice a difference. When I started in January, I'd been breaking out from a mixture of over indulging in the food and alcohol department, starting to get back to regular workouts, and being sick, but The Solution helped heal my spots and reduce redness right away. I've had a few small breakouts since starting, but I think they were part of my earlier skin freak out and not caused by The Solution. I use it at night, and I've really been enjoying the Glossier cotton pads. For me, it's been a great chemical exfoliator, but I'm not sure I like it more than Pixi Glow Tonic.
As much as I've been dedicated Glossier, the more I've learned about skincare and active ingredients, the more frustrated I am that they don't share percentages of actives on their product information. Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessed with the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturizer and Body Hero. I love their aesthetic and their cool girl vibes. I use the Stretch Concealer and Cloud Paint pretty much daily. But, their serums, The Supers, frustrate me. Why no active percentages? Why so little info about which to mix and when to use them? Why? They were an amazing jumping off point for me, but I've pretty much replaced them with equivalents from The Ordinary, which offers high quality ingredients and products for super reasonable prices. The brand is chemistry-driven and full of little gems. The formulations are a little different, and layering new products sometimes causes products to pill, but for $6-$15 an ounce, they're a great budget skincare item. The Ordinary is even planning on opening a San Francisco store!
Unfortunately for my wallet, I've been really enjoying some of Kate Somerville's products too. The Exfolikate Glow Moisturizer is a stand out, but it does have AHAs and BHAs so watch out if you're using other exfoliators. Exfolikate (the original green one they tell you to use in the shower) is a very effective physical and chemical exfoliator and satisfyingly tingles, but I think it's way too pricey for the results.
For the last few months, I've also been adding an oil to my routine morning and night. I started with the Sunday Riley UFO oil, but have moved on to Biossance Squalene and The Ordinary's Rosehip Oil. My skin seems to really like oils, and they fit easily after serums and before moisturizer. Plus, with winter in full force, the added hydration is welcome. I'm also constantly adding to my sheet mask collection. I love going to the Kbeauty stores in Japantown, or the Korean grocery store in Daly City and just exploring. From Amazon to Nordstrom and now Urban Outfitters and Sephora, Korean and Asian beauty products and brands are quickly becoming staples, and I couldn't be more excited.