my skincare routine and product reviews (for dry skin)

recently, i received a comment from a lovely reader that wanted info on my skincare routine. since i am always obsessively looking for the next best product, i thought i’d share in details my current skincare regimen, and what products have worked and not worked for my skin.

to get started, let’s list out my skin concerns: i have dry (general) to almost very dry (winter) skin. i would like to lighten my sunspots and freckles, which are increasing with age. i am not acne prone. i have minor fine lines and hardly any deep wrinkles, but i would like to prevent/delay their appearances. i don’t have an oily or greasy t-zone. i would like to brighten my complexion, since it can occasionally appear dull and dirty if i get too much or too little sun.

here are the products i am currently using:



1.  shiseido extra creamy cleanser foam – i like that this cleanser feels refreshing, but not squeaky clean to the point where it strips off my natural oil. my skin never feels tight or dry.

2.  jurlique rosewater balancing mist – originally, i fell in love with the chantecaille rosewater, but i couldn’t justify spending so much on just “water.” i found this jurlique one instead, which is half the price. although it doesn’t smell as pretty and clean as the chantecaille ones, it is good enough to relax the senses and create a nice base for the rest of my skincare products.

3.  clé de peau brightening serum supreme – this serum does make a minor difference in its brightening effect, but nothing amazing for the high price tag. my ideal serum would provide more sunspots lightening, skin tone evening, and fine lines prevention. my never ending quest for the perfect serum continues.

4.  shiseido the skincare eye moisture recharge – this eye cream is light enough where it doesn’t give me milia (little white bumps), but still feels hydrating. i haven’t noticed much in its fine lines or dark circle preventions. it’s been quite difficult to find an eye cream that is light (doesn’t cause milia), but still rich enough to prevent fine lines.

5.  shiseido bio-performance advanced super revitalizing cream – up until i found my current night cream, i was using this shiseido cream as my day and night cream with great results. then one day, i discovered little fine lines on my forehead, and i realized that i needed to kick my moisturizer game up a notch. now i use it as my day cream. this is a light weight cream that is rich enough for dry or mature skin.

6.  givenchy radically no surgetics age-defying & unifying night care – ok, i’ll admit it. i totally bought this cream because of its gimmicky name. what can i say? i had just found some fine lines on my forehead. i was vulnerable. the verdict: this might be my holy grail of night creams! i noticed almost immediate results (a couple of days). not only did my face feel super moisturized, my skin was noticeably brighter, softer, and more supple. i’ve been using it for a year now, and i haven’t noticed any increase in new fine lines. i just stocked up on a couple of jars during the sephora vib sale, which should last me a year. this is a heavy and rich cream that will be beneficial to anyone with very dry skin.

7.  shiseido ultimate sun protection cream spf 50+ – not my favorite spf, but i do like that it’s 50+, waterproof, and doesn’t make me break out. i don’t like that it’s a bit thick and requires some elbow grease to rub it into the skin (unless you like the white ghost look). this spf also brings a little too much shine to the skin. even for this dry skin gal.


8.  clarisonic mia sonic system – while most people use this in their daily regiment, i do find it to be too harsh for my dry skin. i leave this for my weekly deep cleansing routine, which i always follow with a moisturizing face mask.

9.  kanebo kracie hadabisei whitening facial mask – since face masks are so popular in asia, i just had to try it. these particular ones are easy to find online and in my local japanese drug store. i can’t attest for the whitening effect, since i still have lots of visible sunspots, but i will say that it is very hydrating on the skin. i also noticed a significantly brighter complexion, that lasted for a couple of days after usage.