Beauty
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Updated Skincare Routine | Spring & Summer 2019

It has been a while! Some time has passed, as well as some life events. I am settling back into my life in Chicago after living abroad the last few years, reconnecting with people& finding a new sense of home.

While skincare is still a staple to my self-care & identity, I do not know the regularity I will be reviewing here. I have another blog, centered on lifestyle & expat experiences. But that has long been neglected as well.

I have been refocusing my skincare to incorporate minimal plastic & ethically sourced cosmetics, I have been trying some new products & having a love affair with Klairs so there should be some upcoming reviews in the future! Let’s begin with my new skincare routine, featuring some classical favorites & recent additions…


Oil Cleanser:
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil

Value: $10.49 – 6.5oz / 192ml | Testing

I just received this product last week. While an oil cleanser only has one job, I do not feel comfortable passing judgment just yet. It does remove my make-up, though I still prefer other oil cleansers such as Tosowoong or Kose.

Water-Based Cleanser: Equate Hydrating Cleanser

Value: $5.34 – 12oz / 355ml | Review

Finally, a dupe for the classic CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser! Need I say more?

Toner[s]:

Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Toner – Cucumber

Value: $3.50 – 3oz / 89ml

Witch hazel is a necessary step for all of my t-zone blackheads that sprout once hotter weather is upon us. I have used Thayer’s for years, though I was happy to discover the travel size since my skin is too dry to use this all over my face.

Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner

Value: $21.99 – 6.1oz / 180ml

This has been the most recent staple of my skincare routine, it is the best hydrating toner I have found since my sacred Missha Zysos formula was discontinued many moons ago.

Serum[s]:

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Value: $16.99 – 1oz / 30ml

I received this product as a gift over the winter holidays, the small packaging is deceptive since I still have so much product left while using daily for the past five months. It feels like a lightweight cream, I still use this at night after a chemical peel though I prefer using this in months with milder weather.

I’m From Ginseng Serum

Value: $21.60 – 1oz / 30ml | Testing

I do enjoy that this serum is moisturizing without feeling sticky, but I do wish I had purchased this in the autumn or winter since it is thick. I have no final verdict at the moment, but I have been enjoying it so far!

Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drops

Value: $30.00 – 0.7oz / 20ml | Testing

I have not formed an opinion on this product yet since it is so new to my routine. I have not encountered any problems so far & I desperately want to believe all the peptides it contains are doing magical things to my face!

Wishtrend Polyphenols in Propolis 15% Ampoule

Value: $32.00 – 1oz / 30ml | Testing

This came in a special kit I ordered through 2Hearts1Seoul. Honey has always been an ingredient that has always worked well for my skin & I have enjoyed using this product as a moisturizer substitutes on humid days, but I am not sure if I like it better than Tosowoong’s cheaper alternative yet.

Active[s]:

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum

Value: $18.75 – 1oz / 30ml

I have struggled with finding my ideal vitamin c serum, but I finally found it!

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%

Value: $6.50 – 1oz / 30ml | Review

I only actives by this brand! Nothing can beat the potency at their price point. I am glad I chose the 5% instead of the 10% version since my cheeks still feel sensitive on occasion after using the milder version.

Moisturizer[s]:

I’m From Vitamin Tree Water Gel

Value: $28.00 – 2.5oz / 75ml | Review

I only use this product in the evening for reasons listed in my original review. It is the perfect hydrating, yet brightening option for warm summer nights.

Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream

Value: $24.50 – 1oz / 30ml | Testing

I have been using this product on nights when my skin needs more moisture or after a chemical peel. I have a feeling I will not be repurchasing this, though I will have no problem using it. There are a few ingredients not ideal for drier skin types & it smells so strongly of botanicals.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

Value: $9.80 – 1oz / 30ml

I am the oil queen, slathering my face & body in various oils on the daily. This has been my favorite facial moisturizer in recent memory, especially for warmer months!

Sunscreen[s]:

Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun

Value: $11.00 – 1.7oz / 50ml | Review

I love this sunscreen, it is known! I have always hand this sunscreen in my cabinet, no matter which country I was residing in or number of other sunscreens I was testing. This product offers great UVA & UVB protection, while simultaneously moisturizing & lightweight.

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50

Value: $23.00 – 2.7oz / 80ml | Testing

I only received this recently & it seems nice, but it is hard to compete when I already have a Holy Grail sunscreen that is less than half the price.

Mask[s]:

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Value: $7.20 – 1oz / 30ml

I have repurchased this product multiple times, it is love! It is the most effective acid I have used while not drying or sensitizing my skin. I use this product once a week in the evenings.

Origins Super Kombucha Skin Balancing SuperTea Mask

Value: $27.00 – 2.5oz / 75ml

This is a clay mask, I decided to try this new one during the brand’s Black Friday sales since their Rose Retexturing Mask is my absolute favorite. While this is a gentle clay mask, I definitely wish I would have purchased my favorite instead.

Origins Hello, Calm Relaxing & Hydrating Mask

Value: $28.00 – 2.5oz / 75ml

This is an oil-based hydrating mask. It does add a light dose of hydration & fullness to my skin, there are other hydrating masks I prefer to this one.


Spring seems to finally be settling in for my city, just as I am beginning to find myself comfortable here once again. I feel like I have a lot of things to say at time, but lacking words or energy. 

Do you guys have any plans for the warm weather? Any new cosmetics that have you excited?

2 Comments

  1. I had no idea Palmer’s did a cleansing oil! I just recently re-purchased a Bobbi Brown cleansing oil as I couldn’t be bothered trying a new one (plus I had only just come back to using BB again).

    I really want to try Klair’s out as I have heard fabulous things about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica says

      I was surprised to see the Palmer’s cleanser at the drugstore since I do not know them for facial skincare either! I have never tried Bobbi Brown skincare before, I love their lip products though.

      This is my first time trying out Klairs, it has worked out well so far!

      Liked by 1 person

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