I know, I know. I have gone AWOL again. I guess you can say I am still in my adjustment phase. Imagine, a new baby and a new home (yes, we moved three weeks after Xavi was born!), on top of all my other responsibilities.
So yeah, writing really took a back seat. But anyhoo! I am slowly getting back into the groove of things, and hopefully I can squeeze in more "me time" (which these days means just having enough time to take a bath, nyarks). But ahhh! The bonus of not spending time in front of the computer and having to unpack and organize our stuff also means more time for me to organize my stash of baby and beauty products and testing them on the kiddos (baby prods) and myself (beauty prods).
I have so many discoveries and re-discoveries. Plus of course my old reliables that I ought to share with you (seriously, I get Aha! moments while using these products when I realize I have been keeping them to myself. To think these are too good to not be shared here in the blog).
But before I go to all those, I'll start off with my starting point for skin care - cleansing. My cleansing routine is sort of revolutionary really. I have tweeted about this on and off for months now, and for my Twitter friends, you know what I am talking about - Garance Dore's "NO WATER" skin cleansing routine.
Yes, you read that right, NO WATER. Tap water that is. Because there's thermal water involved here:
Ok, quick background. Six months or so ago, I happened upon Garance Dore's post on skin care. Apparently, tap water is our skin's worst enemy (I can practically see my friend Kris aka OC Mom in Manila seconding this one, with the statistics to back it up!).
Garance's dermatologist, or dermato as they say in France, recommended that she stop using water to cleanse her face. And gave her a list of three products to use:
1/ The milk makeup remover Hydrabio Lait
2/ Avène’s Thermal Spring Water
3/ The moisturizing cream Ictyane H.D. “for severe dry skin.”
Then, I realized, I had two huge spray bottles of Avène stashed in our bath - 1 unopened and 1 that I barely used. It was kismet really. Finally a reason for being here, considering the sort of reasons I bought them back when we were still living in Singapore, were really flimsy:
1/ It was on "Buy 1, Take 1" which came out to about SGD $29.90 for 2 or something like that
2/ It's a French beauty brand, a drugstore brand yes, but it's French. So there.
3/ I like the packaging okay?
But since I do not live in France and have limited access to European beauty brands, I made do with the products that worked extremely well for me all these years. So my 3 essential products looked like this:
1/ Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
2/ Avène’s Thermal Spring Water
3/ SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Yes, it was with a bit of trepidation that I started eliminating water in my cleansing routine and began sticking to three products. "How effective could it really be?" I thought. Images of blackheads on my nose and yucky skin came into the picture. But since I was staying home most of the time anyway because I was on bed rest, I went ahead and took the plunge, ironically.
Fast forward to 6 months later and you know, my skin has been better than ever! No oiliness, no enlarged pores, not even a zit! None of that "greasy Peking duck" skin Garance was afraid of. She herself said it this way, after taking her dermato's advice:
"But quite quickly, the shine started going down. My skin started to get more supple, clearer and even if it shined a little (it’s just how it is, so stupid.), it was at its healthiest… It looked pretty."
Yes. I feel the same way about my skin now. Yes, ever since I started quitting tap water. A few days ago though, I started using Clarins Anti-Ageing Double Serum in lieu of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and oooh la la! It's like magic!
Why do I say magic? Well, a lady at my OB's clinic thought I looked 15 years younger than I actually am (ok, maybe she was just being nice). But just this afternoon, my mom asked me what makeup I've been using and I said, "Huh? None!" And she said my skin looked really good. This coming from a woman who would tell me the truth, even if it hurt and damaged my self-esteem. Haha!
Once I've used my Clarins Double Serum longer than 2 weeks (results visible in 4 weeks actually but if I were to believe the feedback I've been getting, 2 weeks should do it), I will do a more comprehensive review. Meanwhile, let me do an FAQ on this "No Water" Skin Care Routine.
How do you take a bath?
I had an Aquasana water filter installed, so no worries about tap water touching my face. But if you don't have a shower filter installed and it can be helped, just avoid getting water on your face.
If its any consolation, I have been sans filter the past three weeks because I need to have it installed in our new bath room, and so far, I have just been trying not to get my face wet in the shower and it hasn't had any bad effect on my skin.
What's the step by step?
1/ On your dry/dirty face, pat with Cetaphil and massage onto skin
2/ With a cotton pad, wipe off Cetaphil
3/ Spray face with Avène Thermal Spring Water and let it dry
4/ Follow with moisturizer
If you use heavy make-up, its fine to use a cleansing oil. Whatever cleansing oil works for you is fine. I use shu uemura's brightening cleansing oil.
What if I can't find Avène Thermal Spring Water here in the Philippines?
Try using Evian.
Dear Readers, if you have further questions, feel free to leave it on the comments section. I will do my best to answer!