My Winter Skincare Routine, Part 2: Toner, Booster, Essence, and Serums

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As the title suggests, this is Part 2 of my winter skincare routine series. If you haven't seen Part 1 yet, head over HERE. As you may notice, my skincare regimen consists of many steps. But as the cosmetician Helena Rubinstein famously said, "There are no ugly women, only lazy ones." Having an extensive skincare routine may not be for everyone, and I'm sure many people can have good skin with a simple 3-step skincare regimen; unfortunately for me, I have to do a little more than others to maintain my skin's condition, especially in the winter.

Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate [DAY & NIGHT]: This isn't the best toner that I've tried, but I picked this up because it's much more accessible and cheaper than my favorite one (Albion's Essential Skin Conditioner). This makes my skin feel very soft and it does feel like it's preparing my skin for subsequent products. Other than that, I don't see any other benefits, which is why I'll probably switch back to Albion when I finish this bottle. If you are interested in getting your hands on this, you can purchase this at any Shiseido counter, Sephora, and Nordstrom.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate [DAY & NIGHT]: This product is probably my favorite skincare purchase of 2014. I use this as a booster, as it is meant to be applied before essences and serums to facilitate their absorption. One pump is all I need for my entire face and neck and it sinks into my skin immediately with no sticky residue. Since using this twice each day, my face has been looking so much more radiant and feels plumper. I'll be posting a more detailed review of Ultimune in the near future explaining how exactly this works. You can purchase this at any Shiseido counter, Sephora, and Nordstrom.

Mizon Mela Defense White Capsule Essence [NIGHT ONLY]: I've mentioned this in my post about hyperpigmentation. I still use this religiously every single night to prevent dark spots from forming and to lighten existing spots on my face. Though it takes awhile to see results, I have concluded that this gentle essence is effective on my skin. I highly recommend this to anyone with sensitive skin who is looking for ways to brighten and prevent hyperpigmentation. I purchased mine from Peach and Lily's website.

Mizon Hyaluronic Acid 100 serum [DAY & NIGHT]:
 I recently posted a review on this, which you can find here. I always include a hydrating serum in my regimen, and this serum does not disappoint. I think this is great for any skin type (including sensitive skin) and is effective at keeping my skin moist from deep within. I purchased mine from Peach and Lily's website.

Be the Skin Pore Botanical Serum [DAY & NIGHT, when needed]: I always use this right after I exfoliate or use a deep-cleansing mask to help minimize the appearance of my pores. It doesn't make the look of pores disappear completely, but I think it does help a little. I only use this when my pores look larger than usual. I appreciate that this isn't astringent at all and is very gentle on the skin. Unlike other pore serums, this isn't drying, and it is actually quite moisturizing (without clogging pores, of course). I purchased mine from Peach and Lily's website.

Now, on to some tips that I swear by.

Tips that Work for Me:
1. I generally follow this order when applying these products: Cleansing-> toner/softener --> booster --> essence --> serum(s). Then, I follow up with my moisturizer. If you're still not sure of which order to apply your skincare products, always start with the thinnest substance (which is usually more liquidy) and end with the thickest, most viscous product.

2. I avoid using astringent toners; instead, I look for one that is intended to soften the skin. Astringents tend to be way too harsh for my sensitive skin, whereas moisturizing/softening toners are better at preparing the skin for subsequent products.

3.  I tend to invest more money in my essences and serums because they are meant to be the most effective in maintaining your skin's health, compared to cleansers and moisturizers. Thus, I always try to get samples before purchasing serums and essences before forking over the money.

4.  If you are still young and would like to try a serum, I suggest investing in products that hydrate your skin. Keeping your skin hydrated can help to prevent early signs of aging, as having dry, dehydrated skin creates a terrible environment for collagen growth. I look for hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and argan oil.

So there you have it: Part 2 of my skincare routine. Stay tuned for Part 3, where I will talk about my go-to moisturizer, eye creams, and sun screen for the winter!

So please share: Do you use any toners, essences, or serums? What are some of your favorites?

Till later,


FTC statement: This is NOT a sponsored post. There are no affiliate links. The reviewed products were purchased by me, with my own money.


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