the one when effort matters, and new beginnings anew…

Recently its been a thing of mine to practice self care… the past few years I have been just letting things pass by and often with very little regard to how it affects me physically, mentally and emotionally. It can be almost be said that I was barely surviving and not thriving.

My mom’s passing after more than a few years of being sick, and myself being one of her primary caregivers really left me with an existential crisis… I have forgotten who I thought I was, and became riddled with anxiety and depression on my plans for my life. Everyday is a work in progress in regaining my identity.

So little by little I am starting again… recently started taking care of my skin alot better. I was used to just using a simple cleanser and the occasional moisturizer. So I slowly am starting on doing the ten step Korean skincare routine

Step One

Oil Based Cleanser

  • Nature Republic Himalaya Salt Cleansing Balm — usually at night, or in the mornings when I’m coming off a twelve hour shift… its really cleans well without being heavy or sticky.
  • The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil — I use this when I’m getting ready for work, or just too lazy… very light and doesn’t add too much oil to my already greasy face.

Step Two

Water Based Cleanser

  • Ursie’s Apothecary Charcoal Face Wash — I use this usually when I’m in a rush. Quick and easy, organic and the charcoal helps with oil control.
  • The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Scrub Foam

Step Three


  • Neogen Bio Peel Gauze Peeling Wine — these are a duo with its mesh exfoliator side and massage side, very convenient and smells like a grape Jolly Rancher (or for those who grew up in Manila like me, its the medicinal smell of Loviscol Cough Syrup)
  • Nature Republic Jeju Sparkling Triple Peeling Pads

Step Four


  • Laneige Essential Power Skin Toner for Combination to Oily Skin — I use this mostly when I feel like my face is too oily and greasy, its like a power zapper on oils.
  • Nature Republic Hawaiian Fresh Clear Toner Oil & Sebum Care — very refreshing and lighter than Laneige.

Step Five


  • Nature Republic Bee Venom Mist Essense

Step Six


  • The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Serum — smells like tangerines, the volcanic lava is really great at controlling all the oil on my face.

Step Seven

Face Mask

  • I have too many of these but my favorites are from Dearpacker especially their Royal Black Hydrogel Mask and Black Ginseng Hydrogel Mask.

Step Eight

Emulsions & Moisturizer

  • Nature Republic Bee Venom Emulsion — the smell of this is amazing! Like a mix of honey and hibiscus. Really good so far in helping control my acne.
  • The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Lotion — helps alot with oil control yet very moisturizing.
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer

Step Nine

Eye Cream & Masks

  • Nature Republic Collagen Dream 70 Eye Cream — its definitely pricey, but so worth it. The soft creamy texture really gives back moisture to the skin around my tired eyes.
  • Petitfée Black Pearl & Gold Hydrogel Eye Patch
  • Petitfée Gold & Snail Hydrogel Eye Patch — has this slight sting the first couple of minutes but damn it really tightens the undereye bags. I use the extra fluids on the sides of my nose and mouth.

Step Ten

Sunscreen & Treatments

  • Missha All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun SPF 50 PA+++
  • Skin Food Centellascar Ointment in Green Tea — I got this during my trip to Seoul last year, its a pretty lightweight spot treatment since I have a lot of scarring from breakouts.

So far these have been a challenge to complete everyday… sometimes when sleep wins, I end up only doing four or five steps but happily my skin has been better than ever.

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