“There is no excuse not to look good. When you look good, you feel good.” This has been my mantra for as long as I can remember. It could be in the genes. I grew up admiring my grandma’s perfectly coiffed hair and my mom’s vast makeup collection when she was working at Avon back in the 80’s. “People treat you with respect when you look good and dress decent”, that’s what my grandma used to tell me when I was approaching puberty. She was right. It is not biased  but just plain human instinct. We get attracted to beauty and grace .Now the question- Does looking good equate to being stellar beauty? What if you are not endowed with svelte figure, fine features or other characteristics glorified by Hollywood? Nobody is born perfect. And this is precisely the reason why cosmetics and skincare products are invented. To address troubled skin. To enhance a woman’s best features. To camouflage unsightly blemishes. Welcome to my world.

Growing up, I had my fair share of acne. They appeared when I needed to look good- girls’ night out, dates, school programs. Raging hormones + unhealthy eating habits + stress = pimples. I have oily skin so that makes me prone to breakouts even in my 30s. This unending quest for the miracle product led me to try and experiment different skincare brands and makeups. When I was still working for a renowned dermatology company in mid-2000 as Product Manager, I learned different skin conditions, problems and treatments. I then understood why washing my face with soap is a no-no. Why oily skin needs to be moisturized. The difference between a cream and lotion. The UVA and UVB in sunscreen. And a lot more.

The goal of my blog is to give you insights on my personal skincare and cosmetics preference. Remember that my skin type is different from yours so I cannot guarantee that some of these products will work just the same for you. As in real life experiment, it’s a trial and error experience. Please note that I am in no way affiliated with these manufacturers. Here’s a preview of skincare and cosmetic brands that worked well with my skin through the years.

Nighttime Regimen: MURAD

I have been a fan of Dr. Murad for years now. I start by washing my face with Time Release Acne Cleanser. I like this product because it solves two main issues I have. It treats occasional breakouts and prevents pre-mature wrinkles. The “time release” factor makes it work for hours even after rinsing. It has salicylic acid, a clinically proven ingredient that treats acne. The amino acid & hyaluronic acid effectively moisturize the skin. I swear my face feels supple!  I then compliment this with Clarifying Toner to control oily skin. I like this product because it doesn’t make my skin feel overly dry. Lastly, I apply with a pea-size Skin Perfecting Lotion. Didn’t I say oily skin needs to be moisturized? Moisture is all about water, not oil. Washing face  frequently strips off skin’s natural water component. A moisturizer holds the skin’s water content in place, making your face look hydrated. This product is non-comedogenic (meaning won’t clog pores). Twice a month or depending when I have big pimple, I use the Clarifying Mask. I apply it for ten minutes and rinse off as directed. I buy Murad two ways: At Sephora stores or Murad online. 

No matter how tired you are, always remember- Never sleep with your makeup on! 

Daytime Regimen: Cetaphil, MURAD, Clinique

 My daytime regime is basic whether it is followed by makeup or not. I start by washing my face with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Cetaphil is a popular skincare brand sold in drugstores and groceries. It has a celebrity cult following. I have been using it for years, way longer than Murad. This brand is ideal for all skin types,  hypo-allergenic, and mildly scented. Again, I tone my face with Murad Clarifying toner. Finally, I apply Clinique Sunscreen which also serves as a good makeup base at times.

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