I always get asked how many steps I have in my skincare regime and what they are. And when friends and acquaintances hear that I actually use 10 products, they never fail to be astounded – and in certain cases, even horrified. After all, 10 does sound excessive.
But I didn’t always have such an extensive regime. I actually started upping my game when I lived in Tokyo almost nine years ago after I realised that my basic four-step routine of cleansing, toning, applying serum and moisturising just wasn’t cutting it. My Japanese friends – who all had fair, flawless complexions – were not only into double cleansing (especially at night), but also used two to three serums depending on their skin concerns.
Soon, I found myself adopting this new seven-step regime that included makeup removal, cleanser, toner, two serums and a moisturiser. And the results were pretty obvious: my skin looked radiant and felt significantly more hydrated.
And while most would stop there, working in the media industry as a beauty editor gives you access to the latest and greatest of products. I found myself adding a pre-serum and a post-toner lotion essence to my regime. They might not seem that important but actually help to strengthen your skin and boost the efficacy of the rest of your skincare.
And as I got older, eye creams became a necessity too. Facials oils also became one of my favourites as they helped to plump up the complexion and give it a nice glow. All this has led me to where I am now: I start with double cleansing with a makeup remover and regular cleanser, followed by a pre-serum, toner and lotion-essence. I then apply two serums (brightening and anti-ageing are my must-have categories) and a facial oil. Finally, I apply my eye cream and moisturiser. And in the day, I top everything off with a sunscreen (which technically pushes the number up to 11).
I’ve been on this 10-step regime for almost two years and found three significant differences to my skin. First, I had less pesky breakouts. While I used to get a pimple or two every other week, I know can go months with nary a sight of them. Second, my complexion feels smoother and more plump. Lastly, my skin just looks healthier. And by that, I mean less yellowness or dullness. The extra steps might cost me a pretty penny, but the results – to me – are worth it.