In March, following a wave of stress symptoms, I committed to focusing more attention on cleansing and hydrating my skin. The state of our skin tells us much about a number of things, including (1) our internal hydration meter, (2) how much sleep we are/aren’t getting, and (3) the amount of stress we are harboring. These are certainly true in my case, and I’ve come across several beauty bloggers who have reflected upon the same findings. So last month, in pursuit of a more well-rounded cleansing routine, I began by comparing the products I had already been using to those on my wishlist.
Before: My earlier existing routine began with Vichy Normaderm 3-in-1 Cleanser, a silky, mattifying foaming face wash that I picked up in South Korea. After washing and exfoliating with a green tea konjac sponge, I then layered:
- Manyo Factory’s Galactomy Clearskin AHA/BHA Exfoliation Toner
- Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Brightening Serum
- shu uemura maxi:hydrability moisture essence-in-gel
- Sulwhasoo Whitening Water
- Sulwhasoo EX Whitening Fluid
Altogether, this combination of products gave me a bright + bouncy complexion, with plenty of hydration. Occasionally, I would add variety and a matte sheen by finishing with Erborian Yuza Sorbet.
I felt, however, that my skin was never really getting a deep clean – lingering redness and agitated pores would offset the effort I put into properly hydrating my skin. The root of the problem remained. That is why I began to take more seriously the full 10-step (or more) regimens (see diagrams) that the most dedicated skincare connoisseurs practice ritually. Among their requisite tools that I was lacking (to name a few) were: cleansing oil, foaming cleanser, micellar water, oil lotion, and facial oil.
At this point, my goal of expanding my skincare collection to include more shu uemura guided my next decision. After purchasing my first shu essence in Japan, and sampling their line of renowned cleansing oils, it was easy to know where I wanted to shop. The online special offers in the US added a bonus incentive.
Ultimately, I came away with a digital shopping basket filled with three full size products, four deluxe samples, and one pair of the famous shu uemura eyelash curlers (offered for a limited time with a cleansing oil purchase). A few weeks after incorporating them into my routine, I’m already enjoying unprecedented results.
- shu uemura high performance balancing cleansing oil advanced formula (for a limited time with eyelash curler!) – This cleansing oil is recommended for combination/dry skin and has suited mine well as a balancing and softening formula that emulsifies upon contact with water. It removes EVERYTHING – waterproof eyeliner, lip stain, mascara, everything. Along with almost all who have experienced these cleansing oils, I am deeply impressed and could say that this alone has transformed the quality of my skin. I love this scent, too, somewhere between sesame and blooming flowers.
- shu uemura porefinist gentle foaming cleansing water – Light and crisply scented of flower petals, this foaming cleansing water goes on as a second-step cleanser (after cleansing oil) for smooth and fresh skin. It is soft but effective enough to use on its own, and I particularly enjoy using it in the morning because the floral/soap scent (botanical fruit extract and Japanese lily) reminds me of spring.
- shu uemura skin perfector beauty oil elixor – A glowing blend of botanicals (including ginger, lavender, jojoba and orange peel), this facial oil combines effortlessly with moisturizing creams or can be applied in 2-3 drops directly onto skin to simultaneously soothe and smooth complexions. Described as an “addictive skincare experience,” this beauty oil aims to soften and prepare skin as both a treatment and a luminous base for makeup. A couple of drops before bed allow me to wake up with soft, glowing and balanced skin. Really a wonderful cherry-on-top.
- shu uemura ultime8 sublime beauty oil in lotion & ultime8 sublime beauty cleansing oil – These two products from the ‘ultime8 sublime beauty’ line are formulated towards aging care with collagen-supporting chemistry. The cleansing oil provides a refreshing, and reminiscently herbal, clean as one of the iconic products in the shu cleansing oil family. The oil in lotion formula has been wonderful to use after toner and before essence, as an incredibly lightweight smoothing/softening product.
- shu uemura laque supreme shimmer – Last worth mentioning in this post is the Laque Supreme Shimmer, a richly-pigmented stain gloss that can be dabbed onto lips and cheeks for a softer, velvety look, or layered on for a full shine. I received a sample size in ‘PK 05S Pink Carats,’ a bright raspberry-scented hue. This formula wears incredibly well on all skin tones – I prefer a lighter application to create a rosy effect, but have really fallen in love with its berry fragrance. So, there you have it: my new-and-improved skincare routine, fortified by Japanese dermatological chemistry.
Next on my wishlist… Everything sakura.
If you’ve seen shu uemura on instagram, the cherry blossom is representing strongly this season, from the gorgeous rose-suspended Sakura Rose Petal Mask to the cherry blossom essence-infused Skin Perfector Sakura Makeup Refresher Mist. At this time of year, it is lovely to see my namesake – in bloom and in Japanese spheres of influence.
xo Jackie Sakura
What makes you bloom?