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I grew up with the angry-looking pizza type of acne but if you see me now, you can barely see traces of the pizza-faced oily mess that used to be my skin. I worked hard to get to where my skin is now and I have an arsenal of products, treatments and dermatologist to thank for that.

I have combination skin which leans towards the sensitive side so I try to avoid products with alcohol and sulfates. I am a huge fan of Korean and Japanese skincare since they tend to work well with my skin type. Each skin is different and may react to products differently but after years of trial and error, I have found my Holy Grail skincare items that I always use or go back to whenever I want to look flawless and poreless.

Sunscreen

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This is one of the most important products in my skincare routine. I’ve been using sunscreen religiously since I was in high school and I think this is one of the best anti-aging products out in the market today. Prevention is always better than cure and I think my daily habit of applying sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure has paid off in keeping my skin spot and wrinkle-free. Lately I am loving the Biore UV Aqua Rich Whitening Essence since this feels so light and perfect for the hot summer months.

Nippon Esthetics Makeup Remover

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For makeup junkies like me, double cleansing is a crucial step. I love how mild and non-greasy this feels on my skin and yet it removes the most stubborn eye makeup, lash glue and liquid lipstick on my face so easily. I prefer using this with cotton or I just simply massage it onto my skin and then rinse it off. I need to use this since I prefer using non soap cleansers and this removes all of the makeup, oil and dirt on my face already.

Dermax SoGentle Gel Cleanser

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My dermatologist used to prescribe this popular non soap cleanser since it is supposed to be gentle on the skin but somehow I never felt clean enough and I didn’t like how my skin felt afterwards so I switched to something else. I just discovered this a year ago and I just love how mild it is and yet it cleanses my skin so well. My skin feels so soft and moisturized after. The formulation is made by an award-winning local chemist and I am so amazed by its gentle and natural based ingredients. The fact that this is formulated by a Filipino is a plus for me.

Pixi Glow Tonic 

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My skin is pretty sensitive so I was a bit hesitant to try this since it has Glycolic acid but I was amazed by how mild this is. I experienced no peeling or discomfort after months of using it. I use this occasionally whenever my skin needs extra cleansing and I think this helps exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog my pores to make it look smaller.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence /

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence

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I love how either of these two essences balance my combination skin and keep it extra smooth and flawless like nothing ever did. This has to be the best and must-have skincare item in this list because I think it has made such a huge difference on my skin. For a more in-depth review/comparison go here.

Benton Snail-Bee High Content Essence

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I tried this product since I have heard so much positive reviews about it from my Korean skincare-loving friends and this definitely did not disappoint. I have know about the skin-repairing properties of Snail extracts from my previous work and how bee venom has antibacterial, anti inflammatory and skin repairing properties also. Benton, a new player in the Korean skincare industry came out with this potent yet gentle and effective product that keeps skin smooth, bump-free and hydrated. Despite being called an essence this is actually a gel but this product actually seems more like a serum because it has so many concentrated active ingredients in one bottle with no filler ingredients, not even water! I love how most if not all of the ingredients are from nature and they used a natural preservative as well.

Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream 

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Last but not the least, is this innovative gel-cream moisturizer from Mizon. I This product has a cult-following among beauty junkies online but what really got me to try it was when Michelle Phan named this as one of her 8 fave Korean beauty products. I love how super hydrating this is without feeling greasy or heavy. The product gets easily absorbed by the skin and leaves it soft and bouncy (for lack of a better term) This is also perfect as a daytime moisturizer because it works so well with the Sk-II/Missha essence in balancing my combination skin.

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

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Whenever I need my skin to look extra gorgeous and I’ve had little sleep/rest, I turn to this miracle worker for some TLC. Trust me, you will never look at masks the same way again after you’ve tried this. It’s really worth the hefty price tag!

xoxo

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