It’s been four years since I last shared my daily skincare routine. When it comes to a skincare routine, it shouldn’t be complicated and expensive for your lifestyle, that’s what I learned in the course of those years! Having a basic one to address your skincare problems is all you need.
I still follow the basics– cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and face masks every two weeks. Most of the brands I use before were hard to source out. (Not to mention with the reseller’s price of those brands, it became more pricey. I realized spending too much wasn’t just practical. Imagine, I spent P6,800 for those *sighs and pats financially irresponsible younger self lmao.)
I have a combination skin type. My goal is to regulate sebum production and to keep it hydrated; minimize the pores and lighten blemishes. I still don’t have that perfect, pore-less, flawless skin at the moment but it has improved my skin more than ever.
It’s pretty hard to find the most suitable skin care products that will cater for your needs, fit your budget, and are locally available. As I’ve shared previously, I get breakouts using K-beauty products. I’m still skeptical to give them a try.
A bit of a story– I've been meaning to update my skincare and while browsing on Shopee I saw this local skincare brand, Apotheke Science, with a number of great reviews. I purchased their Niacinamide and Brightening Serum and it worked so well. They sent me a gift to try their full-line and I'm so glad they did, cos I'd never find out how great their other products are!
If you’ve been wanting to update your skincare routine then this is the sign you’ve been waiting for! I hope this will help you skip the trial and error process, and save time and money as well.
Daily Skincare Menu
CLEANSER (AM & PM)
— Apotheke Science Pure Castile Facial Wash
I’m a fan of having that satisfying scrub-y feel so facial scrubs are my thing more than cleansers but this one made an exception– I’m converted! We all know those mild cleansers that are so ~mild~ they won’t work well, but this cleanser from Apotheke Science wipes them all. This one does the job amazingly! Even without those scrub-y feels, it completely cleanses without drying the skin, leaving you that fresh and supple skin, I swear by it. ♡ Best of all, it’s made out of traditional Castile soap making it all-natural and has no artificial fragrance. I can’t start and end my day without it!
FACE MIST (AM)
— Apotheke Science Firming Toner (Alcohol-Free, Witch-Hazel + Rosewater)
A facial mist is optional but highly recommended to keep your skin hydrated. Though this one is actually a toner, it doubles as a facial spray and I use it like that instead. I love how it’s refreshing and makes me feel fresh during the day. It’s def the best dupe of Mario Badescu Facial Spray, might skip you Mario lol sorry!
Apotheke Science Firming Toner, PHP 269
— Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner
I’m never letting go of this one ever since I started using it. Witch-hazel toners do their job to remove all the dirt that your cleanser might have missed out on and to prepare your skin for all the serums to sink in more effectively. This one is non-drying and helped minimize my pores. My skin doesn’t look dull anymore and gives off this glowy look!
Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner, PHP 695
— Apotheke Science Niacinamide 10%
Ever since I’ve discovered niacinamide for my skincare, it has been my skincare staple. It’s just too hard to source out plus with the hype, the resellers’ prices are getting hefty already. It has been my go-to serum not until I read the reviews of Apotheke Science. Damn, the best thing ever! It smells like Aloe and Seaweed, it just feels refreshing. And as always Niacinamide leaves no sting, no burning, or redness in my case. I’d say it works better, I can see and feel the results in less than a week. My skin is firmer and smoother, definitely HG!
Apotheke Science Niacinamide 10%, PHP 269
— Apotheke Science Brightening Serum
I’ve always wanted to have glowing skin. Based on my research before, vitamin C works well for that but haven’t found the right product that is affordable and would work well for me. Not until I tried Apotheke Science Brightening Serum. This is the first time I’m adding retinol and arbutin to my regimen.
What retinol does is that it exfoliates the topmost layer of your skin to help shed off those brown spots and generate new skin cells. Consider it as a peeling solution but unlike any other, it doesn’t peel! At first, it has this slight stinging sensation which is expected and normal as this serum helps to increase skin cell turnover, meaning the dead skin cells shed and are replaced with new ones. Apotheke Science suggests using it every other night to give your skin some time to adapt to the retinol. It’s best used at night and avoid using it during the day when you’re exposed to UV rays from the sun.
I’m gushing over this product cos in just less than two weeks, you can actually see the results! My face looks glowing and even, I don’t have to use any foundation or concealer– actually I really don’t lol. I’m just more confident to go out with my bare face, def no app filter needed. I swear by it and I’ll never miss my skincare routine without itit! It has this calming citrusy scent perfect to cap the day off!
Apotheke Science Brightening Serum, PHP 199
— Apotheke Science Skin Doctor
This is new in my skincare routine. I ditched using moisturizers because I feel my skin is more hydrated now than before. Since most of the moisturizers are water-based, they aren’t adequate enough to actually ~moisture~. I found out that balms are better in providing a nourishing protective layer to your skin. This one from Apotheke Science actually moisturizes and soothes your skin well. It also treats your other skin problems such as repairing damaged skin, rejuvenates tired skin, and reduces wrinkles and fine lines too! Balms are usually the final step in the skincare regimen to seal all those nutrients from the previous step and it actually works. Gaaah, it really is your Skin Doctor!
Apotheke Science Skin Doctor, PHP 299
— St. Ives Energizing Coconut and Coffee
This has been my trusty facial scrub since college especially the OG Apricot Scrub and this can’t be beaten for a facial scrub. So I tried their new variant and I can’t get enough of the creamy coconut and coffee scent. It makes my skin fresh and it doesn’t irritate my skin at all. I just use this when I want to exfoliate and when I miss the scrub-y feel lol.
MASK (ONCE A WEEK)
— Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask
This has been my HG clay mask. Like, remember when we had the long lines at Healthy Options because people are hoarding this product! Thank goodness this is easily available in almost every beauty counter. What I like about this is that it sops the oiliness and removes deep-seated dirt from your face. It has this pulsating effect and you can feel like that there’s some sort of magnet absorbing the unwanted sebum. I feel light and fresh every time I use this. You can actually see and feel the oil absorbed into the solidified paste, gross ikr! 🥴 Definitely a must-have for your skincare routine.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, PHP 525
— Apotheke Science Detoxifying Face Mask
Apotheke Science has its own version of this, their Detoxifying Face Mask is made of pure bentonite clay too and they added bamboo activated charcoal. I’ve tried it as well and just works fine as the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask but I believe this one’s made more suitable for sensitive skin. It has that light stretch feeling on your face, and gently removes oil. It’s affordable too!
— Apotheke Science Calming Calamine Mask
If you’re looking for a gentle face mask, then this is it! In my case since I rarely have breakouts, it helps reduce the appearance of pores and smoothens my complexion. I just love using it since it’s gentle on the skin and leaves my skin having this matte-finish.
It’s best for those who are acne-prone. This helps treat acne, calms and soothes redness and irritated skin.
– St. Ives Glowing Sheet Mask Apricot
It took me a while before I found a non-Korean sheet mask and I’m so happy it’s locally made! I got my first two packs: Oh Sheet! Unicorn Bright and Oh Sheet! Rainbow Glow at the Trendsetter’s Bazaar for only PHP 60. Then I repurchased online. It was a little big for my face but it was okay. It’s really good that I never had breakouts after a week, unlike using a K-Beauty sheet mask. My face was kind of glowing after and it’s super moisturized! I’ll keep restocking it and hopefully, they won’t stop producing it.
St. Ives Glowing Sheet Mask, PHP 89
I love my skincare journey and how it has improved, not to mention being financially wise about it too, hehe. This routine using the products I’ve mentioned costs roughly about PHP2,500. But if you’re just gonna buy the full line of Apotheke Science, you’re gonna spend PHP 1,500 for all these which can last up to three months at the least. That’s a whole lot of savings, and I assure you that this works just as well as the high-end brands I’ve tried before!
Again, I just also want to remind you that I’m no expert about this, I’ve never visited any dermatologist and just these products based on my research have worked for me. A certain product may work for one person, but it may react differently to another but I still hope this skincare routine suggestion works for you too!
This is a personal review of my skincare routine. All thoughts and experiences stated in this post are entirely my own.