“You really need to take care of your skin, it’s so dry”, a sales assistant said whilst looking at me with pure horror. I flicked my hair and thought she was simply trying to upsell me, so I walked away, refusing to cave in. But when I got home and inspected my face closely, I noticed that my skin was indeed flaky and admittedly, the texture was rough. With spring in full bloom and summer around the corner, I was starting to use less nourishing products, whilst simultaneously exfoliating more frequently. Unfortunately this combo left me as dry as the Sahara desert. But my scaly mess of a complexion was salvaged when I incorporated three nourishing skincare products. Read on for the three life-changing products that transformed my skin from “what’s wrong with your face?” to “did you just get a facial?”.

People often claim that cleanser isn’t important as it’s only on your face for a few minutes. But the wrong cleanser can seriously wreak havoc on my skin: I’m talking severe acne, deep skin peeling and even dermatitis. The one cleanser that doesn’t leave my skin parched is the Make P:rem Safe Me Relief Moisture cleansing foam. It leaves my skin feeling smooth and imparts a stunning radiance right after showering (and into the next day), reminiscent of a glossy boiled egg. With skin-soothing ingredients such as raspberry and hyaluronic acid, it has never irritated my skin and actually reduces redness and inflammation.

The best bit? I can get away without moisturising if I use this cleanser (read: glass-smooth skin!). Sure my skin might be a little more taut (as opposed to if I did moisturise), but it doesn’t turn into a flaky mess, even without my usual dose of heavy creams.

Those of us that are acne-prone know the perils of products that are too rich. But my skin is seriously strange: gel-based moisturisers emphasise the texture of my skin (read: bumps I never knew existed would emerge rapidly), but the creamy emollient formulas would cause painful cystic acne.

I was at my wit’s end, trying to find a formula that would hydrate without being comedogenic and impart a nice glass sheen. Enter: The COSRX advanced snail all in once cream. I was keen on trying a snail-mucus based product after hearing Korean dermatologists rave about its skin-healing properties, capacity to fade hyperpigmentation and draw moisture to the skin. In a nutshell: snail mucin is naturally secreted by snails to protect their skin from rough and sharp areas that may cause cuts and grazes. Essentially, the mucin helps maintain a snail’s skin softness and prevent damage.

Intrigued, I decided upon COSRX snail cream because of the rave reviews from acne-prone gals and because they’re a pioneer in integrating snail mucin. I use a pea-sized amount and tap it into areas prone to dryness. After consistent use, areas of redness that were persistently itchy have subsided and dry flakes have been eradicated. And the most important part: when using a pea-size amount, the cream hasn’t clogged my pores; in fact, it minimises the appearance of them. Texture wise, I love the velvet-matt finish: it leaves your skin looking dewy, but in a satiny manner, not the dreaded disco ball.

Story by Kristina Zhou. Holding shot from @realdanielacosio

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