Everything I’m Using Right Now – Spring 2018 Skincare Routine

As some of you might know, I am on a one year very-low-buy. An over-abundant skincare wardrobe brings some people happiness. Recently, its been giving me anxiety. My goal is to emerge on the other side of this no buy with a carefully curated assortment of skincare products that brings me joy with every single use!

Doing things a bit differently than last time – this isn’t just my springtime routine but the entire inventory of products I have on rotation right now:

Disclaimer: This post features a few items that were provided to me at no cost for PR purposes. All of these items are marked with (PR) in the post below. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing an item through an affiliate link does not add any cost to the customer but does help support this site’s upkeep.


  • Low-buy rules: replacement only
  • # of cleansers acquired in 2018 so far: Zero!


SanDaWha Natural Mild Cleansing Oil (PR)
Available on BeautyTap
Lovely cleansing oil with a gentle, floral fragrance that I wasn’t so fond of at first but which grew on me. Rinses cleanly but not at all stripping. Maybe repurchase.

Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil
Available on Shu Uemura.
The most efficient of cleansing oils in my stash. One pump takes everything off, including water resistant eyeliner and mascara. This is a fan favorite, but I find it to be low joy. Will not repurchase.

Muji Sensitive Skin Cleansing OilFull Review
Available at Muji stores and online.
My long time favorite cleansing oil. Thicker consistency means less drippiness and mess, very conducive for face massages. Fantastic cleansing power and rinses cleanly – no need for second cleanser if you’re not in the mood. Have gone through many bottles and will probably repurchase forever.

Cotte Face Wash
Available from Cotte. Requires a forwarding service if you’re outside of Japan.
Low pH, foaming cleanser with a hint of sake scent. A tiny bit of cleanser creates a dense, lush cloud of foam. The highest cleansing power second cleanser that my skin can tolerate. Would repurchase except having to go through a shipping service is a bit of a pain.

2Sol Green Enzyme CleanserFull Review
Available from Beauty Box Korea and Ebay.
My favorite travel cleanser but also great for non-travel. Low pH, surprisingly gentle, provides the tiniest amount of exfoliation. Will repurchase.



  • Low-buy rules: I am allowed to maintain 1 treatment for each need
  • # of treatment products acquired in 2018 so far: Four. These are the Skinfood Rice Mask Wash Off, Skin Biology 7% GHK-Cu Accelerant (not shown – additive, not standalone product), Metatron MT Condense C Serum, Curology


Skinfood Rice Mask Wash Off
Available on Amazon and Yesstyle.
Mild exfoliant, a little too mild. Not a fan of the fragrance. Will not repurchase.

SoyBio+ Fermented Lumpoule
Available on Ebay.
General purchase herbal/fermented/botanical serum. In other words, I don’t know what this does but it’s nice enough to keep using. A little bit goes a long way. Will not repurchase.

Metatron MT Condense C Serum (PR)
Available on Ippin
I’m back on the Vit C wagon after being off for a few months. This is a 20% L-Ascorbic Acid serum from Japan that comes in an airless pump bottle. Airless pumps bottles make me happy. Will repurchase.

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum
Available on Amazon, Sulwhasoo, and Althea.
You know that glow that stays with you all day from morning workouts? This gives me that with no sweat required. Will repurchase.

CurologyFull Review
Available on Curology.
My prescription hasn’t changed in the past 2-ish years. I use this about 2 times a week to keep breakouts at a minimum and to speed up the recovery of any acne that comes to a head. Will repurchase.


  • Low-buy rules: One in, one out
  • # of hydrators acquired in 2018 so far: Four – Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner, Acseine Shieldwater AD, Curel Whitening Moisture Care Lotion II, and Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator


Swanicoco 1st Essence (PR) – Full Review
Available on BeautyTap and Koreadepart.
Hydrates and improves skin elasticity. My favorite of the Bifida products I’ve tried, but I prefer galactomyces and saccharomyces to bifida at the end of the day. Will not repurchase.

Hada Labo Premium Gyokujyun Lotion
Available on Amazon and Yesstyle.
I received a decant of this from @hashtag.glow last year and after using for a week, bought 4 refill pouches. Awesome multi-purpose, ultra-hydrating lotion. Will repurchase.

Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner (PR)
Available on Amazon, Ebay, and Wishtrend
Surprised at how much I like this toner. It isn’t as hydrating at the Hada Labo Premium lotion, but it sinks in faster and without any stickiness. Will repurchase, but probably the regular (not unscented) version because the unscented formula ironically has a chemically smell I don’t love.

Acseine Shieldwater AD (PR)
Available on Ippin.
Good, basic hydrating toner. Does not leave any stickiness and does not irritate my eyes. Probably won’t repurchase, but there is a long list of Acseine products I want to try.

Vichy Mineral Mist
Available on Amazon and Vichy.
My love for mineral mists is still going strong. This one is ok. The mist is a little too concentrated compared to Evian’s. Will not repurchase.

Curel Whitening Moisture Lotion II (PR)
Available on Ippin.
This features ascorbyl glucoside and eucalyptus extract, which Kao’s (Curel’s parent company) own research says boosts ceramide production. I’m taking a break from using any ceramide products in my routine to see if this works as an adequate substitute but regardless this is a very nice, unscented, easily absorbed hydrating lotion. Maybe repurchase. Too soon to tell.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator
Available on Josh Rosebrook.
Bought this because of Caroline Hirons. I don’t love the spa-scent, but it does sink in and hydrate very nicely. Maybe repurchase.


  • Low-buy rules: 1 in, 1 out
  • # of moisturizers acquired in 2018 so far: one – Farmacy Honey Savior Salve


Leaf & Botanics Face Emulsion AcaiFull Review
Available on Amazon JP and Yesstyle.
Big fan of this as a warm weather moisturizer. Moisturizes and soothes. Will repurchase.

Leaf & Botanics Face Emulsion Sake
Available on Amazon JP and Yesstyle.
Sake is one of my favorite skincare ingredients and Leaf & Botanics/Matsuyama is one of my favorite brands yet I don’t love this emulsion. It’s a bit too thick, takes a bit long to sink in, and isn’t anymore moisturizing than the L&B acai emulsion, which sinks in much faster. Will not repurchase.

Banila Co. Miss Flower & Mr Honey Cream
Discontinued. A few jars are still available on EBay, but at a significant markup.
It’s maybe cruel to talk about how much I love this cream with its honey-apple-pie scent and fancy vaseline texture given that it’s discontinued, but I really do love it. Luckily, I still have one more backup after this jar.

Farmacy Honey Savior All-in-One Skin Repair Salve
Available on Sephora.
A sample of this came in a Sephora order last year and on one fateful night, I decided to give it a try and slathered it mask-like over dry, painful, cracked skin from repeat nose blows in a fit of desperation. The result? Immediate relief! It soothed my skin instantly and my morning my skin looked ok. Will repurchase.

The History of Whoo Han: Honey Ginseng Sleeping Mask
Available on Ebay.
@snails4eva identified this as a functional dupe for the Banila Co MFMH Cream. It doesn’t smell nearly as nice but it does work similarly. Will probably not repurchase but am happy to use up the rest of my tube.


  • Low-buy rules: No bulk sunscreen orders
  • # of sunscreens acquired in 2018 so far: Three – Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen plus two (Nivea Sun Protect Plus UV + Biore Aqua Rich Watery Gel 2015 formulation gifted by @hashtag.glow)


Nivea Sun Protect Plus UV Milky Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
Discontinued. Still available on EBay, but probably not for long.
I’ve used more tubes of this sunscreen than any other sunscreen. Contains both organic and inorganic filters, adequately moisturizing but still dries quickly enough, completely white cast free, and water/sebum resistant to boot. Would repurchase, except it’s discontinued.

Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Spf 50+
Available on Amazon and Skinstore (get 25% off your first order using code YUN-RGK).
Since every single Japanese sunscreen I love ends up getting discontinued, I’ve been on the lookout for every-day American and European sunscreens. This is the latest I’ve been trialing and it’s not terrible. Pros: thin, runny, easy to apply texture, no white cast at all, good filters, works well under makeup. Cons: smells like sunscreen, leaves a balmy film on skin that never quite dries. Maybe repurchase.

Malibu 50SPF Lotion High Protection
Available on Amazon.
My brother bought this in Cancun and it is surprisingly nice! Has a creamy texture but not thick and has a sunscreen smell but a beachy sunscreen smell (as opposed to Replenix’s chemical sunscreen smell). No white cast either. I mostly use this on my body, but it’s passable as a face sunscreen. Will maybe repurchase.

13 thoughts on “Everything I’m Using Right Now – Spring 2018 Skincare Routine

  1. Olivia says:

    Thank you for posting!
    I didn’t believe in skin twins until I met your blog, but I try to buy every thing you love and so far it’s been working out well for me! :^D
    I’m intrigued by the 7% GHK-Cu Accelerant. You mention that you dilute it – how do you use it?

    Liked by 1 person

      • OLIVIA says:

        Not sure I have much to recommend you, but I am enjoying the Elensilia Enchante Marine Energy Sun Gel for an SPF, and the Lac-Luronic Lactic Acid from MUAC. I’m still hunting for a replacement for the Caolion Mucin Cream Water, although I did enjoy the Swanicoco Fermentation Care Moisturizer on your recommendation. Have you tried the new formulation yet?


    • V. Rex says:

      Accidentally hit send before finishing this comment haha. The 7% GHK-Cu Accelerant is NOT to be used by itself. There is a concentration calculator on Skin Biology’s website that tells you exactly how much to add to another product to achieve a specific concentration. The first time i used this, I added enough to a decant of my Mebika toner to achieve a .5% concentration. The second time I used this, I kind of just eyeballed the amount and squeezed enough into the bottle to achieve the same level of blueness. Even at this .5% concentration, the effects of GHK-Cu on my skin are comparable to NIOD’s CAIS, which is much more costly so I’m very happy with the result!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. K says:

    Some highly rated Western sunscreens include LRP ultra light, Coola, Paula Choice Super Light, Cotz, EltaMD, Australian Gold, Blue Lizard.

    Love your blog! I learn so many things here


  3. thomasina says:

    “My goal is to emerge on the other side of this no buy with a carefully curated assortment of skincare products that brings me joy with every single use!” – such a great mission statement! 🙂
    I basically love all your product recs, evaluations, and your strategy of figuring out your best way to use a product/category of products – they’ve helped me (with a similar skintype) immensely, and I see I’m not alone… so many lost skin triplets? Quadruplets? Quintuplets?
    I’m wondering what your standing opinion is on the From Nature FTE you used to use?…I’m looking for a liquidy, hydrating FTE without a high drying-alcohol content. (I haven’t used Sulwhasoo FTE for years but it has more of a gel consistency and I’d like something def liquidy, for various reasons. It rocks though, & am psyched to see it in your daily stash!) Would rather prefer something below the SK-II price range for my purposes though. Sorry for the advice column Q!
    EltaMD make the best non-EU, Western sunscreens out there, seconding the previous poster. Originally created and sold as for post-procedure (laser, microderm, peels etc) skincare and also full-spectrum coverage so it’s super gentle, effective, and soothing – I had a bad reaction to an at-home ‘gentle’ peel once (bad skincare decisions, yeahhhh) and this was the only thing I could wear, and which the dermatologist recommended despite selling LRP in-house. There’s been a lot of blanket coverage of the brand in magazines which might be a targeted marketing effort, but idk, all I know is its dry skin line (UV Facial, and UV Lotion – latter meant for the body and which comes in a huge pump tube: its only difference is that it has petroleum high on the list) are awesome for protecting irritated skin. Easy to find in a jiffy too if you can’t wait for your Asian/EU sunscreen delivery. Happy skin days to you!


  4. Noora says:

    Hello! I have loved using the Muji Cleansing oil for sensitive skin☺️❤️ The problem is that it has been out of stock in Yesstyle for a while already, and I don’t have access to Muji stores around me… Is there any cleansing oils that you would recommend for me that would compete somewhat with the Muji? I have one product in my stash waiting (Kose Softymo deep cleansing oil), but I’m not sure if it will work good enough. In Muji I have loved how thick and neutral the oil is and won’t irritate my eyes. My boyfriend uses it too and he thinks it even removes sebacuos filaments from the pores in his nose. I could of course order from Amazon or Ebay, but with the shipping rates they don’t make sense… I got my 400ml Muji from Yesstyle last February because it was on sale for about 10€! I order quite often from Yesstyle and with free shipping (over 35€) and customs fee refunds it will remain my favorite place to buy k and j beauty! I would be so happy if you had any good options in mind, but also understand if I have already hit the jackpot with Muji and all others come far behind😉 Only other cleansing oil I had used before is L’occitane shea cleansing oil, but if I remember correctly, it was fragranced and more runnier that Muji.


    • OLIVIA says:

      Hey Noora, I’ve ordered Japanese beauty products from Japanesetaste.com before and I know they carry Muji. You may want to check them out, or another retailer


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