My Skincare Hunt & First Impressions of Clinique 3 Step System

I realise that while I've written about some skincare products, I haven't really been clear about where I stand in my "skincare hunt" for a perfect routine :) I've sorted it all out in my head, so I thought I'd put it down on paper (screen) - it's a bit rambly but I hope you enjoy!

To start off, I have combination/normal skin - I get oily in the t-zone in the warmer months, and normal on my cheeks. Since I've gotten rid of my teenage acne last year, it's been a bit difficult assessing whether something is good, because I'm now after the luxury of perfect skin as opposed to just getting rid of things that shouldn't be there - if that makes sense?

I have a few bits and bobs of my skincare that I can say, "Yes, I love these products and I will rebuy them" but I'm still on the lookout for that perfect combination of products for a perfect routine. Anyway, here's the present standings:

* Face Wash
- The Body Shop Seaweed Face Wash

* Toner
- MUJI Light Toning Water (works well with Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser)
- The Body Shop Seaweed Toner (only works well with the face wash)

* Moisturizer
- Night: Boots Botanics Night Shift Cream

As you can see, a bit complicated, and a lot of ties! So the other day while I was roaming around the cosmetics section, I stumbled by Clinique which I heard lots about from Steph, and the kind lady at the counter explained a lot about how the system works, and gave me a 3-day sample kit to try.. (needless to say it's lasted me about 4 days already)..

Left: Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 (toner)
Centre: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Right: Clinique Facial Soap for Oily Skin

Used together, this set has ticked all of the boxes. Firstly, the soap leaves my face squeaky clean, and my face always appears brighter or maybe even whiter than it started off with. I'm guessing this is what the lady meant when she said it lifts the dead skin cells, to prepare for the next step.

The clarifying lotion, which is like a toner, then exfoliates and removes the dead skin cells. I genuinely feel this works, but god the smell is horrendous! I feel like I'm putting nail polish remover on my face, it's unbearable to smell and the lady told me strictly that I can't use it near my eyes or mouth - I wouldn't want to! That being said, at the end I feel refreshed and I feel it does its job.

The moisturizer feels like somewhere between a typical gel and a silica skin primer - it has that smoothing-over effect, but it's also quite wet. I think it does a decent job of sinking into my skin, but I also feel like I've felt others do a better job. That being said, the thing I like about this is that when I wake up, I'm not half as oily as I am when I use other moisturizers, and I have no qualms about using this for both day and night - which in the long run may save some dosh!

All in all, the bits of bumpiness and redness on my face has been seriously reducing - sounds perfect, right? But I'm still not 100% sure what I should be looking for, as I don't have any blatant problems anymore! Should I be aiming to have 'normal' skin as opposed to combination? Should I aim to have baby skin? Idk! (any help appreciated :P)

So my plan is on the 26th of August, to head over to the counter again and take full advantage of a campaign where for a few extra hundred yen (lol) added to the cost of a full-sized Clarifying Lotion, you get loads of 1 month sized products, like the face wash, the moisturizer and other things. AMAZING. I'm not sure if this offer is only in Japan though..

After that I hope to figure out if the full Clinique's 3 Step System would really work for me, or if I need to cut and paste from the previous list mentioned above. I personally don't really want to give up the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish nor her moisturizer, nor the MUJI Toner (it's paraben, alcohol, fragrance free!) - but I've got to admit, they're all running for their money with these 3 Clinique bad boys in town :)

Does anyone have 2 skincare routines, is that even possible? :P

Have you found your perfect skincare routine?
What do you look for when deciding whether a product stays in your routine? :)



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