My Updated Skincare for Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin

Since many have requested for my updated skincare routine, I figured this is the time.

If you compare this post to my very first few posts, you would realize that nothing much has changed. I probably took out a few things instead. For instance, I am not a fan of masks – sheet masks in particular. I just find them really redundant.

Again, I think I have to stress that it is not about the products I am using. Using these exact products does not gurantee that you will have skin like mine or cure your concerns. The skincare routine I have now is modified, altered and catered to my specific needs so you might probably have a very different routine compared to mine.

Currently, my skin is pretty much up and down. I don’t get that many pimples as I did when I was in the states. I get hormonal acne and that’s just about it, although I get some once in a while if I use a product that isn’t suitable for my skin. Because I know how sensitive my skin can be, I try to stay away from products that contain irritable ingredients like silicones, talc, etc. My skin also doesn’t do well with chemicals so chemical peels are a no-no for me.

So how do I keep my skin at bay? I follow these following steps and I really do not have a lot of products in my skincare routine. Simplicity, I believe, is key (to this and everything in life).

The steps are : Cleanse – Tone – moisturize.

Every one – two weeks I slip in a charcoal clay mask or an oatmeal mask (one very affordable option is from @vhy.bodyscrub), something natural for sure. Throughout the years, I’ve learnt to realize what my skin likes.

For instance, I’ve explained in my original post that I do really well with natural ingredients, and those that are good for sensitive skin. I’ve tried high and low end from the day I started to cure my acne. I have never wanted to go to the dermatologist because I do not want to rely on their medications. Hence, I decided to find out my skin type and knowing it, helps me in one way or another to decide which product to buy.

“Listen to your skin” is an advice I kept repeating to everyone who DM me about their skin concern. Sure, I have sensitive, acne-prone skin.. Sometimes it can be normal, sometimes it can be oily, other days dry. I use products for all skin types depending on how my skin feels that day.


First, I remove my make up using my Bioderma Micellar Water, which is readily available in many local Guardian stores. This has always been my holy grail and I keep purchasing bottles after bottles. This product is a bestseller for a reason, it is truly the best and I have not found anything like it, even the said dupe (Garnier Micellar Water) doesn’t come close to Bioderma because I immediately broke out after using it.

After removing my makeup with a cotton pad, I wait for a few minutes for it to dry before proceeding to the next step, which is double cleansing using using my Shu Uemura Balancing Cleansing oil. If I could pinpoint any product that was life-changing for me, it would be this. The reason why I always recommend an oil cleanser is because:

  1. It is gentler than a soap-based cleanser
  2. It cleans out your dirty pores that you can feel the oil plugs being extracting from your skin without using any harsh tools
  3. It is hydrating
  4. They say if you have an oily skin, you fight oil with oil. It works, trust me

I take my time to massage the oily all over my face, sometimes up to 10 minutes. I take about 4 pumps (the more the better) and massage my face. Sometimes you can feel the oil plugs coming to the surface which is definitely very rewarding.

  • Bonus : Sometimes I use Lush’s Dark Angels paste as a cleanser and exfoliator when it’s time for me to exfoliate. It is really good when I get white heads/acne but it may be too harsh on some people’s skin. Because it is a black paste, it can be quite dirty so I would suggest using it in the shower.

Because my face is really sensitive, I hinder from using water that is too warm or not. When my face gets too red, I could feel that it is a little too shocked/irritated. So I always wash my face with cool water, which also allows the pores to close.


I proceed with pouring some Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner on my palms and pat it all over my face. The reason why I don’t use cotton pads to apply my toner is because :

  1. The toner will be absorbed into the cotton pad and you won’t get the optimum amount of product of your face
  2. I used a cotton pad for my first step already when I use the Bioderma. Rubbing/creating friction on my face might result in over exfoliating, so that’s not good either.
  3. The product is absorbed straight to your face

After my Aloe Vera Toner, I use a serum from a facial place called Cell Science near where I live. It’s the Skeyndor Hydrating serum and comes in 12 small bottles in a box which lasts me about 3 months. This is another skin savior. I felt that my skin isn’t always as plump when I opt this out of my routine. Sometimes I try to save money or try other alternatives but never have I found anything as potent as this for my skin. It’s not harsh at all, in fact, it is really gentle. It’s a clear liquid, not thick and has a water like consistency. The way I apply it is exactly how I apply my toner, pour some on my palms and pat it all over my skin. I could instantly feel plump and my skin just loves it. Never will I forsake this from my routine.

Bonus : Sometimes when my skin feels very dry/dehydrated, I will go on and add The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum. It’s better than the Hada Labo in my opinion and it just does an okay job.

Alternative serums that I sometimes use for brightening is the Mario Badescu Vitamin C serum and The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum. I use them separately and never pack on too many products all at once because I sometimes get confused as to what is helping me with what. I apply heavier serums on alternative days. Again, simplicity is key.



After toners and serums, I will then go ahead with my First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Daily cream which I highly recommend for sensitive/acne-prone skin as it is dermatologically tested and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pore. This is also a game-changer for me too and I absolutely love this product.

If my skin is really dry or if I just finished exfoliating, I would apply the Mario Badescu Chamomile Cream instead. Chamomile is known to be a very calming ingredient and this moisturizer is really one of the best creams I’ve ever tried.

So far, that’s all that I use almost daily on my face. If you notice, that is barely more than 5 products. I do not splurge on expensive skincare like Drunk Elephant, Sunday Riley (even though I have tried them, because I do not want my skin to be “immuned” to expensive skincare/acids. If you think expensive skincare will fix your acne/skin concerns, you are definitely wrong. Affordable options are definitely available and skincare really doesn’t have to be expensive. Throughout the years, I’ve tried from La Mer to Cetaphil to even… Nivea. (I can definitely talk about this another time…)


  • I always avoid soap cleansers/those yang sabun because it tends to bubble up and dries the skin further.
  • ALWAYS MOISTURIZE. Even if you have oily skin, still… You need to moisturize.
  • Avoid overly fragrant skincare
  • Read the ingredients list. (Look for AQUA being the first ingredient.)
  • If your skin feels tight, that means it is overly dry. Apply cream moisturizer.


SO….. I hope this helps! I get so many questions asking me about my skincare but I really think starting out young is very important. But better late than never, especially as we get older, our skin takes longer to generate new skin cells. Exfoliating too much will also irritate your skin. There is science behind it and I am in no place to tell you about it because… well, I’m no professional. But I definitely would NOT recommend going to the dermatologist (especially locally here in Jakarta, because they always think drying out the acne is the only solution), unless you find someone who knows the science behind it and will explain to you.

Research, research, research for your own good. It’ll help you in the long run. Good luck! I hope this post helps.


    1. This is really bad and I’m so ashamed to admit that I haven’t been using any sunscreen ever since I got back. I have used Votre Peau’s sunscreen recently and I found it to be pretty good! Going to review it soon so watch out for it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s