When I say I used to do the bare minimum for my skincare, I mean it. It used to be a 3-step process that I would shave down to two on extra lazy days: cleanse, moisturize, apply SPF. But as I grew older, my skin started needing more attention. Spot treatments became essential, as did anything that could rescue my pores.

Still, when I started working at BeautyMNL, I had a very basic grasp of skincare. But the more products landed on my desk—whether for road-testing, first impressions, or just general updates on what’s new—the more I learned about how best to take care of my skin. I needed to fine-tune its diet if I wanted to get that healthy, glowing complexion I’m always writing about.
These days, I think I’ve got a handle on my skincare routine. I have a better idea of what works for me and what doesn’t, while still being open to trying out new things to see if they might do me even more good. I’m a Beauty Writer for our in-house magazine Bloom, so it simply comes with the territory. I gotta know my stuff—how else would I write about it?

So, if you’re curious about what my day and night routine looks like now and what products are my current ride-or-die’s, scroll for the step-by-step. For reference, I have dry to combination skin, occasionally suffer from hormonal acne thanks to my PCOS, and I’ve discovered that K-beauty works best for me. Watch the video and/or scroll for the breakdown!


1. FOAM CLEANSER: ACWELL pH Balancing Micro Cleansing Foam, P900

On mornings when I feel like my skin could use a little more than a splash of cold water, I love low pH cleansers. My current fave is this one by ACWELL, which always leaves my face feeling fresh and clean but not tight or stripped of essential moisture. A bottle goes a long way, too, since you only need a pea-sized amount to cover everything.

Shop it here.

2. TONER: Son & Park Beauty Water (340ml), P1,400

If I could have only one toner ever, I’d probably choose this beloved beauty water. It makes my skin feel so plump and healthy in the morning, when my face is at its puffiest. It even smells lovely but not cloying, which is such a great bonus when I’m still in a half-asleep state. My skin also absorbs this so well, I forget it’s an extra layer of product!

Shop it here.

3. MOISTURIZER: Dear Klairs Supple Preparation All Over Lotion, P1,390

Moisturizers are tricky, since they can feel a little heavy when you start layering products on. I wear BB cream almost everyday, so applying a lightweight but super hydrating base is a step I never skip. This lotion from Dear Klairs is exactly that! My skin soaks it up quickly while giving my face a silky-smooth finish that’s great for makeup.

Shop it here.

4. SPF: Dear Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50 PA++++, P1,200

I don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, but I still double up on SPF considering I absorb a lot of indirect sunlight. I wear a layer of this essence-type sunscreen from Dear Klairs, then a layer or two of the brand’s illuminating BB cream on top. It’s probably excessive, but neither of them feel like too much even when applied together. And since Dear Klairs products are specially formulated for sensitive skin, I know they’re not about to clog my pores, which is an issue I’ve encountered with other SPF options.

Shop it here.

5. MIST: Esfolio Nutri Snail Daily Soothing Mist, P399

After I apply my makeup, I finish everything off with a few spritzes of this soothing mist from Esfolio. I do this more often when the weather gets colder and drier, since I feel like my skin could really use all the hydration it can get. Also love the snail secretion filtrate in this—it’s one of my favorite skin-nourishing ingredients!

Shop it here.


1. OIL CLEANSER: Heimish All Clean Balm, P975

Now that I’m a firm believer in double cleansing, I don’t feel as clean when I skip the oil. I’ve gone through a few options while refining my routine, but this cult fave balm from Heimish has proven itself the creme de la creme. It really gets rid of *everything
, from “budge-proof” cosmetics to my trusty SPF to the day’s gunk and grime. Beyond how effective it is, I love that it’s also gentle and non-stripping, so I feel thoroughly cleansed but not dried out. Holy grail!

Shop it here.

2. FOAM CLEANSER: ACWELL pH Balancing Micro Cleansing Foam, P900

My second cleanser is, again, this foam from ACWELL. It’s just as good and gentle at night as it is in the morning, even when I use it after my oil. I’d generally recommend low pH cleansers since they clean you up without overworking your skin, which is a must when you’re cleansing twice.

Shop it here.
3. OPTIONAL. EXFOLIATING MASK: Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 2X, P610

I like to exfoliate with this clay mask from Innisfree at least once a week, depending on how “dirty” my pores feel. Usually I’m itching to do it after I’ve exposed my skin to a lot of pollution or when I’m breaking out (or about to!). I leave it on for about 10 minutes; and, after I wash it off, my face really feels baby-smooth. I notice my skin also calms down significantly by the next day, which translates to less redness and fewer bumps.

Shop it here.

4. TONER: ACWELL Licorice pH Balancing Toner, P990

When I’m not exfoliating with a mask, I follow up my cleansers with an exfoliating toner. I’m currently loving this toner from ACWELL, since it helps slough off any dead skin or dirt that’s still clinging on, while also being hydrating. I make sure not to use this with any other exfoliants, though, because my skin just finds it too harsh! So when I use a clay mask, I like to tone with the Son & Park Beauty Water.

Shop it here.

5. ESSENCE: COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence, P1,050

Ah, hyaluronic acid—my newest skincare obsession! I’d call this essence from COSRX a godsend for anyone who has sensitive skin with dry tendencies, who could use something that goes deeper than moisturizer. It’s a simple product with simple ingredients, but it’s made my skin softer, smoother, and much healthier overall.

Shop it here.
6. OPTIONAL. SHEET MASK: The Face Shop Real Nature Calendula Face Mask, P75, Nature Republic Real Nature Tea Tree Mask Sheet, P60, Mizon Joyful Time Essence Mask (Aloe), P45, Leaders InSolution Mediu Amino AC-Free Mask, P94

I wear a sheet mask on top of my essence 1-3 times a week, especially when my skin’s feeling drier than usual. I have a few favorites on rotation, but these ones from The Face Shop, Nature Republic, Mizon, and Leaders InSolution have never failed me. Beyond the pampering aspect, I feel like regular sheet masking helps balance out the moisture levels in my skin. Yes, even when I’m only doing it once or twice!

Shop them here, here, here, and here.

7. MOISTURIZER: ACWELL Aqua Clinity Double Moisture, P1,500

I only skip moisturizer when I wear a sheet mask, since I’ve found that my skin likes it best that way. Otherwise, I moisturize right after my essence, to seal everything in and to help my products absorb throughout the night. This option from ACWELL might seem to be a bit on the thicker side, but I don’t find it to be heavy at all. Sometimes, I like to build it up when I want it to double as a sleeping pack!

Shop it here.
8. OPTIONAL. TREATMENT: COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol, P850, COSRX AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream, P1,299, COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch (24 Patches), P200

Lastly, I spot-treat with a few COSRX products when I’m breaking out. My skin tends to act up when I’m PMS-ing, so I know what I’m dealing with is hormonal acne. To speed up their life cycle, I soak a cotton pad in A-Sol and press it directly over my trouble areas. After that’s absorbed, I follow it up with the spot cream. In the morning, if my blemishes aren’t gone, they’re usually much more manageable thanks to this process. For pimples that have come to a head, I stick an acne patch on top to coax out the dirt and to protect them from stressors (including my fingers!).

Shop them here, here, and here.

Did I miss a step? Tell us about your routine, below!

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