Lately, having #stayathome with lots of time to kill, I’ve been watching a lot of YT videos. And there’s one that I’m obsessed with: @labeautyologist.

In this video, she shared The Ultimate Self-Care Skincare Routine for maximum hydration & product penetration. It’s like her version of 10 steps skincare routine. They’re really different from the renowned Korean 10 steps, and personally it gets me because I want my skincare products to penetrate well into the skin. Mind you, this routine will involve 4 times of hydrating toner and only one active in later step.

These are her steps.

    It can be double cleanse (she’s more into oil cleanser for makeup removal than micellar by the way) and continue with second cleanser.
  2. TONE
    Function of toner: to increase absorption. So, she recommends to gently pat the toner (hydrating ones) before the next step (which is exfoliation) to make it works better.
    Not a chemical exfoliation, she prefers the one that we can apply and take off (like peeling gel and enzyme scrub). Do not scrub harshly, just apply gently then rinse off with water.
  4. TONE
    Yes, again to increase absorption of the next step, which is….
  5. MASK
    She chose a hydrating mask, a wash-off ones.
  6. TONE
    She said hydrating toner works best with hydrating serum.
  7. SERUM
    If your skin is prone to irritation, apply hydrating serum before serum with actives like Niacinamide or Retinol. This is the only step that allow us to use one active, so choose wisely according to your skin needs. If you’re using prescribed product from your derm, this is the step.
  8. TONE
    Last toner, to push the actives further down into the skin.
    This goes before oil because moisturizer is a mixture of oil, water and emollient. And heavier oils (except squalane which is lighter) will block the absorption of moisturizer.
  10. OIL
    If you use squalane, you can mix it with moisturizer. But other than that, oil is the last step. If you live in colder climate or you have very dry skin, opt for occlusive to lock in water.


This is why I love skincare and writing about them. There’s always new techniques to try, to learn and made me excited to see the result.

Somehow, this new routine kind of reminds me of 7 Skin Method (remember the toner layering?).

Usually, I do my double cleanse step inside the bathroom and continue the rest in my bedroom (because I never put my skincare products inside the bathroom, except cleansers). As these new 10 steps required 2 more rinsing steps with water (after exfoliate and mask steps), the thought of going back and forth to the bathroom seems daunting and uncomfortable.

I guess I won’t be doing this everyday morning and night, but I’ll try to simplify the steps with my choices of products (mostly FA safe). And doing this in the evening seems more reasonable as we are more chill, yes?

    Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil – for oil cleanse
    Tatcha The Deep Cleanse – it is an exfoliating cleanser, so I use this as second cleanser to skip step number 3 and 4.
  2. TONE
    Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
  3. MASK
    Freeman Deep Clearing Manuka Honey + Tea Tree Oil Clay Mask
  4. TONE
    Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
  5. SERUM
    Alternate between Me+ Niacinamide & Zinc Booster or Drunk Elephant A Passioni Retinol Cream
  6. TONE
    Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
    Eau Thermale Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion is my last step, as I try to avoid oil as most of them blocked my pores.



Personally, I always believe in the power of great cleanser. It’s a “Make It or Break It” situation for me.

Yes, serums are great, actives are great, but really what cleanse our skin thoroughly is cleanser. Now, I’ll be discussing about a different type of ‘just face cleanser’, they are called ENZYME CLEANSER.

First thing first, what the heck is Enzyme? Well, I did some research online and Enzyme is a “chemical that speed up the rate of a reaction between two substances without being consumed themselves. Enzyme works by breaking down that keratin protein to reveal smoother skin.”

Do we really need this type of cleanser? Well, as you might know, we all need exfoliation. Some (like myself) might depend only on chemical exfoliation, just because physical exfoliation (traditional scrubs) can be too rough on sensitive skin. But if chemical exfoliation is also too tough on your skin, because you simply can’t take the actives, you might try this enzyme cleansing method. It is noticeably one of the softest way to break down dead skin cells and other impurities. So, if you have oily and easily congested skin but very sensitive to harsh exfoliation, give enzyme cleanser a try. Please do treat this as a second cleanser, use your regular first cleanser to remove makeup.

There are currently two forms of enzyme cleansers out there:


Yes, in a powder cleanser form. It literally contains no water, very concentrated formula that will go farther than liquid cleanser.


Made in Japan, they’re individually packed and contains soybean milk filtrate (for that enzyme action) and silk powder to soften skin.

How to use? When water is added, the powder will become gentle exfoliating foam. Open one package, place the powder on the palm of your hand, add a drop of warm water and work up a gentle lather. Apply on face and rinse off as usual.

Pros: very travel-friendly, and because they come in a dry form, they’re usually have longer expiry period.

Cons: they look like detergent (LOL), can be messy if you have shaky hands and not safe for fungal acne.


Some said that cleanser in a gel form will actually lessen skin irritation, therefore it’s recommended for sensitive skin. And one of the many fews that have enzyme cleanser in a gel form, is MARIO BADESCU ENZYME CLEANSING GEL. No wonder they claim this as their best-selling face wash. Even though they do recommend to cleanse twice daily with this cleanser, but personally I use this as a night cleanser with my Foreo. It contains Papaya and Grapefruit extract which are known for their exfoliating properties to remove buildup (the cause of blackheads and pimples).

Pros: available in Indonesia.

Con: not paraben free & fragranced



And I remember my mom used to say when I was in my teenage years, “don’t worry, once you reach your adulthood, your acne problem will be gone” NOT!

After my 1st fungal acne attacked in 2018, me and acne problems is my kind of “new normal” skin situation. You name it, adult acne, stress acne, and last but not least chin acne.

First thing first, never be ignorant of what your acnes on your face are telling you.

If you see the pic above, acnes on your chin and around lip area, apparently are telling us that we have hormonal imbalance problem. It has been months that I’ve experience this, neglected all the signals that my acnes are trying to tell me.

Until one day, I had terrible tummy cramp for over two weeks. Starting from the first day of my period, which I thought was only an ordinary menstrual cramp. Well, after my period was over, I still have that bad tummy pain for a week. So I went to the doctor and had it diagnosed. After the 4D USG, it turned out, I have ADENOMYOSIS.

So, what the heck is that? Check out the pic below so you can get a pretty good idea.

Basically, it’s a condition of the womb where the cells that normally form a lining on the inside of the womb, also grow in the muscle wall of the womb. Yes, the womb gets bigger. On some, Adenomyosis can result in heavy periods (not on me thankfully). But, it sure can cause terrible period cramps, even before or after menstrual period. And no paracetamol and ordinary painkillers can tone it down. Some said, this condition comes with age (40+) and also C-section surgery (I had two, so yeah).

Chin Acne comes in various form, it can be blackheads, whiteheads, or cystic acne. In my case, they’re usually lots of congestions and some cystic acne. Because they’re caused by hormonal problem, obviously any topical treatment just won’t do. Adenomyosis caused estrogen imbalance, meanwhile we need estrogen to keep our skin clear. That’s why my chin acne just won’t heal no matter what kind of products I use. So, if a normal person’s skin got monthly pimples due to hormonal surges before period, I have them every day because of my hormonal imbalance (thanks Adenomyosis!).


If you’re having the same problems, better check and talk to your ObGyn, so he/she might suggest oral medication options. My ObGyn prescribed VISANNE for me.

When I googled it, it is used for the treatment of the painful symptoms of endometriosis. It really helps to reduce the pain without sacrificing estrogen level. And I saw better improvement on my face too after two months of consuming this. Yes, it took that long for them to clear up.


Talking about consumption, also try to start addressing the food and beverage you’re taking. Personally (even if it’s hard as hell), I tried to consume less dairy and sugar, also less fried food. 1000mg Vitamin C is also a must and I’ve been doing morning sunbathing to get my natural vitamin D. And yes, being at home for more than 2 months without no makeup on did help, too!

Even though this problem comes from the inside, but still you have to do proper skincare routine. Mine is quite simple: Cleanse, Tone, Chemical Exfoliation (with Glycolic, two times a week), Hydrate and Sun Protection (in the morning). And last but not least, Retinol as twice a week treatment. Here are a few of my favorites.

Please note that I also did some research online to do this post. Before taking any oral medication, please speak to your ObGyn.



Obviously, before my first fungal-acne attacked in 2018, I didn’t even know which ingredients triggered them. But after the healing process, my whole skincare regimen has changed a lot. To give you a clearer idea, here’s my minimal skincare routine back in 2018.

Here’s my updated minimal skincare routine now, please note that these are during #stayathome periods (you’d be surprised, the more time I have the simpler the routine becomes).


CLEANSE: First thing that I apply in the morning, cotton pads soaked with warm water to wipe away oil residue and nighttime products. Then I cleanse with TATCHA THE DEEP CLEANSE, which I intend to finish before it expired. Luckily mine is a travel size ones.

TONE: I never skip toner, because I believe if I did, my pores will clog more. My current fave is EUCERIN DERMATOCLEAN CLARIFYING TONER, it’s not an exfo toner or hydrating ones, it’s a perfect daily toner that won’t irritate sensitive skin.

TREAT: I skip moisturizer in the morning, just because this #stayathome period. Instead, I do something that I rarely did back in the old days. AM Treatment! I dab on acne treatment and dark spot treatment on specific spots. My current faves: DERMA E VERY CLEAR SPOT TREATMENT (for pimples) and GOODAL GREEN TANGERINE VITA C DARK SPOT SERUM (for post acne marks). Both can be use on daytime, so I maximize this period to make sure pimples and dark spots are treated during daytime, too.

If I have to catch some sun in the morning (which I do lately every morning), this is my HG sunscreen: SKIN AQUA UV SUPER MOISTURE GEL SPF50+ PA++++. I admit it’s hard to find a new replacement for this. It’s not waterproof, so easy to clean with just micellar water (no need for balm or oil).


CLEANSE: I will use BIODERMA SENSIBIO H2O to cleanse my leftover sunscreen and continue with PETER THOMAS ROTH IRISH MOOR MUD PURIFYING CLEANSING GEL. I use the cleansing gel with my FOREO LUNA3.

TONE: As lazy as I can be these days, I only use ALPHA H LIQUID GOLD, alternating with EUCERIN DERMATOCLEAN CLARIFYING TONER.

SERUM: On my non-exfo days, I apply GLOSSIER SUPER PURE SERUM.

TREATMENT: I apply DRUNK ELEPHANT A PASSIONI RETINOL CREAM twice a week, topped with DRUNK ELEPHANT T.L.C FRAMBOOS GLYCOLIC NIGHT SERUM. I love this combination for my never ending clogged pores problem.

HYDRATE: Last step for PM routine is to hydrate, with my old time favorite, VICHY MINERAL 89 – SKIN FORTIFYING DAILY BOOSTER. I love this because it’s gel, absorbs easily and feels so light on skin.



Sorry for such long hiatus. Dealing with a lot of things at once is no joke, people! Being physically and mentally healthy at this time is like liquid gold, don’t you agree? I’m trying to #stayhome as much as I can during this Covid19 outbreak (on almost 30 days now-and I didn’t even go out to do my groceries anymore). But doing nothing at home, literally can do serious damage to my bank account if I’m not careful. Online shopping is so tempting, don’t you agree?

As much as I tempted to try lots of new skincare products, I’d try my best to stick to the ones that work well. Here are a few of my favorite things if I have to repurchase during this hard time. Till then, stay safe and healthy.


Personally I prefer this rather than The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. I apply this on dry, clean skin followed by their B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum. I believe this helped my bumpy skin (due to close comedo) and it didn’t cause me any purging. The one thing that I don’t like is the expensive price.


It didn’t zap away pimples in one night, but it healed them well. This gel will help to reduce the redness and worked well on cystic acnes and those pesky little bumps too. Totally recommended, even though it’s not cheap for a spot treatment.


I pick emulsion rather than moisturizer because they are lighter in texture. This is my favorite emulsion, it contains minimal ingredients and safe for Fungal Acne. Hard to find here in Jakarta, but always restock when I travel abroad.


Refreshing, cooling, mattifying. What’s not to love about this Zinc Sulfate face mist/no fuss toner? Make sure to hydrate properly after this toner/face mist.


Being one of the pioneers of acne patches, they really stick like no other. If you have super oily skin like me and having trouble of sliding acne patches, this one’s for you. This works really well on extracting the puss out of matured pimples. And please guys, do not wear them under makeup, they still show.



Hope all of you are well. Here where I live, in Jakarta, Indonesia, currently there’s no lockdown for now, but most of us are following the Stay-At-Home advice due to Corona Virus Outbreak.

Anyway, I’ve been a stay at home mom every now and then, so I have no problem with this, kinda enjoy it. But, I can imagine for those who are not, you might be bored as hell. Well, I hope my tips below will help.


7 SKIN METHOD. Yes, those toner layering stuff. Back in my working days, I didn’t have time to layer my toner until 7 layers. But now, I do enjoy layering them and taking my time in between layers.


NECK CARE. While we are busy taking care of our face, we should not, and I repeat, should not neglect our neck skin care. Personally I love to slather night cream as an additional step on my PM skincare routine for neck.


DIY FACIAL. Personally, I’m not a big fan of facial at beauty clinic because most of them involve comedo extractions that can cause more damage on my skin. I prefer to do it my self at home, with my own skin care and my latest purchase, FOREO Luna 3 to massage.


MULTI MASKING. Those were the days that we didn’t have the time to apply multiple masks on one face. But now, that we have all the time in the world, let’s do this! It’s the perfect timing & opportunity to treat different areas with different needs at the same time.


DIY HAIR TREATMENT. Now that we are doing social distancing, it’s impossible to have hair treatment in the hair salon as much as we want to. So, why don’t we do it ourselves? Sure you can’t have the delightful hair massage, but you can apply hair mask, put a cap on and let it be while you’re eating hot instant noodle and watching TV at the same time.


DERMAROLLING. I do recommend this, especially for those who have deep acne scars. For beginners, try the lowest needle depth (0,25mm) to see if your skin can tolerate it. I did a post on how to do dermarolling, please click here.

READ BEAUTY BOOKS. Running out of Netflix ideas? Well, there are books. These are the best time to finish reading them. Don’t let them collect dusts, and I prefer to read these rather than reading many hoax about Corona Virus in Social Media, or ignorant people that still unaware of the danger of this virus (people, please).


TEETH POLISHING. The natural way, that is. Personally I use this charcoal powder, that reminds me a lot of the more expensive ones.

BRUSH CLEANING. Admit it, when was the last time you wash them? Now that we don’t have to put on makeup to go out, don’t you think it’s time to let those brushes rest in clean state?

CLEAN UP VANITY. Never a better timing to toss away expired beauty products, or that lipstick shades that never been worn for more than a year. Clean and organized vanity will sparks joy (and add more space for new ones later), for sure!



There’s nothing worse than painful comedo extraction that left my face like tons of open wound.


Thanks to my super-sensitive skin, my skin will become red and looked worse painful comedo extraction. And yes, I do hate those traditional method when the therapist did cleansing, then straight to steaming only for a few minutes and start pricking, pressing and popping. I’m sure until today there’s still debate on “should you really pop up everything in facial treatment room?”

I am an anti-extraction. I don’t like the pain (it hurts like hell) and the after-math. But, things are done, and all I can do is to let my skin to calm down, soothe and heal them after all the aggressive treatment.

  1. Let them be for at least 6 hours after. Don’t touch, don’t pick, and avoid using makeup at all costs. Just go home straight after the treatment and sulk (LOL). Feel burned? Spray VICHY Mineralizing Thermal Water in between, and let it dry by itself.
  2. After 6 hours passed, do double cleanse. I use Bioderma Sensibio H2O first (with cotton pads), then Drunk Elephant Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser after. Gently pat dry with soft, dry and clean towel.
  3. Skip toner. Instead, I use this DIY Oatmeal solution (chill them inside the fridge, because cold temperature might help to reduce redness, irritation and puffiness). Dampened the compressed sheet-mask inside the icy cold solution, put it on for about 20 minutes.
  4. Or if you don’t have time to make your own sheet mask, I do recommend BE PLAIN Bamboo Healing Mask. Infused in bamboo water, this will help to soothe and refresh. Keep it in the fridge, as cold stuff will help lessen the inflammation.
  5. While my skin is still damp, I apply APIEU Madecassoside Ampoule. You see Madecassoside is known as best solution for damaged skin from dryness. Pat gently to absorb then move on to next step.
  6. Serum. I use this AQULABO Vinyasa Calming Serum. As the name stated, it’s a calming serum to reduce stress on the skin after a horrible extraction.
  7. Don’t forget to (still) hydrate your skin. I personally love ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence, because it has been tested as a low irritation skin care product.
  8. Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion is the final step, just to make sure that on your skin’s most sensitive state, it will stay hydrated, soft and supple. Oh did I mention, this calm the redness too?

Extra tips:

  • When your skin feels inflamed with burning sensation after facial, you might want to consider drinking an Ibuprofen pill to ease any pain.
  • Stay out of the sun, and keep cool (literally). Warm weather will worsen the burn sensation, so it’s best to stay indoor while healing and turn on that AC.

Remember that each of us human beings have different pain tolerance and healing level. While my skin took longer to heal all those scabs and back to their original state, yours might not. So again, I do recommend (again and again) to listen to your skins’ needs before you do any facial treatments.



Introducing the latest product from one of my favorite local brand.

It’s rare that a local beauty brand launch mascara, since there are lots of world players on this crowded beauty market. So, congrats to Rollover Reaction team.

This mascara only available in shade CARBON, which is a dark black.

They named this “Eyelash Perfector” instead of a good ol’ plain “Mascara”. So, what’s the formulation? Well, it contains copolymer that supposedly laminates every single lash, withstand water and smudging. Yet, it can easily be removed with lukewarm water. It doesn’t contain UV absorbent, paraben, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance and colorant.

Check out the brush. It comes with a helix-shaped brush, a three dimensional curved brush to mimic natural eye shape, and also to create curl & volume. So yes, this can be categorized as a curl & volume mascara. This brush is also make it easier to reach for the corner lash by using its’ tip.

Having a typical Asian’s lashes (read: dead straight), I need curl & definitely need volume for my sparse lashes. Result is natural looking lashes, with no clump with one application. Not sure if it’s waterproof, but it didn’t smudge on me (and I have very oily eyelids). And it’s really easy to wash off at the end of the day.

(top) BEFORE (below) AFTER

Priced at IDR149K a pop, BATLASH! Is now available online & offline.



Never underestimate the power of primer.

But, do we really need one? Investing in a face primer is necessary for those who want their makeup to last longer. And having a fungal-acne prone skin and adult acnes are still hunting me, it’s not easy to find one that’s safe. But I found them. Read on!

As you might all be aware already, most of primers do contain silicone (which might come in different names on the ingredients’ list like dimethicone), which still become a debate on how they will clogged pores or not. They are widely used for primers, just because they do create a barrier and make sure our skin looks smoother by filling in pores and lines. Unfortunately, some people are allergic to silicone. Those who have acne-prone skin or have rosacea, are not recommended to use anything with silicone as it may occlude pores and make them worse. So, proceed with caution.

Personally, I don’t use primer everyday. I use it when I know I’m going to be out and about for longer hours. Or I use it when I filmed for YouTube and create content for IG and this blog. On daily basis (now that I’m not working full time), I only wear concealer and compact powder as base.

I believe these primers below helped me to create healthy and glowing looking skin. See my ‘before after’ pics, and you’ll agree with me that all the ‘after’ pics do look similar in terms of giving my skin that “not dead matte” look. Lately, I’ve been avoiding matte base as they will settle more on my lines and pores. Well, matte no more!


As the name stated, we can use this as a primer and/or setting mist. Perfect if you want that glowing look, I’ll let my pics be the judge.

You can also spritz your beauty blender with this, if you wish to glow subtly. Or spray directly and evenly all over the face before foundation, or after makeup to set everything.

PRO: Comes in a spray form, feels lighter on skin than ordinary creamy primers.

CON: By the end of the day, if you live in a humid and hot city like me, you’ll look oily not dewy and fresh like when you initially spray it.


Now, this one will keep makeup looking and stay fresh all-day. With its’ gel texture, this apply lightly on skin and very easy to blend. Personally, I use this with damp beauty blender before applying liquid foundation.

PRO: Gave velvet-smooth looking skin and safe for fungal-acne

CON: It’s fragranced


I’m not sure why they categorized this as moisturizer. Probably because unlike other primers that I’ve tried, this actually add hydration. But anyway, I treated this like a primer, because of its’ pore-blurring capability.

PRO: You can feel that moisturizing feeling and it’s safe for fungal-acne. And it looks better at the end of the day (weird but true).

CON: It has alcohol and fragrance



IT’S NO MIRACLE: But it’s multi-function, not just a cleanser, it’s also a scrub and a mask.
PACKAGING: dark green (see through) hygienic pump bottle.
TEXTURE: Like liquid gel with tiny pieces of green tea leaves and smells like mint.

WHEN TO USE? Personally, I use this once a week, only as a mask because it contains BHA.
BUBBLE EFFECT: Bubble up pretty fast in about 3 minutes (for full face bubble effect).
HOW TO USE? On clean dried skin, wait till it bubbled-up till 5 minutes, wet your hands and start scrubbing before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water.

RESULT: Love how it made my skin feels very clean and cool. Pore feels tighter. However, it didn’t eliminate blackheads instantly, so don’t hope too much.
FUNGAL ACNE SAFE? It is safe for fungal acne.
PRICE: IDR 160K for 120gr

PEEL WITH OXYGEN: This is a peeling mask, formulated with Marine Oxygen Plasma, which helps oxygen penetrate further into the skin.
PACKAGING: White Opaque hygienic pump bottle.
TEXTURE: Light blue gel and smells like the ocean.

WHEN TO USE: Once to twice a week as a mask.
BUBBLE EFFECT: Bubble up faster than SOMEBYMI, so therefore need to apply as fast as you can. It produced light and fluffy bubble, like mousse.

HOW TO USE? On clean dried skin, wait till it bubbled-up till 3 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.
RESULT: Delivers brighter skin tone in just one time use. Skin also looks clearer.
FUNGAL ACNE SAFE? Unfortunately not.
PRICE: IDR 550K for 100ml.