If you love skincare just as much as us, say hello to your new must-follow Instagram account: Project Skincare. Created by Pinay makeup artist Christine Lavina, Project Skincare contains curations and reviews of the different product she uses and loves.
To know the story behind all her heart-worthy posts, we spoke to Christine about all things skincare. Read on!
When did your love for skincare begin?
Christine: About two years ago, I met a friend's friend—a flight attendant based in Korea—and her skin was basically poreless! I asked what she does to get gorgeous skin and she talked about the 10-step Korean routine.
That was the beginning of my ~obsession~. But when I started exploring Korean skincare, I really didn't have anyone to talk to about it since none of my friends were interested in it.
[I created Project Skincare] to connect with people who have a genuine love for it and learn more about the different steps and products. I also wanted to have a ~*visual diary*~ to keep track, look back, and see what products worked and didn't work for me.
What do you love about Asian skincare products?
Christine: Their new products and formulations are amazing! I also love that Korean skincare products focus on nourishing the skin, even those that treat issues like acne; and that you can customize your routine depending on your complexion's needs. Plus, they are generally more affordable than western skincare products.
FYI, while a majority of the products I use are Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese, I also use some from the west!
What was your skincare regimen before?
Christine: I was just using the basics: Cleanser, toner, eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen. However, I didn't use them religiously. I never really thought about my product choices, and it was always "pwede na 'yan." I [only] started using skincare products in my 30s. Thankfully, my skin wasn't so problematic, aside from several whitehead bumps.
Being a makeup artist, I was more focused on makeup products. It was only when I started to really take care of my skin that I realized how true the saying "skin first, makeup second" is. Makeup can definitely hide blemishes and cover discoloration, but not the skin’s texture. Good skin really is the best canvas for makeup!
What's your current skincare routine like?
Christine: Since the weather is getting warmer, I do a basic routine in the morning: Cleansing water or a low pH cleanser, a hydrating toner and essence for oily skin, a niacinamide serum, an anti-pollution serum, an eye cream, a lightweight moisturizer, and a sunscreen.
At night, I do an extensive routine because I have more time for it. I start with a double cleanse, followed by a pH adjusting toner, then a chemical exfoliant—alternating between Vitamin C, BHA, and Retinoid. I hydrate and soothe my skin with a cocktail of serums and/or facial oils, and sometimes, I use a sheet mask. This is followed by an eye cream, moisturizer, and a sleeping mask. Sometimes, I would also do a facial massage with a jade roller and facial oil to help me relax and rejuvenate my complexion.
What are your favorite skincare brands?
Christine: Just one, actually: COSRX! It's the first brand I check out when I'm searching for a new product to address a specific concern. But I also like Elizavecca (They have the cutest packaging and great products!), Leegeeham, and The Ordinary for its affordability.
Where do you shop for your skincare products?
Christine: I usually shop online at Althea, The Skincare Curator, a few Shopee and Instagram stores, and some Facebook closed group sellers. I also shamelessly ask friends and family members to buy for me abroad—LOL!
How do you decide which products to try next?
Christine: Generally, I follow a "one product at a time" rule when trying something new, and also test it for one to two weeks so that if I get an irritation, I can easily pinpoint what's causing it.
While I try to finish a product before opening a new one—since I have quite a stash—I try to go through them faster to avoid some products expiring. When deciding what to try next, I observe what my skin currently needs. Most of the time, I'll pick one that addresses my oily skin. Although there are times when I'd pick a product with brightening, pore-minimizing, or anti-aging properties.
I also came up with a skincare routine planner so it’s easier for me to keep track of alternating acids and also testing new products. It’s available to download for free if anyone is interested! :)
If you could only keep one skincare product, what would it be?
Christine: Sunscreen! It's the best anti-aging product you could use. It doesn't give instantaneous results as it's all about prevention and protecting your skin. The products you use to address skin concerns won't be as effective if you don't protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. It’s never too early to start, too. It was the first skincare product I taught my daughter to use when she turned 13.
I know it's only supposed to be one product, but I have to include a highly concentrated vitamin C serum here, which has been a total game-changer for me. It gave me clearer, brighter, more even-toned, and glowing skin! My skin wasn't (and will never be) perfect, but I was really happy with my skin, for the first time ever.
*Answers have been edited for clarity.
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