Ready Regimen: Kimchi

by Kimchi Lee

Kimchi is a designer and illustrator born in Auckland and currently based in Manila. She has an endless love of dogs, typography, and all things creative. Follow her on Instagram and visit her website to see more of her artistic pursuits.


I’m a big believer in skincare. By that I mean I’m completely lazy in putting makeup on and dislike the feeling of it weighing down on my face mixed with sweat, so I had to find ways to maintain my one physical asset. I’m lucky enough to have good skin from the get-go, classified as a normal-type with possible rosacea and the occasional breakouts.

Once again, I am very lazy, currently live in super humid and sunny Manila, and long routines bore me so I’ve had to find a routine that actually works for me. Here's what I packed on my most recent trip:

1.     First cleanser. This has to be oil-based to draw out.. oil (like dirt, makeup, etc). I use Banila Co’s Clean It Zero since cleansing oils feel greasy (duh), but the balm makes it fun and travel-friendly. I normally wash it off with water after gently rubbing it in just to feel extra clean.

2.     Second cleanser. This is something that must be water-based/gentle enough for daily use. I’ve heard good things about COSRX’s Low PH Good Morning Cleanser but since it’s always out of stock, I’m simply using Bioderma’s Micellar Water.

3.     Hydrating Toner. Apparently, most Western toners typically have alcohol or astringent properties, whilst Asian ones are hydrating or balance the pH level of your skin. Since I was given SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, I might as well use it. But, I have to say it really does seem to work. A cheaper alternative would be Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence, or so they say. Haven’t tried that.

4.     Moisturize. Normally I use Nature Republic Shea Butter Moist Steam Cream but since I forgot to pack some, I used Benton Snail Bees High Content Steam Cream here.

5.     Sunscreen! As long as I know I’ll be under the sun, I have to put on Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50 PA+++ (look it’s even got an award). I’ve seen pictures of what sun damage can do to your skin, outlook's not good.

An important thing to note is that steps 3 and 4 are applied in a certain manner in which I pat it upwards from the outside of my face to the inner part. They say pulling/pushing the skin as you apply product could increase the chances of your skin sagging, whilst patting it upwards kind of makes your skin absorb it before the product is subject to rules of *~gravity~* so maybe try patting. No harm done.

After all this, I either go my merry way or start putting make-up on if I feel like it. So far, it works pretty well, although I still haven’t gotten rid of my dark circles but that’s probably due to my sleeping habits. Good job.