5-Step Guide to a Southeast Asian Skincare Routine

The countries of Southeast Asia have mostly a beautiful tropical climate that can unfortunately be harsh on delicate skin. In order to maintain my skin, I believe it is important to adhere to a skincare routine and gather a wide array of beauty products; each tackling different issues. Each of these 5 products treats skin that's typically exposed to hot and humid weather, and if you layer them according to your skin type, you are assured to be more comfortable in your own skin.

1. Oils, Foaming Cleansers and the 424 Method

The 424 method is a daily cleansing regimen for the face and neck that I highly recommend. This skincare routine combines four minutes of oil cleansing, two minutes of foam cleansing and four minutes of rinsing with water.

First, it is important for you to use an oil-based cleanser daily as part of your pre-cleansing routine. Oil cleansers are great for removing make-up thoroughly without drying out your skin. Briskly rub the cleanser in a counter-clockwise fashion around your face and neck for a minimum of four minutes.

Next, thoroughly cleanse your skin with a foaming or gel cleanser. This will clean the skin after your make-up is removed. Try to get a product that has a pH below 7, since higher pH products can damage your skin's natural protective barrier and leave it vulnerable.

Finally, gently remove the foaming cleanser with cold water. Splash your face and neck consistently over a four minute interval, and then carefully blot your face and neck dry.

2. Sunscreen

It is always important to use sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage. You should invest in a minimum of SPF 30 protection for maximum defence against tropical UV rays. I recommend that you do a quick check on your hand to ensure that the product is not too greasy or heavy.

Apply sunscreen all over your face and neck and any other exposed body parts. Not only does sunscreen prevent wrinkles and unsightly sunburn,  it is also known to protect skin from possibilities of developing skin cancer.

3. Toners and Boosters

Toners and boosters provide your facial skin with extra moisture, most of which can be stripped away during cleansing. They also increase the effectiveness of the other skin products that you will subsequently apply. Try to apply toners within 2 minutes of cleansing your face.

Though some skin care lines have separate toners and boosters, it is probably best to get a two-in-one product that will cover both needs so you will save time getting ready.

4. Essences and Sheet Masks

Essences are serums that are formulated for  treatment of specific facial skin problems, such as, but not limited to: acne, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, dryness or dullness. Essences are packed with plenty of beneficial ingredients that will combat any of your unique skin issues.

Sheet masks are very thin cotton sheets that you can soak in essences and apply daily to target areas. Sheet masks are not only used for essence, however. They are also handy for moisturising, toning, exfoliating or whitening. Using these sheets enables your treatments to better penetrate your skin and do so over a longer period of time.

I feel that if you stock up on these skin care treatments and follow the routine, you should effectively be able to protect your skin from the hot and humid climate of Southeast Asia. Remember, these products are best when used as directed and for consistent periods of time. However, after repeated use, they have all been proven to produce great results.