My Top Shelf

As you know, we here at Sari-Sari  Stories are a group of Gen Xers into our late 30s. At this age, it is very important that we take good care of our skin. Let me start by saying I have really bad, sensitive skin. I breakout at the tiniest provocation, which can be a real pain. My own sweat makes me breakout. It has been a trial and error for most products over the years. Shampoos make me breakout in my forehead and temples, while body wash and soaps, on my back. I have to be careful especially with face wash as I get a bad reaction all over my face. I discovered and realized that simple products works best for me, meaning those with less chemicals and fragrance, and “natural”.

For my hair, I alternate between different shampoos. I read somewhere that shampoos work better if you use them in rotation. I alternate between Zen Nutrients Gugo Shampoo and Conditioner, Marc Anthony Oil of Morroco, which is sulfate free and best for color treated hair, Herbal Essenses Naked, Macadamia Cleansing Conditioner, and Kerastase. Once a week I use a clarifying shampoo by Neutrogena to remove product build-up. And Nizoral every 4 days for dandruff prevention. I recently had issues with a salon that over-processed my hair so I have to use Bed Head TIGI Resurrection to “resurrect” my damaged locks. I use it with a sulfate and fragrance free shampoo by Snoe.

For the body, I also like to alternate between body washes. Fragrance is not an issue for me here so I go with what smells good for me. For everyday, I use Dove body wash and bar soap. I just finished my Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Wash. I also like the smell of Bath and Body Works Olive Showe Gel (buy Body Shop products when on sale, they have great deals!) I like to use the corresponding lotion to layer the fragrances. I especially like L’occitane’s Verveine body wash and lotion and try to save it for special occasions.

Have I mentioned that I have sensitive skin? My underarms get irritated with deodorant so I have to be careful with them and can’t use them everyday. I switch from Dove and Nature’s Gate. In between days, I apply an antibiotic cream (I got this from my dermatologist) to my pits in place of deodorant to counteract offensive smells, lol.

As for my face, I have oily skin. That, large pores make a terrible combination. It seemed like acne was waiting for me all my life and couldn’t wait to meet me once I hit puberty. Acne has always been a problem for me. I thought I overcame it when I reached my 20s but alas, our love affair did not end there. I was plagued by adult on-set acne when I was at my late 20s partly due to stress and hormones. Recently, I had to take birth control pills to control hormones that causes acne. I’ve been to a lot of dermatologists, and I realise it’s a matter of being “hiyang.” Same goes for facial products. I’ve tried and tested a lot, and these have been pretty good to me, meaning no breakouts or allergies. I’ve been using the Clarisonic Mia brush for several years now. I use it only at night with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash. I feel like my face is not as clean if I don’t use it. The Neutrogena contains salicylic which is good for acne-prone skin, specifically for blackheads and whiteheads. But if too much it causes drying (which is not good for oily skin as it makes it produce more oil) so I use Cetaphil Oil Control Foam Wash in the mornings. I use Cerave or Cetaphil Facial Wash for Normal to Oily skin to remove make-up. Once I week I use Cure to exfoliate. The Aztec Secret I recently bought, it has over a thousand positive reviews on and I have yet to try.

Now for skin care. I did say I have problem skin, right? I regularly go to a dermatologist, otherwise I will regret it later. Most of the products I use I got from the doctor. I go to Dr. Sylvia Huang in Greenhills and, upon Bobbie’s recommendation, the Aivee Clinic in Megamall. I rarely buy OTC products because I almost always breakout. I swear, it’s a pain. After washing, I use a pore-minimizing toner by Dr. Huang, followed by a clindamycin solution for ance. If I have a pimple I use a spot treatment like Duac. In the daytime I apply AHA lotion by the Aivee Clinic, followed by Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer with SPF 30. Even though I have oily skin, I still use moisturiser, because like I said, dryness is not good, too. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of suncreen. I’ve been using it since my early 20s. KT, on the other hand, has been applying sunblock since college! At night, after applying toner and clindamycin, I put on SK II. This was my recent purchase from Haneda airport (cheaper there). And immediately I noticed an improvement on my skin. So far, so good! Up until recently, I’ve been using Clarins Double Serum, White Plus Serum, and Shaping Facial Lift. I had  really high hopes for the Double Serum as it has received multiple beauty awards and received good consumer reviews. I had used up three-quarters of the bottle when I noticed my skin breaking out so I had to stop altogether with the Clarins, too bad. I also apply a bleaching cream by Dr. Aivee for acne scars and brown spots.


To be continued…




4 thoughts on “My Top Shelf

  1. Did you undergo any type of facial treatment? Still contemplating whether or not I should try Aivee Clinic. My main problem would have to be my very, very oily skin.


    1. I’ve had CO2 treatments but not at the Aivee Clinic. I mostly just get regular facials at Aivee. And I noticed that the medicines they prescribed generally helped with the oiliness. Very happy with Aivee Clinic so far.


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