All the skincare products I’ve tried to make my skin look alive again

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Art by Angela Go Agustin

If a cup of coffee isn’t enough to get you through the day, here are some new additions to your beauty routine that may do the trick.


For most of my life I’ve followed a very low-maintenance skincare routine—by that I mean splashing on some water and calling it a day is usually enough for me. But as I get older and as my lifestyle changes I find that there is now a greater need to be more thoughtful about what I do about my face and the products that I use. 

I’m sure many people experience similar day-to-day factors that affect their complexion such as mine. A combination of chronic stress, lack of sleep, not enough sunlight, unhealthy eating habits, being in front of a screen all day, having zero time for exercise, and sitting in a cold office with dry air for hours—the list goes on and I know you can relate. There’s nothing worse than being physically exhausted and feeling it in your skin, too. 

If you’re starting to look extra dull and dry, and your eyes are feeling droopier than usual, then maybe it’s time to amp up your beauty routine for a perkier and more energized glow. No matter how tired you are and how dead you feel on the inside, a little self-care can go a long way and make all the difference. Whether or not you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep or are ready to face the world, fake it ‘til you make it with the help of these effective products that have helped me immensely.


1. Saturday Skin Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream


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Just a tiny drop of this product can make a huge difference for the dark circles and wrinkles that tend to form when you’re sleep-deprived and exhausted. If you’re carrying a lot of extra (eye) baggage, try this illuminating formula that’s packed with nourishing proteins and antioxidants. It feels more like a smooth velvety gel that doesn’t have that heaviness and oiliness that other creams tend to have, and it’s gentle enough for the delicate areas around your eyes. It’s unscented which is great for people like me who get irritated easily when a product is too fragrant.

Available for P2,550 via Rustan’s The Beauty Source


2. Fenty Skin Flash Nap


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This product is made to make you look like you just woke up from a nap and are ready to conquer the world. This fast-absorbing formula is effective at helping you achieve that well-rested glow even if internally you feel the total opposite. Reduce any unwanted puffiness in just a few strokes with the tiny roller tool that comes with it. It’s meant for the areas under your eyes but I also use it when my cheeks feel more bloated than usual.  It’s small enough to keep in your purse so you can use it on-the-go. I like to reapply it throughout the day when I’m feeling extra tired.

Available for P3,050 via Sephora Philippines


3. Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum


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This night serum ensures that you’ll wake up with healthier, smoother, and clearer skin. It contains salicylic acid which is a popular blemish-fighting ingredient that addresses pore congestion. I find that since I started using it my skin texture has improved, my nose feels less oily, and the little bumps on my forehead have started to flatten. When I wake up in the morning my skin looks less pale and has a much better texture compared to when I forget to apply it. I use it alongside another Drunk Elephant product, the Protini™ Polypeptide Cream, which seals in moisture overnight and balances out the drying tendency that salicylic acid tends to have.

Available for P5650 via LOOK At Me

READ: How Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson cracked the code to ‘biocompatible’ skincare and inclusive success


4. Clé de Peau Beauté The Serum


This magical elixir in a bottle is like a quick drink for parched and tired skin. It delivers a supple and vibrant glow that is clearly evident even after just a few uses. It leverages what the brand calls “Skin Intelligence,” meaning it supports your skin’s own ability to restore and protect itself. I use it alongside Clé de Peau Beauté’s cult status Hydro-Softening Lotion and finish it off with Clé de Peau Beauté’s Correcting Cream Veil to fully prep my skin for the day.

Available for P13,800 via Clé de Peau Beauté Online. Clé de Peau Beauté will donate US$3 for every bottle of The Serum sold globally throughout 2024 to UNICEF in support of their worldwide programs that support girls’ empowerment and education.


5. Two Lips Pout Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum


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Hyaluronic acid is the ultimate solution if you’re looking for a mild skincare ingredient that will bring maximum moisture. Because of how pure this product is I use this as an extra layer that makes my skin feel more firm and taut. This serum in particular can be used on any part of your body, including intimate areas. Add this to your skincare routine for a brighter tone and bouncier texture.

Available for P8,200 via Calyxta 


6. MAC Cosmetics Fix+ Prep + Prime Setting Spray


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Many people call this the holy grail of all facial mists. This lightweight formula gently soothes and refreshes your skin and can be used before and after makeup is applied. Keep it in the fridge so it becomes an extra cooling and refreshing shock to your system. It goes great with our hot and humid climate and I like to keep it with me at all times because it removes the stickiness caused by sweat and pollution.

Available for P1,800 via Rustan’s The Beauty Source

READ: Bedtime to beauty: My 5-step skincare routine to wake up to my best skin

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