Wednesday, September 05, 2012

My French "No Water" Skin Care Routine

I know, I know. I have gone AWOL again. I guess you can say I am still in my adjustment phase. Imagine, a new baby and a new home (yes, we moved three weeks after Xavi was born!), on top of all my other responsibilities. 

So yeah, writing really took a back seat. But anyhoo! I am slowly getting back into the groove of things, and hopefully I can squeeze in more "me time" (which these days means just having enough time to take a bath, nyarks). But ahhh! The bonus of not spending time in front of the computer and having to unpack and organize our stuff also means more time for me to organize my stash of baby and beauty products and testing them on the kiddos (baby prods) and myself (beauty prods). 

I have so many discoveries and re-discoveries. Plus of course my old reliables that I ought to share with you (seriously, I get Aha! moments while using these products when I realize I have been keeping them to myself. To think these are too good to not be shared here in the blog).

But before I go to all those, I'll start off with my starting point for skin care - cleansing. My cleansing routine is sort of revolutionary really. I have tweeted about this on and off for months now, and for my Twitter friends, you know what I am talking about - Garance Dore's "NO WATER" skin cleansing routine.

Yes, you read that right, NO WATER. Tap water that is. Because there's thermal water involved here:

Ok, quick background. Six months or so ago, I happened upon Garance Dore's post on skin care. Apparently, tap water is our skin's worst enemy (I can practically see my friend Kris aka OC Mom in Manila seconding this one, with the statistics to back it up!). 

1/ The milk makeup remover Hydrabio Lait
2/ Avène’s Thermal Spring Water
3/ The moisturizing cream Ictyane H.D. “for severe dry skin.”

Then, I realized, I had two huge spray bottles of Avène stashed in our bath - 1 unopened and 1 that I barely used. It was kismet really. Finally a reason for being here, considering the sort of reasons I bought them back when we were still living in Singapore, were really flimsy:

1/ It was on "Buy 1, Take 1" which came out to about SGD $29.90 for 2 or something like that
2/ It's a French beauty brand, a drugstore brand yes, but it's French. So there.
3/ I like the packaging okay?

But since I do not live in France and have limited access to European beauty brands, I made do with the products that worked extremely well for me all these years. So my 3 essential products looked like this:

1/ Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
2/ Avène’s Thermal Spring Water
3/ SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Yes, it was with a bit of trepidation that I started eliminating water in my cleansing routine and began sticking to three products. "How effective could it really be?" I thought. Images of blackheads on my nose and yucky skin came into the picture. But since I was staying home most of the time anyway because I was on bed rest, I went ahead and took the plunge, ironically.

Fast forward to 6 months later and you know, my skin has been better than ever! No oiliness, no enlarged pores, not even a zit! None of that "greasy Peking duck" skin Garance was afraid of. She herself said it this way, after taking her dermato's advice:

"But quite quickly, the shine started going down. My skin started to get more supple, clearer and even if it shined a little (it’s just how it is, so stupid.), it was at its healthiest… It looked pretty."

Yes. I feel the same way about my skin now. Yes, ever since I started quitting tap water. A few days ago though, I started using Clarins Anti-Ageing Double Serum in lieu of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and oooh la la! It's like magic! 

Why do I say magic? Well, a lady at my OB's clinic thought I looked 15 years younger than I actually am (ok, maybe she was just being nice). But just this afternoon, my mom asked me what makeup I've been using and I said, "Huh? None!" And she said my skin looked really good. This coming from a woman who would tell me the truth, even if it hurt and damaged my self-esteem. Haha!

Once I've used my Clarins Double Serum longer than 2 weeks (results visible in 4 weeks actually but if I were to believe the feedback I've been getting, 2 weeks should do it), I will do a more comprehensive review. Meanwhile, let me do an FAQ on this "No Water" Skin Care Routine.

How do you take a bath?

I had an Aquasana water filter installed, so no worries about tap water touching my face. But if you don't have a shower filter installed and it can be helped, just avoid getting water on your face.

If its any consolation, I have been sans filter the past three weeks because I need to have it installed in our new bath room, and so far, I have just been trying not to get my face wet in the shower and it hasn't had any bad effect on my skin.

What's the step by step?

1/ On your dry/dirty face, pat with Cetaphil and massage onto skin
2/ With a cotton pad, wipe off Cetaphil
3/ Spray face with Avène Thermal Spring Water and let it dry
4/ Follow with moisturizer

If you use heavy make-up, its fine to use a cleansing oil. Whatever cleansing oil works for you is fine. I use shu uemura's brightening cleansing oil.

What if I can't find Avène Thermal Spring Water here in the Philippines?

Try using Evian.

Dear Readers, if you have further questions, feel free to leave it on the comments section. I will do my best to answer!


janie said...

Thanks for sharing, Tin! Been waiting for this! =) I tried this routine (though not religiously) after you tweeted last time, and hubby says my skin looks better daw hehe =) Btw, do you still use your clarisonic while on this routine?

cd_mfo said...

My skin feels cleaner too! I don't even use Clarisonic these days

Clara said...

Thanks for sharing! Btw are you Chinese?

cd_mfo said...

You're welcome Clara! I am part-Chinese 😊

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine...Evian is purified water, right? I was wondering if our local brands of purified water would do. - Edna Morales

cd_mfo said...

Hi Ms. Edna! I think that could work, maybe just buy a spray mist container to put it in?

Run Around Girl said...

Wow Tin I want to see your skin! You've always had great skin naman diba? I had a Purity facial at The Spa Rockwell and kept wondering why they weren't "washing" my face, the facialist just kept spraying Selvert thermal water and wiping with cotton pads. I even asked her if I should wash my face afterwards and she said no! There's a reason pala.

Joey Dy said...

Hi Christine!

Thanks so much for sharing this :)
BTW i tried looking for the clarins double serum, but there are so many kinds of double serum. The others have a peach colored bottle container. Just wanted to ask where you bought yours?

Im currently at 39 weeks and my skin is starting to rebel na. Hopefully this routine will work for me.

Also, where do I use the shu cleansing oil? I just alternate it with cetaphil right then use avene?

Thanks again! :)

cd_mfo said...

Hi Pam! I've been on this "routine" for 6 months na so you've seen the effects hehehe! ;) But yeah, I noticed that most facial spas don't wash face with water nga, more of just misting or sponging only.

cd_mfo said...

Hi Joey! This is the newest one, and it's available in Rustan's. As for the cleansing oil, I use the she cleansing oil first, then mist, cleanse and rinse. Then I apply Cetaphil after just for extra cleansing although it's not really necessary. I've tried going straight from shu cleansing oil to misting after and it seems fine too!

ree said...

I read this on GD's blog and was interested/apprehensive. Just couldn't imagine NOT washing my face with water at the start and end of my day! But since I trust testimonials like yours and GD's, and thanks for the nudge via this post, I will be trying this technique very soon :-) I also love the timing of this post since 1) fall is just around the corner, hello dry skin 2) today for the first time I splurged on pricey face and eye creams, and 3) I'm off to Paris in a couple weeks so great way to get into frenchie mental state pre-trip :D thanks for sharing!

cd_mfo said...

Wow Paris! My pleasure Ree!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your routine MFO! :) Just wanna ask where in Singapore specifically can I buy the Avene thermal spring water? Thanks!

Nina said...

Hi! What do you use to rinse off the Shu cleansing oil- mineral water? Thanks!

cd_mfo said...

Anon: I got mine from Watson's =)

Nina: I just rinse with tap water (better if you have a water filter like Aquasana), then continue on by drying face and then spraying on Avene thermal water

Anonymous said...

How can I do OCM while doing this? Do I have to use purified water? Do you do OCM while doing this regimen?

Anonymous said...

I'm on day 1 of the no water skincare routing, i hope i could last to see the results, given the hot Singapore weather. Wish me luck!

Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...


Will this routine minimize pimple breakouts as well? I currently moved to Manila and since then I have observed that my pimples are popping out everywhere :(


cd_mfo said...

Hi Anon! It could work, give it a try! Tap water in Manila, sad to say, could be harsh on your skin!

Anonymous said...

Hi, we can't buy any SK-II here in Manila right? So you've changed to Clarins? How much is it in Rustans?

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm pregnant I assume these products are safe for pregnant women? Thanks Again!

cd_mfo said...

Anon, sorry for replying just now! Yes both SK-II and Clarins are safe for pregnant women. Clarins Double Serum is about Php3,750

Anonymous said...

My skin has been breaking out like crazy after trying out diff. cleansers so I'm hoping this would help speed the healing process.

Just wondering, when you use cetaphil then after massaging, do you find na parang it dried on your skin already and it's hard to get off with the cotton pad? Or are you supposed to use the thermal water to remove the cetaphil then use cotton pad after to remove excess product?

Not sure if I'm doing it right so hope you can help! :)


cd_mfo said...

Hi Ryl! I actually just spread a generous amount around the face, and then wipe it away with the cotton pad. I find that that takes out a lot of the makeup and grime already. Usually skin feels tight after wiping it off, so that when I a spray with Avene, and I just let the water air dry before applying moisturizers and serums. Hope this helps!

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