beauty blog: The secret to good skin from Niu ErAfter attending the Kose Beauty Talkshow with skincare expert Robin Niu – affectionately known as “Niu Er Lao Shi” (he jokingly calls himself “Lao Niu” or “old cow” in Mandarin) – this has been my skin care routine for the past week and a half:

  1. Drench a cotton pad with toner.
  2. Pat entire face with said cotton pad, then rub gently.
  3. Drench another cotton pad with toner.
  4. Peel apart a cotton pad into as many thin layers as you can manage, and cover the face with them. Wait for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove cotton pads, then rub face with cleansing oil.
  6. Use cling wrap (yes, cling wrap) to wrap your face. Wait for 10 minutes.
  7. Wash face and apply a peel-off mask. Wait 20 minutes.
  8. Peel off the mask and apply moisturiser using a cotton pad.
  9. Massage skin. Using the entire palm, make an upward motion from four points of the face a total of 10 times – the arches of the brows, the corners of the eyes, the middle of the laugh lines running down the sides of the nose and the corners of the mouth.
  10. Apply eye cream. Pat under-eye area with the ring finger 100 times, the upper lids 50 times and then the under-eye another 50 times.
  11. Form scissors with fingers and place this over the eye so that the index finger is on the upper lid and your middle finger is on the under-eye area. Gently do an outward motion, stopping at the eye corners and pressing hard for a few seconds. Repeat on the other eye.
  12. Press the eye area at the inner corners, the middle of your under-eye area, the outer corners, the inner corners, arched and outer corners of the brows.  Hold the pressure for a few seconds each time.
  13. Warm hands by rubbing your palms together. Then press your palms onto the face.
  14. For spots, put some whitening or spot-reducing essence onto a cotton pad and place on the specific area for concentrated action.

Sounds complicated? It is. At first I thought: “Pfft, this is not going to work on my red and angry skin.”

I was having break-outs of the worst kind and my skin was inflamed. I tried the routine anyway and guess what? It’s paid off. My skin feels so much smoother, cleaner and it’s less red.

My pimples have all disappeared, although, admittedly, I didn’t have that many to start with. The persistent eczema around my eyes has been cured too.

I’ve surprised even myself with my own diligence. I have even resisted the urge to sleep with my makeup on.

The routine can be modified according to your needs and energy levels of course. For example, the mask can be done three times a week or you can skip steps 3 to 8.

The not-so-good part is that Robin Niu recommends using as much product as possible every time. This means that I’ve already used up half a bottle of toner!

What I’ve taken away from this experience though, is that it’s true what the Chinese like to say; “There are no ugly women in this world, only lazy ones.”

I might not continue with this routine but the point is that I’ve realised that making a little extra effort is really the secret to good skin.

Do you have your own crazy skin care routine? Or are you one of those blessed souls who don’t need to take care of their perfect skin?