My skin is typically Asian -- greasy and quick to hyperpigment. Learning to deal with grease took a long time. I was firmly set in the school of thought that believed in oil-free everything, harsh, foaming cleansers, no moisturizer -- salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide were my faithful sidekicks. Cut to about two years ago when a friend of mine let me in that the only product she uses is Nivea Soft. Behold, this is the only girl I've ever known who doesn't use anything. Except Nivea Soft. Needless to say, I put down $6 and drowned myself in it.
Moral of the story? I no longer torture my skin with harsh exfoliators, cleansers or my twice-a-day-Clarisonic ritual. Instead, I've adopted something a little gentler and my skin's texture has improved more than with any miracle product.
In the rare occasions that I put makeup on, you know I go all out -- base, concealer, powder, the whole nine. When I get home at the end of the night, I cleanse with Shu Uemura cleansing oil. I find it really breaks down all the pigment and helps the product slide off my face. I've tried leaving it just at that, but it didn't cleanse thoroughly enough and I was left with a bunch of millia around the corners of my eyes, nose and mouth.
I'll usually follow with a foaming cleanser -- for the past two years it's been Lancome Creme Radiance. I used to use this one that came in powder form from FANCL, but I can't be bothered to order it online. When I use a foaming cleanser, I prefer to create the lather in my hands and just apply the foam to my face. I know some people raise the lather directly on their forehead and cheeks, but I find that way too harsh, even for my skin.
In the morning and for days that I don't wear anything except sunscreen, I use a lighter cleanser like Clinique's Extra-Mild or Vichy's 3-in-1 Cleansing Milk. I'm not particularly attached to either the way I can't let go of Lancome's Creme Radiance, but both have been really great for my skin -- kind of like they've added moisture back in.
Of course, on days I'm just too lazy to do anything or too tired to make it to the bathroom, my trusty Bioderma Crealine is my attempt at facial hygiene. We all have those days.