When I was a kid, I thought 30 was old. Old as in your-life-is-pretty-much-over type of old. I turned 30 last week, but I don’t feel the same way about 30 anymore. If anything, I feel like the best is yet to come.

My First Skin Care Adventure

I started having a real skin care routine when I was 20. But it wasn’t because I thought skin care was important. My friend, and roommate at the time, was a Nu Skin person. She didn’t get me to join multi-level marketing but she was able to sales talk me into buying the Nutricentials face care set. Supposedly, it made her classmate look artistahin.

My mom’s skin is great — non-visible pores, not oily, and not acne prone. She just washed her face with soap and water every morning and night.  And that was all I knew there was to skin care, even if my skin was (and still is) acne-prone.

I was aware that there are people whose skin is better than mine, but I pretty much left it at that. It never crossed my mind that there was something I can do to change my skin somehow (aside from whitening).

Nu Skin Nutricentials

Going back to my first skin care routine: the Nutricentials set had a cleanser, toner, day moisturizer, evening moisturizer, and facial scrub. I finished the whole thing and my skin looked moisturized and supple. I was far from looking artistahin but it definitely looked better. I stopped ‘skin care’ after I finished the set because, if you checked the link, you would see that Nu Skin’s products cost an arm and leg. It was cheaper back in 2003, but still relatively expensive.

Olay Total Effects

I started having a skin care ‘routine’ again in 2006, when I was working for an auditing firm and my skin was taking a lot of beating from stress, sleepless nights, and sun exposure due to daily fieldwork commute. Still, I didn’t think I needed to take care of my skin, I just happened to see my then officemate/housemate suddenly become glowing. Before, I didn’t know the term glowing skin but I knew her skin looked better.

She told me she was using Olay Total Effects (OTE) so I bought a bottle right away. I liked OTE better than the Nutricentials line. It helped a lot in making my face look less tired. I was amazed at the wonderful miracle that is Olay so I started reading about skin care. Around that time, the era of local beauty bloggers began — ok, maybe not, but that was when I became aware of the beauty blogging niche. (Trivia: The first blog I ever lurked followed was Kikay Exhange. If I’m not mistaken, she started blogging in 2006.)

Moving on.

J/A/S/O/N Ester-C Line

All the reading led me to believe that parabens are bad. I’m comfortable with parabens now having looked at the other side of the coin. But my old fear of parabens made me drop OTE in search for organic skin care products.

That’s when I found the Jason Ester-C Line. I wasn’t able to review the whole line but here’s my take on the cleanser: Jason Super-C Cleanser.

I really liked the Jason Ester-C line of products a lot and I’ve used it for 5 years (from 2006 to 2011). I kept using it even when I changed my opinion on parabens and synthetic chemicals (Go chemicals!). To this day, I still think it’s the BEST skin care line I’ve ever used.

It made my skin clear, slightly flushed in a good way, supple-looking, and even-toned. I still get pimples here and there esp. during my period but they don’t leave dark marks behind. I have a feeling that it’s because my skin was properly moisturized.

It’s THAT good that I never seriously searched for something else to try. I might use another cleanser or toner every few times but I always go back. And I never strayed from the Jason Ester-C Lotion (moisturizer).

By now, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t mentioned sun protection yet. I used to not use sunblock on a daily basis. I used it only when I go to the beach. This is probably the biggest mistake I’ve made skincare-wise. Although, the whole time I was using Jason Ester-C, I can’t remember a time when I burned. I’m far from pale though, so I’m probably not really likely to burn.

The beginning of Scatterbraintures

You might be wondering why I stopped using Jason Ester-C since it still exists. The thing is, the whole Ester-C line got reformulated. They changed the formula significantly (last quarter of 2010) and the new ones don’t quite give the same effect as the old ones do.

I had back-ups that lasted me until mid-2011. But since the last quarter of 2010, I’ve been trying out a lot of stuff which triggered the beginning of Scatterbraintures.

I miss not needing to look for skin care products. I miss the old Jason Ester-C line. But I have a good feeling about a certain skin care brand that might have just what I’m looking for to finally put an end to the search.

Current “Problems”

Anyway, here’s my bare 30-year-young face — posted to freeze my face in time (and for monitoring purposes because I have a skin care project coming up).

The Face of 30 + My Skin Care History and How I Started Blogging

More than ever, I’m really focused on graceful-aging now apart from my acne-problem that might never go away. I don’t look like I have an acne-problem in this photo but if I stop whatever acne-stuff I’m using, the pimples will creep up slowly.

My undereye bags seem more prominent and I used to really hate them… but not today. I’ll make the most of them while they’re on trend among fellow asians (koreans and japanese, in particular). Check out this video by Michelle Phan: Puffy Eyes (Smiling Eyes). The koreans call these, Aegyo Sal.

I have fine lines now but I still consider them few. Nothing that tretinoin can’t handle. And you’ll be happy to know that I’ve been using sun protection products everyday now (since 2011) — yay me!

This photo got me to stick to the sunblock-habit (guess which side got more sun exposure):

Photos courtesy of Future Derm

Overall, I think my facial skin is pretty healthy and ok-looking at 30. If there’s 2 things I really need to do for my skin and for my health in general, it’s exercising and fixing my circadian rhythm.

* * *

P.S. To you guys who visit Scatterbraintures every so often, thank you very much. I have a lot of exciting posts and experiments lined up, see you around!


Hi, I’m Rae and I am a scatterbrain. I am in my 30s and I write in this blog from the Philippines. I spend a tiny portion of my time de-stressing with makeup and skin care. Email: scatterbraintures@gmail.com | Instagram: @scatterbraintures


  1. Hi Mia, thanks for taking time to write a comment.

    Anyway, to answer your question. At one point I realized that I've only been reading articles focusing on why parabens are unsafe. I decided to read about the other side of the story, of what chemists think about it, why they continue to use the ingredient, and why they think it's safe. I also read about the details of the studies that brought about parabens' rep. After that, I chose my stand. Some people may have a smaller risk appetite and I understand that.

  2. Hi!

    May I know what changed your opinion on parabens (and other chemicals) in cosmetics? :) Only stumbled to this blog using Google. :D

  3. Congrats on turning 30!! ^_^

    Your skin looks great! Wow, that pic reminds me I shouldn't forget to put on sunscreen!!

  4. Happy Birthday! :)

    Seeing your full photo, I would have to disagree with one of your previous posts where you said you aren't pretty. You are! And I'm not saying this just because I don't know you and have got nothing better to say, I really mean it.

    On a sidenote, I'm trying out the Jason Ester-C cleanser and toner because I read about them on your blog — and I adore most products with Vit C in them.

  5. Beautiful skin :) And thank you because every time I see the word sunscreen, ikaw agad naiisip ko :) so I have to wear sunscreen din

  6. YES TO SUNSCREEN! I read Futurederm too and saw that post :)
    I think you have great skin for a 30-year-old ha. I love your simple skincare routine that's non-fussy and effective. Cant wait for your skin experiments!

  7. thebudgetfashionseeker Reply

    the pic you shared regarding sun protection made me change my mind about the product :/ I'm also the type who uses sunscreen products only when going to the beach. thanks for sharing sis.

  8. Nathalie (blackshirt13) Reply

    Okay, you just convinced me re: sun protection! :D Belated happy birthday Rae!

  9. Hi Ile, I was in a very toxic work environment when I was in my mid-20s and my skin was seriously really bad (dull and moderately pimply). I was also experiencing a quarter-life crisis type of thing then.

    What changes are you noticing?

  10. Hi! Your skin is not bad compared to mine, that's why I was never confident to have close-up photos. And they're getting worse as I get older :) Looking forward to those exciting posts! Good day!

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