23, 03, 2017

Skincare renovation

As you may or may not have known, I’ve had a horrible history with adult acne in my mid-20s. For the most part, things are under control, but even so, to this day I still struggle to keep my skin in check. I also realized that I wasn’t completely satisfied with my previous skincare regimen, and some of the products I was using weren’t making sense to my routine. What my skin really needed was a renovation to it’s problematic nature.

In my case, I decided it was time to go back to basics—and when I say basics, I mean Korean skincare. Yes, hormones, genetics, and diet also have a hold on the outcome of your skin, but I remember my complexion being at it’s best when I had used Korean beauty products. Besides the fact of how advance and innovative they’ve always been with skincare, every product is so special that it makes you want to learn more and take better care of your skin. Since it’s been awhile since I specifically used any Asian products, I needed to update my very outdated knowledge by watching tons upon tons of Renee’s (Gothamista) and Liah Yoo YouTube videos to get the inside scoop again. So, I might have done a little bit of shopping for my oily and acne-prone skin…

—COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
Like the product says, I use this first thing in the morning when I wake up. I don’t know about you but I’m not at all a fan of cleansers that leave your face feeling very dry and tight. This one doesn’t do that one bit; instead it gently cleanses without the nasty striping away of your skin’s natural oils. My face always feels so refreshed and clean after every use. And as it helps to balance the skin’s natural pH level, it also makes your complexion look and feel amazing all day.

—COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
Believe it or not, but there was a time when I stopped using toner all together. Now that I’m back on it I’ve been using this one and it has already made a huge difference in my skin’s texture. If I’m honest though, I like this toner very much so but I do have a minor pet peeve about it—I’m just not at all digging the pump spray. I would have much rather preferred it not to have a spray since I always feel like I’m wasting more product than I actually use.

—MISSHA Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Moist
You can call me a noob for being oblivious to this step in skincare, but wow, what a skin-changing experience this has been so far. If you think you’re skin is doing fine without it, you’re absolutely wrong! The first time using essence was like the first time I ever ate a real Italian pizza in Napoli—simply [insert bad word here] amazing!! Ever since using this miracle product my skin has balanced and hydrated itself in a way that even my oily skin can appreciate. This is the staple that holds everything together in my routine and I won’t ever do without it!

—BENTON Snail Bee High Content Essence
When I realized how well my day essence was doing, I got excited and needed to try out other different types of essences. Of three I’ve been eyeing, I decided on this one for it’s unusual snail secretion and bee venom content. This is definitely a very unique and more gel-like essence to use that quickly absorbs into the skin. It initially has a bit of an odd scent that does take time getting use to; no worries though since the smell does go away. While it works it’s magic overnight, I truly believe it’s the reason why my skin looks and feels a lot more supple when I wake up in the morning.

—COSRX Oil Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion
In the past, I’ve only had two other favourite moisturizers and this one by far towers over the other two. This is pretty much everything I look for in a daily moisturizer: light-weight, fast-absorbing, matte finish, and makes my face look and smell juicy (if you haven’t notice by now, I’m horrible with descriptions). I see myself repurchasing this over and over again every time a bottle runs out.

—COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
I’m no stranger when it comes to chemical exfoliants. Before the COSRX one appeared into my life, I was loving the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Gel, but the COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid has a 4% natural BHA and affordable cost advantage which easily won me over. Best of all, this lives up to all the claims of reducing blackheads, excess sebum, the appearance in pore size, while brightening up your complexion. It has also been the master of keeping my skin under control for when it does have an attack of breakouts.

—Tony Moly Timeless Ferment Snail Lip Treatment
So I had the urge to keep going and trying out this snail secretion thing since it has been the craze in the Korean skincare world. As most of you experienced as well, this winter was not a pretty one. First off, it was way too long; and second, gave our skin a beating with dramatic cold temperatures and lack of sunshine. My lips had it the worst, and no matter what I did or put on it, it only worked for a few weeks before failing to be consistent. In desperate times, comes desperate measures—that’s until I tried this bouncy, juicy smelling (I like the word juicy, okay), clear in appearance lip treatment. This isn’t a heaven-sent product but it gets the job done, and fast while at it!

Have you every tried or have you been playing around with any Korean skincare products in your routine as well?

22 responses to “Skincare renovation”

  1. I’ll have to check these products out! I’m going to be 25 soon and acne is still something I deal with!

    xo, Liz

  2. wendee says:

    i havent tried any of these before but I will love to give them a try. If only I can find some here.


    • Stacey says:

      If you have Korean beauty stores around you might be able to find some! I’m lazy so I just bought everything online and off Amazon hahah

  3. I’d love to try that exfoliation. I have some visible pores I need to get rid of and nothing seems to work. I think March is a great time for new skincare routines as the weather changes and the skin has been dealing with the winter cold for quite some time. So thank you for this post and these ideas, great timing! Xx


    • Stacey says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! And I completely agree with you, when the weather warms up it’s time to fix the damage of winter *sigh*

  4. The cosRX brand sounds really good! I’ve seen a number of great reviews on their cleansers! Glad to hear that these products are working well for you 🙂


  5. I’ve been really curious about AHA and BHA products lately, I’ll have to look into these! And omg. Let me tell you, essence has really changed my perspective on skincare. It’s so amazing! Like liquid water. I started using it several years ago and now it’s essential in my routine. I want to try them all but they last so long! The Missha one is next on my list though. Have you heard of Peach & lily? I think you’ll really like their products 🙂 They have a wide range of Korean skincare brands!

    • Stacey says:

      Oh yea? Can you recommend me any products from Peach & Lily?
      I actually bought both AHA and BHA before but the AHA seriously broke me out and so I read up on it and AHA best suits drier skin types which I’m not. And if you’re combo skin I think you can go both routes. It’s so interesting how skincare works!

      • Oh dear, I just ordered the AHA and BHA drops from The Ordinary! I have combination skin so I hope it works out 🙁 Skincare is tricky for sure!

        And Peach & Lily has tons of different Korean brands on their site. My favorite thing is probably the Caolion Chiostan cleanser (now sold at Sephora – online only). I did some research on chiostan and i guess it is derived from shrimp?! (crazy right, bare with me) That helps gently lift dead skin and promote cell turn over for skin renewal. It helped me a lot with my cystic acne actually so now I purchase it in bulk LOL. I love trying new products, but whenever my skin is unhappy, I go back to it.

        • Stacey says:

          Combo skin can usually handle both well so I’m sure you’ll be fine! I’ve been using the Ordinary products for 3 weeks now and I’m in total love! Ah you get cystic acne too?? Please share tips because once I get one I’m completely stressed and have no idea what to do 🙁

          • Yes I do girl and let me tell you, cystic acne is no fun at all! They’re tricky, painful and long lasting! The Caolion cleanser is what I like to use when my skin is being eruptive (LOL) or any gentle cleanser of your preference. After cleansing, I try to minimize my other products down to toner and night cream only and top it off with Mario Badescu’s drying lotion. The calamine really helps minimize the inflammation and size. And then in the morning I will do the same except use Mario Badescu’s drying lotion (because it doesn’t leave residue). Narrowing down stress, sleeping enough, and what you eat also has a big factor. I try to cut out dairy all together when I’m breaking out. Hope that helps!!!!

          • Stacey says:

            Thanks for the tips! I’ve been curious about that drying lotion but it’s hard to find where I am and the Kate Somerville one is kind of steep for my budget 🙁 I’ll need to hunt more!
            I’ve been mostly on a plant-based diet for 4 years but even when I ate meat or had anything dairy my skin was the same lol. On top of that, I’m the only one in my family who has ever suffered from acne. I think I was just unlucky :/

          • I totally hear ya girl. The Kate Somerville one is definitely different in price. You can make your own and I believe Target sells calamine powder too but I’ve never tried that! (Although you would be saving a lot of $) Calamine is actually what people use for poison ivy if I’m not mistaken. But that just goes to show how great it is at being anti-inflammatory! I’ll be on the lookout for anything similar for you 🙂 It’s the only thing I find that isolates and minimizes my cystic spots 🙁

            And omg idek what’s wrong with me but I’m the same! Well my sister also has acne but I feel like her spots aren’t as large! And none of my parents or grandparents suffered from acne so I really don’t know why my sister and i struggle so much 🙁 it’s so unfair!

  6. I never had the chance to try korean skincare products but everybody talks about them lately! I really want to get my hands on some 🙂

  7. KarenH says:

    Nice post! I didn’t try any of these products. The blackhead powder sounds interesting


  8. Kay says:

    Really enjoyed reading about your skincare picks, babe! 🙂 Some really interesting products. x Personally, I love Korean skincare and especially their face masks. I have a few of the Tony Moly ones and they’re so fab! <3 Thanks for sharing, hope you're having a wonderful week so far. xoxo


    • Stacey says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I really need to get a hold on more face masks…now that you mentioned Tony Moly I think I’m going to have a look online… :]

  9. […] back to using Korean skincare products (you can see what I use in my Skincare Renovation article here), I was curious to experiment more and take things to the next […]

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