Skin Transformation: My 3-Year Skincare Journey with Asian Beauty

This will sound bad but I honestly have really, ridiculously nice skin. Like random people comment on it and at this point it is something I am known for amongst friends and colleagues. Prior to my foray into the skincare community, I’d say my skin was fine. Honestly just a normal face of skin with the occasional spot that one gets during menstrual cycles. Things did change a bit once I dove headfirst into Reddit Skincare communities like r/SkincareAddiction and r/AsianBeauty. Below is a timeline of my journey and a bit on how I got ~ShOwStOpPiNg SkIn~

2015-2016

According to my reddit posting history, I started my Asian Beauty routine in April 2015. I know the original routine included The Face Shop Rice Foaming Cleanser and The Cleansing Oil, both of which were absolutely the worst for my skin. Very drying and highly fragranced.

 

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Top: Beginning of AB trying the too ashy Laneige cushion; Bottom L to R: skin eruption right after threading incident (June 2015), Sort of healing but still active spots (August 2015), Dried out skin with lots of PIH (September 2015)

Top photos: I tested the Laneige BB Cushion in the darkest shade which was clearly way too light and ashy.

Bottom Left: In June 2015, I made the grave mistake of getting my face threaded. Needless to say it started ou irritated and got progressively worse. My face erupted in extremely painful bumps which I think was a cocktail of overexfoliation, allergic reaction, and later on acne. It actually got alot better and then I kept re-triggering breakouts (August and September photos).

My Routine: TFS Cleansing oil Cerave hydrating cleanser PC skin balancing pore reducing toner Cerave moisturizing cream (generously) Biore UV Aqua rich watery essence (AM only) Snail bee high content essence (AM) Mizon snail recovery gel cream (PM, generous) Vaseline (PM, generous)

This photo illustrates the painful acne as well as the PIH I had afterwards. Lots of work to get rid of it an even out my skintone. I attribute my success to careful use of acids, sunscreen, and hydration

 

2016

The year I rebuilt my skin. I literally spent the whole year treating my skin very, very carefully. At this point I began to understand the importance of ingredients research and not having a compromised moisture barrier. I still made plenty of mistakes like overexfoliation and using way too many sheetmasks.

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L to R: February 2016, June 2016, December 2016

My HG Routine in June, approximately 1 year after the threading saga

Tools: fresh white towels daily from gym; at night I use washcloths 24 pack from Amazon 

AM 1. Cerave Hydrating Cleanser 2. Rosewater facial spray and Mario Badescu facial spray 3. Mizon Recovery Snail Gel Cream 4. Biore SaraSara UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA++++ (scent of roses or unscented) 5. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Salicylic Acid Exfoliant (1-2x/week)

 

PM 1. Cerave Hydrating Cleanser (with konjac sponge) 2. Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule 3.Sheet mask from Tony Moly, Innisfree, My Beauty Diary, or other Korean companies (2x/week) 4. Innisfree Aloe Revital Sleeping Pack or Lioele Water Drop Sleeping Pack (alternating nights) 5. Epiduo as needed and never on the same days as the BHA

2017

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January 2017, April 2017, July/August 2017, December 2017 (L to R)

This was the year my skincare routine and skin health really started to solidify. I identified food triggers and greatly reduced new breakouts and I was able to work on my bad habits of picking my face when I did get a spot. I also went to South Korea on vacation and hauled way too much. In retrospect, I wish I would’ve found more indie brands and purchased fewer sheetmasks. I did branch out and try new brands like 107 and 23.5N which I’ve mentioned before. And I may have hauled a ton of toners from the Beautibi Open House and Holiday Gathering.

 

2018

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January, February, May, June 2018 (From L to R)

Half way through the year already and I think I’ve stayed mostly true to my 2018 Skincare Goals. I haven’t spent as much overall on products (but still alot…yikes) and have gone to get facials 2-3x. I think I can include what I’ve purchased in another post if people are interested?

My skin has definitely been in maintenance mode and I am most concerned with prevention and protection. I am lucky now that my skin has retained an always on glow that I feel has been an aspiration for me for awhile. If you look at the difference between April 2017 and May 2018 you can really see the brightness evolution. I can’t really say that it’s been any one product, other than consistency and religious use of sunscreen. My routine has evolved very little and some of the products I use right now aren’t even what I’d consider HG (too pricey to toss and they don’t not work…just meh o’clock).

My Routine June 10, 2018

AM

  1. Wipe Face w/ Softymo Collagen Cleansing Sheet
  2. (exercise)
  3. Cleanse with Cetaphil Cleanser or Cerave Hydrating Cleanser
  4. CosRX BHA Skin Returning A-Sol
  5. Simplistic Skincare Wonder Essence (feels like toner consistency)
  6. Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream
  7. 107 Coreflex Cream Essence
  8. SCINIC Honey All-in-One Ampoule
  9. Innisfree Extreme UV Protection gel lotion 60 SPF 50+ PA+++

PM

  1. Naive Natural Deep Cleansing Oil
  2. Cleanse with Cetaphil Cleanser or Cerave Hydrating Cleanser
  3. CosRX BHA Skin Returning A-Sol
  4. Thank You Farmer True Water Deep Toner
  5. Curology (.012% Tretinoin, 5% Vitamin C, 4% Niacinamide from Feb-May; .02% Tretinoin, 5% Azelaic Acid, 4% Niacinamide presently)
  6. SCINIC Honey All-in-One Ampoule
  7. 107 Coreflex Cream
  8. Sulwahsoo Essential Balancing Emulsion
  9. Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask
  10. Biossance Squalane Oil

4 Replies to “Skin Transformation: My 3-Year Skincare Journey with Asian Beauty”

  1. First of I want to say great job documenting your journey. I am trying to work on my skin this year and you have given me so much hope. I am new to skin care and I see you posting a lot of brands I have never heard of but will be looking into. Again the glow up is real Sis keep it up.

    Like

    1. Thank you! That is what I aspire to do. I know a lot of women of color who suffer from acne only see the glossy final product or people who have the $$$$$ to spend on regular dermatology visits, lasers, etc. Please let me know if you have any questions about the brands or resources for getting started. http://www.Reddit.com/r/AsianBeauty has loads of beginners information you may find helpful. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay I will check out the reddit group. I must be honest I am afraid of Asian beauty products aren’t there regulations different from ours. I do see your skin and it’s beautiful but ya girl has sensitive skin and I don’t want to risk it.

        Like

      2. Definitely check it out! You really shouldn’t be afraid of Asian products…are you afraid of European ones? In alot of cases the Korean or Japanese equivalent to the US FDA is even more stringent on product or ingredient laws. There are plenty of people with sensitive skin (myself included) that have found success with products from Asia, North America and Europe. A crucial example is how the US is super far behind in sunscreen regulations compared to Japan and Korea.

        https://cen.acs.org/articles/93/i20/Decade-FDA-Still-Wont-Allow.html

        https://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Article/2013/06/06/Understanding-Asia-s-different-regulations#news

        Also check out this Cosmo article (not the best source obviously) of ingredients that are approved in the USA but banned elsewhere: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/g7597249/banned-cosmetic-ingredients/

        Like

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