Week 1 Skincare: So Far, So Scared

Week 1 Skincare: So Far, So Scared

It’s been just over a week since I dove headfirst into all of this wild Asian Skinscare (that’s a typo, but it’s staying) nonsense, and I have to say: so far, nothing catastrophic has happened. There’s some good news and some bad news, so let’s get to it.

I wanted to start using all my shiny new products at once, but the folks over at r/AsianBeauty basically told me that idea was REALLY, REALLY HORRIBLE. Trying one product at a time ensures you know exactly what your skin is reacting to if you do have a bad reaction to something (which makes sense, but I’m so impatient!). They suggested I start with the sunscreen, but I had to be on set this week and my MUA would not be into it; so instead, I started with cleanser.

I removed the Proactiv Cleanser from my routine (2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, pH 4.7-5.2), and replaced it with the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (main ingredient Olea Europaea Fruit Oil with some Tocopherol, which both have a rating of 2 on the comedogenic scale), and the Hada Labo Gokujyun Foaming Cleanser (pH 5.5, almost completely non-comedogenic save Butylene Glycol, which is in basically all Asian Skincare). Also, because I’m bad at instructions and because my face had been exfoliated every day on Proactiv, I decided to bust out my SkinFood Black Sugar Wash-Off Mask for every-other-day scrubbing.

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I was admittedly a little concerned about losing the Benzoyl Peroxide in the cleanser, because that’s what gets right into the skin – but I’m still using the Proactiv Toner (5% Glycolic Acid) and the Proactiv Repairing Lotion (2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide), so I’m not going entirely cold turkey. Knock wood – I haven’t had a single breakout yet! And the horrible under-skin bump I got on the 12-hour plane ride home has calmed down nicely, which is great.

The DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is amazing for removing my make-up. I use it on a dry face with damp hands and just smoosh it everywhere, especially around my eyes to get off my mascara and under-eye concealer. Then I take a second to rub it into my face to improve circulation, or something, I guess. I rinse and then use a tiny bit of the Hada Labo (you hardly need any!), and it removes all of the oil and garbage like a dream. I think the comedogenic ingredients in the DHC haven’t been bothersome because you wash it all off your face almost immediately – along with all the bad stuff it bonds to.

My favorite thing, though, has to be the SkinFood Black Sugar scrub. It smells so good, surprisingly like lemons, and it’s super effective; I’ve been taking a nickel-sized chunk, rubbing my hands together, and then rubbing it all over my face before rinsing it off. I’ve noticed the biggest difference in my skin the mornings after I’ve used this: I have a chronic blackhead/pore problem on my gigantic nose, and they’re basically invisible when I wake up. I’m kind of amazed.

So all of that is great! Less Benzoyl Peroxide, three new products, a week and a half, and no messy breakouts so far. Asian Skincare, maybe you’re alright.

But I said there was some bad news, and there is: right before I left for Tokyo, I was out of both moisturizer and eye cream, and (in my skincare ignorance at the time) walked into Sephora and asked for basically whatever the gal helping me recommended. She set me up with Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm and Ren Clean Skincare Global Protection Day Cream. This, as it turns out, was A Mistake.

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The Ren moisturizer has made areas of my skin all red and bumpy – probably because it is filled with comedogenics like Myristyl Myristate (a 5 on the scale!), and level-2 Cetearyl Alcohol, Sesamum indicum Seed Oil, and Tocopherol. Nope this shit off my face immediately. As for the Caudalie eye cream (Sorbitan laurate and Tocopherol) – I now have an under-eye milia (a hard, white bump) for the first time in my life, which I’m going to have to get removed by a dermatologist. Fuck me!!

So as much as I want to try the sunscreen next, there’s no doubt in my mind that after my two-week cleanser trial period is over, I’m going to be switching out my moisturizer and eye cream. What a disaster.

But Asian Skincare, really great so far. Just, fuck this other shit. They’re going to have to put a sharp thing near my eye! Fucking hell.

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