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The Art of Skincare (and why one should pay attention early on)
When I was younger, I am not really into skincare. I would just wash my face with a papaya soap* and maybe a cleanser and that’s it. Sometimes I don’t even use anything on my face. I could stay up late because of schoolworks and not worry about a single “friend” (pimple) appearing on my face. There’s an occasional appearance of hormone-induced “friends” whenever it is that time of the month for us girls, but there is nothing really serious to worry about. Life is simpler then.
*Using papaya soap felt like a norm because of society’s “standard” and obsession for fairer skintone. Filipinos are natural morena, sometimes darker and society’s made people think that the fairer the skin tone, the better. It’s all that you can see that they are marketing in printed and other media.
However, growing up I learned to love my skin color even more and would not have it any other way. Those beauty products help maintain a better skin texture, though (that’s why we continue using the moisturizing kind. More on these later.)
But have you ever heard of the rule of seven? Being the curious person that I am, I was reading random articles long ago and came upon this one saying that our body’s cells replace themselves every seven to ten years so whatever you’ve consumed or have done to your body may manifest in this particular span of time. I wasn’t paying too much attention to it until I get to experience the change in my body in particular. It’s the same idea of how our metabolism slows down as we grow older and it is harder to burn down calories and fats compared to when we are younger.
This is why we should start caring for our body, skin and health early as we all know, especially these days how health is (indeed) our wealth.
Going back, remember when I have a nice, smooth face? It all started to go downhill when I went back from Singapore in 2016. The usual skin care routine (if you could call it as such) does not seem enough taking into consideration the difference of weather condition affecting our skin. Like what I have mentioned on my Singapore blog, the weather is dry but not so humid because of its equatorial location so you will be needing more moisturizers to keep your skin nourished and moisturized (something that I didn’t know back then). So the drastic change in weather kind of triggered the acne breakouts when I came back from SG.
It was so bad that when I tried this rejuvenating kit, my face got swollen like Majinboo (Majinboo is a Dragonball Z character; you may search Google for reference) and I am not even exaggerating! We went to a proper dermatologist and my face went back to its normal size. The breakouts became bearable since then.
Always do a skin test before applying anything straight to your face. This was my biggest mistake. I should have applied a small amount on my arm to see if there would be any allergic reaction on the skin, but at that time I was impatient and desperate to have the breakouts gone that I would try whatever to rid my face of it.
I realised that my skin is actually sensitive so I should be mindful of the serums and cleansers that I should be using.
I became more aware of the skin care that is fitting for my skin type.
One should be aware of his/her own skin type before buying and trying out different skin care products. The doctor’s prescription/advice is also helpful in the long run.
Is your skin type oily or dry? Mine is apparently oily so breakouts seemed to be a normal occurence. The descriptions are listed down in webmd.com along with the reasons like puberty and hormonal imbalance (if you are familiar with the term PCOS for women, this is so common), stress and too much heat or humidity.
On the website it is noted that you have the oily skin type if you have:
Dull or shiny, thick complexion
Blackheads, pimples, or other blemishes
I used to buy green tea skin care products being a huge matcha food enthusiast that I am, but I found out that it is not complementing my skin type (no wonder it isn’t working fully in my favor) so I opted for tea tree instead. Aloe vera is also helpful.
Koreans and Japanese have such beautiful skin. One cannot help but notice how they don’t seem to have pores, (exaggeratedly speaking but) that’s how smooth they look on TV and in person. One factor that might be the reason here is the weather condition in their country. Another one is the quality of skin care products that their region can procure.
When we visited Korea last 2019, we kind of hoarded some face masks and other skin care products because they are less expensive in there and there are a lot to choose from (Etude House, The SAEM, Nature Republic, The Face Shop and Innisfree to name a few) especially in the shopping district (Myeongdong).
It took me quite a while to find a skin care routine and products that are perfect for me so you will be needing a lot of patience and you would get to learn more about yourself.
I tried a lot of products and skin care sets but one that’s worked for me is this intensive AC collection of the brand COSRX. Initially I bought it because it is being endorsed by my ultimate oppa, favourite Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun. (Half-kidding) Upon seeing the reviews, I was encouraged and the next thing I knew, I already checked out a set online for me to try.
The set includes (in the order of application):
Calming Foam Cleanser
Calming Liquid Intensive (Toner)
Ultimate Spot Cream (which should be specifically applied to the acne/mark that you are trying to get rid of)
It feels light on the skin and it is perfect for people with sensitive skin like me.
The ultimate acne eraser/remover? I would have to recommend Alba Botanica’s Acne Dote Oil Control Face Lotion. This is very effective if you are trying to let the acne dry and be gone the following day.
For a less expensive counterpart, people with oily skin type can also use Human Nature’s tea tree products. It is locally produced and is just as effective as the former.