Skincare Review

Skincare Tale of Woe

As I sit here and type this post today I am in the midst of the worst (absolutely worst) skin irritation / reaction I’ve ever experienced in my life. Actually, one could argue that my skin has been going through quite a prolonged allergic reaction for the last month and half. Please note that this is not a review or a reflection of these products. I am writing this post to share my experience, in case someone else might be having similar odd reactions to any of these particular items.

Oh sheet masks. I hear such great things about you!
Oh sheet masks. I hear such great things about you! Now I am wondering what to do with them, as their existence in my house is just taunting me.

Sometime in April this year I realized my simple, easy-breezy-beautiful skincare routine was no longer working for me, and decided to venture out to other organic and limited ingredient skincare products which have consistently driven me insane with their inability to help my super dry (and very likely dehydrated) skin. After doing some research, I decided that the best approach for my skin would be to adopt a Korean skincare routine since the idea is to layer multiple products to achieve results and treat various skin conditions. By the way, there are some truly amazing blogs about this topic out there, and I’ll leave some links to check out below.

I may have gone a little overboard...
I may have gone a little overboard… The Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence and Hada Labo lotion finally broke me out so badly, I had to look into what I was using.

I wanted a brand that used less harsh ingredients on their products, and I found Innisfree which seemed to have an amazing product line at affordable prices. Check that. They do, I am sure, have amazing products. I decided to order a substantial amount of products to try out, and about two days after my initial haul realized I still needed some more. Such in the nature of this crazy!

My first Innisfree haul.
My first Innisfree haul.

In hindsight, I was stressed about finding the best combination of skincare products to take with me on my 3 weeks “tour de-Europe & Israel”,  and I believed my skin might react a little but would get over it. I tried on a sheet mask and it turned my face red and itchy, and suddenly I seemed to have pimples daily. It was the wipes that finally got me wondering if something was up, but I was sure it was a matter of time before it got better. Right?

When I used the wipes, I noticed my skin was irritated. That seemed weird, so I decided to test things out...
When I used the wipes, I noticed my skin was irritated. That seemed weird, so I decided to test things out…

Nope. Absolutely it didn’t. Time was running out and I needed to pick what to pack, so I decided to run a quick 24 hour skin patch test to test products individually. Some products were eliminated immediately, which I am thankful for. The worst culprits were out of the picture.

Quick results show my skin wasn't enjoying the calming cleanser as much as I was.
Quick results show my skin wasn’t enjoying the calming cleanser as much as I was.
Promising hydration.
Promising hydration. This Innisfree Green Tea Seed cream was highly praised and initially seemed quite thick and hydrating.
This is how long it took me to realize cream perhaps might not play nicely with me skin.
This is how long it took me to realize cream perhaps might not play nicely with me skin.

To make matters more interesting, when I got to Israel my incredibly dry skin suddenly turned oily. I stopped using some more products. Fast forward to my flight home, and I realized that it’s possible that my foundation was causing me some breakouts and that I still needed something to boost my hydration. I decided to go with two highly recommended products that together brought my skin to it’s absolute breaking point.

These two really broke my heart and face. Hadalabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion was too much for my skin despite promising such hydrating goodness. The Biore UV sunscreen was amazing during my whole trip, but also includes the culprit I am allergic to.
These two really broke my heart and face. Hadalabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion was too much for my skin despite promising such hydrating goodness. The Biore UV sunscreen was amazing during my whole trip, but also includes the culprit I am allergic to.

With my skin brining me close to tears and frantic scratching, I decided to check out the ingredient lists for all the products I got. If you don’t know this resource already, Cosdna is a magical database of ingredients that helped me Sherlock my way into realizing that my face was hating Butylene Glycol with the flame of a thousand burning suns. Fast forward to me realizing it is seriously in almost every skincare and make up product out there. Seriously. One might wonder how in my 31 years I haven’t encountered it before. Turns out, the one face cream I used for about 8 years (Aubrey Organics Rosa Mosqueta moisturizing cream) didn’t have it. It actually had almost no ingredients in it. The formulation changed, and I’ve been drifting the seas of terrible skin conditions since.

This cleanser doesn't have Butylene Glycol in it! Still, now everything is suspect.
This SU:M Miracle Rose Stick cleanser doesn’t have Butylene Glycol in it! Still, now everything is suspect. I’ll probably try using this again when my skin stops looking like it’s revolting against me.

Excuse my flowery language, please. It’s the frustration, I swear.

So, now what? I am thinking about ordering some WHAMISA products since they seemed highly liked and are free of Butylene Glycol. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, what do you do to help irritated skin? Does your skin hate something in a Shakespearian manner? What do you do with your skincare rejects? Please share below.

Recommended blogs about Korean skincare products:

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4 thoughts on “Skincare Tale of Woe

  1. It was so difficult to find what to use until I turned to mostly oils and chemical free skincare! I hope you find products that work for you ⭐️

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  2. Oh no! im going through the same experience😞 i bought almost the entire cosrx products and gave me the worse bumps and breakout in my entire life! which later that i found out, everything in it contains the BG😭

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  3. I am totally with you in terms of getting a huge shock from this irritation! We seemed to have followed a similar path 🙂 It’s funny, I wrote a new post about what is working for me right now and was scheduled to post it on Friday, but I’ll publish it now so that you can check it out 🙂 Let me know if you find anything that does work for you as well!

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  4. I understand your woes! I have 30 full Korean and Japanese products at home that I can’t use (anymore) and gave me irritation and pimples because almost everything has BG or pentylene glycol in it! I never ever had skin problems before, I just thought to upgrade because Asian skin regimens looked totally hardcore. I can’t even…It came as a shock! I was using only organic before so I was unaware of the problem. We’re skin-twins. Please post whatever serums that work for you because I will follow you.

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