Skincare Review

Skincare Pivoting: High Quality All Natural Skincare

This one is going to be a somewhat longer rambling post, dear readers. I’ll be covering some changes I am currently making to my skincare routine, and some thoughts about my goals for simplifying this whole process. Join me if you’d like to know more about it, or skip it until next time.

Last year I decided to pretty much give up on chemical free, EWG sanctioned skincare products in favor of presumably better and more moisturized pastures. Korean skincare seemed to me to promise many interesting and exciting possibilities, so I decided to make a switch. After many skin woes, though, I realized I had to stick with mostly natural skincare, so I turned to companies like Whamisa and Aromatica who pride themselves in making toxins free products. While some products have worked well enough for me, there hasn’t been consistent success. A product would work for a week, and then I would develop a tiny rash on my forehead. I would think a combination of products works, but then wake up with dry patches all over my face. While one can’t attribute all of this to just the products I used – certainly diet, stress, and hormones can be damaging – I feel like I never quite mastered a routine that truly worked for me.

Routine May 16 4
While this seemed to have worked out for my skin during May, come June I was experiencing breakouts like there’s no tomorrow. After eliminating it from my routine things got a little better. 

See, my pivot to Korean skincare was also a pivot to trying to find a relaxing and almost ritualized evening and morning routine. The layering, the thoughtful application, the promise of me-time, and the beautiful and calming effect of skincare working in tandem is all really enticing. Yet, I found myself limited with too few options, and somewhat disappointed that I didn’t see any changes to my skin that so many bloggers seem to be experiencing. There hasn’t been more softness, changes in my pores (except perhaps for them seemingly becoming more clogged), or in redness. In a sense, I think the biggest fault here is my ability to design a complete routine that went beyond moisturizing my skin.

Another issue that has really become a pain as my year became busier and busier, has been trying to navigate the waters of various ingredients though time consuming searches on CosDNA, blogs, and random Google searches. Often I find myself spending too much time trying to find ingredients lists and reviews, only to be totally demoralized when every product that’s raced about inevitably has BG in it. That is not to say that this issue is limited to Korean skincare. On the contrary. BG is used in so many products that the origin of any company simply doesn’t matter. At the beginning of June I finally realized how much I longed for the days I could be assured that all the products I saw in front of me were ones I could easily use and confirm my ability to use them simply by clicking “Ingredients”. Never mind all the money that I ultimately wasted on products that I couldn’t use.

Product fail.
This is an image of a haul circa June 2015, after which it turned out I was unable to use pretty much everything in this picture. The Missha TRFTE gave me one of the biggest outbreaks I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Blossom JeJu Serum
This is an example of a product that I thought I could use due to the ingredient list and rave reviews, but caused me repeated rashes. It cost about $60… I wish I could have just bought a sample of it first!

I think turning to ethical fashion has reminded of green beauty, a concept I used to love but turned away from because I felt like there was too little science behind it. Having stumbled across The Hermes Hippie blog, I was reminded that there are truly luxurious, extremely effective and well crafted natural products out there.  I was overjoyed when I noticed that I could use each and every item for sale at Seed to Serum, and that they actually sold most of them in small sample sizes. I cannot stress enough how much buying samples first has been a stumbling block for me and how much money I’ve wasted on products that just didn’t work for me.

Moving forward, I want to articulate my skincare wish-list and work towards finding products that work towards these goals.

My skincare goals:

  • As always, keep my skin moisturized. For the longest time I thought that creams were going to do that, but I know now that serums and toners also play a huge role in making this happen.
  • Reducing redness. I think the constant botched attempts I’ve had with various products have left my skin on guard, making it blotchy and red as well as constantly with a low grade rash. I’d like to help things calm down.
  • Look for products that boost skin turnover, or anything that may help me age gracefully. Antioxidants come to mind.
  • Incorporate daily use of sunscreen. I recently read that sun damage can happen while driving, and since I commute to work I want to make sure I’m reducing my exposure.
  • Cleanse better. While I really enjoy my Sum:37 cleansing stick, I feel like an oil cleanser would be so much better at removing sunscreen.
  • Mask better. Let me just say that I still intend to use sheet masks, but I usually use them as a way to relax. Instead, I’d like to find a mask that clears out my pores and moisturizes at the same time.

This list is quite long, so I plan on working on it in stages.

My July shopping list:

Seed to Serum Packaging
Check out this cool packaging from Seed to Serum! Really loved the presentation and how recyclable it is.
My Seed to Serum order. It arrived with a sample, and within about 3 days. I love how thoughtful this company is!

These are the products I’d like to test out to meet some of my more urgent goals, namely calming and moisturizing:

  •  Yuli’s Cocoon Elixir in travel size, as it seems to be quite calming. I’ll be buying it as soon as I finish my Whamisa toner.
  • Laurel Facial Serum: Anti-inflammatory, which I bought in travel size from Seed to Serum. It’s supposed to help with both the redness and the dryness that I am experiencing.
  • Kypris Antioxidant Dew, is again a serum I bought in travel size to test during the next few weeks. The company seems to be making some really exciting serums, and this one is supposed to help with hydration as well as radiance.
  • The last thing I’d like to try in July is going to be the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst, because I like the idea of gentle exfoliation while sleeping. I will likely only use it once or twice a week initially.

This shopping list is mainly focused on trying out new products without formally committing to them. Note that if I buy the two full sizes of the Laurel and the Kypris AD, plus the sample size of the Cocoon Elixir I would be paying about $175 before shipping. That is quite a bit of money, and I’ll write about my experience with them during July.



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