Face Stuff Update

Thursday, February 10, 2011
A few months ago, I shared what chemicals I put on my face every day. Then a couple weeks after that, my mom saw all the "horrible American stuff" I was using and made me throw it all out and bought me a $150 Korean facial care set. A couple months pass and I find out I'm allergic to it. I haven't done any research in a while because I had confidence that the old Korean lady with heavy makeup and Lady GaGa eyelashes behind the makeup counter knew what she was talking about. She was also speaking in Korean really fast and I could only make out "use this at night" and "use this in the morning." And I said okay. Now my face looks all hormoned-up like I've been beaten with the adolescent stick again. I'm 23! and Asian! I should have clear, beautiful, white skin! Instead, I have dry patches, fire red pimples, and rashes all over my face.

I did some research online and rediscovered Paula's Choice. I had read her book The Original Beauty Bible a couple of years before and it was long and boring but had necessary information. I just bought the skin balancing cleanser and the extra strength acne fighting treatment and made another order for the sheer matte tint, their moisture-infusing lotion, and their serum.
I've used the cleanser and pimple thing for a few days now and I love it. The pimple thing is actually too strong for me and isn't helping my rashes and dry patches so I might get the milder one for every day use and use the extra strength stuff for the big volcano pimples. The cleanser is great. It takes off all my makeup in one wash. Before, I had to use TWO cleansers. Hello? I'm a busy woman. I don't have time for that.

I'm really trying not to get the toner and their sunscreen. But who am I kidding? I probably will.


  1. You should invest in some really good concealer. It doesn't have to be some cakey, ooey-gooey stuff either, just one that will give you an even skin finish. And, of course keep washing and cleansing your face thoroughly as well as moisturizing. Also, do you put makeup on your bare skin or do you use a primer? If not, you might want to consider a primer, b/c it creates a barrier between your skin and your makeup, which prevents makeup seeping into your pores. BTW, LOVE your blog and your sense of humor, keep it up gurl!


  2. Anonymous, thanks for the tips! I still use that Revlon foundation, which I love. I'll have to do some research on a good concealer.

    I actually do have a primer but haven't used it much because it made my skin really oily but now that I've been having a dry spell it actually might help.

    And THANK YOU for your comment and compliments :)

  3. Glad you found something that's working for you! Let us know your verdict in a few weeks, I'd love to know! I need to find something that doesn't irritate and give me an allergic reaction in my under eye area. sigh.

  4. haha i like your writing, very funny. im glad you found an answer to your skin dilema.

  5. I heart PC products. Right now, I use the sheer tint (it's the only make up I wear, and I have imperfect skin) and the 2% beta hydroxy acid lotion. And I just use a regular, mild face wash. My skin has some uneveness and a few small spots, but I don't get angry, vengeful mountains of hormonal angst (and I'm 30!) anymore.
    I hope that you like PC products as much as me (and I wait until she gives away free shipping before ordering products).

  6. My aunt sells Paula's Choice! It's amazing. My mom has problems with her skin (she's in her 40s) and since she's used Paula's Choice she hasn't had any problems with their skin. I love their sunscreen. I burn really easily and have a problem with thick sunscreens, but this stuff just sprays on and you can't even feel it! It works really well, too.

    Lindsey Soup

  7. I'm loving the Kiss My Face products right now. You should check it out!
    A Modest Fashion Blog:

  8. i would definitely go to the dermatologist. I'm twenty and still break out like crazy and my derm said I have acne vulgaris, and we're working on getting rid of it for good. The medicine is really expensive but she gave me vouchers so each prescription only costs $25.

  9. I am also Asian and I have fair skin - probably fairer than yours. My skin is sensitive and is prone to redness. I use Clinique, Almay and Benefit products and Cetaphil suffices for me as a facial wash.

  10. Nice review!
    Might have to try these!


  11. I totally agree with the Asian and blemish free skin, but it must be the air because I don't have clear skin either :( I wish I did though. Keep using your new face wash and hopefully things will clear up FAST!

    Just Better Together

  12. My favorite concealer is by Hard Candy. It's called Nobody's Perfect concealer palette. It's $8, and only sold at Walmart.
    My Heart Blogged

  13. Hey Elaine,

    Your mom didn't mention BB cream to you? Only the BEST BEST I mean BEST cosmetic stuff Korean invented. I mean, SERIOUSLY BEST. (And no, I am not Korean, so I'd say I am less biased)
    I am Chinese, with acne prone skin. And BB cream is the best concealer/primer (or even can be used as foundation) I've ever tried. I mean, I tried YSL, Benefit, Bobbi Brown... all the famous stuff, none of them can compete with BB cream.
    Ok, now I sound like a infomercial.

    There are tons of different kinds of BB cream sold in Korean supermarket.

    I tried these two



    BOTH ARE GREAT!!!!!!!


  14. haha You should try samples! That way you don't waste so much money. My favourite skin care stuff is by Dr Murad. Right now I'm trying Mario Badescu (you can get a samplekit on the website for free) which so far I also really like.

  15. I didn't know you were only 23! Since you're much better dressed than me, I totally assumed you were at least my age (27). :) You totally look young, don't get me wrong. :)

    Anyway, good luck with the skin stuff. What a pain!

    Better Than a Milk Mustache

  16. I just did a post about my face breaking out today, mine is because I just went off of birth control....is that what happened to you? I am going to my Derm tomorrow so I will let you know what she suggest!

  17. Thanks for this! I've recently been looking for something for my skin and I'm glad i read your tutorial because I've been breaking out for no reason, and i needed some advice!

  18. Good luck! Skin stuff is always so confusing!
    But I use Aveeno and Cetaphil and it works well for me.
    Oh, and Glycolic Acid peels from Avon to burn any pimples that dare to show themselves on my face.

  19. Now you're going to get everyone's skin tips. It is fascinating to read though, I don't have sisters, so I like knowing what to use!

    I love all natural products at Trader Joes. I use their tea tree cleanser and I'm addicted. Nothing has ever cleared up my face like that. Tea Tree is also good to use if you pop a zit because it prevents the spread of acne. It is a pain to get used to though, it stings at first.

    I've heard good things about Paula's Choice. I also think Proactive works -- but all those steps! I don't have time!

  20. as a pro (not really, but I'm pretty sure I know more about skin care and cosmetic ingredients than many pros), I'd suggest you try something else onstead of benzoyl peroxide as it's a strong oxidant. paula's choice bha (salicylic acid) producst are pretty awesome and so is avene diacneal. just remember to use uv protection (the higher the better) while using these products. anything else you need, holla at me =)

  21. I have uber sensitive skin, so I def get dry patches, and will break out in a rash if I use anything with a fragrance. My dermatologist told me I should just wash my face with plain water... so that's what I do! Pretty cheap too :)

    I moisturize with Cerave cream (also recommended by my derm), and I'm pretty minimal with any make up :/ I'm glad you're finding a new product line that works for you!


  22. I totally feel your pain - at 25, I was still prone to teenage-like breakouts. My skin was always congested (blackheads, etc.) with the occasional massive pimple. No matter what I used on my face, nothing worked. Last year I got the Clarisonic face brush for Christmas, and my skin is finally pretty!!! It's sort of expensive (cheaper on Amazon), but nowhere near the cost of bouncing from one expensive skin care line to another. Another bonus is that I can use less face wash and less moisturizer; the products are much more effective with the brush. If you can, try it. Since I got mine, now my sister, mom, mother-in-law and boss are all using the Clarisonic and loving it. The other brushes on the market aren't the same - I've tried them too. I swear they don't pay me to say this stuff (wish they did! :) ), I just love this thing so much!

  23. I use Paula's Choice almost exclusively and you really should get a BHA exfoliator (or the toner from the acne line) You will be amazed at how much it helps!! I use the extra strength toner 2x day and my acne probs are pretty much gone and I have very little dryness.

  24. I know I'm a bit late to the party here, but I really had to leave a comment - I HIGHLY recommend Paula's Choice 2% BHA solution and Skin Balancing Carbon Mask. Not long after I started using these two products I was able to stop using peroxide based acne products. I use the BHA twice a day and the mask twice a week.

    It sounds like my skin is a bit like yours - pimple prone but also prone to drying out from acne treatments - so I just had to leave my thoughts.

  25. hi! at 33 i still have acne prone, super sensitive skin. i think i've finally found a few things that work though:

    Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser - I use this maybe three times a week, once a day and if I wear makeup or my face feels super dirty/oily (maybe more in summer). Otherwise it's just plain room temp to warm water and a fingertip massage.

    Cetaphil® UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50 - Super important to keep your skin moist and protected from sun damage. I use one pump in the morning, rub between hands and apply all over face and neck.

    Biologique Recherche P50 - I used St Ives Apricot Scrub for years, which I thought was working great until I went for a facial and the esthetician told me it was like scrubbing a silk dress with rocks...this is a liquid exfoliator that I've used once or twice a day with no irritation. Right now I use it a couple times a week bc of time constraints. I use 4 drops or so on a wet cotton pad and press into my face and neck. There's a video on how to do it on the Rescue Rittenhouse website.

    I also take Trader Joe's Very Green supplements, Vitamin E, Flaxseed Oil, a multivitamin, and drink lots of water to nourish my skin from the inside.

    I try to make sure whatever touches my skin is clean and washed with mild detergent - pillowcase, handkerchiefs, makeup brushes, etc.

    My skin isn't perfect but so much better than before. Hope this is helpful...Love your blog as I've said before it's great and you crack me up!

  26. Had no idea that you could be allergic to the Asian products, but it sounds like different ingredients are used with them.  I know there have been definitely many products that do seem to work less than others.  Thanks for the suggestions here.  Who makes Paula's Choice?