main things i use on my face since month 25.
finally, the post that girls might be interested in!
(i’ve just had a few glasses of sparkling wine with my family at home over some soothing jazz music and that really gave me the motivation to spend time on this entry..)
this post will talk about the current skincare products and routine that i’m using.
let me repeat, THESE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS ARE MEANT FOR MY ALREADY HEALED FACE.
this is mainly for the purpose of sharing with you all what i’m doing with my skin in general, definitely not trying to tell you what to do with your skin!
i know many of you are still in the tunnel, fret not.
let me assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that you will be out of the tunnel forever and for good in time to come.
i’m writing this post from my personal POV, not as the TSW patient that i was.
1. cetaphil gentle cleanser
this cleanser is indeed as gentle as the name suggests, it doesn’t contain any soap as far as i’m concerned. it looks like lotions that you’ll lather on your body actually.. except that it emulsifies beautifully upon reacting with water and leaves your face feeling smooth and moisturized.
i’m not sure if it does a good job at cleansing, perhaps it’s just the placebo effect of knowing i’ve cleansed my face. i usually use this product after removing my make up, or when i feel that my face is extra oily (especially after exercising). if i’ve been home all day, i tend not to use the cleanser since my face isn’t that oily anyway.
i only started using this cleanser after my face was doing much better (in month 22 onwards). i have NEVER used any facial cleanser throughout my TSW days. let me repeat, I HAVE NEVER USED ANY FACIAL CLEANSER WHEN I WAS STILL IN TSW. a number of skin friends have asked me what cleanser i used back then.. i think i’ll write more about what i did during TSW in the last paragraph when i’m done with everything here (you can scroll all the way down, it’s after the dotted line). ;P
2. hadanomy collagen mist
this is a japanese lotion, which would translate to a toner in the american language.
basically it preps and perks my skin up with hyaluronic acid so that it can hold on to moisture better. it claims to contain collagen which acts as a protective barrier against moisture loss. (another disclaimer, i believe the molecular size of hyaluronic acid differs greatly from what dr fukaya offers. anyway, i don’t feel like my skin healed any faster while i was using this, so why am i still using it? for the placebo effect i guess? hahaha!)
this mist is light and doesn’t irritate my skin (DISCLAIMER: my skin was never the sensitive type even before i stopped steroids). i use it as a perk-me-up during day time because the hot weather in singapore don’t allow me to use anything heavier.
3. hadanomy collagen lotion
i bought the collagen lotion (which is of a relatively thicker formulation as compared to the mist above) thinking i could use this on my body. this stuff is bloody cheap (got it for about 80HKD, 300ml, which was cheaper than the hadalabo hyaluronic acid lotion) so i thought i could use it on my really dry body parts. while my skin was still sensitive back then in may, applying this did irritate my skin and made me itch for several minutes.. so i kept it for my face which was pretty much done deal already.
i apply this at night after my shower, since it’s cooler at night, my skin can tolerate richer stuff.
it is supposed to have the same effects as the mist above: supplement my skin with hyaluronic acid which attracts water molecules, and the collagen will act as a barrier to prevent loss of moisture. it’s the same stuff but in a thicker emulsion. no idea if the concentration is the same or not, let’s say their marketing efforts have worked and made me buy something that i might not have needed. 😛 (and who could have resisted the cute pink bottles anyway!?!?)
4. senka whitening lotion W(S)
i only started using this religiously in the past month or so because i wanted to make sure my face was totally free of sensitive spots before introducing something new. i was afraid that the whitening formular will irritate my fragile skin. while i was still in HK, i still had some itchy spots on my forehead so i didn’t use it until they were gone. and then about 3 weeks ago i had another bout of itchy spots growing on my forehead, so i had to stop using all forms of skincare for a week.
asians are into whitening products. i’m no different! especially after what the TSW did to my skin tone (i’m relatively more yellow and duller than before), i must do something about it. ain’t gonna sit here, sulk and complain all day about the aftermath of TSW, i gotta take control!!!
actually it’s my neck that bothers me the most. i think i’ve scratched my neck way more than my face.. moreover it’s still not completely healed yet (in fact there were itchy spots on my neck several weeks back), the skin there is significantly darker than my face and my chest. it puts me in a spot whenever i apply make up on, people will be thinking i’ve overloaded on foundation on my face and forgot about applying them on my neck too (i don’t wear foundation on my entire face, only under my eyes to cover my dark circles). truth is, my face and neck have two different skin tones right now. also, i have several tiny dark spots on my face (some of them just popped up like moles but have lightened up to become light brown, some have developed because my itchy fingers went to pop the little blisters that were growing on my face several months back).
side track: i was telling my mom that i’m having dark spots of my face, my mom asked me “does your mirror have an in built magnifying function?” because she can’t see those spots on my face. i laughed so hard at her reply because it made me realize i have been scrutizing my skin way too closely! and i do sense a small tinge of jealousy from my mom because she has larger dark spots on her skin as compared to mine..
it’s too early to tell if this thing works but it claims to be very effective in brightening the skin tone (it has also gotten good reviews from consumers!). i’ll keep hoping that it’ll work. i’ve been applying this on my face and neck, hoping to bring them back into equilibrium. i’m not fond of my dark neck because it makes me look like.. i’ve been in the sun with my neck exposed only. IT’S WEIRD! (DISCLAIMER: to all my fellow TSW warriors, i know this is the least i should be concerned about because it is neither life crippling or disabling in any way. i know the whole TSW was way more irritating than this, but please allow me to rant a little about my current “imperfections” as i’m still not back in my factory condition. please ignore my rant if this bothers you! 😉 )
5. aqualabel moist essence cream
i’ve been using this cream for the past few months (perhaps in my 22nd month onwards?).
do you want to make a guess of it’s content?
that’s right, it’s hyaluronic acid, again.
maybe you have realized i was trying very desperately to keep the moisture on my skin.
did it work? i gotta say back then when my skin was still less than perfect, it didn’t work.
it did moisturize my skin for the split second when i applied this, but the effects doesn’t last (i suppose it’s due to the lack of skin barrier function back then. it’s all good now though)
but right now, my skin is so good that even if i don’t apply this cream, my face is still moisturized.
when i do apply it at night, my skin will still feel supple in the morning.
again, i’m continuing to apply this for the placebo effect.
i mean, it doesn’t seem to hurt my skin, so there’re no disadvantages to keep applying it (but it does hurt my wallet..!).
and knowing that in 20 years’ time, i’ll reap the benefits of following a skin care regime.
this cream didn’t irritate me. it’s a gel formula and makes it very easy to be absorbed by my thirsty skin.
i’m about to finish it!
6. simple kind to skin hydrating light moisturiser
this is perhaps the one and only cream that is a constant throughout the past 4 to 5 years.
i’ve used this cream before i stopped steroids, after i stopped steroids, and right now.
at first i liked it a lot because it was able to keep my face moisturized for a relatively longer time (as compared to the olay moisturizing lotion for sensitive skin), but after some time my skin sort of got used to it.
was it due to steroid addiction? i don’t know. i’ll never know.
anyway, i always go back to this cream because it’s affordable and it does what it says.
i like to apply this before i sleep.
in fact, i apply this whenever i feel the need to.
7. vaseline petroleum jelly
this used to be my holy grail product during TSW..
but right now, it’s the holy grail for my lips.
i’m applying this on my lips as a lip balm.
i wonder how long will my lips take to finish 13oz of this stuff.
i’m no longer applying this on my body because it’s way too heavy,
plus, my body no longer need such a heavy-duty emollient. 😀
1. medicated vinegar (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
i didn’t make any official statement about me using TCM, but i shall say it now.
i have been on TCM medication for the past 6 months.
the reason why i didn’t make it known to the public was because i feel that it didn’t speed up my healing in any way, neither do i want everyone rushing to locate a TCM and start dumping money into it.
i want to tell you all that the TCM did not, i repeat, DID NOT HEAL ME IMMEDIATELY.
maybe it does deserve some credit for my healing process, but who am i to say that my healing is solely based on the effects of the TCM? after all, it took me so many months to see progress while i was on TCM, so really, i don’t want anyone thinking that i healed up because i took the medication.
after all, it did take me 6 months. perhaps without the medication, i would have made it as far within the 6 months too?
DISCLAIMER: I TOOK THE TCM BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT IT WILL GET RID OF MY UNDERLYING ECZEMA THAT I ALWAYS HAD AS A KID, AND THAT IT CAN HELP TO RE-CALIBRATE MY INTERNAL BALANCE AND LET ME HAVE A BETTER HEALTH IN GENERAL.
so anyway, the practitioner has treated many skin patients in the past and i’m bloody sure his medication DOES NOT contain steroids. if it did i would have been completely healed 6 months ago. he did prescribe me a bottle of vinegar that was infused with chinese herbs. i was asked to apply that to my skin as much as i can.
honestly speaking, i don’t know if it’s the vinegar that has helped my skin or the herbs. i have read about the acidic balance of our skin and how that will benefit us. the acidity did help broken skin heal faster. perhaps it even killed off some bacteria? who knows. all i know is that it didn’t irritate my skin, did not make my skin any worse, may or may not have helped my skin heal faster. it works far better on broken skin than on normal skin though.
ANOTHER DISCLAIMER (oh god, i don’t know how many disclaimers i’ve got to write for this entry..): i only started the treatment in my 21st month, by then my skin was about 80% healed already. i do not know if the treatment would have shortened my total healing time as there isn’t a parallel universe known to me whereby the parallel juliana started treatment from day 1, so i can’t compare. bottom line is, i don’t want to give you all false hope that there is something that can shorten the healing time. i was very hesitant in talking about my TCM treatment, but i hope i’ve made myself clear by writing all these disclaimers (hahaha i lost count of the number of disclaimers in this entry already).
2. vaseline body lotion
currently using this body lotion as my main moisturizer for my body.
does not irritate my skin.
moisturizes my skin well.
a bottle can last me for at least 4 weeks judging by my usage right now (twice a day, sometimes only after my shower)
CURRENT SKIN CARE ROUTINE:
1) in the morning: washing with water -> collagen mist -> whitening lotion -> simple hydrating moisturizer (i’ll skip this if the weather is too humid)
2) at night: cleanse skin with cetaphil gentle cleanser (when necessary, otherwise it’s just gonna be water) -> collagen lotion -> whitening lotion -> simple hydrating moisturzer OR aqualabel cream
1) in the morning: vaseline body lotion. i can actually skip this step right now because my skin doesn’t require that much moisturizing anymore :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
2) at night: cleanse skin with mostly water only, on special occasions (like i’ve been out all day and i feel sweaty and sticky) i’ll use the l’occitane shea butter shower cream (it smells heavenly btw.. sometimes when i wanna smell like a baby i’ll use that too :D) -> apply my TCM vinegar after shower -> slathering the vaseline body lotion all over my body. if i wanna smell good i’ll apply some body shop body butter as well, just because i want to smell like a strawberry.
TSW SKIN CARE ROUTINE:
this might be more relevant to most of you.
cleansing: water only.
1) when oozing, i didn’t apply anything on my face.
2) when not oozing (but still mad dry and cracking) , i applied vaseline.
3) when skin was much better (as in the skin wasn’t flaking all the time anymore, but still dry), i applied the simple hydrating moisturizer constantly. i exhausted a bottle of it within 3 weeks.
morning: shower in water only (during 1st and 2nd stage)-> nothing/vaseline/moisturizer (depending on the stage i was in)
night: it’s the same routine as morning.
cleansing: water only.
1) when oozing, i avoided applying anything at all. vaseline (petroleum jelly) will make the ooze harder to dry up, also, it blankets my skin in a layer of heat which i find uncomfortable.
2) when not oozing (but flaking like a snake), i apply vaseline (petroleum jelly) directly after shower ALL OVER MY BODY. oh yea, work it in baby.
3) when skin was much better (say, month 21 onwards), i started using vaseline body lotions. needed to apply it immediately after i wake up at the start as my skin would still be very dry upon waking..
morning: shower (only during 1st and 2nd stage) -> nothing/vaseline/lotion (also depending on the stage i was in)
night: shower -> nothing/vaseline/lotion
p.s. many of you might question if it’s necessary to use so many products on my face. i think that’s the main difference between the western and eastern skin care regime. the japanese have invented the very complicated skin care regime and i’m bent on following it. gotta give it to them for being able to maintain their youthful looking skin even as they age! i feel that it is necessary to start young and use skin care products to take care of my skin. a lot of products i’m using now are more for moisturizing my skin. to an asian, these are really just some very basic skin care products! so please don’t be alarmed, try to understand that i’m a really vain asian. 😀 hopefully this self-justification will make this very vain and relatively redundant post a little more qualified to make the cut to be on my skin blog.
to all of my fellow skin warriors, stay positive and hang on tight.
i’m here to hold your hand ;D