Welcome to Klog Chat, a series where we ask you to tell us how you do skin care and beauty. Today we’re wondering: Have you ever used a beauty product in an unconventional way? And did it work? Tell us all about it in the comments section!
Hi Klog readers, it’s Sarah here. I have to say, I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to dealing with acne. I don’t break out a lot, and when I do (usually around that time of the month), a simple pimple patch (like the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch) or a single sulfur spot treatment is all it takes to clear up the blemish.
Earlier this month, however, I found myself battling a constellation of bright red zits that appeared on my chest, shoulders and back after a scorching hot beach day.
I spent the following week treating the area with my usual solutions, but the stubborn pimples remained, as glaring as ever. I should have booked an appointment with my dermatologist right then and there. Instead, I went down a rabbit hole on Reddit and diagnosed the issue as fungal acne aka Pityrosporum Folliculitis.
Fungal acne, I learned, is not like traditional acne because it’s caused by fungus not bacteria, explaining why my go-to methods weren’t working. It can flare up due to heavy sweating, which was definitely happening on that fateful beach day. The bumps often appear in clusters, often won’t come to a head and can be itchy.
According to Redditors, there are all types of solutions and one of them is to spot treat with Head & Shoulders shampoo. Intrigued, I ran directly to the drugstore and slathered my skin with the stuff as soon as I got home.
Apparently the active ingredient in the dandruff shampoo is zinc pyrithione, an antifungal ingredient, which is why it’s used as a fungal acne treatment. The jury’s still out on whether or not I actually have fungal acne, but what I do know for sure is that using Head & Shoulders is working for me. After just a few days, my body acne is significantly less conspicuous. I finally feel confident wearing bathing suits and shoulder-bearing outfits again, which is great because New York City is steamy right now.
I like to dab a small amount of the formula on each of my problem spots, wait a few minutes and then rinse off in the shower. The formula is drying and could be potentially irritating to some, so don’t be hasty like me – talk to your dermatologist before trying the method, especially if you’re experiencing fungal acne on your face.
This entire ordeal has put me in an experimental mood, so I would love to know what alternative uses you’ve discovered for other beauty products.
+Have you ever used a beauty product in an unconventional way and had great results? Share your experience below!
I don’t know about where you live, but in New York City, it’s been so hot and humid lately. Like those type of humid days where you step outside and you immediately start sweating and it seems like no matter what you do, your skin feels gross and congested. The good news is, there are things you can do to make the heat a little more bearable for your skin. Here, we’ve compiled the best ways to treat your skin when you’ve been sweating all day long.
High humidity equals constant sweating and increased oil production. This is where double cleansing becomes even more essential. This will help to balance sebum production and keep acne at bay. One of my favorite oil cleansers right now is the Hanskin Cleansing Oil and Blackhead PHA. This oil cleanser contains PHA, a gentle chemical exfoliant, and tea tree leaf oil to deep clean pores. It leaves skin feeling refreshed. I love that this is an easy way to gently exfoliate the skin without causing any irritation. Plus, it removes makeup and other impurities quickly and efficiently.
A great water-based cleanser to follow up with is the Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Cleanser. This contains tea tree leaf oil and purifying botanical ingredients that deep clean pores and absorb excess sebum. Sticking with gentle, low pH cleansers like this one will help to clean the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.
In this weather, there’s nothing better than the feeling of smooth, cleansed skin. Just don’t go overboard with exfoliating as it can actually dehydrate the skin and cause more acne. Instead, stick with daily exfoliators that soothe and hydrate the skin like the Neogen Dermalogy Real Cica Pads. I have become absolutely obsessed with these. I have super sensitive skin so increasing my use of chemical exfoliators can cause irritation. These pads, however, contain PHA which is a gentle chemical exfoliator. The combination of PHA and madecassoside, a derivative of centella asiatica, calms and soothes inflammation so I can use them every day.
For those times when you want a deeper exfoliation, try the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks. These easy-to-use cotton swabs are pre-soaked with AHA and BHA, powerful exfoliants, that target acne and deep clean pores. The handy sticks balance sebum production and keep your summer skin in check.
Summer equals constant sun exposure and this means you need an antioxidant to help protect against free radical damage. The Cosrx Triple C Lightning Liquid is packed with 20.5% of pure ascorbic acid aka vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. This serum works to brighten and fade acne scars, even out your skin and leave it glowing. Plus, vitamin C improves your skin’s ability to hold onto moisture and fight against the dry, summer heat.
When you’ve been sweating all day, the last thing you want to do is suffocate your skin with a heavy moisturizer. This is why something like the Enature Squeeze Watery Gel Cream is an excellent summer addition. The lightweight gel-cream contains avocado oil capsules that provide skin with just enough moisture to hydrate, but not too much to make skin feel greasy.
Don’t get me wrong, summer is the best, but it’s not always kind to our skin. If you have a soothing and exfoliating routine in place, you can help alleviate those issues and spend more time enjoying endless sunny days and outdoor fun. Just remember that everyone’s skin is different so you might want to tailor your routine to your specific skin type while keeping the steps listed above in mind.
+How do you deep clean your skin after a long, hot and humid day? Share your tips in the comments below!
If you haven’t heard of the singer Duvv yet, get ready to see her name everywhere. After bursting onto the club scene in Seoul, she’s back stateside and putting the finishing touches on her next EP, a self-produced electronic project called Acid. In this exclusive interview, the singer shares what she learned about beauty from her time in Korea, how the music scene there differs from that of New York City, her must-have natural skin care products and more!
How did you end up living in Korea?
So I’ve been there three times before and I went there this time to work on my most recent project, which I released last August. My first time going there was in a study exchange program and that’s how I met Nicole, [Soko Glam’s Marketing and Communication’s Manager]. We were at the same university. I didn’t know I wanted to do music at that time. So my first experience there was as a student.
And then I visited two years ago for like a month to see if doing music there was a realistic thing to approach. The response I got there was really supportive so I decided to jump in. I’d never lived there for that long before. Even though I had been there, it was a lot of new experiences. So that was really good for one year.
What was the kind of response you got to your music?
There was definitely a language barrier for me because I’m not fluent in Korean at all. There were difficulties like when I was out, I couldn’t speak well and say the things I wanted to say. But after those hiccups it was really supportive. I have a friend who helps run a club out there and booked me before I even landed in the city. I was still in the airport actually, which was really funny.
I grew a lot from it because I got to work with a lot of different super talented producers out there and I learned from them. I was singing in clubs a lot, like behind the DJ booth singing. You know, in New York it’s not as common for people to be singing in clubs as opposed to like event venues, so this had a new element to it.
Were there any beauty revelations that you discovered while in Korea?
No, that’s the thing. Ok, so I’m a huge ‘what food does to your body’ nerd. And when I was in college a couple of years ago, I had this massive breakout and I couldn’t pin what it was and it freaked me out. So I started experimenting with different things. Like, what’s going on with my body to make it act like this? It wasn’t allergies, it wasn’t this, it wasn’t that. I tried dermatologists, I tried Korean stuff, none of it worked. With that in mind my skin improved.
What stuck with me, though, was how much people pay attention to their appearance. It obviously has its pros and cons but taking care of your skin is good. By the time I had gotten to Korea, I had stopped using any sort of serums or toners–anything that had more than one ingredient for the most part, I had stopped using. So I wasn’t too informed about the beauty products there, but I did like the face masks. You could buy them for 80 or 90 cents.
That and I picked up on the WAY you apply makeup. Here in the States I feel like I learned rubbing, but in Korea they emphasize patting things in. And there the look is also not as heavy. The styles are more natural and there’s not as many heavy dark colors and heavy contouring.
Do you have any beauty tricks? Or things that you do to treat your own skin?
I try to steer clear of chemical-based products when it comes to skin care. I use vitamin E oil on my eyelids for a dewy look. I notice that when I apply a small amount of eyeshadow and follow up with a bit of vitamin E oil, the pigment becomes more vibrant. A little goes a long way. I also like to apply it on my lips in lieu of lip gloss.
You also sent us a list of products that you love. What do you use coconut oil for? Why do you love it?
I use coconut oil as my body moisturizer. I like to use products that provide nutrients to the skin. Coconut oil isn’t too heavy, and it is easy to spread.
What do you use the shea butter for and why do you love it?
I use shea butter as my body moisturizer as well. Sometimes I use both shea butter and coconut oil to maintain moisturized skin on those cold weather days. I love it because it’s thick, rich, and healthy for my skin. I also use shea butter in my hair.
How do you use the tea tree oil?
I use tea tree oil to help me with healing any broken skin, scars or uneven complexion. It’s important to remember that tea tree oil is a strong essential oil, and it’s best applied when diluted. If I want to use it as part of my hair conditioning routine, I make sure I use a carrier oil, such as rosehip seed oil. In this case, I use it to make sure I’m maintaining a healthy scalp. I also like the smell of the oil, so sometimes I’ll apply a very small amount on my neck and follow up with a few spritzes of rose water.
What about the sea buckthorn oil?
Sea buckthorn oil is a recent discovery. I really love using this as my facial moisturizer. I felt that coconut oil and shea butter weren’t the best oils for my face. Sea buckthorn oil is light enough that it doesn’t clog your pores, but it has enough body to leave your skin feeling plump and moisturized. It has anti-inflammatory healing properties that help with scarring.
How did you discover the Korean face cloth? How do you use it?
I discovered the Korean body scrub cloth when I went to Korea. I’ve tried it out in recent weeks, but I will say, it is too harsh for me. I prefer to use cotton washcloths when I shower. It’s enough of an exfoliator for my skin. It’s not too harsh, so you can use them daily.
Why do you love using the rose water and how do you use it?
I love using rose water because it’s a refreshing, all-natural mist that you can end your facial routine with. It does feel soothing. I sometimes use it when applying powder makeup to make sure my face doesn’t get too matte.
It’s so interesting that you were really influenced by the makeup there. Are there any products that changed the game for you? Or was it just the style?
In terms of makeup practices, it was a combination. I liked how light the makeup was. I don’t do a lot with makeup. I’m really basic with it. Because of my skin tone, I couldn’t buy foundation or powders there. I could only buy things that weren’t dependent on skin tones like eyeshadows, eyebrow pencils, lip balms… If you’re looking for things like that then you’re good to go. But for matching the shade, it was hard to find. My shade over there had to be ordered online.
What about the Missha eyeshadow though? I know you mentioned loving that to me earlier.
I don’t know much about eyeshadow. I picked it up to try something new, but I don’t use it often. I have a shade of scarlet that I apply to my eyelids before applying vitamin E oil. I usually go for subtle makeup looks so it serves its purpose. I usually apply a small amount with my finger.
Why do you love the Cover FX foundation?
I love Cover FX powder foundation because it matches my skin tone and it is activated by water. So after applying powder, I can spritz water on my face for a natural, dewy look. It blends really well. I also stick with Cover FX because the powder is mineral-based, and both the powder and liquid foundations are free of parabens, sulfates, talc, mineral oil, fragrance and more.
So what are your future plans for your music?
I’m working on my next EP which is called Acid. It is a more electronic project, and it’s HEAVILY influenced by my experience in Korea. Because like I mentioned before, I was singing in clubs which I wasn’t doing before. And a lot of my friends were DJ’s, so I was just running behind them and going to parties. Being in those spaces, there was like an unspoken rhythm to it. There’s music that works in the club and there’s music that’s awkward in the club. And my music was a little awkward in the club.
It affected how I sang, which was really cool. So this project is a little bit more uptempo and heavy bass. I keep club elements and my experiences in the back of my head when I’m writing it. I would say that’s been my strongest influence in my music, singing in clubs.
What about the Korean music scene is different that you’re taking from there to your music over here?
I would say the scene there was more fluid. I really liked that. I may be wrong, but from past experiences in New York you can feel kind of separated by genre. Like there will be electronic events, or hip hip, but there won’t be any crossover.
In Seoul, it won’t even be on different nights, there could be multiple genres in the same set. And the people you saw at an R&B show the last night, you’ll see at a hip hip show the next night, or even a techno one. Here I feel like it’s a group of people who listen to ‘this’ and a group of people who listen to ‘that’. I’m sure there’s crossovers here too but that’s just one thing that stood out to me.
I think that’s why my music was received the way it was. Because I don’t stay in one genre. But it was interesting playing, because it’s Korea so a good portion of people may not understand what I was saying.
And I had a show in Brooklyn two days after I got back, and it was my first time singing my project to an English-speaking audience. Afterwards a girl came up to me and was like. ‘Oh, I loved it when you talked about this and it touched me so much.’ I was like, ‘You understood what I was…Oh snap they understood what I was saying!’ I didn’t talk when I was performing in Korea, I didn’t engage as much.
Are you planning on doing any tours or traveling soon?
I would love to tour off this EP because I feel like I really learned a lot from my last project. It was like growing pains for real. This is also my first self-produced project. I feel really happy about it because even though I don’t have the same technical level as people I’ve worked with before, I know how it sounds in my head and I’m just working to get that out. So I would love to tour, but as of now I’m just working to finish it.
Top photo: Mingu Kang
+ What was your favorite part of our DUVV interview? Are you excited for her new EP? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Shopping for a simple acne treatment? Look no further than a pimple patch. With so many available on shelves, there’s an option for every type of breakout. Keep reading to learn about our favorites and how to choose the perfect pimple patch for you.
To me, pimple patches are a modern miracle. If you haven’t tried one yet, you’re seriously missing out. A pimple patch is a small, usually clear sticker that helps treat acne in a gentle and effective way. It can be worn anywhere on your face and works to protect a pimple like a wound, keeping it away from dirt, bacteria, and even your grubby little fingers if you’re an avid pimple-picker like me. Each patch is infused with acne-fighting ingredients to help draw the sebum from your pores over six-plus hours of wear (you can wear them during the day or at night while you’re asleep).
Trust me, there’s truly nothing more satisfying than peeling one off of your face and seeing all of the gunk and goo that was extracted from your zit onto the back of the sticker.
Here’s when I recommend using one: When your pimple is almost at peak whitehead stage and you want all that pus to come to the surface, when you’re trying to get an open pimple wound to completely drain, when you’ve just popped a pimple and want it to heal without spreading the infection or when you need to stop yourself from picking at your skin.
While these stickers couldn’t be simpler to use, choosing the best one for your acne concerns does require some thought. Below, I’ve detailed my three favorite pimple patches, how to use them, and what kind of acne they work best on.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
Even if you’re new to the world of pimple patches, you probably know about the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch. These are the OG K-beauty pimple patch, and they’re totally worth the hype. These patches are made from hydrocolloid (think of the hydrocolloid dressing used in hospitals to encourage healing and prevent infection) and come in three different sizes that are essentially large, medium, and small. For $5.00, you get 24 of them, which, depending on how often you break out, is pretty reasonable.
Because they draw all the gunk to the surface, I recommend using them on whiteheads to speed up the entire process and flatten the zit faster or to disinfect and reduce the inflammation if you’ve already popped the sucker on your own.
Overall, they’re not the most subtle-looking because of how thick the hydrocolloid is (think of a hydrogel sheet mask), but they get the job done.
Missha Speedy Solution Anti Trouble Patch for Acne
The Missha Speedy Solution Anti Trouble Patch are my go-to choice for wear when I have a huge pimple that I want to treat during the daytime at work. They’re thinner and clearer than almost all other forms of pimple patches I’ve tried, and because they’re so thin, they also adhere easily to the skin.
While they don’t have the same protective qualities of the COSRX ones, they do have great anti-inflammatory ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree oil to help reduce redness and speed up the recovery process. I prefer to use them for regular acne that’s red and irritated. And because a $5.00 box comes with 8 sheets of 12 (that’s 96 stickers!), they’ll last you a long time.
Acropass Trouble Cure
Welcome to the future of skin care. Pimple patches were already revolutionary for me because they didn’t attack and dry out the skin like most other acne treatments, but the Acropass Trouble Cure takes the concept to the next level by healing acne beneath the skin.
These patches are affixed with tiny microneedles (similar to a derma roller) made from a crystallized serum (ingredients include hyaluronic acid to hydrate and niacinamide and EGF to treat and clear) shaped into a needle-like structure. These needles are super tiny (1/3 the thickness of hair) so you don’t have to worry about any pain from incision, yet mighty. The serum punctures and dissolves into your skin and is sent directly to where its needed the most.
The patches come with cleansing swabs meant to prep the skin before application. The cleanser is packed with great acne-fighting ingredients like tea tree oil and salicylic acid.
Not only does the system help heal regular acne quickly and reduce scarring, it also works on hormonal and cystic acne!
If you’re looking for subtlety then this will not be your top choice. The stickers are definitely larger than the Missha or COSRX ones and because you can see the texture from the needles, they look like a bandage. However, they’re perfect for nighttime wear. Acropass recommends leaving them on for a minimum of two hours, but I’d still suggest the normal 6 to 12.
+ Which one are you most excited to try? Let us know in the comments!
Say goodbye to harsh, drying acne treatments, and hello to hydrating, healing protection! Pimple patches have already reframed the way we treat acne, but the Acropass Trouble Cure takes everything you know about the ordinary pimple patch to the next level. These stickers use microneedling technology and can even treat hormonal and cystic acne. Curious? Keep reading to get the full scoop.
Not to wax poetic, but pimple patches are probably the love of my life. Ever since moving to New York City from the West Coast, my skin has been breaking out like nobody’s business, so acne-fighting stickers have become my godsend. I even wear them in the office (they’re clear!).
I especially love that when you apply one on a zit before bed, there’s a glorious chance that you’ll pull it off the next morning and find goo and gunk from the spot stuck to the back of the patch. Is there anything more satisfying? I didn’t think so until I met the Acropass Trouble Cure.
Unlike some pimple patches that work best on whiteheads, Trouble Cure works on all kinds of spots, even hormonal and cystic acne. How, you ask? With dissolving microneedle technology.
While the actual stickers are made of the same hydrocolloid material that most others are, the adhesive of this one has tiny microneedle structures that is actually crystallized serum created to dissolve when it comes in contact with the moisture from your skin. It may sound scary, but in reality these “needles” look more like tiny bumps and are approximately 1/3 the thickness of human hair, so you don’t have to worry about any pinching or painful sensations.
The serum contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin, as well as “trouble-curing” ingredients like niacinamide and EGF. And because it dissolves directly into your skin, the product bypasses the general limitations that ointments and patches with active ingredients that can’t penetrate the skin barrier suffer from.
So how do you use one?
Unlike what you might have experienced with other pimple patches before, Acropass’ involves multiple application steps. The first step is to wipe the area you want to apply the sticker on with a simple cleanser that comes in a little paper pouch, similar to a wet wipe. It’s packed with ingredients like tea tree oil and salicylic acid to help combat your acne and vitamin E to protect from free radicals and other pollutants.
Once the area is clean, remove the patch from the package and place it sticky side down over the spot.
The longer you wear it, the better your results will be. At minimum, keep it on for two hours, but for maximum efficiency, we recommend putting one on directly before bed and removing in the morning.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a simple way to target cystic or hormonal acne without drying out your skin, this is sure to become your new best friend.
How do you combat wrinkles in your 20s? Welcome to Dear Soko, a series dedicated to answering your biggest skin care questions with advice from Soko Glam’s skin experts. Whether you’re confused about specific ingredients or what you need to do to achieve healthier skin overall, these experts are here to guide you.
This week’s question comes from Linda who asked in our last Dear Soko: “I am only 25-years-old but I have very deep lines and wrinkles. I’ve been doing a 10-step skin care routine since April, but there is NO change. Please help me! I have deep lines like an 80-year-old!”
Here’s Soko Glam’s skin expert’s answer:
Deep valleys are only considered a marvel when it’s part of the Grand Canyon, but even then, you’re only staring at it for only a few minutes before moving on.
I’m all for aging gracefully, but I would very much prefer to look younger than my actual age for much longer. Although you can’t stop time, you can evaluate your lifestyle and the products you’re currently using to make sure they’re right for you. It can be as simple as wearing SPF or changing sleep positions.
Let’s first understand the two types of wrinkles, “extrinsic” and “intrinsic.”
Extrinsic wrinkles are caused by external factors, like diet, sun exposure, smoking, pollution, etc.
Intrinsic wrinkles are caused by things happening inside of the body; i.e. collagen depletion, slowing of cell turnover, etc.
Extrinsic wrinkles are controllable and can be corrected with simple lifestyle changes. Sometimes, simply a double cleanse and applying SPF can help. Intrinsic wrinkles are influenced by genetics and is a little more difficult to correct. This is where applying the right products formulated with the right ingredients come to play.
Ingredients to look out for are retinols, vitamin C, black Tea Extract, niacinamide, adenosine, beta glucans, AHAs, and EGF.
Here is a little cheat sheet on what each ingredient does for aging skin:
Retinols help promote thicker skin and slow down the breakdown of collagen, and help fade hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C strengthens our skin’s barrier and increases our skin’s ability to fight free radical. This protects your skin from cell damage and premature aging.
Black Tea Extract is loaded with antioxidants that help protect skin from UV damage and environmental pollutants. The higher content of caffeine means it’s an excellent ingredient for tightening and toning the skin.
Niacinamide promotes collagen production to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles—it’s also great for fading out hyperpigmentation.
Adenosine is a soothing and skin-restoring agent that boosts collagen and elastin.
Beta glucans help maintain proper skin health by deeply moisturizing the epidermis and dermis, and prevent the increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
AHAs work to break down the top layer that holds dead skin cells together, smoothing and refining the outermost layer of skin, which means they work best for things like fine lines and light pigmentation issues.
EGF encourages cell growth and stimulates the division of keratinocytes and fibroblasts, which then synthesize fibrous proteins that improve skin elasticity such as collagen and elastin.
If your current routine is not working out for you, I would strongly advise to make sure to study the ingredients in your products and make sure some of the ingredients mentioned above are in the formulation. For some insights on how to optimize your routine, please read this Dear Soko post.
I hope you have enjoyed this little Sparknotes quick-read on how to best tackle your wrinkles. For a deeper dive, please read this article:
We love giving you answers to skin care questions from derms! When it comes to skin care, you guys really know what you’re talking about. But even skin care enthusiasts like you still have questions. Want to know what its like to talk to a derm? We asked a derm some of YOUR toughest questions during a recent Klog Chat. Keep reading to find out how she responded.
In one of our recent Klog Chats, we asked you to send us your most confusing and perplexing skin care questions, and that anything we couldn’t answer, we would ask a dermatologist for you! Well, we’re here to uphold our promise! We’ve selected four of the toughest questions we received, and sent them off to Kavita Mariwalla, a dermatologist in West Islip, New York.
Want to know if your question was chosen? Or curious to see if any of our readers had the same question you’re having? Keep reading.
Question #1 from a woman with PCOS:
“After I cleanse and moisturize my skin, it’s always super shiny but not oily. Could shiny-ness be a sign of over-exfoliation? I currently use a light exfoliator and an exfoliating pad every day, and my serum contains AHAs and BHAs, so basically my issue boils down to having shiny skin right after I wash my face and then oily skin later for the rest of the day. What should I add to my routine?”
Dr. Mariwalla’s answer:
That glow is one of exfoliated skin, and while that looks great, your routine may actually be over-doing it. I would choose either a chemical exfoliator or physical exfoliator and only a few times a week at most. In the summer, please be aware that AHAs and BHAs make the skin much more sensitive to the sun. If I was choosing, I would do an exfoliator pad two times a week. Make sure you are using a good sunscreen and an antioxidant daily to maximize your routine.
“I’m naturally pale and fair-skinned, but my scars are all super white, rather than the dark purple color people usually get. Any tips for blending them out, fading them, or anything to use to stop a scar being so bad from me picking a spot?”
Dr. Mariwalla’s answer:
Unfortunately, some people with really fair skin do scar that bright white you are noticing. There is not much that can be done to re-pigment the scar to a natural skin tone. But if you do get an injury, making sure the area heals as well as possible will minimize the scarring. I recommend a product called StrataMed which I have found to do exceptionally well with rapid scar healing. If you get a fresh wound, I would start using Vaseline on it right away and make sure you keep it covered. This is probably the best way to minimize scarring.”
“I believe I have melasma on my forehead and I have been trying to lighten it. I have been using a vitamin C serum for three or four months already. I also apply sunblock on my face every day. Is there anything else that I can do to help quicken the process. Would getting a chemical peel help? Does exfoliating help? Also, if I’ve read that birth control can give you melasma, should I not take it if I already have melasma?”
Dr. Mariwalla’s answer:
Melasma is often attributed to hormonal changes and birth control pills but can happen even if you aren’t taking birth control pills. My favorite melasma routine is as follows: Use a vitamin C serum that is actually potent. I recommend Serum 10 from SkinCeuticals or CE Ferrulic from SkinCeuticals. I am also a fan of using Avene Compact Paste. It is one of the only makeups that has iron oxide in it. Iron oxide has been shown clinically to improve melasma, but the problem is it typically comes in only red, yellow, and black. Avene makes one that is more of a skin tone and it can be blended with sunscreen and other foundation to make it a useable color. I also prefer mineral based sunscreens. At night I would use a topical with tranexamic acid which is one of the newer agents used for lightening areas of dyspigmentation.
“What is the one product that people use that you don’t think is helpful at all?”
Dr. Mariwalla’s answer:
Apple cider vinegar. People use it for all kinds of things and it often ends up just causing irritation and more skin problems. It is probably the ingredient that is used most incorrectly in DIY remedies.
+ Do you love reading answers to skin care questions from derms? Have another skin care question that wasn’t answered? Leave it in the comments below and we’ll get back to you!
Wondering how to mix drugstore products with K-beauty? How much does your daily beauty routine cost? Welcome to The Klog Beauty Diaries. Inspired by Refinery29’s Money Diaries, we thought it would be fun to recap a day in the life of people with different occupations and highlight their beauty routines. In this Klog beauty diary, we feature a 28-year-old fire and theft investigator in Houston who loves mixing her Korean products with Paula’s Choice.
P.S. Wanna submit your own routine to be featured in The Klog’s Beauty Diaries? Click here to get started!
Occupation: Fire and Theft Investigator Industry: Insurance Age: 28 Location: Houston, TX
6:15am- I wake up for work. With Houston traffic being so terrible, I have to make sure I get up at a reasonable time to make it on time at the office (even though I hate the mornings). First thing I do is brush my teeth and put in my contacts. Then I wash my face with Simple Cleansing Micellar Water ($5.39) using White Rabbit Plain Cotton Pads ($13.99). These are my favorite cotton pads. They’re so gentle on my skin. Afterwards, I moisturize my face with Simple Replenishing Rich Facial Moisturizer ($9.22). Simple is my favorite drugstore line and I love the moisturizer. After I eat breakfast and 15 minutes before I head out, I apply my all -time favorite sunscreen, the Neogen Day Light Protection Sun Screen ($30.00). I also apply my favorite fragrance: Givenchy Dahlia Divin ($110.00). This is my favorite perfume at this moment.
12:00pm- I take lunch. I read different information about re-applying sunscreen: Some say if you are not directly in the sun, applying it once all day should be fine. Other information states it’s fine to lightly re-apply. I am heading out to lunch with co-workers and just prefer to re-apply my Neogen sunscreen liberally. I also mist my face with my Tony Moly Pocket Bunny Mist ($12.00). It’s so hot in Texas!
10:00pm- Time for bed! Before I go to bed, I moisturize my face again with Simple Replenishing Rich Facial Moisturizer. It’s a fave and I can not live without it! Before I get into the bed, I apply Jergen’s Ultra Healing Lotion ($5.99). I have to be moisturized from head-to-toe prior to bed!
Total Skin Care: $223.97
Total Hair and Body: $124.69
Total Makeup: $0
Grand Total: $348.66
+ Do you have tips on how to mix drugstore products with K-beauty? Share them below! What kind of Klog Beauty Diary would you like to see next?
It’s actually so confusing understanding how much sunscreen to apply. There are a lot of factors that come into play when you’re trying to understand how much sunscreen is enough to protect you. Keep reading to see why you may want to consider splurging for that higher SPF level.
About a month ago, we created an Instagram post that showed readers how much of each skin care product you should apply…
A post shared by The Klog (@theklog) on Jun 13, 2018 at 2:29pm PDT
About a minute after posting it, we got a flurry of comments expressing complete shock and denial about how much sunscreen you should be applying. We said you should be applying about a tablespoon of sunscreen to adequately protect your face and your neck. People couldn’t believe that you actually need that much to protect your face. But the reason why we listed such a large amount was because when a sunscreen company tests its sunscreen, it uses a lot to ensure that the skin is getting the full SPF protection that’s listed on the bottle. So, if a company is testing the effectiveness of its SPF 50 sunscreen, that company applies a pretty decent amount of sunscreen to ensure that skin is actually getting that protection level.
Eventually, we were corrected by the great Stephen Ko, who said that you actually should apply a full teaspoon of sunscreen to your face to get full protection. But he still stresses the fact that we mostly don’t apply enough sunscreen to get the protection level that’s listed on the bottle, and places great importance on re-applying throughout the day. In his post on the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens, he says, “The reason why reapplication is recommended is because we often don’t apply enough in the first place and it’s constantly being removed from our skin. Reapplication helps ensure that we have a minimum density of 2 milligrammes per square centimetre of sunscreen on our skin and that we maintain that density throughout the day.”
“Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen! Across multiple studies people only apply ¼ to ½ the amount needed for the protection on the sunscreen’s label. You may have wondered why the US FDA and other organizations keep the amount needed for SPF testing so high, as it turns out 2.0 mg/cm2 is a bit of a sweet spot when it comes to reproducibility and reliability of the results. An easy way to help get the amount needed on the skin is to apply your sunscreen twice. Apply a layer, let it dry, then apply a second layer.”
But why exactly does applying a light layer of SPF 50 sunscreen not actually give you SPF 50 protection? I reached out to Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, to explain it to us.
“In order to get the protection labels on the bottle of sunscreen you need to apply enough,” he says. “For the face, this means about a quarter size to dollop. For the body, it is about one ounce or the amount of a standard shot glass. If you are putting on less, then the SPF value gets diluted out. So when you are applying the product with SPF 50, if you don’t use enough, you may be getting protection equivalent of an SPF of 30.” In fact, Zeichner advises patients to buy a high level of SPF to be careful. “I recommend that consumers use sunscreens with the highest level of SPF they can get,” he says. “This acts like an insurance policy to give the best protection possible.”
You may be thinking, “Oh my gosh, that’s so much sunscreen and so much money!” Yes, if you continue using SPF 50, it is a lot of sunscreen. But it doesn’t have to cost you that much. Thankfully, a lot of Korean sunscreens offer superior protection without a super high cost. One of my favorite Korean brands for affordable sunscreens is Missha. The Missha Waterproof Sun Milk SPF 50+/PA+++ is $18 and goes on super smooth and won’t fade away through sweat.
I hope this clears up any confusion about how much sunscreen to apply. Just remember: You need a lot of sunscreen to actually get the full SPF 50 you need, so always apply at last a teaspoon to a quarter-sized amount to your face and neck and even consider applying two layers of sunscreen in the morning. If you feel like this is too much work, you may want to consider purchasing a sunscreen that has a higher SPF level so you won’t really have to apply so much. And don’t forget to re-apply a layer every two hours!
+ Do you have any more questions about how much sunscreen to apply? Share them below!
Is the Botanic Farm essence as brightening as it claims to be? Brightening products are known to treat hyperpigmentation, sun spots, dull skin, and even acne scars! We asked a Klog ambassador (a dedicated reader who loves trying skin care) to test the essence for two weeks and share her honest opinions. Keep reading to find out what she thought!
Meet Michelle. She previously tested the Plant Base Ampoule for us, and this time, we asked her to test the Botanic Farm essence for us. Below she’s detailed exactly what she thinks of the product.
I definitely cannot do a skin care routine without an essence. I love my essences. The Klog’s article Everything You Need to Know About Essences mentions that you’ll benefit from essences if you have “dry skin, mature skin, or an uneven skin tone.” Oh my, I fall into all of the above categories! In addition, I have a lighter skin tone, which makes me more prone to different types of hyperpigmentation.
I also struggle with my skin discolorations from prolonged sun exposure. The melasma on my forehead, darkened pigments, and sun spots on my cheeks and nose all make me sad every time I look in the mirror. I definitely love using my acids and vitamin C for brightening, but I felt like I needed more.
The Botanic Farm Rice Ferment First Essence is such a lovely essence. It’s clear and watery-like, so I try to pat fast so not to spill any goodness on the floor. It does remind me of Missha’s Time Revolution essence, since they are both made with fermented ingredients. It’s so refreshing and soothing, without any sticky or tacky feeling.
Plus, the scent… Oh gosh the scent is an earthy floral almost invigorating aroma. After patting the essence, I always have to take a deep whiff of the leftover essence on my hands to get the full experience since it’s such a feel good scent for me. (Maybe I’m alone on this, but that’s OK)
Whenever you see “first essence” it should follow after cleansing. So, I used this as my first treatment directly after cleansing Before this…as I mentioned, I was using Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence, which I like as well. However, the Botanic Farm essence gives me more of a healthy glow! I’m not sure if it’s because of the actives in it… but for now I replaced my Missha essence with this one. Thereafter, I resume with my normal routine (toner, serums/ampoules, oils, moisturizer).
Did it change my skin? This is my favorite question for this product. Yes, it definitely has made my skin brighter. I wake up every morning looking refreshed and glowy. I think with time, this will help me achieve my honey dewy skin glow faster. And I’ve only been using this a few weeks.
My skin is smooth right now. I’m totally enjoying my dewy skin. This essence truly helps with my glow. Maybe it’s the licorice extract, or the lactic acid; I just know my skin likes this stuff. I for sure highly recommend this product; I see myself talking about this to family and friends (ones who have skin that’s dull, mature, and definitely uneven skin tone). I’ve had my eye on this product for some time before receiving it. So I am beyond happy that it did not let me down.
The first ingredient is lactobacillus/rice ferment and the third is niacinamide, meaning it is made to give you brighter skin. Not to mention, it has licorice extract along with natural botanical extracts! The ingredient list is my favorite part about the whole thing. This essence has the recipe for “radiant glow!”
I totally love it. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing, and not sticky or tacky. Plus, the scent gives off a very pleasant experience! It’s also super hydrating and my ideal brightening level has been achieved! (I’ll take a refill please!)
+ Have you tried the Botanic Farm essence? Let us know your favorite brightening products below!