In all the midst of the government induced "crisis", what are you doing, dear readers, besides the popular activities of toilet paper buying and netflixing?
Right, this is what I thought. Time to do what you love, time to get back your inner peace. Lazing around is also not so bad and you get the chance to explore awesome blogs and even read an academic paper here or there (although what I read was not related to my studies directly, I still felt... alive? Not productive, productiveness is such a pre-crisis thought hahah).
I was lucky to also stumble upon f.c.’s blog Simple Skincare Science and was absolutely in awe (someone give him a medical degree or at least an award please). There is so much info for people with troubled skin, it’s insane. So many theories and findings of medical papers are explained there that you will surely and easily learn a thing or two about skin care.
It starts like every other story: skin-deep
Truth is, at times I do happen to have terrible skin in winter, or generally in cold climates. Warm weather seems to do my skin good though. I have been to the dermatologist but since I mostly suffer minor outbreaks and, even though I still haven’t figured it out completely, some things break me out and some don’t, the dermatologist knows as little as me mostly when it comes to my skin. I got medication and that did not help me and I’ve had my fair share of other treatments and just got tired.
For some very strange reason, I bought a german toner (from Alverde, in dm) that someday almost completely cleared my face. Though I have to say I lived in a very "dry" apartment during that time and it was always very warm in it (lol, I know it sounds ridiculous but I swear a warm environment helps my skin).
When I moved to Japan to live for longer, I suffered from break outs that I only remember having in my younger years. That was mostly when I ran out of my cheap german toner and also tried new products for skin care, thinking I had "normal" clear skin, haha, yeah... no. I found out the hard way that I don’t and that the toner was my holy grail.
Still the winter weather in Japan outside of Hokkaido is the worst you can imagine because they do not have central heating (here is why I most strongly believe cold enviroment means big trouble for my skin - yes I do know how ridiculous that sounds given the fact I was born in Siberia but mind you, they have very good heating there).
It’s like searching for the one until you know what you want: a phase of trial and error
Yeah, come on, we’ve all been there in our early twenties. You don’t really know what you want. And even less so what you need. You might like that fancy products that everyone is raving about and it looks so shiny and popular but believe me: he, oh, I meant it is not the right for you.
We know so little about ourselves and in our daily life we get more and more out of touch with it. Only when we have time to rest, think, try to get to know ourselves without rushing, we give ourselves the love and time we deserve. Everyone talks about having a fulfilled life, but how can you be fulfilled if you do not know thyself? (Remember how Neo in The Matrix went to the Oracle and she hinted at the sign that says "Know thyself" in Latin? Yeah. That, first. And also the movies are awesome in general. Some genius ghostwriter must have been behind that.)
But back to the topic. I only found out a while ago that the oil cleanser I was using in Japan broke me out, though it was supposed to be one for sensitive skin with non-irritant ingredients only (the brand is called Arouge). The soap of that same brand wasn’t for me either, it just never felt right on my skin. It was very gentle, but maybe too gentle? Either that or there was just something that my skin was not okay with (I still have to go to the ingredients of the cleansers - though I do currently still use one of the gels and it doesn’t seem to give me outbreaks on its own).
In Japan I mostly just gave up after a while. I thought it was also my diet (partly true), but there was so many things that seemed to influence it that I lost track.
Since I came back to Germany, it was on and off but mostly the same until I tried looking more into it and I recently started using the Alverde toner again.
Before that I even tried Paula’s Choice a while ago (the liquid BHA exfoliants mostly), and it did not work for me, Simple Skincare Science also had a post about this. My breakouts got worse! It felt my skin got more inflammed where there was spots and at times itchy.
Please don’t try this at home. Or at least be extra careful.
Once you know what you need, you will keep looking for it and trying to make it work
Let’s be real here, all love is like that. And self-love comes first in our world of individualism. What worked for me was switching to Clinique (Take the Day off Cleansing Balm), though Clinique’s Moisture Surge is NIGHTMARE for me.
Mind you though, I can’t use most "fatty creams": it’s either a gel-like moisturizer or something like pure vaseline I can use, but not the mix that would be like most Nivea-type creams. Which means, most sunscreens break me out, too.
Ironically Moisture Surge has a gel-like texture. I don’t even want to go through all the ingredients to find out what it is, but sooner or later I will have to.
What’s funny is that even the overhyped Bioderma Sensibio H2O micellar water gave me troubles: my skin became red on the cheeks after a while of using it (isn’t that funny? I usually did not have redness and it gave me that - though it was supposed to take it away when you have it!).
Eye make-up remover worked better for me when I used it on the whole face, but yet, here again, all Japanese branded eye make-up removers I tried gave me bumps on the skin! Now I make sure to stock up on the German/European make-up remover products when going there.
Long story short, if I learned one thing from Simple Skincare Science and all my trial and error the like, then it is that I should simplfy my skin care and limit products and ingredients. And as I saw a review of Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion on that blog, I checked the ingredients and saw that there is a light version that I then ordered.
Showdown: Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (Light)
Isn’t it ironic that I wanted to try this while I was in Japan but back then I thought it’s Methylparaben that breaks me out (only thing in Japanese eye make-up removers that I thought could break me out)? I thought it would just end in one more failed trial. Well, that’s how life goes.
What’s inside? I want to start here by listing the ingredients which are only slightly different from the regular version. During my time in Japan I hated looking through the ingredients lists but after some time I just got used to googling the English name (though it does take some time to find the name of certain ingredients).
Ingredients (in the same order as they appear on the Japanese package, so you can guess the percentage):
DPG (Dipropylene Glycol)
Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid (Nanoized Hyaluronic Acid)
Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate (Super Hyaluronic Acid [yes, it really says that])
PPG-20 Methyl Glucose Ether Distearate
From what I can tell so far it did not give me breakouts and it does seem to give a bit of moisture, even though not much. It is probably the amount you are looking for if you are looking to layer products. I put it on the part of my skin that had a healed off breakout and it was fine, maybe gave it a bit more moisture but no dramatic change. But that’s all I was expecting and I put a layer of the Arouge gel on top for additional moisture.
Actually, that was my review already. Simple ingredients, simple review, no scent (only an "ingredient"-scent) and I like it that way. Isn’t it just so nice when everything is clear?
Did you have experiences with Hada Labo or other Japanese brands? I find it really hard to find "the good products" so I would love to hear your experiences.
I also bought the Hyaluronic Acid Foam Facewash, which seemed also a bit harsh for me so I will try to limit the use. I still have to find a soap that does not turn my cheeks red, give me breakouts, and is affordable (I have found one in Japan but it’s a bit pricey to order from Germany).
Until we find our skin care holy grails, let’s support each other and our skin as best as we can.
Info: I was not paid for this review, and I did the translation of the product ingredients myself. I will also try to update this review if the effect changes for me.