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ACNE TIPS

Posted in beauty by choronghi on September 17, 2014

inchotodriI think I finally conquered acne! I never thought I’d say this. sometimes I hoped I would outgrow acne once I escaped my teens years but it persisted. I wish I was more vigilant earlier because it’s not that hard. I’m going to go over what I’ve done to eliminate acne and hopefully some of it will apply to you!

KISSAMETLAKI remember I searched for natural remedies for hyperpigmentation at one point because that’s the biggest problem with acne for me is that sometimes it leaves hyperpigmentation behind. if you severe acne you may even get pock marks. as much I hate the hyperpigmentation at least i don’t have pockmarks.

Later I came to the realization that there isn’t much of a point of trying remedies for hyperpigmentation if I’m going to continue getting acne. I only see a point of doing the hyperpigmentation remedy if I found a way to stop getting acne or “outgrow it.” I realized after a while that I get acne on the same spots or same areas over and over. For example I’ll get a huge pimple on my LOLZZZcheek, it’ll take 5 to 7 days to heal completely if it’s that huge. Usually if it’s big and unsightly it leaves hyperpigmentation behind. After it heals, 1 or 2 weeks later another pimple shows up in that same spot or similar area. Repeat this over and over with that spot and other spots. I swear the longest I’d gone without acne during that period of my life was probably 2 or 3 weeks. I’d always have at least one pimple on my face (this includes the initial bump, huge swollen white pimple and healing phase) for half the month. I’ve been dealing with this for so many years and didn’t think about why I’m getting acne in the same spot over and over.

I figured out the cause. I didn’t want to acknowledge it or believe it but the cause is dairy. The “incubation time” made it difficult for me to realize that it’s the cause. If I drink milk I most likely will not get acne that hour or day. It’ll take a few days, a week, even 2 weeks. It’s delayed so I didn’t make the connection for the longest time. Also dairy products are ubiquitous. The go-to breakfast is either cereal or pancakes or waffles or french toast for most Americans. I’ve gone to restaurants and the dish I order mentions no cheese and nobody associates that dish with cheese but it comes with cheese on it. Americans love cheese .

During the period that I was suspecting dairy, I loved eating greek yogurt. I was also eating cereal with milk though not as frequently as the greek yogurt. The cereal I was eating was homemade, not processed & gmo & heaps of sugar & fake sugar. CEREAL IS NOT HEALTHY. do not be brainwashed by those commercials. just google it. stop eating cereal. stop throwing your money way on cereal. Also at the time I liked cheese in sandwiches, cheeseburgers, mac ‘n cheese. When I did my ditch dairy experiment the only dairy source that was difficult to give up was yogurt. For example, Red Mango has become very popular in the past few years and it tastes good. What would happen is I’d stop dairy for 2 weeks and my face would be fine. The effects weren’t pronounced since the effect is delayed. Even if I stopped dairy I could still get a pimple 3 days into it from the dairy I consumed before the experiment. Of course I loved my dairy and I didn’t want to deal with nasty vegan cheese (I haven’t tried but that’s all i hear) etc so I wanted to deny it. I hoped it was a coincidence that I’m just the type of person who is bound to get acne every few weeks regardless of dairy intake. I’d go on my dairy strike, cave a few weeks later thinking one cup of dairy shouldn’t make a big difference or maybe I just have a “low” threshold of dairy. then I would suffer from acne afterwards.

Once the link became clear. I thought it over and I realized  just how strange it is that I get pimples on certain areas over and over. Dairy was causing acne to erupt in those areas. those areas aren’t areas where I’d suspect acne to erupt.

Then I changed my face washing routine and that sealed my no-acne deal. first of all I employ 2 different washing techniques lol.
first is the awadate (bubble/foam) washing. – YOUTUBE IT. In short 1) wash your hands thouroughly 2) use warm/hot water and make foam with your facewash/facesoap using the face foaming net 3) use that to gentle wash your face. Because it is foam you don’t have to touch your face or apply pressure.

second is the acne foam product that I buy and use. It comes out of the container in a lotion consistency and after I apply it to my skin it has a reaction and foams/bubbles up.

If I go outside and do stuff and come back home at the end of the day I use the awadate bubble/foamfirst then the acne foam wash. If I don’t go outside I only wash my face with water at night. To be honest when I first heard about awadate buubble/foam on japanese TV I was somewhat convinced that might solve my acne problems. but alas that was not the case but i think my skin was cleaner washing it  with foam as opposed to just face face soap that’s not in bubble form.

I realized that using the acne wash in the morning works as prevention. I usually use it at night because I know salicyclic acid can make your skin sensitive to the sun. If I use it in the morning, I use it as soon as possible to increase the time from when it was on my face to when my face will hit the sunshine outside. I only put it on the areas that are acne-prone areas for me which are engraved in me from all these years of living.

When I used it only at night I still got pimples. It could also be contributed to the fact that I didn’t use it everyday and only used it every few days because I’m frugal and my belief that putting salicylic acid on your face too often isn’t beneficial. I believe that the mechanism for acne for me is I wake up and that during the course of my day a pore gets clogged and I get acne. It happened to me so many times. I’ll wake up with a clear face, go outside when I was attending school and go on about my day and then a few hours later when I looked at my face in the mirror I had a huge pimple developed and I didn’t feel it developing lol. Or sometimes I feel itchiness and then I realize that’s a pimple in the making. One day I started using it in the morning and golly gee whiz I don’t get pimples anymore. I still do but it’s really rare.

Recently something I have been trying to mindful of doing is washing my hands thoroughly.  I made this conscious decision from watching an ep of sekai ichi uketai jugyou.  I specifically wanted to watch their special on taikan kyouka. the special also featured food-poisoning and hand washing. they were washing us how proper handwashing techniques as well as proper duration drastically decreases bacteria on your hands. The first step in face washing is WASH YOUR HANDS WELL.

to summarize this works for me.
1) avoid dairy. I know all the articles online say that there’s no SCIENTIFIC link or evidence that supports the notion that diet affects acne which makes people think okay I’ll EAT WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT. I think it’s PURE  BS. Even if they don’t find a statistically significant correlation with food and acne everyone is different. not everyone is lactose tolerant and not everyone tolerates all foods. everyone is different so I say tweak with your diet (try eliminating dairy, processed food, etc). remember that the response is not immediate and is somewhat delayed. From my anecdotal experiences of seeing all kinds of acne-ridden faces in NYC i believe there is a link between diet and acne at least for some people. NYC also has pollution which is probably implicated in acne…
2) wash your hands thoroughly before washing your face. I don’t recommend using heavy-duty soap.  I recommend thoroughly rubbing your palm with the other hand and the area between your fingers etc. Think of it as “pushing the germs off your hand.” This is what I learned from that Japnese tv show I mentioned.
2) use acne foam wash every other day in the morning. I was scared at first that if i use it every other day I’ll get pimples but every other day is wok ring fine. I’m apprehensive with using the foam wash everyday because it is salicyclci acid and it’s not good to use it too much plus I’m frugal. when i was using it everyday wasn’t getting redness or itching or dryness but I’d rather be cautious..
3) wash your face with awa by using awadate net = face foaming net 
4) don’t touch your face
I heard this from korean TV. I was convinced this would make a huge difference and completely eliminate acne just like with the awadate net but it was not the case. I am sure it helps though. germs can cause acne. When I started putting this  thought in the front of my mind I noticed so many that touch their face as well as people that squish their face when they lean their cheek on their hand.
5) go to sleep early. aim for in bed by 9 something and asleep by 10. if that’s too difficult aim for 12 am. Like the sunscreen, i hear about this from jaARYISHOpanese Tv ALL THE TIME. However I notice that most tv talents, at least the ones that are popular, do not follow this because they’re filming talk/variety shows at midnight and whatnot. I remember watching london hearts or a ame talk special and they specifically showed us the time at the studio and it was 2am, 3 am. It was crazy. Of course if you’re under 18 years old you can only work till 10 pm if my memory serves me correctly.

UPDATE:

6) check your shampoo, toothpaste for SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE and switch ones that don’t have them ( especially if you have back acne or persistent chin acne) . I haven’t confirmed if SLS triggers acne on my chin or around my mouth but it seems strange that i  get acne when i vigilantly use benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, bha…. i got acne on my upper chain after 2 days of vigilantly using the above products. it makes no sense. bha is so effective. i will see for sure if that will take care of that problem. i would love to me 100% acne free. i thought i was too old this for shit.

Now I can focus on cures for hyperpigmentation. EDIT: I read online that weaaring sunscreen everyday helps fade the hyperpigmentation… I will try my best

BTw I’ve seen yotube videos for how I cured my acne and this one vidoe made lol when I thought about it. it was made this blonde girl and she’ snot particularly articulate or good at communicating. she talks in this tedious, draggy way. She makes it sound like she found the “solution” to acne at least for her but if someone were to summarize her video fffun scshsotsit would be “I suffered from acne because I was unhygienic. and I am idiot for not realizing that sleeping in your make up leads to acne”. the even shorter version is “I’M DIRTY” the bitch started washing off her make-up at night and used acne products afterwards and started to notice that her skin was clearing up. before she went with makeup on and she broke out really bad but she didn’t learn from her mistakes and kept going to sleep in her mFFFUNNYakeup. also she puts more makeup on after the acne breakout so her acne only got worse I’m sure. she wondered why she’s a victim of acne now even though she rarely suffered from bouts of acne in the past. IDIOT!!! she mentioned THAT she had a invincible mentality that teens have… even so it’s that simple and I don’t know why it took her 10-12 minutes to explain in the video. (I didn’t watch the whole thing but man some people should not make videos) I watched the last part and she doesn’t seem to realize that her video is summarized as “I suffered from acne because I was unhygenic. and I am idiot for not realizing that sleeping in your make up leads to acne.” I find it even MORE hilarious that she doesn’t realize it. for some reason she’s convinced that she is sharing valuable knowledge and is helping people but for me it was common sense.

ALSO regarding my dairy void… I drink organic soymilk ONCE in a while (without the crap like caraggean ) and don’t eat yogurt, ice cream, chocolate ( if it hates dairy in it), PIZZA, CHEESEBURGERS. I don’t exercise enough so I’m okay with it.

Wearing Sunscreen Everyday

Posted in beauty by choronghi on September 15, 2014

photo 1if you watch Japanese tv you will hear a lot of SHIGAISEN, hiyakedome especially during the summer (I recently saw this show on youtube and it was pretty interesting minus shit quality audio. whatever, i’ mglad i was able to watch it. since there’s nothing on CLUBBOX YOUKU TUDOU ETC.I’m not as hardcore as those people lol i live in america. i’m afriad of getting judged with parasols etc. I am a firm believer of making vitamin d with skin that’s not on my face, neck or hands 🙂 ). Japanese people are really obsessed with skin damage caused by UV light. There are people that carry around umbrellas or parasols regardless of weather conditions. this trend also exists in korea. I probably took note of this in 2009 or 2010 because that’s when I really got into Japanese TV and started improving drastically from uh? to daily conversation to advanced?  I hear so much about it which compelled me to want to follow their advice and prevent aging because I know those WRINKLE creams do not work and they’re super overpriced. Prevention is more effective than dealing with the problem once it occurs. This applies to almost everything including your skin

Despite hearing all that info about skin damage such as UVA = a is for aging, UVB = b for burning I couldn’t get myself to put on sunscreen everyday on my face. even after hearing that neither glass nor clouds block uv light I still couldn’t. I did consciously try to put sunscreen on during the summer when i knew i was going outside and it was a particularly sunny and hot day. Since I put sunscreen on under those conditions I don’t think I ever met the wait 30 mintuse before going outside rule.

My desire to put sunscreen on a daily basis was deterred by the greasiness and stickinesss of the sunscreen. I hated how it made my face really shiny and made my hair stick to my face. It’s not pleasant and this is america so people will ask “why is your face so shiny. why are you wearing sunscreen when it’s not sunny (this is a really STUPID QUESTION btw. yes the uva/uvb is probably higher on sunny days but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any when it’s cloudy or winter. 90% of aging is due to PHOTOAGING. photoagaing = sun. it’s all about the cumulative, casual exposure) , why are you wearing sunscreen even though it’s winter”. Regardless of people asking me questions or making comments it’s unpractical feeling gross and greasy everyday. by the way, the  recommendation is to wear sunscreen everyday regardless of cloudiness or season (there’s less uv rays during the winter because it’s all about the accumulative damage. Furthermore snow is one of most reflective surfaces for uv light ). btw i’ve never wore sunscreen during winter even when i went skiing but I didn’t get sunburned because I’m not white and i guess i didn’t ski too long?
photo 2

So this past week,\ I thought there’s probably a safe, effective sunscreen that could be used daily on my face and I just have to find it. It is 2014 and if there’s iphones why can’t there be some sunscreens that can be used daily. I did my research online using EWG, reviews, blogs and I narrowed it down to  a couple. after a while I realized that I should go after a sunscreen that has ZINC only (concentration should be significantly high) – I saw some chart that had a bunch of sunscreen active ingredients and it had a circle next each one. the circle was filled in black to the extent it blocked or protected your skin against UVA or UVB light. for some of them the circles were partial or half or it only blocked UVA or only UVB. ONLY zinc had 2 black circles.

This made me reject COOLA which is known for matte sunscreen (I never knew such a thing existed) because it contained zinc and titanium. apparently they had something called plant UV coola sunscreen which only had zinc and high concentration at that. I’m only interested in that sunscreen in their line but it seems discontinued despite winning awards. i hope they bring it  back so i can try it. Or I hope they make something similar to that. all the ones in the line for the physical sunscreen has zinc and titanium at low concentrations. the baby one has a huge concentration of zinc but I Read in reviews it’s hard to get the sunscreen out and hard to rub it in.

upon reading the reviews on amazon I realized some of them just cannot be used on the face let alone daily because they’re too white or too hard to rub in or too greasy etc.  I also read into the FDA requirements on my quest for a good sunscreen because they tightened up the regulation in 2012. there’s requirements of putting the drug facts table on the back or including certain directions. the sunscreen can only say BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30 on the LABEL if it  passed the standards set by the FDA. if the sunscreen didn’t pass broad spectrum standards it can only say SPF 30. broad spectrum means good uva protection. The reason why i ended up doing this was because a bunch of “luxury” sunscreen brands didn’t seem to have that drug facts table anywhere or have the exact text broad spf 30 which let to my conclusion that it’s a moisturizer with sunscreen ingredients but it’s efficacy isn’t proven. that is either because they didn’t submit the data or it failed the requirements set by the FDA. it shows they never submitted to the fda.. I wonder if it’s legal or is it fine because it’s a moisturizer with spf properties as opposed to a sunscreen with moisturizng properties? I was really interested in those luxury ones at first because people were saying how easy it was to apply and how they aren’t shiny or greasy in the least or even matte. also some of them have zinc and titanium and the concentrations are low.  in the end my number one requirement is that it actually works.

my realization of the fda requirements also led to the rejection of DEVITA. though it contains 20% zinc it doesn’t have any of the FDA required labeling (as far as i can tell on images on the internet) so I have no reason to believe it actually works (I also read reviews where people said they got burned using it). I think devita is a moisturizer with sunscreen ingredients as opposed to a sunscreen that happens to be not greasy which is why they don’t care to get the fda approval?  apparently the new formulation sucks and it leaves a white cast and pills easily.

DIY sunscreen;  NO, DO NOT DO THIS. do not do DIY crayon lipstick either. lead, mercury, arsenic etc is BAD for you. Non-toxic doesn’t mean you can eat it! people don’t seem to realize how lenient the regulation of cosmetics is. if you did then you’d make a good guess that the regulation of crayons isn’t going to be the most stringent since most people don’t eat it. most lipsticks are toxic for you anyway so i wonder which is worse ? I find DIY to be comforting and makes people feel smart because they’re saving money and they figured out how to make something effective using stuff in their house or stuff they can easily obtain stores or the internet. some things should not be DIY and sunscreen is one of them.

VITAMIN D deficiency –  I’m not going into detail into this. I will say that I’m concerned with my FACe, NECK, and HANDS. I read about the benefits of vitamin D and the adverse effects from being deficient in it so I’m not going to become a vampire…. i just prefer to make vitamin d using skin that’s not on my face, neck, hands. also you consume vitamin d in your diet but i don’t know if that’s sufficient because there’s so many conflicting articles on the internet. I wonder what percentage of japanese women are vitamin d deficient

JAPANESE SUNSCREENS – I’ve heard about them because they’re so watery or matte or light. My beef is that they have a lot of ingredients (I’m looking for a daily sunscreen so i don’t want so many chemicals on my face everyday). The reason why they blend in so well and light/matte is because they put in silicones and alcohol. the latter is drying.  also i have to research if the claims on the sunscreen are actually validated through some sort of Japanese FDA but that’s a pain in the ass. ALSO I have to figure out the active ingredient and make sure the percentage is sufficiently high. I have those AND  other reasons anyway so i’m not looking into japanese sunscreen

KOREAN SUNSCREENS /   BB CREAMS  – like the Japanese ones they have a shit ton load of ingredients and i have to go reserach how safe and effective they are blahblah. don’t want to deal with that. From what I can tell from watching korean tv shows that investigate the safety of cosmetics they don’t seem all that safe. not sure if they’re safer than american cosmetics or around the same but they’re definitely not safe. – by the way the videos i linked to the text were MAD fun to watch. I highly recommend them if you’re into korean pseudo-documentary type programs that look into health.

reapplying – there’s recommendations to apply every 2 hours but it’s really for chemical sunscreens as far as i can tell since they’re “used up” as opposed to sitting on your skin and reflecting the uv light which is the case with physical sunscreens. obviously if you wipe it off or sweat you reapply.  I also read somewhere that it’s effective to apply the sunscreen and then reapply 20/30 minutes later  but i don’t remember if it was general or it was specifically regarding chemical sunscreens.

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So with my criteria of

1) being effective & safe (for effectiveness i used the FDA standard & for safety I used EWG and Cosdna on the ingredientsCosmetics ingredient analysis. ). I am looking for BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30  at least. like I said UVA is aging, UVB is burning.

2) not greasy/oily (especially that my hair does not stick to my face. ) – I prefer it looks like i don’t have sunscreen on my face & it doesn’t cause or exacerbate acne.  I used a chemical sunscreen that was greasy one time and i got huge pimples from it. BE SURE the pimple etc is attributed to the sunscreen not anything else. for example if you apply sunscreen on a dirty face or with dirty hands you can’t blame the sunscreen.

3) does not smell or doesn’t smell strongly or badly. i prefer no smell. FOR SURE no damn synthetic fragrances. I also want to avoid “citrus” scents just because citrus essential oils usually cause photoxocitiy or photosensitivty (it depends on the EO and i have to do my research to really be certain). I like citrus scents but I’d rather avoid ingredients that are counterintuitive to what a sunscreen should be.

4) reasonable price

I found a few that seemed promising.  I ordered stick and lotion/cream sunscreen.

So far i have the cream-like sunscreen from SUNTEGRity and I’m happy with it for meeting all my requirements except the price but you pay for quality right? before I orderd it I couldn’t find a picture of the back of the sunscreen tube so I was a little scared that it might have the FDA approval. from reading the site i was pretty sure it is fda approved since it’s first and foremost function is sunscreen.  I decided to upload the picture of the back for anyone else who has the same doubts as me.

I ordered Suntegrity Unscented Body Sunscreen SPF 30 – 3 oz (Formerly Named Baby Sunscreen)

which is 89 ML (about 3 oz) for 24 dollars + shipping

suntegrity has one specifically  for the face Suntegrity “5 In 1” Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen – Tinted , Broad Spectrum Spf 30   which is $45 and 50 ML

so as you can tell the face one is over 3 times in price.

0.27 ml / dollar vs 0.9  ml/dollar

I don’t want scented sunscreen anyway so it works in my favor. though the scent seems natural since i don’t see any alarming ingredients. As far as the scent is concerned it’s not scented so it smells like zinc faintly which means it smells like rock and dirt which I don’t mind.  i absolutely HATE synthetic scents so I’ll take the clay smell gladly.  additional math is 89 ml /5ml = 17.8 days if i use 5 ml for my face. i read stuff like 3/4 of teasppon or 1/4 of teasoon which is 5 mL * fraction as well as people don’t apply enough sunscreen and so they get half the SPF protection or a third of it etc.  It’s pricey but still much cheaper than antiaging treatments that you go under from years of going outside with out any sunscreen probably?

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It seems kind of pricey but it fits my requirements. i ordered other sunscreens and i’ll have to see which is the “least” noticeable on my face when they come. it’s all about being stealthy with my skincare. I was thinking of using suntegrity on my face and another sunscreen on my neck to save money. i’ll have to see the other sunscreen to decide on my strategy.   I never tried phsical sunscreen before suntegrity so at first it was rather opaque and not blending in easily so i was like “oh snap am i gonna look like casper” but it blended in shortly after. For physical sunscreens the best to put it on is to spread it as much as possible (dotting little blobs of sunscreen) before rubbing in. if you put a huge glop on one area and blend that area will turn white and then you have to try to spread it from that area to another area which isn’t as easily done as with a lotion.  This product does require some time to blend in compared to like a face moisturizing lotion otherwise you will look white. what i  mean is you need to a few minutes to rub it in fully compared to a face lotion where it takes 20 seconds. it’s not a significant amount of time but in certain situations those few minutes make or break it like early in the morning or you’re running late etc.  EDIT: I received I another sunscreen and this one takes more effort to rub in and it’s less spreadable. It makes me appreciate suntegrity because it’s much easier to rub in. so my tip is squeeze out a inch or 3/4 of an inch and then dot yourself  with it thourougly than rub it in in circular motions going from center of your face to the edges of yourface and to do it in front of a mirror in a well-lighted room or a lightsource nearby to ensure that it’s rubbed in WELL.  I was reading an article about eyelids and sunscreen that you should put sunscreen on eyelids and how 90% or some high percentage of basal carcinoma are found on the eyelids. Like I mentioned before I’m not white nor that white and I don’t have a history of skin cancer in my family so i’m not too particularily freaked out by that. something about putting usnscreen on my eyelids seems strange and i’m scaed i’ll get the sunscreen in my eye (as natural or safe the sunscreen is… there’s sitll apossiblity it could irritate your eyes. your eyes are sensitive..). I love wearing sunlglasses because my eyes are just tired and sensitive so for the most part i’m wearing them. I’m still pondering on my policy for putting sunscreen on my eyelids.

removing sunscreen – so from watching japanese TV I’ve also heard a lot of 泡立て 洗顔 (google image or youtube it) so eventually i incorporated that into my face washing. this sunscreen is not waterproof as far as i can tell but it still requires some effort to remove it. i use warm/hot water to rinse for a minute and then i make my foam/tiny bubbles to wash my face and remove it (I think that’s just how it is for physical sunscreens).  I use and recommend  EPOCH It’s a great soap with the ingredients it contains and it foams up well! (I mention this because some soaps  are good but they don’t foam up well. this soap is expensive but it’s quality! ) BTW  I don’t buy foaming nets. I buy the poofy shower things (called a loofa?) and cut the knot that’s holding the loofa into a circular shape so it turns into one long mesh and then cut the mesh every 10 inches or so.  (this girl’s DIY recommends tying a knot at the end which I followed. I later realized it’s not necessary. It’s easier to make bubbles if it’s a square as opposed to having a loop at one end. ALSO the knot traps water and will encourage bacterial/mold growth)so let’s say the poofy thing is 2 dollars and i made 8 foaming nets from it. that’s like 25 cents per foaming net.  I’ve bought 1 japanese face net  (the one with the blue/pnink thing) at those asian stores for 4 dollars and i notice no difference between the diy and the store bought one.  I find that the pink/blue poofy things in the white net just get in the way. it’s all for design and I don’t find it helpful at making the foam and I’m sure the pink and blue thing will encourage bacterial and mold growth lol.

Perhaps I will follow up with another post with a review on other sunscreens that I’ve had a chance to try as well as how I’m using them to save my money and all that.