BEST OF 2020: FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE SKINCARE

Tough year for all, and lots of us wish for 2020 to end soon. But, does the end of 2020 means the end of the pandemic? Oh well ….

You will see a new list (different from 2018 and 2019 ones). However, there are some categories being left out (like makeup remover, essence, mask and spot treatment), just because I didn’t use them this year to cut cost and skincare steps. I also include some new local favourites, to support local Indonesian brands and economy as well. 

Other cool website to check out and analyse your skincare ingredients is cosmily.com. Please note that some of the products below might still have triggers for comedones and not entirely allergen-free. So please check the ingredients that will suit your skin best.

For detailed review of some products mentioned below, please refer to my Instagram @skinetijen.

Let’s start! (Based on Alphabetical Order, * means local product from Indonesia)

FACIAL WASH

  • BIYU OIL CONTROL CLEANSER *
  • DERMA365 GENTLE CLEANSER
  • ERHA2 FACIAL WASH FOR OILY SKIN *
  • PETER THOMAS ROTH IRISH MOOR MUD PURIFYING CLEANSER
  • SEBAMED CLEAR FACE ANTIBACTERIAL CLEANSING FOAM
  • VANICREAM GENTLE FACIAL CLEANSER

TONER

  • ABILL FIRST STARTING TONER
  • DEAR KLAIRS DAILY SKIN SOFTENING WATER
  • HERBIVORE JASMINE WATER BALANCING TONER
  • MAMONDE CHAMOMILE PURE TONER
  • TRILOGY HYDRATING MIST TONER

SERUM/AMPOULE

  • ALPHA-H VITAMIN B WITH COPPER TRIPEPTIDE
  • COS DE BAHA SALICYLIC ACID 2% LIQUID
  • DUVADERM CLARIFYING SERUM *
  • ME+ NIACINAMIDE BOOSTER
  • PAPA RECIPE EGGPLANT CLEARING AMPOULE
  • ROVECTIN CLEAN LHA BLEMISH AMPOULE
  • YVES ROCHER CONCENTRATED LIFT SERUM

MOISTURIZER

  • JOYLAB SKIN’O’TIC MOISTURE GEL *
  • KRAVE BEAUTY OAT SO SIMPLE WATER CREAM
  • SEBAMED CLEAR FACE CARE GEL
  • TATCHA THE WATER CREAM 

SUNSCREEN

  • ERTO’S SUNSCREEN GEL *
  • NIVEA SUN PROTECT & WHITE INSTANT AURA SERUM SPF 50+ PA+++

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

ENJOYING 20 SECONDS OF HAND-WASHING WITH THESE

To tell you the truth, even before pandemic I guess I’m already a hygiene freak. But since the pandemic, and 20 seconds of hand-washing is a way to go, I took it even more seriously. 
Used to just purchased whatever hand soaps I found in the supermarket, but now (I guess many people are doing it, too) I kind of experimenting with different brands. First, because they finished so quickly now than ever (FYI, I share the house with my husband and two boys). Second, just to avoid boredom of constant use. Third, because the packaging looks good on the sink. Now that we visited the sink more often, I guess it’s also important. 
So, here are some of my most loved hand soaps (based on alphabetical order). 

CAREX NATURAL ANTIBACTERIAL HAND WASH SENSITIVE
Let’s start with the most affordable one. Easily found in local supermarkets, apparently Cussons Carex is number one hand wash brand in UK. It contains a gentle fragrance and great for sensitive skin as it claim. I tested this on my son’s dry & cracked hands (because he didn’t use hand cream like his mom, obviously). He never had dry & cracked hands again after he used this. 
Perfect for: those who are too lazy to slap on hand cream after washing their hands. And it won’t break the bank. 


SENSATIA BOTANICALS VIOLET & GERANIUM HAND WASH
Our local version of AESOP and yes it is the most expensive from this list. Filled with Geranium essential oil and Violet Leaf extract which has antibacterial properties and acts as natural antiseptic. 
Perfect for: those who love natural products and miss their spa’s treatment during this crazy pandemic (its’ scent will remind you of walking inside an expensive spa). 


SLEEP BY BATH & BODY WORKS 
I practically went nuts when our local Bath & Body Works had a sale for hand soaps on Global Hand Washing Day. This is one out of many that I purchased, and quickly become a favorite. It’s infused with natural essential oils, Black Chamomile & Bergamot, combines with vitamin E, Shea Extract and Aloe. 
Perfect for: aromatherapy fans. Well it is an aromatherapy range, after all. 

YURI HAND SOAP FOAMING PREMIUM ANTIBACTERIAL LAVENDER
Lavender scent always reminds me of my beloved dad, so I really love this lavender hand soap. It has this clean, powdery and a bit musky scent of lavender. You can get this easily at local supermarket with an affordable price. It also contains vitamin E (not drying) and biodegradable surfactant (good for the environment). 
Perfect for: those who love quality with affordable price. 

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

FINALLY GETTING RID OF MY OIL BUMPS

Yeay, it has been 12 weeks since my Adapalene journey. And I guess pictures will speak a thousand words, so here’s my before-after pics.

BYE BYE OIL BUMPS


Please note that I do use Retinoic Acid on top of Adapalene for 12 weeks.

I just want to say that I’m glad that these prescription strength creams really worked on my hormonal acnes and closed comedones. Yes, the first 5 weeks was a nightmare and I almost gave up. But this pandemic really helped me, because all of the bad purging were hidden underneath mask. And FYI, based on everything that I read or watch in YT, Adapalene needs max 12 weeks to show its’ result.
Mine already got better on week 8, fortunately. No more bumps and no more big zits. Big improvement shows on the chin area, while these creams won’t work on milia and sebaceous filaments that I have on my left cheek (might need another Cauter session after the pandemic is over-God knows when). 

DESPERATELY NEED CAUTER


Am I still going to use both creams? Yes, to maintain my skin condition, but I’ll make sure I minimized their doses or use both every other day. 
Should you try it? Please check to your dermatologist first, because both are prescription-strength products and not everybody will have the same reactions and results. GOOD LUCK!

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

QUARANTINE BODY CARE ROUTINE

First thing first, I have to admit that I’m not as committed and consistent on body care as much as I am with skin care. But during this #stayathome period, which took longer that everyone in this world expected, I began to explore on body care products. Since my fungal acne (thankfully) only happened on face area, I can go free on body care products. Scroll down for my simple list. 


Body Cleanser: & OTHER STORIES ARABESQUE WOOD SHOWER FOAM

I bought this when I was in London on January 2020 before the pandemic. It’s a luscious gel that turned into a fluffy foam. I love the subtle woody scent and the luxurious feel of the foam. Too bad I think &Other Stories discontinued their beauty line, so there’ll be no way to repurchase this (sad).


Body Scrub: PURBASARI LULUR MANDI

Yes, exfoliating is also important for our body skin. I do scrub once a week if I remember (LOL). It’s super affordable, yet the scrub isn’t harsh on skin and easy to rinse in the shower. And the most important thing for me, the scent is not annoying even though it’s just a wash-off product. 


Body Lotion: CETAPHIL MOISTURIZING LOTION

This can be used on face too, but for my oily skin it can be to heavy (and it left a bit of white cast like sunscreen). So I use this as body lotion instead. It absorbed really well on damp skin (never ever use moisturizer on dry skin), and contains no fragrance (perfect for me since I hate fragranced body lotion.


Deodorant: HADA LABO TAMAGOHADA MILD PEELING LOTION

Another skin care products that I use for my body care. Thanks to labmuffin, who uses chemical exfoliant as deodorant. Because I stay at home most of the time, I currently skip on my regular anti-perspirant deodorant and switch to just using exfoliant for my armpits. I use this PHA exfo toner with cotton pads just like for my face. 


Shampoo: AMOS PROFESSIONAL TRUE REPAIR SHAMPOO

Since my hair was fully bleached earlier this year before the pandemic, it was damaged and tangled as hell. This is a hair brand from Amore Pacific Korea, recommended for those whose hair gets extremely tangled while shampoo-ing. I do enjoy the fragrance but I don’t see any improvement on my dry and damaged hair. 


Conditioner: PANTENE GOLD SERIES SMOOTH & SLEEK CONDITIONER

Frankly speaking it didn’t do much for my coarse and tangled hair. I’m just that committed to finish things that I bought. Maybe after posting this, I’ll change into better conditioner (eyeing at Kerastase, but oh the price!). Meanwhile, I cut my own hair during this pandemic, just to get rid of those super tangled ones. And since I hate the feeling of silicone in conditioner, I apply it first on dry hair before shampoo, leave it on for about 3 minutes then wash it off with shampoo. 

Well folks, watch out for this body care routine post, as I’m more way daring to experiment with them.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

MY ADAPALENE JOURNEY (MONTH 2 OUT OF 3)

Great, it’s October. It has been two months since I was on adapalene & retinoic acid treatment. Scroll down for the updates. 

I almost gave up on week 5. But somehow I kept going (just like my life during this darn pandemic). 

Well, week 8 was great.

No more big angry red zits, no more pustules. My skin texture are way better, no more small bumps. Another homework for me is to get rid of all the leftover red scars. Wish me luck, folks. 

One more month to go. I’m more than halfway to go, so I can do this! Will surely update on the final month of my Adapalene journey. Meanwhile you can check my IG stories highlight for weekly updates.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

NIGHTTIME SKINCARE ROUTINE

Thought I’d be sharing you guys my current PM routine during these never ending #stayathome nights. 


Disclaimer: this isn’t a one-size-fits-all routine. Remember, you know your own skin best! 

First Cleanser: SULWHASOO GENTLE CLEANSING OIL
Even though I didn’t wear makeup anymore since the pandemic began, but I still apply sunscreen in the morning. And I do feel it’s necessary to clean sunscreen with cleansing oil, even though I haven’t found cleansing oil or balm that are safe for fungal acne. But the trick is to rinse the first cleanser well with warm water then quickly continue to the next cleanser. 

Second Cleanser: VANICREAM GENTLE FACIAL CLEANSER
My new HG cleanser, for sure. I prefer gentle cleanser with the main and basic purpose, to cleanse. Yes, leave the actives on other products such as serum or ampoule. Gentle cleanser won’t strip our natural oil and disrupt skin’s microbiome that can cause irritation. Just use gentle cleanser like this if you are active with actives (you know what I meant right?). 

Toner: ABILL FIRST STARTING TONER
Again, a simple toner with very minimal ingredients list. I use the exfoliating toner for morning skincare routine, but never on nighttime. Because I will use prescription strength treatment, I try to keep the basic steps basic. I use cotton pad and never leave it dry until next step.

Moisturizers: VICHY MINERAL 89 SKIN FORTIFYING DAILY BOOSTER & KRAVE BEAUTY OAT SO SIMPLE WATER CREAM
With skin half damp because of the toner, I apply Vichy first then Krave. Great layers of hydration and emollient to make my skin ready for the next powerful stuffs. 

Treatment: EVALEN KRIM ADAPALENE 0,1% &VITACID 0,05% RETINOIC ACID CREAM 
I can imagine if I don’t layer my moisturizers, I will end up ruining my skin since I use these two prescription strength treatment. Both are local brands, and it worked like a charm if you know how. I’m glad I took these while staying at home most of the time during the pandemic. And I guess seeing the result on my skin (bye clogged pores), I’ll use these continuously just to maintain.

PHOTO: SHINTA ROSVITA

MORNING AFTER ADAPALENE & RETINOIC ACID

Apologies for such long hiatus. Writer’s block, LOL.

In this post, I’ll share you what I currently use for morning skincare routine after using Adapalene & Retinoic Acid at night.

FYI, Adapalene & Retinoic Acid are two prescription-strength creams that will definitely open our pores, but they won’t exfoliate them. We still need help from exfoliating actives like AHA or BHA, in the morning. You can choose only one active in one product (like toner only or serum only), but if your skin can stand it, go all the way from toner to serum.

  • CLEANSER/MORNING MASK: SEBAMED CLEAR FACE ANTI BACTERIAL CLEANSING FOAM
    Contains Montaline C40 that will zap acne bacterias and Panthenol. 
  • TONER: HADA LABO TAMAGOHADA MILD PEELING LOTION
    This contains Gluconic Acid 
  • SERUM: DUVADERM CLARIFYING SERUM
    This contains 0,5% Molecular BHA
  • MOISTURIZER: SEBAMED CLEAR FACE CARE GEL & KRAVE OAT SO SIMPLE WATER CREAM 
    As you know I’m on my 3 Step Moisture Method, that’s why I’m using double moisturizer after natural moisturizer which is water. Steer clear of any actives in the moisturizers’ ingredients lists.  
  • SUNSCREEN: SKIN AQUA UV SUPER MOISTURE GEL SPF 50+ PA++++
    It has been my HG because it didn’t trigger my Fungal Acne & Comedo. 

PHOTO: SHINTA ROSVITA

FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE GENTLE CLEANSER

Since using Adapalene & Retinoic Acid as a daily nighttime routine, I have been using gentle cleanser as my second cleanser for my PM routine.

Why gentle cleanser? I just don’t want to over-do my skin. I want to balance between the prescription-strength treatment and the actual skincare. Cleansers that are too harsh, might disrupt the skin’s barrier function. And I personally believe there’s no need to use second cleanser with actives, especially if we’re going to use actives in steps after cleansing, like toner and serum.

Scroll down for my favorites with each of its’ pros and cons ingredients.

DERMA365 GENTLE CLEANSER

PROS: Panthenol, Glycerin & Oat Kernel Flour
CONS: Triethanolamine (comedogenic)

VANICREAM GENTLE FACIAL CLEANSER

PROS: Water & Glycerin
CONS: None, seriously!

SIMPLE REFRESHING FACIAL WASH

PROS: Triple Purified Water & Panthenol
CONS: Tocopheryl Acetate (poorly absorbed by skin)

ST IVES SOOTHING DAILY FACIAL CLEANSER

PROS: Panthenol & Chamomile Flower Extract
CONS: Tocopheryl Acetate (poorly absorbed by skin)

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

MY ADAPALENE JOURNEY (MONTH 1 OUT OF 3)

Time to update on my Adapalene journey.

It’s almost a month (if you want to see my weekly update, please go to my IG stories highlight) and to think of it, I’m not even halfway there yet (sigh).

So, I can definitely tell you that Adapalene really helped my problem with oil plugs a lot. I had severe bumps on my left cheek and chin only, so I only apply the cream there instead of the whole face. First, it really help to push the existing oil plugs out, either they became blackheads or pustules. Then, it helps to stop the new oil plugs from forming. Of course when there are no more new oil plugs, my skin felt smoother. If I rubbed it now, I can feel lesser bumps.

On week 2, I decided to add Retinoic Acid as spot treatment. Under the name Vitacid (another local brand), it’s another prescription-strength topical skin treatment. From my point of view, it speeds up the progress (gunks up to surface, I mean). But I warn you, this is really potent, so please consult with your derm if you want to try.

I can’t wait until month 3! Anyway, here are my current skin condition.

LEFT CHEEK IS GETTING BETTER WITH LESS PURGING & IRRITATION
NO MORE SMALL BUMPS REAPPEARED, BUT THE EXISTING ONES TURNED EITHER INTO BLACKHEADS OR BIG PUSTULES

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

VITAMIN C: LOVE OR LOATHE?

If you’ve been reading my blog posts and follow me on IG, you’ll notice one thing missing from my skincare regime. It’s Vitamin C.

First, I don’t enjoy Vitamin C serums turn brown due to oxidation. To think about my hard-earned money, and it turned bad easily, I don’t think so. And that oxidation process is obviously a destructive process, so if you put that on your skin, it will cause further skin damage. Ouch!

Second, Vitamin C is a great anti-oxidant, but it’s possible to become a pro-oxidant when in contact with metal/iron. Unfortunately nowadays, iron is a significant pollutant in the air and water (according to the FDA), and that means our skin comes in contact with iron every day. So, if we apply Vitamin C and our skin comes in contact with the air, it was like inviting problems to occur.

Last but not least, Vitamin C is one tough cookie to be mixed with others in the skincare ingredients list. It should never mix with AHA, BHA, Retinol, and Benzoyl Peroxide. If you’re a fan of layering skincare like me, better watch out and read ingredients list very carefully.

Moral of this post, my skin can’t take a topical Vitamin C, especially in concentrated serum format. It broke me out, caused redness and it tingled badly. So I did some research online, and I did find some interesting facts. Apparently, antioxidants in skincare are BAD when they are in concentrated form and disrupt the body’s natural ability to fight off bacteria.

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • Use Vitamin C in other format than serum for lighter percentage. Personally I use GOOD MOLECULES NIACINAMIDE BRIGHTENING TONER. It contains 2-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (number 6 on the ingredients’ list), a quite stable form of Vitamin C
  • Try the serum as a dark spot treatment only. Resist the temptation to apply it all over the face. I had great success with GOODAL GREEN TANGERINE VITA C DARK SPOT SERUM, that helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA