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

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

ADAPALENE, RETINOL, RETINOIC ACID: WHAT I’VE LEARNED

What are their differences and which one to choose according to your skin problems?

My first introduction to this Vitamin A game, was Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream.

Contains 1.0% Retinol, I was worried when I first applied it. Purging is like a nightmare, and I don’t think I can deal with it (at that time before pandemic). Turned out, I didn’t purge at all using this cream. I applied twice a week and it did bring slight changes to my skin. It made my skin smoother with less oil plugs and it did deflate acne. I kept going using this for almost a year, until I realized that my hormonal acne and whiteheads on chin area kept on appearing when I used this oil-based cream.

That’s when I decide to step up my game to Adapalene right on this pandemic moment. As I’m also in a saving mode, I was glad to find Evalen Krim, a local brand from Indonesia. It’s super affordable compared to an imported brand, and yes, I was surprised by the great result (so far). Currently I’m still on my Adapalene journey (read here for the early stages), but I can already see drastic change on my skin. Adapalene seems to push every closed comedones I have out to the surface. Scary at first, it was like getting a bad facial. But I learned throughout the process, they showed up fast but they will be gone fast too. And eventually, they all will get better in 12 weeks (max). So, cross my fingers and I’ll update on separate blog post.

Then, I found a YouTuber applied Retinoic Acid on top of her Adapalene in her night time routine. I was like, what? Double the A’s, really? But turned out, it worked for her and I certainly wouldn’t mind to jump into the same wagon while #stayathome all the time. So, now I also apply Vitacid 0,05% Retinoic Acid Cream as a spot treatment on top of Adapalene.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED:

  • It’s true when they said that Retinol tends to have fewer side effects than Retinoic Acid. It’s gentler, so if you just started in this Retinol game, start with Retinol first then you can upgrade if your skin can tolerate.
  • Both of Retinol and Retinoic Acid are vitamin A (under the same RETINOID umbrella), but Retinol contains a lower concentration of the active Retinoic Acid ingredient. Compared to Retinoic Acid, Retinol is about 20 times less potent. So if you feel (like me) Retinol worked too slow, maybe it’s time to fasten up. But don’t just take it from me, speak with your dermatologist first.
  • I believe Retinol is more ‘cosmetic’, while Retinoic Acid is more prescription strength that goes deeply into the skin to stimulate collagen production & increase cell turnover.
  • Adapalene is a synthetic Retinoid and it’s supposedly better tolerated than Retinoic Acid. From my experience so far, it normalized both of my skin struggles: keratinization and microcomedone formation.Everyone might experience different side effects, especially during the first few days of treatment. Just be patient, they are not magic in a tube.Always sandwich with a gentle cleanser and three step moisture method (water, humectant, emollient). I guess I survived not having super bad ‘retinization’ (redness, dryness, and flaking caused by Retinoid), because of this method.

MY CURRENT SKINCARE PRODUCTS COST ME …. ???

This post is dedicated for my followers and readers who always think highly about my skincare budget (thanks but it’s not true).

I rarely purchased high-end products, if you can tell. I am more into K-beauty products, drugstore products and (lately) local products. And being a skinfluencer really helps on my budget a lot, especially if brands are sending me products that I can actually use (because they’re safe for FA) in in my skincare routine.

These are my current skincare products that I use everyday, and all of them in total cost me below IDR 2mio. Some of them are given to me, that’s how I save some money.

ONLY IDR 52K!

(Please note that prices may vary, most of them purchased on discount prices).

0 MEANS IT WAS GIVEN TO ME BY BRAND

Tips on how to save:

  • Wait for discount, online or offline (trust me, there will be always that time).
  • Be a smart shopper on marketplace. Choose trusted sellers with the lowest price offered.
  • Trying a new product? Buy sample size first if available. Don’t buy share in jar/bottle please ( you might not know the hygiene of those).

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

MY ADAPALENE JOURNEY (WEEK 1 OUT OF 12)

Since July 29 2020, I’ve introduced Adapalene into my routine.

After a lot of careful thoughts and hundreds of YT reviews that I’ve watched while #stayathome, I finally decided to just go for it. Should’ve started earlier since the beginning of this pandemic though, so it might resolve my skin problems earlier. But, better late than never, right?

If you’ve been following me on my IG and reading my blog, you’ll know my never ending fight with acne, from fungal acne back in 2018 until adult and hormonal acne (especially on chin area) in 2020. I think I have tried mostly everything, AHA, BHA, LHA, PHA … you name it! I’ve used Retinol (Drunk Elephant) and of course they are all different in what they do. Over The Counter Retinol might has fewer side effects, but it takes several months to a year for visible results. Meanwhile, Adapalene, which is a Retinoid, is way stronger, making it an ideal treatment for acne.

I’ve had the urge to try Adapalene before, but never had the courage. The risk of purging heavily for 12 weeks, really put me off by that time (that was before this pandemic #stayathome situation).

But now, who knows when this pandemic is going to end? While staying at home all the time, I guess this is the right time for me to start Adapalene, with all its’ risks. If I have to go out, I’d wear mask anyway and cover the bad purging situation.

Since I’m on a saving mode, I decided to use a local Adapalene instead of imported ones. I’m using EVALEN KRIM ADAPALENE 0,1%, it’s very affordable (IDR52K for 10gr tube). They also have this in gel format, but after I saw some reviews, I decided to use the cream version. I believe cream forms are gentler with lesser side effects.

Now, I’m going to share with you guys my skin progress on week one (I will update again on month one, so stay tune).

MY START FACE: OIL PLUGS ON LEFT CHEEK & CHIN
DAY 1

DAY 1: Was the hardest, seriously. I was paranoid all night that I’d wake up with angry zits all over my face. But, turned out, NOT! Only two zits felt really itchy, red, swollen and ready to be pop. So I use acne patches on those two.

DAY 2

DAY 2: Apparently but those two zits with puss just didn’t budge with acne patch, so (don’t follow me) I decided to pop them. Of course, I left myself with two huge PIE aka red acne marks on my chin.

DAY 7

DAY 7: I decided to show my weekly (not daily) progress on my IG stories highlight. BTW, on day 5 I decided to apply Evalen every night for more speedy progress, since (thank God) I didn’t experience any bad irritation. Turned out, those oil plugs on my chin will either became blackheads or pustules. Which I think was great, because blackheads and pustules are easier to pop (either intentionally or unintentionally).

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS:

  • Start with every other night application for two weeks, than use it every night after that.
  • Don’t do it on daylight. Always apply at night time before bedtime only.
  • Better to apply and sleep with it in an Air-Con room.  
  • I strongly suggest to do 3 step moisture method beforehand. Read here on how to do it.
  • Mix Adapalene with your moisturizer with 1:2. So one drop of Adapalene mix with two drop of moisturizer. This is a way to buffer Adapalene in order to lessen the effects of irritation and such.
  • Wait for your other skincare to dry before applying.
  • Avoid areas such as eyes, around the nose and lips.
  • Make sure you generously moisturize and apply sunscreen the morning after.
  • Stay away from physical or chemical exfoliants which can lead to over-exfoliation.
  • Be patient, just like pandemic, everything takes time to heal.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

REVIEW: KRAVE BEAUTY OAT SO SIMPLE WATER CREAM

This is going to be a simple review, just because this moisturizer is that simple.

Simple ingredients’ list, simple packaging, and simple intended customers. Basically, those who want to simply moisturize without worrying that it’ll break you out or irritate you further. And the best part, it is safe for Fungal Acne! (Finally, a Krave Beauty product that’s safe for FA).

It fits right in to my current 3 Steps Moisture Method craze (thanks to Olena Beley who commented to my IG video earlier this month). Read here if you missed my post about Olena’s tips.

I use this as the final step of my hydrating steps, because it does contain Capric Triglyceride and Squalane, the perfect emollients to seal all in. And being on Adapalene journey, my skin also needs soothing moisturizer, so this just completes me, by having Oatmeal Extract as one of the ingredient. Yes, I also mix this with EVALEN Adapalene Krim 0.1% to reduce the concentration and lessen the risk of Adapalene’s side effects. And this moisturizer helped me a lot during my Adapalene’s nights (so far I’m only at week 1, but I’ll write about the journey soon).

Look at its’ luscious white and milky texture. It has no scent, and it just glides softly when applied. It also mix wonderfully with almost everything that I applied before it (actives, hydrating toner, humectant). It melts right away in contact with the skin, and absorb really well without leaving any film or dewy look.

It’s silicone free, gluten free, fragrance free and essentials oil free. For me personally, there are only two misses for this moisturizer, it still contains Butylene Glycol which has comedogenic rating (luckily it didn’t trigger mine). And the jar packaging. Being a practical girl, I don’t really dig plastic jar. It took a while for me to finally close the lid properly. I wish it comes in pump packaging instead.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA