NO MASKNE, PLEASE

Wow, what a cool word invention during this crazy time. Mask + Acne = Maskne. OK, so what can we do about it?

Fortunately, I don’t have this problem myself. I only went out four times since March 2020, just to have meetings for an hour or so. Other than that, I did all my things online. Shop online, groceries online and food delivery online. And I only spent like an hour wearing a mask, so yeah…I don’t have maskne, but I do have regular acne showing up during this pandemic.

But I can imagine those who have to wear mask all day, especially where I live here in Jakarta, Indonesia. The sun is blasting, it’s super hot and humid out there. Mask is not just suffocating us in terms of breathing, but also our skin. It’s like sweat + oil + bacteria trapped for hours on that mask-covered area.

Though I know we can’t get away with it (until God knows when), here are some skincare tips for maskne:

  • Change your mask whenever it gets moist. Personally, I prefer disposable mask, because cloth ones need to be laundered using hot water to keep it effective (and I don’t have the luxury of washing machine with hot water, so nevermind). So far, I use this KF94 mask that I bought online (not cheap because it’s imported from Korea), but it’s the most fitted and comfortable for me.
  • Use gentler skincare options. Use gentler cleanser, hydrating (instead of exfoliating) toner and avoid using harsh exfoliants (avoid scrubs, please).
  • Choose more soothing/calming ingredients and avoid actives if possible. Hyaluronic Acid is my best bet, but some people might love Aloe. Opt for LHA instead of AHA and BHA, it’s a popular alternative with less risk of skin irritation.
  • Texture-wise, opt for gel than lotion or cream.
  • Wait for all of your skincare to absorb first before putting on the mask. Do not rush, make sure they dry completely before you cover your skin with mask.
  • Let your skin breathe while it can at home. Avoid using sheet mask that might irritate them more.
  • Bid adieu to your favorite foundation. Why bother adding another layer that will suffocate your skin further? Opt for concealer to cover any spots, or use tinted moisturizer instead.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

POST FUNGAL-ACNE: THE MINIMAL SKINCARE ROUTINE

Obviously, before my first fungal-acne attacked in 2018, I didn’t even know which ingredients triggered them. But after the healing process, my whole skincare regimen has changed a lot. To give you a clearer idea, here’s my minimal skincare routine back in 2018.

Here’s my updated minimal skincare routine now, please note that these are during #stayathome periods (you’d be surprised, the more time I have the simpler the routine becomes).

MORNING:

CLEANSE: First thing that I apply in the morning, cotton pads soaked with warm water to wipe away oil residue and nighttime products. Then I cleanse with TATCHA THE DEEP CLEANSE, which I intend to finish before it expired. Luckily mine is a travel size ones.

TONE: I never skip toner, because I believe if I did, my pores will clog more. My current fave is EUCERIN DERMATOCLEAN CLARIFYING TONER, it’s not an exfo toner or hydrating ones, it’s a perfect daily toner that won’t irritate sensitive skin.

TREAT: I skip moisturizer in the morning, just because this #stayathome period. Instead, I do something that I rarely did back in the old days. AM Treatment! I dab on acne treatment and dark spot treatment on specific spots. My current faves: DERMA E VERY CLEAR SPOT TREATMENT (for pimples) and GOODAL GREEN TANGERINE VITA C DARK SPOT SERUM (for post acne marks). Both can be use on daytime, so I maximize this period to make sure pimples and dark spots are treated during daytime, too.

If I have to catch some sun in the morning (which I do lately every morning), this is my HG sunscreen: SKIN AQUA UV SUPER MOISTURE GEL SPF50+ PA++++. I admit it’s hard to find a new replacement for this. It’s not waterproof, so easy to clean with just micellar water (no need for balm or oil).

NIGHT:

CLEANSE: I will use BIODERMA SENSIBIO H2O to cleanse my leftover sunscreen and continue with PETER THOMAS ROTH IRISH MOOR MUD PURIFYING CLEANSING GEL. I use the cleansing gel with my FOREO LUNA3.

TONE: As lazy as I can be these days, I only use ALPHA H LIQUID GOLD, alternating with EUCERIN DERMATOCLEAN CLARIFYING TONER.

SERUM: On my non-exfo days, I apply GLOSSIER SUPER PURE SERUM.

TREATMENT: I apply DRUNK ELEPHANT A PASSIONI RETINOL CREAM twice a week, topped with DRUNK ELEPHANT T.L.C FRAMBOOS GLYCOLIC NIGHT SERUM. I love this combination for my never ending clogged pores problem.

HYDRATE: Last step for PM routine is to hydrate, with my old time favorite, VICHY MINERAL 89 – SKIN FORTIFYING DAILY BOOSTER. I love this because it’s gel, absorbs easily and feels so light on skin.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

BAD FACIAL: WHAT TO DO?

There’s nothing worse than painful comedo extraction that left my face like tons of open wound.

THE NIGHT AFTER THE BAD FACIAL

Thanks to my super-sensitive skin, my skin will become red and looked worse painful comedo extraction. And yes, I do hate those traditional method when the therapist did cleansing, then straight to steaming only for a few minutes and start pricking, pressing and popping. I’m sure until today there’s still debate on “should you really pop up everything in facial treatment room?”

I am an anti-extraction. I don’t like the pain (it hurts like hell) and the after-math. But, things are done, and all I can do is to let my skin to calm down, soothe and heal them after all the aggressive treatment.

  1. Let them be for at least 6 hours after. Don’t touch, don’t pick, and avoid using makeup at all costs. Just go home straight after the treatment and sulk (LOL). Feel burned? Spray VICHY Mineralizing Thermal Water in between, and let it dry by itself.
  2. After 6 hours passed, do double cleanse. I use Bioderma Sensibio H2O first (with cotton pads), then Drunk Elephant Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser after. Gently pat dry with soft, dry and clean towel.
  3. Skip toner. Instead, I use this DIY Oatmeal solution (chill them inside the fridge, because cold temperature might help to reduce redness, irritation and puffiness). Dampened the compressed sheet-mask inside the icy cold solution, put it on for about 20 minutes.
  4. Or if you don’t have time to make your own sheet mask, I do recommend BE PLAIN Bamboo Healing Mask. Infused in bamboo water, this will help to soothe and refresh. Keep it in the fridge, as cold stuff will help lessen the inflammation.
  5. While my skin is still damp, I apply APIEU Madecassoside Ampoule. You see Madecassoside is known as best solution for damaged skin from dryness. Pat gently to absorb then move on to next step.
  6. Serum. I use this AQULABO Vinyasa Calming Serum. As the name stated, it’s a calming serum to reduce stress on the skin after a horrible extraction.
  7. Don’t forget to (still) hydrate your skin. I personally love ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence, because it has been tested as a low irritation skin care product.
  8. Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion is the final step, just to make sure that on your skin’s most sensitive state, it will stay hydrated, soft and supple. Oh did I mention, this calm the redness too?

Extra tips:

  • When your skin feels inflamed with burning sensation after facial, you might want to consider drinking an Ibuprofen pill to ease any pain.
  • Stay out of the sun, and keep cool (literally). Warm weather will worsen the burn sensation, so it’s best to stay indoor while healing and turn on that AC.
ONE WEEK AFTER THE FACIAL (STILL HEALING WITH NEW ZITS POPPING)

Remember that each of us human beings have different pain tolerance and healing level. While my skin took longer to heal all those scabs and back to their original state, yours might not. So again, I do recommend (again and again) to listen to your skins’ needs before you do any facial treatments.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

BEST OF 2019 : FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE SKINCARE

Super glad that 2019 is almost over. Definitely not one of my best year, but I’m sure you don’t want to hear about it (LOL).

Just a quick update on my skin condition, I believe when I got older, my skin easily and rapidly reacted to skincare products. Bumps and adult/hormonal acnes are still easily appeared. The good thing is, I’ve managed to control my fungal acne come back with the right products. In fact, I didn’t suffer any fungal-acne breakout this year.

After trial & error here and there, I became more aware on what ingredients that actually work, or in the other hand, caused the problems. In my case, I try to avoid:

  1. Butylene Glycol, because it might trigger comedones.
  2. Centella Asiatica, because it’s not good if you are still suffering from acne or having acne-prone skin like mine.
  3. Essential Oils or any facial oil, because my skin didn’t react well after using them.

So yes, it became harder to find skincare products for me. Other than avoiding non-safe fungal acne ingredients, now I also have to check those ingredients above. And trust me, it’s not easy!

This (much shorter) list is based on my own personal experience and after checking all the ingredients on cosdna and skincarisma. No worries, this list is mostly different from my 2018 list (with additional categories and check out my HG products with *).

Enjoy reading and happy holidays, folks! Make sure you spent your money wisely when it comes to skincare products (talking like a true champ, LOL).

MAKEUP REMOVER:

  • Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Micelle Cleansing *
  • Eau Thermale Avene 3 in 1 Make-Up Remover

FOAMING CLEANSER:

  • Drunk Elephant Pekee Bar *
  • Drunk Elephant Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser
  • Patyka Paris Detox Cleansing Foam

MIST:

  • La Roche-Posay Serozinc *
  • La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water
  • Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water

EXFOLIATING TONER:

  • Biologique Recherche Lotion P50T *
  • Alpha-H Liquid Gold
  • Cosrx Aha 7 Whitehead Power Liquid

TONER:

  • Patyka Paris Anti-Blemish Toner *
  • Thayers Facial Toner Unscented
  • Eucerin Dermatoclean Clarifying Toner

BOOSTER:

  • Vichy Mineral 89 *

SERUM:

  • Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum *
  • Cos De Baha Niacinamide 10 Serum
  • Aqulabo Vinyasa Calming Serum
  • The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%

ESSENCE:

  • I’m From Mugwort Essence *
  • Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence
  • Amore Pacific Vintage Single Extract Essence

MOISTURIZER:

  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
  • Eau Thermale Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion *

SPOT TREATMENT:

  • De La Cruz Sulfur Ointment *
  • Fourth Ray Beauty Later Hater Spot Treatment

SUNSCREEN:

  • Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Gel SPF 50+PA++++ *
  • Nivea Super Water Gel SPF 50 PA+++

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

STRESS ACNE: WTH?

Been in a very tough situation lately, I have to admit this is not a very good year for me. And I’m sure you’ve heard it everywhere, when you are stressed, so does your skin. Just look at my stress acnes!

I’ve been fighting them for about two weeks now, but I know I’m not alone. So I decided to do some research online and write down this post.

WHAT CAUSED STRESS ACNE?
Obviously, STRESS. And if your skin is already acne-prone, stress can make acne worse. You see, hormones released and produced during stress will increase further skin inflammation. And for some people, stress will vigorously make them pick at their acnes which can cause bigger problem like scars and such.

WHAT DIFFERS NORMAL ACNE & STRESS ACNE?
I personally believe stress acne is redder than ordinary ones, and doesn’t necessarily have pus in it. Sometime, it formed a painful cyst too. And also what I personally experienced, stress acne will show up on areas you’ve never had acnes before. I also experienced more blackheads and whiteheads.

HOW TO MANAGE STRESS ACNE?
Seriously guys, if I told you not to stress over it and stay calm, you’ll kill me, right? I tried to manage my stress first, by hanging out with friends and trying not to bring work problems home. So, find your chill first, then try to handle the stress acne. First, drink more water, less caffeinated & dairy drinks and alcohol. Then, do basics skincare like cleanse, tone and moisturize. Don’t overdo things like adding more unnecessary steps to your skincare routine. Or worse, do cleansing more than twice a day. Remember to stick to your basic routine and products.

MY BASIC SKINCARE ROUTINE DURING STRESS ACNE

FACE CLEANSER: DRUNK ELEPHANT PEKEE BAR

This stuff is MAGIC in a bar form. It’s fragrance and soap-free, doesn’t contain any essential oil and have honey in it (you know how I love honey).

TONER: SIMPLE KIND TO SKIN SOOTHING FACIAL TONER

The name said it all. It is a soothing toner, feels and looks like water. I’d recommend to stay away from exfoliating toner when your skin is stress. Choose a hydrating toner that’s light and alcohol free.

SERUM: VICHY MINERAL 89

Why 89? Because it does contain up to 89% of natural origin Hyaluronic Acid. This will protect skin from pollution, stress and fatigue. And I chose hydration serum during my stress acne period, rather than my regular Niacinamide or vitamin C serum (it’s like taking a break from the hard stuffs). I also skip moisturizer after this, just because I feel this already helped with the hydration.

SPF (AM ROUTINE): SKIN AQUA UV SUPER MOISTURE GEL SPF50+ PA++++

Long time favorite of mine. SPF in a gel form, easy to absorb, doesn’t leave any white cast and never broke me out. It’s super light in texture and good for makeup base too.

MORE TIPS:

  • Don’t overkill your stress acne with spot treatments, especially those with tough ingredients such as Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid. Trust me, they will look worse (looks more red & irritated).
  • Instead, try to hydrate your skin as much as you can. Personally, I love to spray my face with Avene Thermal Spring Water during the day.
  • And also, try to touch up your SPF during the day. Usually, I reapply every four hours even though I stayed indoor most of the time. Because I wear makeup, I like to use Kose Suncut Protect UV Spray SPF50+ PA++++.
  • Double cleanse if you have makeup on. My all time favorite is Banila Co Clean It Zero
  • Stay clear from anything acid and retinol while stress acne attacked. Treat them first with tender, love and care.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE SKINCARE LAYERING

Some of you might asked, “Do I need 10 steps?” Girl, it’s so 2017!

Please do not be intimidated by contents out there with so many layering steps, if you do not have the time nor the budget to do so. Knowing your skin is the first best thing, then you can accommodate based on that.

My routine might not be the same as others and I don’t expect it to be. And I totally not recommend anyone to follow mine exactly. Frankly speaking, there are no such things as ideal steps. Remember, you know you best.

So, these are my steps of skincare routine:

ONE: CLEANSE

First, wipe off with Micellar Water for base makeup. Then Lip & Eye Make Up Remover. Wait till dry then move on to Cleansing Balm. Quickly emulsified the balm, rinse and wash it all away with Face Soap. At the end of the day, I felt extra clean after all of these.

TWO: HYDRATE

Never thought that I’d even consider this as the most important step in my routine. But it is, now. Hydrating Toner and Essence are my skin’s BFF.

THREE: TREAT

My skin is far from perfect, therefore exfoliating toner, serum and ampoule are still needed in my repertoire.

FOUR: MOISTURIZE

Never underestimate the power of moisturizing to seal the previous steps in. I try to stay away from cream and lotion for moisturizer, instead I opt for gel ones.

FIVE: PROTECT

Living in a city when the sun is blasting all year round, it’s impossible and sort of forbidden to skip this step in the morning.

For sure, morning and night time routine are different. Morning routine is simpler because all the cleansing hard stuffs will be happening at night to remove makeup. And night routine might require more steps, just because there’s more time to do so.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

EUROPEAN DRUG-STORE SKINCARE PRODUCTS FOR FUNGAL-ACNE PRONE SKIN

Do I have other products than K-Beauty skincare? Of course, dearest. I do have a few of European drugstore brands in my collection. Disclaimer: unfortunately, most of them were purchased when I travelled abroad, because they don’t carry them where I live (Jakarta, Indonesia). Boohoo!!

EAU THERMALE AVÈNE or simply called Avène.

Thermal Spring Water

I guess every girl in this world must have this in their vanity. I use this before first toner, right after cleansing. Why? Because I have hard water in my home, so I need to neutralize my skin before everything else. It has ideal calcium/magnesium ratio to help improve skin texture. And I love the cooling & calming sensation on every spray it made. Super love!

3 in 1 Make-Up Remover

This is like a cleansing milk, non-rinse ones. Its’ milky texture will turn into fluid when rubbed. Please note that this has fragrance (but claimed to be tolerated by sensitive skin). It removed base makeup well, but not recommended to use to remove eye makeup.

Vichy Laboratories Mineral 89

I am sold by one of their claim that it acts as a protective shield against pollution. And after more research, I found out that this only has 11 ingredients (which is great for sensitive skin), with the highest concentration of their Thermal Mineralizing Water plus Hyaluronic Acid. Currently, I use this as daily moisturizer, by the way.

URIAGE EAU THERMALE or simply called Uriage

Creme Lavante

Another Thermal Water based product in my collection, this is a fragranced cleansing cream. Even though it’s fragranced, it’s safe for sensitive skin (proven by yours truly). Usually I use this in the morning after my acid night (which is only twice a week now). Mind you, this is soap-free and contains 1/3 nourishing milk. It won’t dry out skin but in the same time it didn’t leave any filmy residue after cleansing.

Hyseac SPF50+ Fluid

It’s specifically tailored for combination to oily skin, so yes on this point. It contains licorice extract which known for its’ ability to reduce excess sebum and prevent new blemishes. Another yes. It didn’t leave my skin look shiny or white or greyish or patchy.

Eucerin Ultra Sensitive Soothing Care

This is actually a day and night moisturizer, but I use this as a daily moisturizer for AM only. It’s preservative-free, paraben-free, paraffin-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, colorant-free and emulsifier-free. Since I’ve experienced redness here and there, especially after that over-exfoliating period, this really help to calm them down. It’s very light and contains SymSitive, their patented ingredient specially developed for hypersensitive skin. I do recommend this to strengthen skin barrier.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50T

This specific type (they do have lots of type) of acid toner has been developed to suit all skin types from sensitive to dehydrated skin. I was too excited to try this hype acid toner, I applied this every night. Yes, I ended up having over-exfoliated skin. So, I do recommend to use this only once or twice a week (diluted on a cotton pad moistened with water). I don’t mind the vinegar-like smell, it reminds me of Apple Cider Vinegar.

LA ROCHE-POSAY

Thermal Spring Water

What is it with me and Thermal Water? Well, this is another favorite Thermal Water of mine. Naturally rich in selenium, well known as a powerful antioxidant, this face mist not only refreshes but also tones and rebalance skin. That’s why on my bad skin days, I will use this as a face toner to replace my regular toner.

Serozinc Face Mist

To beat the shine with only mist? Yup, this will do. This is actually a mattifying face mist, specially made for oily skin people. As the name applied, it does contain zinc sulfate to target signs of oily skin. No worries, it’s also clear like ordinary water mist, and I believe this is also a great toner if you’re sensitive to anything.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O

Need I say more? Tried many of cleansing water for makeup, from another brands, another countries, but keep on coming back to this. Even though this doesn’t dissolve eye makeup, but a great base makeup remover.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA