Sara’s Skincare Update: 11 months of Skincare


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**This review is not sponsored. Everything written is my own opinion, and if you use this product remember YMMV.

My updated routine!

Last week the other Beauty Witch, Rosa, shared her updated routine and this week it’s my turn! Back during last November, a beauty blogger friend of mine asked if I wanted to read this book on Korean skincare that she received. That book turned out to be Charlotte Cho’s The Little Book of Skincare and I ended up reading the entire book in less than three days. Previous to reading the book, I already had an interest in skincare because I had been struggling with hormonal acne for years. But this book changed my perspective completely and led me on the path to clearer, smoother, glower skin. My skincare journey so far has allowed me to better understand my skin’s needs, and as a result my routine has evolved over the last few months (check out my full update routine in my bio!). Here’s an overview of just some of the products I’m loving, some that I’m testing, and some I never want to see again.

Don’t leave me, I’m desperate!


As I mentioned before, I used to suffer from pretty severe hormonal acne. Since starting my K-beauty ventures, my skin has shown vast improvement and I have a few key products to thank for that. The first product that I have to thank and that I can no longer live without, is the Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. This product is probably the love of my life. Nothing, not even the topicals and oral medications prescribed by a dermatologist, cleared up my skin like this does. It is a gentle chemical exfoliator that helps to break up the sebum and dead skin cells. Honestly, its the powerhouse of my routine.

Another product that has played a big role in containing my acne and fading my hyper-pigmentation is the Cosrx Centella Blemish Cream. I apply this as the last step of my routine over problem areas and I wake up with flatter, less inflamed pimples. Over time, this cream has helped to keep my acne at bay and has even helped to fade my acne scars. This is due to the active ingredient in the cream which is Centella Asiatica. It is knows for its anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties. If you want to know more, I actually did a full review on this cream a while back, which I will link here. Let’s just say that when I ran out of my first jar of this cream I went a month or so without it, and I never want to do that again.

Do I like you or love you?


Here are some of the products that I am currently testing and really starting to love. To start is the D’Ran Wonder Tea Tree Essence, which I bought as a cheaper alternative to the LJH 90 Tea Tree Essence I had been using. I believe it was around $13, which is half the price of the LJH and it can be found on Memebox. After testing this for a few weeks, I found that my skin really likes it because it seems to contain a higher percentage of tea tree (I can tell be just the smell, the LJH smells nothing like tea tree). But I don’t think its a replacement for the LJH. The LJH moisturizes more and calms my inflammation quickly, where as the D’Ran one helps more with preventing pimples. Even though its not a replacement, I think I’ll end up keeping the D’Ran essence and finding another essence or serum to fill in the moisture gap left by not using the LJH.

Next is the Papa Recipe White Flower Clear Up 8% AHA Gel, which I bought to replace my Cosrx AHA Whitehead Power Liquid. I decided to try the Papa Recipe AHA instead this time around because it has a higher percentage of AHA and it was a few bucks cheaper than the Cosrx one. So far it seems to work about the same as the Cosrx AHA, but I prefer the smell of this one. The Cosrx AHA smells like rotting fish to me and I hate it. Whereas the Papa Recipe one still smells bad, like burning rubber, but at least it doesn’t smell like fish.

Last but not least is the Goodal Waterest Lasting Water Oil (what a name!l lol). I purchased this oil because I wanted to try adding an oil into my routine, but I was afraid to try one that was too heavy. After reading multiple reviews online, I picked this oil up because most people said it was very lightweight. I’ve been using this product for about a month ago, and I am so glad I did! It’s extremely lightweight and it is the perfect occlusive for after I apply my cream. I feel like it really locks in and adds more moisture to my skin. As a result, my skin has felt plumper and smoother. Definitely a great buy!

Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me!

I haven’t had any products that I believe are responsible for breaking me out, but I do have some that just didn’t work out. The first one was the Benton Snail Bee Essence. This essence just didn’t cut it for me. I saw zero improvement in my skin over the course of a few months. I ended up just giving this one away. The next one was the Cosrx Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser. I bought this cleanser before truly understanding the importance of a low pH cleanser, and this one ended up being way to stripping. It left my skin with that tight, uncomfortable feeling. I feel bad because I love Cosrx and all the other products I’ve tried from them, but I can’t get behind this one. I had a very similar experience with the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam. At first I thought it didn’t strip my skin too much, but I was kidding myself. Also, sorry for not providing a picture of these products, but I don’t own them anymore, so I can’t.

Change can be a good thing…

After nearly a year of using a K-beauty I can proudly say that my skin has done a 180 and is looking the best it has in years. I no longer suffer from large, under the skin cystic acne, and I can now confidently walk out the door without makeup on some days. That’s not to say that my skin if perfect, far from it. I still get small pimples here and there and still have some scarring, but my skin and I have come a long way. People tend to be skeptical of the whole “10 Step Korean Skincare Routine” and shun it because it sounds overwhelming. But for those who truly want to see results and take the time to understand some of the science behind it, I think it can really make a difference.

If you are interested in seeing the complete list of my current routine click here. And don’t forget to comment below and share your skincare journey, or ask us any questions you have!

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