Sensitivity: Very sensitive, clogs easily, acne-prone, highly reactive to almost everything.
Shade: MAC NC10. Parts of the skin on my face is darkened from sun damage, so it's more like an NC15-20 but my neck/chest is NC10 so I try to match the rest of me, otherwise it looks like my foundation is too dark.
Concerns: mild to moderate acne, dehydration, wrinkles, sun damage, clogged pores, and PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation)
I started this blog to chronicle my adventures with asian skincare, but here's how I ended up there:
In addition to growing up without foundation options in my shade, most cosmetics and especially sunscreen make me break out badly. I tried all sorts of foundations, including ones designed for acne-prone skin, mineral foundations, you name it. Everything made my skin suffer even worse. Without sunscreen, I just avoided the sun. I lived in Canada, where I could carry parasols in the short months of summer and stay away from the beach. My skin was naturally oily, so I was able to deal with being unable to wear moisturizers- sure, my skin wasn't great, but I was wrinkle-free and babyfaced, so I didn't care. I looked 10 years younger than my age.
Then I moved to the desert.
Predictably, it was a disaster. It was another planet! How had I ended up on a set double of Arrakis?! Lightning inside of dust storms. Cacti and mesquite. Summer for 10+ months of the year. The sun sears the earth and anyone on it with a palpable force of heat akin to standing next to a woodstove on a cold night, but with an eye-scalding brightness that makes your retinas beg for mercy even in the cold depths of January.
I never went outside except for walking across the parking lot to work, but it was to no avail. Within 3 years, I had aged at least 10 years, but comparing what I looked like before, it was more like 20. I had gone from looking 15 to looking 35 in less than 5 years. Without sunscreen to block the shriveling rays of the sun and without moisturizer to combat the desert's dryness, my skin was quickly destroyed.
My t-zone overcompensated with oil production that could rival the richest rig, and the rest of my face became littered with dry patches and crusty flakes. My skin dried so fast after washing it with water that it hurt. I learned to lick my lips before a sneeze or it would split my upper lip. My skin became so clogged that it took on the pebbled look of a freshly plucked chicken. I developed a deep wrinkle across my forehead, and squint lines were forming. I looked haggard, desiccated, old.
I bought a Clarisonic skin brush, which worked wonders on my clogged pores but without being able to cover the ensuing purge of breakouts, I gave up. I needed skincare to clean, heal, and moisturize my skin, sunscreen to protect it, and makeup that could cover up my spots until my skin had recovered. Back to square one.
That's what started my research into BB creams and then eventually Asian beauty in general, and now, this blog!