Happy Monday, Kumquats!

I know, i’ve been quite lax in my postings of late – i haven’t been feeling my best, so i’ve been quietly testing out a couple new products while my skin and I are trying to get back into shape.  The one good thing about testing out products when i’m ill and struggling with autoimmune issues is that i can REALLY tell if something is working – as my face tends to easily break out in hives and pimples, and is extremely dull and dry when i’m not well.

And there are a few things that have really been a lifesaver, these past couple weeks. It seems that when it comes down to the wire, it’s my K-Beauty products that really come through for me – with the exception of a few things, my medicine cabinet looks like it’s quickly being overtaken by Asian skincare!


All The Things!


And with good reason, too – Asian beauty products are fairly innovative, as well as far ahead of Western or European skincare – by at least 10 years. The reason being that in countries like Korea, skincare is extremely important, and so companies are constantly innovating new ways in which to care for the skin; whereas here in the West, we have a tendency to focus on covering up imperfections and skin issues. Asian beauty also focuses on hydration and healing, as opposed to the Western approach, which is more geared towards fixing issues by more aggressive means, such as heavy chemical and physical exfoliation.

So, if you’re a Sick Chick like Moi, and are dealing with all sorts of weird sensitivities and outbreaks of hives – as well as excessive dryness – the Asian approach makes a lot more sense. It’s becoming much more widely accepted, too, that the way to deal with blemishes is NOT to strip and exfoliate and dry the living Hell out of them, but to take a more healing approach – using lots of hydration and nourishing ingredients.  Chemical exfoliants suspended in oils or other gentle emollients are key, too.

So – with my skin being extremely stressed lately due to my chronic illness crap (on top of being hit by the Crimson Wave over the weekend) – i’ve been using some good, gentle, hydrating K-Beauty toners to get my skin back into shape, as well as my trusty Dr Jart moisturizers – to which i added a new cream in my ever-growing arsenal;

  • Dr Jart Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro-Gel – $39: I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this stuff, especially for daytime use. I’ve taken to using my Ceramidin Gel-Cream in the evenings, and using this as my main daytime moisturizer – and i didn’t think anything could drag me away from using my beloved Ceramidin cream both day and night – because i know i can count on it to not break me out or irritate my skin, even when i’m plagued by hives – as i have been this past week or so. Here’s what the main ingredients are, according to the Sephora website:

-Mineral Complex: Blended with major skin-identical minerals that help maintain the moisture balance and moisture circulation of skin.
-Belgium Hot Spring Water: Contains minerals to remove impurities from pores and provide soothing and antibacterial benefits, supporting natural cell regeneration.
-Natural Barrier Complex (Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Psidium Guajava Leaf Extract, Cinchona Succirubra Bark Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, and Abronia Villosa Leaf Extract): Moisturizes and nourishes dry skin; rich in tannin to prevent photo aging.
-Acacia Peptide: Moisturizes and visibly firms skin.

This moisturizer is free of alcohols, artificial fragrance, as well as 8 other known irritants – and therefore i’m able to use it even over blemishes or outbreaks of hives! It IS touted as a light-weight moisturizer, and so i wasn’t sure if it would do the trick on my super-dry, dehydrated skin. But i needn’t have worried – it’s extremely moisturizing, even for Ladies of a Certain Age, like yours truly. But it’s also non-greasy, as well as SO soothing on stressed skin. It feels like my skin is being bathed in healing waters, as well as lightweight-feeling hydration that lasts all day.  This gel-cream also contains Tumeric, which is a very effective anti-inflammatory – whether you take it internally, or apply it topically; which is another reason i believe it’s been so soothing on my skin.  There’s also a sleeping mask i’ve been testing out, which is fantastic as well. Once my generous sample runs out, i’ll be purchasing both products. I haven’t tried the eye-cream yet, but i imagine it’s great too – as i’ve been using the sleep mask on my under-eye area and have had no problems with irritation whatsoever.  Yet another big WIN for Dr Jart and their amazing line of products.

  • Belif Witch Hazel Herbal Extract Toner – $28: I’ve only just recently forayed into the Belif line – and i’m really glad i did, as thus far i’ve really loved what i’ve tried. The Peat Miracle Revitalizing Eye-Cream doesn’t cause me to break into hives, which is miraculous – and after about a month of use, i found my fine lines looking a little smoother. So, i decided to try out the toner, as i’ve been in the market for one for quite some time. I am IN LOVE with this stuff. Belif makes three toners – for Normal, Dry, and Oily skin-types.  I got the one for dry skin – hoping it wouldn’t break me out. Because it contains Witch Hazel, i figured it might be alright – and it doesn’t contain any mineral oil. Oddly enough, it does contain denatured alcohol (which i didn’t see on the ingredients list in the store, but it’s on the Sephora website), which i found really odd as it’s VERY hydrating, and hasn’t dried me out with twice-daily use, utilizing the 3-skin method. It has a milky-gel texture and just feels so very soothing on my skin. I don’t get how that jives with the alcohol, but clearly there is some sort of magic going on here. It doesn’t sting or dry my skin, and doesn’t irritate or exacerbate any problems my skin might be experiencing.  Because i really HATE alcohol denat. in my skincare, i am not completely certain that i’ll repurchase, as i worry about the long, long-term effects it will have on my skin; however, over the past month it seems to be doing nothing but good things for my complexion!


  • Son & Park Beauty Water – $30I’d been hearing about this product for a bit now – and finally decided to give it a shot; like the Belif toner, it’s got Witch Hazel in it – as well as a whole plethora of other nourishing and toning ingredients. Rose water is the second ingredient, and rose is known for its soothing, brightening properties in skincare. It also contain olive fruit oil, an emollient which has excellent anti-oxidant properties; as well as tea tree oil, which is excellent for treating breakouts.  However, if you’re sensitive to lavender or citrus, this could irritate you.  I’ve found that it is extremely refreshing and brightening, helping with my hormonal breakouts: this period, i didn’t get my usual gross outbreak of two or so cystic bumps – and i know this has a lot to do with it, as it has so many anti-inflammatory ingredients in it (like green tea, eucalyptus, and peppermint), and my skin has been clearer in general since i’ve started using it. I like to apply it on cotton as a third cleansing-step, as well as a sort of prep for my toner. It feels super-refreshing, and as it has a water-like texture – perfect for using before your hydrating toner and essences.  It does have a very small amount of denatured alcohol at the bottom of the list, if you are sensitive to that. Personally, i’ve found this product to be a sort of odd success for my skin, as there are some potentially irritating essential oils in it – but that’s my skin for you! My skin has always loved rose, as well as many other ingredients in this Beauty Water, so clearly the combination of elements in here is a total win for me. I’ll definitely repurchase this!


My cheeks are looking so clear! Fritzy loves the red lips, too.

Fritzy thinks my skin’s looking pretty good too – he wouldn’t let me alone while i was photographing!

Makeup in this post:

And that’s all, folks! It feels good to be back – pretty much all i did when i was at my sickest was to take care of my skin, cook, and read whilst cuddling with the Boys. I’ll be back tomorrow with more reviews of the Eve Lom Cleansing Balm (my new HG oil cleanser!), and a new FoTD!  Meanwhile, stay gorgeous, Darlins!

XO – Monday