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Hi there!

Welcome to e5thestories, my Korean-American perspective on life in Seoul. You'll find my beauty, food and travel adventures here (as well as some potentially helpful tips for those who want to move here). Formerly a K-beauty blog, and now living the dream. Hope you'll keep following along! xx

Skincare Journey: Facial Update

Skincare Journey: Facial Update

Bear with me here. I'm late on these updates because it took me a few weeks to figure out what was going on with my face after my appointments last month. Also, I am lazy/very important with a full schedule and didn't have time to sit down and write all of this. I'm just kidding. I do have a full schedule but clearly am not important. Might be a little lazy though.
 
4.28.18
I went in for the usual weekly treatment, and everything seemed pretty normal: double cleanse and a little massage. I was waiting for the herbal mask, but then I started to hear some new noises and then felt something sticky on my forehead. Basically she was waxing my face in certain areas that are essential for lymph drainage. The wax was on one end of the stick and she would continually press down on the spot as if she was dabbing (a little hard) on that spot. Then in one swift motion, ripped away the wax. I was so confused. WHY is this happening. I did think at first that maybe she was doing this to root up the baby hairs and to clear the pores, but it didn't make sense as to why she was only doing it in certain spots: forehead along the hairline, chin, jawline, behind the ears and neck. Apparently these are key spots to target in order to ensure the skin purges all that stuff that's embedded in deep.
 
And purge, my skin did.
 
The week after the face wax, my neck broke out in red bumps (even more than after the peel), and I had little red bumps all over my forehead, cheeks and jawline. The weirdest part, was I could tell that these weren't just pimples because none—NONE—of my usual pimple treatments worked to reduce the breakouts. It was kind of distressing, but because I trust the process, I didn't let it get me down. Just started to wear a little bit more makeup again during the work day and it was all good. The one part that was NOT all good was the cystic pimple in my ear that I could feel coming on. It hurt like hell and there was no whitehead yet for me to force it out.
 
I was just hoping that she'd have a solution for this mess when I went in the next week.
 

5.4.18
Again, things seemed pretty normal: double cleanse, a little massage, and then this time, a mask. It feet like a cool thin clay or gel type mask. Then I heard a hair dryer turn on, and suddenly there was hot air blowing on my face.
 
"We're supposed to heat up this mask in order to dry it, and it'll pull more impurities out of your skin to continue to detox," Ms. Oh said. "Tell me if it gets too hot."
 
Say what?
 
She continued to spray it with a mist to re-wet it if it dried before she got to hit areas with the hair dryer. The only time it got too hot and I jerked away was on my right cheek, oddly enough. This took awhile, since the mask was all over my face, ears (inside and behind) and neck. I think I fell asleep at one point. Let's be honest, I was wearing sweatpants, the spa bed was heated and there was a hair dryer blasting hot air onto my face. How do you not fall asleep with all that happening?
 
After Ms. Oh tortured me with this hair dryer mask nonsense—sorry, correction—MADE ME BEAUTIFUL WITH HER ESTHETICIAN ALCHEMY, she wrapped up with a cool towel, a purity ampoule, a sensitive skin cream and BB cream and sent me on my way. I still had some mask left on my ears (she said she would've left most of it on my face but since I had to travel home she just left some on my ears and neck), and I said it wasn't a problem since I normally took a cab home anyway.
 
Well, you know. There weren't any cabs available at 8:15pm in Bangbae, via KakaoTaxi nor on the street. So I took the 142 bus home, avoiding eye contact with every passenger who got on near Gangnam along the way. Honestly, not ideal with crap all over my ears but it was a pleasant bus ride home and bus fare is always cheaper than a cab.
 
The week after, I kept breaking out. Again, my pimple products did nothing. I wanted to stress out again, but you gotta TRUST THE PROCESS. Wednesday night, Bryan looked at me and said, "I thought this face stuff was supposed to make your skin better." YES BRYAN, TRUST THE PROCESS. I don't think he reads my blog so he probably won't see this.
 
Here's where things got a little interesting. Thursday night, I was sort of at my wit's end with the breakouts. As soon as I got home from my Korean class, I changed into my pjs and washed my face, following up with the toner and sensitive skin cream. Then I gave three generous sprays of the Nanaii Slim Solution Mist all over my face. I swear a few hours later, the redness from the bumps seemed to have calmed down. The next morning, a lot of the bumps were gone. I sprayed it again on my face before I left for work. Amazing.

A very tired bus selfie at 7am. You can see the breakouts on my forehead and cheeks :(

A very tired bus selfie at 7am. You can see the breakouts on my forehead and cheeks :(


5.11.18
I told her my skin was still purging through, but that the Nanaii Mist really helped the breakouts to calm down. She said it's great to help calm the skin and purify the impurities, and I should keep spraying it all over. I had been using it as a second toner but directly spraying on the face made a huge difference.
 
This time I found out what some of the additional products she used were. After double cleansing, she used a pore-clarifying mask to open the pores and draw out impurities. She brushed it on and I laid under the steamer for about 10-15 minutes. Then she gently wiped it away thoroughly, and got ready for a light peel.
 
I was really against the light peel—I felt like it was a little unnecessary since I had just done all of this crazy face waxing/detoxing/managing weird breakouts thing for a few weeks, and I just wanted a normal facial. Also, I was waiting to hear if I had to go on a business trip this week so I wasn't sure what the post-care was going to be like, especially while traveling. But then I was like, whatever. And Ms. Oh is going to the States for a few weeks so I won't see her for awhile, so I figured I should just get in what I can, while I can.
 
She did the Schrammek Green Peel Fresh Up, which apparently isn't supposed to make you peel at all, just a refreshing glow via stimulating blood circulation and prepping the skin to absorb more benefits from the follow-up ampoule and mask. It had a similar gritty mask massage as the Original Green Peel, but only massaged for 1-2 minutes instead of 8-10, and it was really over before I knew it.
 
She gave me a cream similar to the sensitive skin one that I had been using post-peel before, but this one was for combination skin. That combined with the Nanaii mist, I've been seeing a lot more improvement in my breakouts calming down, and redness has definitely calmed down a lot. I still have some little bumps on the back of my neck, but I'll definitely be vigilant about the Nanaii mist to help alleviate and thorougly detox the skin. She also gave me some ampoules—a few for moisture and a few for purity—to use as needed, especially since I won't be seeing her for a few weeks.
 

5.18.18
Got my last facial with Ms. Oh before she went on her trip to the US. It was a blissful throwback to one of the first few facials I had with her, with the extra-long facial massage with the aromatherapy oils and then a cooling clay mask to rest up. The massage is always such an incredible relaxation, and i keep thinking to myself that i need to get a video of the way she does it so I can figure out how to do it on myself in the future. 

She won't be back until June 10th, so in the meantime I've been religiously following the product routines she gave me, and also incorporating some of my other favorites in there once in awhile. It might be time to get my brows retouched again (they're fine and the lines are still decent but I have been using pencil to make them a bit darker lately), and I probably should do it before I start going back for the facials again. Just a little note to myself.

Breakouts subsiding and just working on keeping stress at bay to improve the stress lines on my forehead.

Breakouts subsiding and just working on keeping stress at bay to improve the stress lines on my forehead.

xx
 

Video Diary / 5.20-5.27

Video Diary / 5.20-5.27

Video Diary / 5.8-5.19

Video Diary / 5.8-5.19