At the beginning of the day, I’m too dazed to know where I last put my glasses. At the end of the day, I’m just ready to turn in. Where exactly do I fit the time to moisturize my neglected skin? For the most part, I’ve just been letting the skin flake off, since it clearly wants to. You do you, boo. I figure the layer underneath might be less dry. For me, how I treat my skin is all about ifs, maybes, and hypotheticals. Maybe tomorrow, three new blemishes will appear, or maybe fortune will favor me and I enjoy a rare day of clear skin.
My main problem: I can’t moisturize my skin without breaking out, and can’t stop flaking without moisturizing. It’s like two different political factions have organized on my skin and neither wants to release their claim to the land, preferring to run rampant. That’s why the Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum is the ultimate peace treaty.
It soothes the angry blemish faction while dousing the dry flaky parts, leaving the skin even in tone and texture. It calms and cools my skin in temperature, helping to reduce sebum production throughout the day. My oily and dry skin can finally go back to being just, well, my skin. Let me give some context for how I stumbled upon this literally skin enhancing Pressed Serum, popular in Korea for its powers of cooling hydration.
Growing up Taiwanese-American with a lot of access to my Asian cultural heritage, I’ve come face to face with both Western and Eastern beauty standards, which I find are often at odds with each other. Western beauty is on that Kim K ish, worshipping plump lips, contoured tan skin with layers of powders and foundation and heavy mascara.
This is the uniform I’ve deferred to, mainly because I can’t go out with a naked face without having people comment that I look tired today and asking about my sleep. No matter what, I’ve felt that I can’t let my acne and random blemishes that I’ve collected over time see the light of day. For makeup detox days when I have to let my skin rest, I try and wear a hat and sunglasses and in general just hope that people forget I exist for a day.
Meanwhile, the Eastern ideal of glowy, baby-like skin that looks inborn has always appeared unattainable. In Taipei, Taiwan, which I visit once every couple of years, Korean skincare is revered and I have relatives and friends who try to gift me products upon seeing my breakouts and heavy makeup. Still, the amount of serums, toners, and cleansers that are out there has long kept me at a loss for how to even approach the behemoth that is Korean skincare.
But as with many complicated questions, there are dedicated guides online, mapping out the different treatments and serums needed to achieve that glowing, luxuriant feel all throughout the body. Although everyone’s skin and skincare routines are different, I’ll share mine, which is friendly to beginners. First, I use Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Creamy Foam Cleanser and then rinse and dry my face. To replenish moisture, I pat my face down with Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner until it’s absorbed, adding several layers for extra hydration. As my final step, the Iceplant serum moisturizer hybrid plays a crucial role by turning cleansed yet parched skin into happy and sated skin. I add a pea-sized amount and spread evenly across my face.
Pressed serums have been and continue to trend in Korea. This one is especially loved for it’s cooling effects, since research has shown that sebum production increases by ten percent for every degree the skin rises in temperature. Add the summer heat into that equation, and Pressed Serums’ quick rise to K-beauty fame makes a ton of sense.
The best part is that since it’s a serum and moisturizer hybrid, I can essentially skip out on using a serum, knowing that the treatment will seal the deal and hydrate my skin’s inner layers. Who would’ve thought that couch potatoes could also have a dedicated Korean skincare routine?
Through a lot of playing around with different moisturizers and serums, I’ve found this treatment to be the one that best fits my busy schedule, answers the silent pleas of my skin, and keeps my skin hydrated throughout the day so that I don’t have to give it a second thought as I juggle meetings and presentations. I swiped a healthy layer of Make P:rem Capsule Sun Gel sunscreen over the treatment this morning before heading out to work, and the two products gave me a ton of protection against drying out over the course of the day.
After using the Iceplant, the natural rosiness of my cheeks has come out, to replace the gaunt, tired look I usually sport. Other parts of my face are clearer and healthier-looking, especially around my sensitive T-zone. In another post, I go into more detail about the Ice Plant extraction process and how the ingredients work together to clarify the skin.
To add to the list of my problems, I’m also eczema prone and liable to breakout in itchy hives from stress, too much sun and too much fun. Throughout childhood, I was mostly fine, but the eczema truly reared its ugly head when I joined an outdoor track and field team and all of the triggering factors being present resulted in the worst outbreak I’ve ever experienced. I’ve wearily raised a white flag of surrender to my skin, figuring it just can’t be tamed.
The Iceplant treatment gives me enough bounce in my skin that there’s no chance to ever get dangerously dry and saves me from having to turn to the usual topical steroid creams, which can be extremely harmful to the skin. The cool hydration of the jellylike custard is also relaxing to apply.
After applying a smooth dollop, I can head out while jamming to IU’s new single featuring G-Dragon, leaving my bad skin days far in the past as my subway car whizzes through the underground.
Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum is May’s Glow Gamechanger, available at a Gamechanging price until 5/31. Tell us in the comments if you’re ready to start treating your skin really, really coolly!
Get your Glow on,
Categories: Glow Recipe