Tretinoin (Retin-A) Update & Sephora Haul

I mentioned a while back that I saw a dermatologist, who prescribed a tretinoin gel (generic brand of Retin-A) for me to use for my acne. I did diligently follow her instructions and slowly increased my usage until I reached a once every night application.

Doing so made my skin peel like never before. (When I first started to use the La Roche Pose Efflaclar Duo, my skin did peel but it I don't think it was as bad.) All the exfoliating and moisturizing I was doing did not seem to help either. After a follow-up visit to the derm, she told me to decrease the applications to every other day since daily was, obviously, too strong for me.

But I must admit, I didn't follow the doctor's orders. Instead I completely stopped using the treatment altogether. (I think) I saw her a month or two after the initial appointment and at the time I didn't see too many benefits, acne/break-outs wise, from the tretinoin gel. Pair that with the unsightly flaky skin (in the summer no-less), I wanted to 'run' as far away as possible from the treatment and the dermatologist. (I haven't made a follow-up appointment since that second/last visit.)

After a few months of taking myself off the gel, my skin seemed to regulate itself and there wasn't massive amounts of flakiness on my face. I was and am still breaking out quite often and a lot. But I didn't want to risk using the treatment and having to go out of the house all flaky and peeling. So I took the opportunity before the holidays and right after my Fall semester ended to put on a layer of the tretinoin gel and give it a second chance. "This time I know better!" is what I said to myself.

But I didn't. Either I was a little too heavy-handed or my skin really can't handle the tretinoin because my skin started to immediately peel, flake, dry-up, so on and so forth the day after. Even the trusty ol' Olay Beauty Fluid that I relied on for the past 2 winters didn't help the flakes (which lasted for over a week, not exaggerating).

I hadn't been thinking of getting any new skincare items, despite the skin condition. I even settled on the idea of just riding it out (even though I still sulked about it here and there). But a "quick" stop to a Sephora to check out eye creams got me curious about some new Dr. Jart+ items that I remembered the Muse spoke highly of for drier skin folks. After doing a bit of review searching, the Ceramidin line seems to be pretty effective for other dry-skin gals as well. So with the combination of the weather being all chilly now and having dry-ish/combo & flaky skin, I went from having an itty-bitty speck of curiosity to flown-blown desire to have the products. (Why does this happen?!...)

Here are the items that got:

L to R: Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid

I can't wait to use them. Maybe with these in-hand, I'll give the tretinoin a third chance. Perhaps third time's the charm?
Has anyone tried any of these products before? How do you like it?

Skin79 Smart Clear Deep Cleansing Oil

I actually finished this bottle of Skin79 Smart Clear Deep Cleansing Oil a few months back and had every intention to review it. But, unfortunately, it didn't happen. Here's a quick post before I really forgot everything about the product. Hopefully I got down as many details as I can remember.
This was one of those products that I bought because my cleansing oil at the time was running out. I bought it from a beauty store in Chinatown (in Manhattan) for ~$17 (if I remember correctly). However, I purchased this without reading any prior reviews and truly went in with experimentation in mind. Coming from a brand that is most known for their BB Creams, I was thinking that their cleansing oil shouldn't be too bad for makeup removal. So home it went with me!
Here are some of the packaging details for those who understand Korean. Luckily the ingredients list is in English, so don't fret for those who are conscious about what is in products.
As with most cleansing oils that come in pump bottles, the new bottles come sealed and with a stopper to prevent any leakage pre-purchase. The trouble came afterwards when the cleansing oil seemed to slightly burst through the pump with each use and leaves the bottle an oily mess. I wish I took a photo of it to more accurately show what I mean but my mom must have thrown out the bottle when she was doing a thorough cleaning. But compared to something else, this is a rather insignificant problem.

The main dislike I had was this formulation. It really stung my eyes! This was not even a result of me specifically use it to remove eye makeup. Even when I avoided rubbing my eye area with the product, the cleansing oil & residue eventually makes it way around my (closed) eyes when I go to rinse the product off. That milky-residue-water made my eyes really burn. Of the cleansing oils that I have used, some did make my vision a little, temporarily, cloudy. But none has ever stung my eyes like this one did.

Due to that reason, I actually dreaded going through this bottle the whole time I had it. This was also why I ended up trying Bioderma in late-spring through the summer, when I still had about half a bottle of the Skin79 Smart Clear Deep Cleansing Oil left.

Otherwise, the cleansing oil took off both light & heavy-ish face makeup pretty well. This product did leave my skin a bit tight afterwards. But all cleansing oils (that I have used thus far) pretty much have the same effect for me, so I am not going to nit-pick on that point.

I don't quite remember if this cleansing oil had a runnier or thicker consistency, but I do remember that I used around 2 pumps during each cleanse. I presume that a bottle would probably last a few months with consistent usage.

Even though it is on the less expensive side for a cleansing oil, this is something I would definitely not repurchase. Unless, who knows, maybe I got a dud? Any who, with the cleansing oil trend picking up in Western brands I think I may give those a try first before I have to consider this specific one again.

Have you tried any bad cleansing oils before?
Do share! That way we can know beforehand what items to cross off the "To try" list.

Tagged | 30 Random Facts About Me

First post for 2014!
Thanks Kar Yi for tagging me!
I haven't done a tag post in a loonnngggg time. But I figured I should sit through and type it all out before I get distracted with other things. This should be fun!

30 Random-ish Facts about Me:
1. I am an over-thinker. It takes me forever to start to do or say anything because I try to think of all the consequences.

2. So I am also very indecisive. I almost can never decide what I want to eat/do because everything looks interesting. Or the 'consequences' I come up with end up talking me out of it. Then I tend to stick to the safer/more routine options.

3. But I like and want to try new things (as long as it isn't TOO risky).

4. I have a long list of interests as a result. But don't keep up with as many of them as I would like to. (New year's resolution?)

5. These are reasons why it took me forever to decide on a major. But hopefully, things turn out well. Even if it doesn't, I have come to terms with the idea of not living a 'great' & 'well-off' life.

6. I finally decided to be a Marketing - Advertising major (with a heavier focus on the digital side). Along with being a Graphics Communications and Computer Info Systems (with e-biz and web design focus) minors. Ehh ... not sure why I did this to myself for my last 1.5 years of college, but I think they are all interesting topics.

7. I get very attached to things and people.

8. I have a lot of 'junk' that I think is sentimental. (Like my grandma ... well used to.)

9. I fear of being judged (whether good or bad). I don't like it when people judge me or anyone else. Yet I subconsciously do it all the time. (New year's resolution?)

10. I don't like feeling awkward. But I find myself feeling awkward often. Maybe that's why it's hard for me to meet new friends? Or start and keep conversations?

11. Perhaps a combo of #9 & #10 keeps me from sharing my blog & social medias with people I know in real life?

12. I tend to act like a kid ... a lot.

13. When I am determined ... I fully devote my attention to it and can lose track of time easily.

14. I think I have a lot of patience?

15. But I also get irritated and angry quite easily... (go figure!)

16. I am very emotional. Sad things/fear make me cry very easily. So it probably isn't the best idea to watch a sad movie/TV show with me unless you want to see me bawling my eyes out with a tissue box in hand.

17. When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher because I really love little kids.

18. In high school, I really had no idea what I wanted to be in the future. Some things I listed were interior designer, architect, photographer, and entertainment related (whether in-front or behind-the-scenes).

19. I haven't been outside of North America in 19 years. If things go well and I get to travel next summer, it'd be my first time back in Asia in 20 years!

20. I'm a total homebody. I don't mind just spending my time inside, even if I don't do 'anything'.

21. That being said, I do like to and want to go explore new places.

22. I have been wanting to go to Korea since I was in middle school.

23. I have thought of living/working abroad before. But don't know what I would do there...

24. I sometimes wish I had the courage to do something YouTube related. Not for the fame, but for the more relaxed/do-whenever nature of it.

25. I love to bake and cook. But tend to fail at it most of the time. Practice makes perfect? ... !

26. I am a total night owl. I like to have things done before I go to sleep (or take a nap in some most cases) rather than leaving things unfinished and trying to wake up earlier to complete it.

27. Being a procrastinator doesn't help #24. But I found that keeping lots of lists (everywhere) and a planner helps a little bit.

28. I try to be a perfectionist. Though...sometimes it gets to the point where I have to tell myself to not be.

29. I think I underestimate myself a lot?

30. The future ... My future scares me. Especially since I don't have a concrete plan & am just taking things as they go. (Probably not the smartest idea though.)

Anyways! Here's to 2014!
Hope some of these weren't too personal.

I am not sure who to tag... So I'll leave it open for anyone who wants to share a bit about themselves!