This was very much an impulse purchase, out of the curiosity to try a product offering both complete UV coverage (SPF 50+ PA++++) and the slight pinkish glowing tint of a makeup base.
Admittedly, I also had a strong desire to purchase something from the ebay seller Maco of Fictif-Nook. She is a Japanese-born expat (living out of the country) who has a rather unique selection compared to other Japanese goods sellers on eBay– but most importantly, makes it of the utmost importance to state her support for and desire to help those with disabilities and special needs. I was so touched and grateful (especially given the fact that in Japan, the stigma towards disability is exponentially worse than where I live in the US already, so she’s really unique in that regard!), that since I wanted to buy one cheap thing from her already, I threw this item and a tsubaki konjac sponge along in the order, too!
Even the exterior box of this item is pleasant and cute– at least in my opinion– so go ahead and follow the cut if you’d like to see how the product itself matches up to that presumption~
One of my biggest regrets in life is not having listened to my mother for all of my youth and adolescent years as she nagged me to wear sun protection when I left the house. I have milky, ghostly white skin, and if I’d listened to her instead of trying to be a little rebel– who hated the texture of American sunscreens more than anything– I would probably look like a porcelain doll right now, instead of being covered in countless freckles and sun damage in general.
To be honest, a lot of the pressure came from being a pale kid living in California. There’s some sort of strange culture here where I was mocked on the rare occasion when I actually did wear SPF as a child, because the other kids would laugh at me and say ‘you’re already so white, Niko, get some sun and try to get a tan for once!’ To a very minor degree, I was mocked and ridiculed for wanting to protect my skin on outdoor days, and just how paper white my skin was in general.
I’m sure you can imagine how shocked and confused my young pre-adolescent self was when I was learning about asian culture, and how pale skin and sun protection is coveted there. It gave me a sort of renewed confidence in my own appearance– that I wasn’t a freak for being tan or non-white like my classmates– and empowered me to become interested in caring for my skin by protecting it from sun damage!
Now, many years later, I have quite the collection of sunscreens– some of which I find don’t work for me as I’d like, but also a small handful which I love and use regularly, which I’d like to share with you today:
Each serves a variety of purposes, from providing more moisture when my face feels dry, to being water + sweatproof, for outdoor and swimming activities– these are my staple sunscreens, and after having tried so, so many out there, I feel pretty confident in saying that these are the right ones for me!
Let me tell you a little about them, starting with the facial UV protectors!
Ask anybody who truly knows me, and they’ll tell you that, even as a person with severe chronic fatigue– who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat when they don’t intend to– I will go to the ends of the earth to make sure that my face has been washed of any and all makeup, sunscreen, or sweat before I go to sleep. I refuse to initiate rapid eye movement until I have double-cleansed my goddamn skin.
And while that may sound a tad… aggressive… to some, this is really one of the first things you should learn to embrace if you want to get into skincare, or try to improve the condition of your skin, in general: always wash your face before you go to sleep!
When I was a teenager, even if I wore the same makeup for two days, went days without soap so much as touching my face, wore sunscreen and didn’t wash it off for a whole weekend ‘so I didn’t have to put as much on the next day’ (I really hate my past self– so much marching band sun damage….), I always managed somehow to have flawless skin. I was known for it, in some circles.
But now, as an adult, I’m not so lucky– but I am smarter, so I have these products to help me stay clean, and the products I’ll mention in the next post, routine PART 3, to protect me from UV rays!
If there’s one more thing I can add before I list the products, it’s that I personally feel like a lot of the product and cleanser pH hype is a bunch of… well, hype. Try and use products that make your skin feel best– not what rates best on the pH scale (as I did with the CosRX Low pH Cleanser, which was not kind to my skin, but I used because pH, guys! pH!!). My current cleanser sits a bit high, around a 7.5-8, but I’ll explain later how it makes my skin feel, and why it’s right for me in spite of that.
With that said, here we go!