In Let's Talk we focus on your skincare journey. It's a new and recurring blog concept where we let our customers do the talking. Real skin care stories from real people! This week, we're interviewing Sun Jae (46) who experienced serious rosacea when she reached her late 30's.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Sun Jae, I’m from South Korea and I was adopted in Belgium when I was still a baby. I’m 46 years young (age is just a number, right?) and I can be seen wearing dog hair as a fashion accessory, thanks to my two fur babies.
That sounds cute! So, tell us, what's your skin type?
I’m Team “Dry Skin” all the way! Even dry and dehydrated skin during the colder months. I also have rosacea. I won the jackpot!
Some people have all the luck. ;) So what are you trying to get out of your skin care routine?
My routine focuses mainly on hydration and soothing/calming my skin. I don’t have wrinkles (yet), just very fine lines only visible when I smile, so some ingredients in hydrating products can help with those. I could just stop smiling but I thought that might not be the best solution.
How did you develop rosacea?
It creeped up on me as I got older. I always had super nice skin, invisible pores, perfect complexion, skin was on the dry side but nothing a cheap day cream couldn't take care of. I never had acne. Then I reached 38-39 years old. And rosacea started to invade my face as years went by. I must add that being Korean, I don't have blond hair and fair skin, which is usually the type of person who tends to have rosacea. By the time I reached 40 years old, I hated seeing myself in the mirror as my face constantly looked red like a ripe tomato, except for my forehead.
Along with this redness came rosacea induced bumps, dry flaky skin patches and huge pores. Just wonderful. Rosacea being a lifelong skin disease you never cure of, all you can do is treat it according to the type of rosacea you have and hope it stays under control. I went to see several dermatologists and had a bunch of wrong treatments (LED light, laser, you name it, I’ve done it) which didn’t work for me except for the dermatologists’ bank accounts.
I thought I was doomed. I thought I was going to have this awful red bumpy and flaky skin until I die. Even makeup didn’t help because the dry skin patches were enhanced by foundation. Rosacea causes skin damage, and if not treated right, it can lead to spider veins. So I was really worried. It is also very uncomfortable as it gives a burning sensation during “redness flushing”. I felt desperate.
Finally I found a really nice and helpful dermatologist specialized in rosacea who told me: “let's try the inexpensive treatment first, OK?”. I had oral treatment for a month, and two quite aggressive creams that are prescription only. It did wonders. My redness is now barely visible. I still have flushes and some of my pores are definitely more "open" and visible nowadays. I also still have to use the prescriptions creams several times a year.
That sounds like quite the adventure. How did you learn about Korean skincare?
Isn’t it ironic that I’m Korean and that I had absolutely no idea as to what Korean skincare was! I learned about it through a friend of mine. I asked him if he could explain to me what K-beauty is all about and he suggested some products. He also told me where to get them: Little Wonderland!
That's a funny story! So what is it about K-beauty you think really made a difference for you?
Well, I've been on the K-beauty wagon since mid-June 2020 now, but I only started to have a real routine I seriously stuck to since November 2020. I didn't take it very seriously at first because I'm lazy: going from one cream only to a +/-10 steps routine was a huge change for me. I'm still figuring out what works for me, but I did notice some major changes: since November, I haven't had to use the prescription creams and my redness is still completely under control. Some of my pores are definitely smaller, and my skin is just incredibly soft. I also realised that an excellent product doesn't need to empty my bank account to work its miracle.
The K-beauty products I’ve been using are almost all very gentle, with few ingredients, like the COSRX Pure Fit Cica Toner, Laneige Cream Skin Refiner or the Sioris You Look So Young Night Cream. I think that K-beauty has succeeded in making the best out of natural and/or simple ingredients. All in all, K-beauty was a beautiful discovery. I didn't expect much of it at first, but after seeing the results, all I can say is that I'm clearly an addict now!
We love hearing that K-beauty helped you and your skin! Is there a certain Korean skincare product you consider a Holy Grail?
Right now, I think it would be the A'Pieu Madecassoside Ampoule. I’m a toner addict but this ampoule is just a miracle in a bottle! It hydrates, soothes, has a very light cooling effect, and is absorbed very quickly.
Do you have some skincare tips or wisdom you would like to share for the LW community?
Your skin, your routine. What works for one might not work for you, and that's totally OK. You will make mistakes, but that’s how we all learn. The journey is the aim, not the destination!