Casual Wednesday: Science’s Place in Skincare, Ask Fiddy, Links & Open Post

Hi, guys! I want to do something a little less structured today. A big part of the reason I love keeping this blog is seeing and participating in the discussions that it can spark, so I thought I’d make an open post and invite you all to talk about whatever you want or ask me whatever you want, whether it’s about skincare or something else entirely! I’m a pretty open person, and I’ll be happy to answer questions about pretty much anything I can speak on.

I have only one rule. 99% of you don’t even need to hear it because you are already awesome people that I’m privileged to have as readers. In case any of the other 1% are reading this, though: You may have noticed that any hostile, derogatory, or harassing comments you attempt to post here don’t show up. That’s because I refuse to host hateful speech on Fifty Shades of Snail. Play nice or get out of my house.

(Respectful, civil disagreement and debate is of course totally fine and welcomed. Those are things that the 99% of you who are grown-ups know how to do without losing your shit.)

Anyway! I’ll start things off with what I want to talk about, which is the intersection between cosmetic skincare and ¡¡SCIENCE!!, and how far I think we should go in using ¡¡SCIENCE!! to make our purchasing decisions.

¡¡SCIENCE!!I promise I’ll stop doing that is awesome. Science is what determined that ingredients like retinoids, AHAs, BHAs, vitamin C, niacinamide, and fatty acids (post by one of my new favorite bloggers, The Acid Queen) really do what they’re claimed to do. Science develops products optimally formulated to let those ingredients do their best for our skin. Science is critical to coming up with better and better sunscreen formulations, and science is what determined that we need sunscreens in the first place–not only to prevent wrinkles and other visible signs of aging, but also to decrease our risks of sometimes lethal cancers. You won’t get any anti-science or anti-“chemicals” synthetic ingredient bashing from me. Some of the best skincare blogs, like Hoojoo Beauty, Skin and Tonics, and Holy Snails, are very educational and science-oriented. I’m not sure about Sher from Hoojoo Beauty or Kerry from Skin and Tonics (though I wouldn’t be surprised about either of them), but I know that Holy Snails DIY queen Chel has an actual science degree(s), background, and occupation(s). These make her pretty much always the first person I pester when I have an ingredient question. The guys at The Beauty Brains speak, of course, from a scientific perspective–the perspective of actual professional cosmetic chemists, to be precise.

But I think the reliance on ¡¡SCIENCE!! becomes problematic when people only want to use ¡¡SCIENCE!!-proven ingredients on their skin. Not because this is an ineffective strategy (it isn’t and is totally valid!) but because, in my opinion and according to my skincare philosophy, it’s really restricting.

Here’s the thing: there is only so much research money going around to support really credible, objective, long-term, large-scale scientific research, and research costs a lot of money. I’m going to bet that for most universities and research institutions, cosmetic skincare ingredients and how they affect the superficial appearance of otherwise healthy skin are much farther down the research priority list than, say, combating deadly diseases through vaccine and drug development or figuring out how to reverse the scary trend of global warming. Cosmetics corporations, meanwhile, do conduct some research, and sometimes that research really does have a lasting impact (Procter & Gamble’s niacinamide research is pretty legendary, for example). Even there, however, budgets are limited. Those corporations may not go the extra mile to discover new ingredients if they decide that it wouldn’t greatly increase their bottom line. And those are completely understandable realities.

So if we take limited research funding and an understandable lack of urgency into account, it’s easy to see that there could be dozens or maybe even hundreds or thousands of possible skincare ingredients (both natural and synthetic) that do produce a real effect on skin, but haven’t been rigorously studied or scientifically proven. In fact, some of the ingredients that ¡¡SCIENCE!! currently considers gimmicky and worthless (among them lots of the ingredients that star in K-beauty products) probably fall into that category. And people who depend entirely on serious scientific research to make their skincare choices aren’t giving themselves the opportunity to discover that for themselves.

Graymelin skincare products

Among the ingredients I’m giving a chance are propolis (which I already know my skin loves), astaxanthin, and all kinds of plant extracts like the ones in these Graymelin products W2Beauty sent for me to test.

On the other hand, you obviously don’t want to put all your skincare eggs into a single unresearched basket, especially if you have serious or urgent skincare goals. That way leads to disappointment and disillusionment (and a lot of wasted money).

In my opinion, the ideal road lies somewhere in the middle. Do your ingredient research and make sure that you’re using the actives that have been proven to address your particular skin issues–but also keep an open mind about other ingredients that don’t (yet) have reams of peer-reviewed research articles to back them up. That way, you can have the best of both worlds.

I love the crap out of pretty much all marine-derived ingredients, for example, from seaweed to starfish and everything in between (including the abalone and sea cucumber sheet masks a friend sent and that I’m planning to review soon). I’m even partial to sea water now, despite what The Beauty Brains says about the use of special water in cosmetics. Some marine-based products have done really good things for my skin. But I’m not going to build an entire routine around the ocean and not take into account the actives that I know are capable of doing the anti-aging, UV damage-repairing heavy lifting I want. My solution is to keep my proven actives (tretinoin, AHA, BHA, vitamin C) but give myself the freedom to play with so-called “gimmick” ingredients in the other steps of my skincare routine. My nightly sheet mask is one of my favorite ways to do so.

My philosophy on unproven skincare ingredients is very close to my opinion on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and hanbang (Korean herbal medicine) in general. I know modern medicine and science haven’t substantiated many of the claims that TCM and hanbang practitioners make about their stinky herbal concoctions. It’s tempting to dismiss herbal folk medicine as snake oil or, at best, inferior to the compounds studied and sometimes even created in a lab.

The thing is, those traditional remedies have been in use for thousands of years. That’s thousands of years of opportunity for the really smart people throughout the dynasties to observe and experiment and improve upon their recipes–and I don’t believe that modern scientists are the only humans ever to have that impulse or the intelligence to follow through effectively and come up with something solid. No, I’m not going to stop going to the doctor for antibiotics, antivirals, and other medications if I get really sick. But I’m not going to turn down a nice hot bowl of black chicken soup with goji berries and red dates in it, either. Why would I, when I can do both and potentially enjoy more benefits than if I were to pick just one?

(Although I really can’t stand the way black chicken tastes, and I’m not a superfan of dried goji berries or red dates, either. I am a bad East Asian.)

Edit: (And speaking of TCM, I literally just stumbled across this article, “How the woman who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine saved millions of lives using ancient Chinese lore.” How’s that for perfect timing?)

What do you guys think about using the wackier or less proven ingredients in skincare? And what else do you want to talk about or ask me? The comments section is yours!


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46 responses to “Casual Wednesday: Science’s Place in Skincare, Ask Fiddy, Links & Open Post

  1. I was thinking about this today because as much as I love Asian skincare, its current popularity can be overwhelming. I read all the blogs you listed above and participate in a few forums and I tend to really, really respect what you folks have to say. That said, every shiny new item is like “OOH! Should I get this for my routine?” And then I’m not sure how it will affect the other items, will my skin like or hate it, etc. I’m currently in a place where I don’t break out at all and my skin looks the best it has since I was 20 (I’m 38). Snail and starfish extract really have worked miracles on my skin, so I’m open to all sorts of odd ingredients, but I don’t want to get sucked into the gimmicks, you know? And sometimes even highly rated products (Like Benton’s Steam Cream for example) don’t seem to have much of an impact on my skin at all.

    TLDR; I don’t know what to try next. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahahaha. It is hard to figure out what to try next, isn’t it? I like figuring out what I liked before and working from there–but it’s really too bad there aren’t many starfish products on the market :\

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  2. I think you hit the nail on the head with the Middle Path – certainly use the available science to help choose products with proven ingredients, but be willing to try “gimmick” ingredients that sound like they would work for your skin.

    As Fiddy often says, all skincare is YMMV – trail & error is definitely the name of the game. Good-on-paper, be it website marketing or peer-reviewed study, isn’t as effective as a patch test on your very own skin! For example, I know that my very-sensitive (reactive), dry skin doesn’t really like niacinamide – too many actives in any product make me break out like a french-fry-addicted teenager. So I use other, gentler ingredients for my anti-aging goals. For someone else’s skin though, “gentler” may mean “totally ineffective”, & the only way to know for sure that a product will work for you is to try it out.

    TL;DR – Science is a great guide for which ingredients to look for, but personal use is the only way to truly test a product out. Also: patch test, people!!1! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the shoutout! And I completely agree with this post. Despite my undying love of chemistry and peer-reviewed research, my favorite commandment of skincare is “YMMV” – maybe that mileage will be really high for you, even if there isn’t a pile of studies to back it up.

    On another note, I’m also testing the Graymelin Propolis right now! What do you think? Because I am DIGGING it. (Like you and things from the sea – if a bee was at all involved in the production of an ingredient, my skin loves it.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really, really like it! The ingredients are pretty nice and it makes my skin feel great. I’m just torn between deciding whether this one is better or the Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule, which has the same percentage of propolis extract, comes in a way bigger bottle, and is cheaper by volume…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear what you’re saying, and it’s important to take all that data into consideration. But have you considered how PRETTY THE BOTTLE IS, because it’s so PRETTY. (The state of my bank account is starting to make more sense.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah. It’s REALLY PRETTY. So was the box (even though my eyes started spurting blood when I tried to read the English calligraphy font they used).

        But does the cap on yours just…spontaneously pop open sometimes? Every couple of days, I’ll reach into my basket and come up with just a dropper. Then I have to wonder how long the bottle has been open in there. I’ve learned to screw the cap on very carefully and not all the way down, but…it’s a pain 😦

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      • Oh yikes! No, I’ve never had that, although I have notices that even if I squeeze every last bit of air out of the dropper part, it only fills the dropper about halfway full, so I often have to refill the dropper just to get 3-4 drops on my face. This one may be a candidate for transfer to an empty airless pump bottle.

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  4. Absolutely loved this post. I’m in total agreement with you, sometimes it’s better to find a medium then to totally be one sided. Skin care is fun and there’s so much to explore we shouldn’t have to limit ourselves. Besides, YMMV just as with anything in life.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is more related to your comments the other day about finding some products not easily available in the US. I am looking for skincare brands that are more natural with less chemicals. I recently stumbled across two Korean brands – Manyo Factory and Swanicoco, and want to find out more information. There is not too much information or online retailers for them in the Western part of the world, but since I can read Chinese I have started looking at online stores from Hong Kong, and man, there are so many Korean brands available! The more I look the more confused I am. The unfortunate part is I can’t understand the ingredients of most of the products as they are all written in Korean. I could take a leap of faith to try them, but somehow I feel I am likely wasting money again just like a few other Western products I bought in the past. This skincare business is not easy…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahahaha. I know your pain! I actually started learning to read Hangul recently because I just can’t take not being able to figure out so many products (especially when I get them straight from Korea and there is no English on the packaging). There are a couple of apps that are kind of like the CosDNA for Korean cosmetics (Hwahae is one, and AllofCosmetics.com which I guess is a website not an app) but they do require some Korean reading/typing ability unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll improve soon and be able to be more helpful with things like that.

      I’m actually using a Manyo Factory product right now! It’s the Galactomyces Niacin Special Treatment Essence; I bought it from Memebox a couple of weeks ago. Not bad so far.

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      • Learning Korean for skincare – talk about real dedication! You are using Manyo Factory??!! I feel like I have met my countryman in a foreign country. I am planning to buy the Galactomyces Niacin Serum and Niacin Alpha 5.0. Brown spots are my Achilles’ heel. Have no reviews, purely from the sales pitch written in Chinese. Wish me luck.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha. Good luck!

        I kind of resisted learning Hangul for a long time, but I get really frustrated when I get something (like the Manyo Factory Galactomyces Niacin stuff) and can’t read the ingredients. I don’t like always having to ask friends to hunt down translations for me.

        Also, I had been told and heard from many places that Hangul is ridiculously easy to learn because it was made to be easy…but they weren’t accounting for an old lady with chronic sleep deprivation, I guess! I have an app to help me. Wish me luck too.

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      • Sorry to eavesdrop on the conversation (is eavesdropping even possible on the internet? Haha.).

        But if you ever need something translated, I’m more than happy to help! Or if you need help learning Korean for that matter (I teach Korean to Korean-Americans who have never been properly taught the Korean language). It is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, unlike English…There are rules, but I feel like there are more exceptions to the rules than situations when the rule actually applies. Hah!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oooh, thanks for the offer! I might take you up on that at some point. I originally meant to just learn Hangul so I could at least read ingredients lists and then use translate/dictionaries for anything that isn’t just phonetically rendered English, but I figure if I’m going that far, maybe I should just go all the way and try to be moderately fluent. I mayyyyy be in touch 😀

        “There are rules, but I feel like there are more exceptions to the rules than situations when the rule actually applies.”

        Oh Lord…when I was in high school, my Russian teacher informed our whole class that she didn’t really care if we spelled things correctly because “in Russia nobody does anyway.”

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      • Please let me know how Manyo Factory is after your trial. And good luck to your learning Korean =good luck to readers of your blog. Love to learn more Korean products from you.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I did an internship at an alternative medicine place a while back and it was fascinating! It’s definitely way too early to discount TCM. And to have TCM and modern medicine is like having the best of both worlds!

    If only I were interested in skin then. It would give me more authority to go digging in my mom’s TCM stash to slap stuff on my skin.

    I just had a flashback to my grandmother telling me seaweed, ginkgo nuts, and tofu are good for my skin. She might have been on to something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seaweed for sure! Seaweed extracts have been so consistently wonderful for my skin that I’m sad those sheet masks made from actual sheets of kelp were disappointing. Kelp and algae extracts have become things that I actively look for!

      That alternative medicine internship sounds so interesting. Care to share more about your experience? What kinds of things did you do/learn?

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      • Full disclosure: it was a veterinary internship, so most of the skin stuff I do remember have to do with bacterial infections and allergies. And YMMV has a whole different meaning here haha.

        Probiotics were a huge thing. The principle was: if gut health is optimal, there is a generally less inflammatory state in the body. The vet would also prescribe a concentrated calendula tea to wash with. The calendula tea was amazing. It was almost instantly calming and had sort of brightening effects in the long term. (I say sort of because for dogs, hyperpigmentation is caused by chronic inflammation, so it was quite magical to see skin starting to heal. Literally black to pink. But it’s not really brightening in the human sense of the word.)

        For bacterial infections, I clipped the area up and threw another load of tea into hot water. Black tea this time. Because it’s apparently cheap and anti-inflammatory and a good astringent. So, yes, tea everywhere!

        There was also this whole focus on balance. Inflammation was considered a hot process and, therefore, required cooling herbs. I still have no clue how it worked but for many erythematous (red, sometimes itchy skin) dogs, that was the game changer. More conventional vets prescribed anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, etc., and the redness would persist but the addition of cooling herbs (maybe they supported systemic function?) made their healing more permanent.

        I also kept their collection of almost a hundred bottles of dried and liquid herbs organised. And, of course, I’m the one Asian they get who can’t read Chinese that well.

        On the more conventional side, ceramides. They’re a thing in dogs too. And fish oil because they’re systemically anti-inflammatory. Also, the humectant and emollient thing? We totally do that in dogs, too. Seal all that moisture in. Cats get benzoyl peroxide for acne.

        I hope that was helpful! They were using a human TCM textbook and just extrapolating doses anyway haha.

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      • Oooh. Thank you so much for all the detail! A lot of what you mentioned actually supports the Asian product philosophies, especially the idea of balance–for example with skin, achieving the right balance of water and oil (instead of trying to strip away all the oil, as is so so common Western skincare). And the tea thing! That actually makes me more interested in A.True, since their entire skincare line is based around black tea.

        As far as probiotics go, see, TCM seems to be right on track with “modern medicine” which is now discovering the importance of healthy gut flora!

        CATS GET ACNE?!

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      • Hahahaha. Yes, they do! And it gets pretty bad. Same terminology as well. They get comedones which can becomes pustular with secondary infection. You get pretty good images on Google. Take the fur away and you’ve basically got blackheads and what looks like cystic acne. (And, on a random note, we use willow bark extract, too!)

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  7. Hi!

    First of all, I really like your blog! This may be a little off topic from what your post was about, but I am going backpacking in southeast Asia and south America for five months, and have no idea what to bring! It would be interesting to hear what your backpacker routine would be like, or if you find some products or steps more essential than others. I am also looking for a sunscreen to use at the beach, but I’m having trouble finding one that’s PA++++, sweatproof and not alcohol-heavy (as I have dehydrated skin). Do you have any recommendations? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s an open post/casual Wednesday, so there’s no such thing as off topic!

      Your trip sounds incredible! I bet you’re excited. Hmm…I’m too high maintenance (hahaha) to be much use recommending a backpacker-appropriate routine, but I’ll search around some places and see if I can find good tips and examples for you 😀 And it might be a fun challenge for me to really try to come up with the essentials myself!

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      • That would be great 🙂 I’m trying to convince myself that I can live with just sunscreen, a day and night moisturizer, micellar water, a cleanser and an aio for face and body (I’m eagerly awaiting your comparison review before buying one, though!), but I do love my essences and serums.. It really is hard, haha!

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  8. I agree that you don’t always need science if what you’re doing won’t hurt to try. With skin care I will try things that aren’t proven if I like the ingredient list otherwise. Though you’re definitely much more adventurous than I am with skin care.

    For medicine I have also been known to try anything including, but not limited to; western medicine, Acutorture, Chinese herbs {both the old school actual pieces of plant matter style and the newer powders}, boiling myself in a sauna, and a witch doctor, to get the results I want.

    I also like to test my own scientific theories and see what happens. I guess it really should be ‘scientific’ in my case though. I think my determination to make up my own experiments is what you get when you combine two science BS degrees with an MA in design…

    Fun fact about cats and acne: they seem to be more likely to get it on their chin if they eat and drink out of a plastic bowl. It was the perfect justification to get mine nice porcelain bowls to eat and drink from.

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  9. I really love Korean skincare because the products are mostly gentle and don’t break out my skin. However, I feel like a lot of it is targeting normal-dry skin that does little in controlling the oil on my t-zone. I mean, however lightweight the moisturizer is, my t-zone gets SO oily after a couple of hours. Do you have any advice on this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hm, that’s interesting! What products have you tried? I’ve noticed quite a few shine control and sebum control products, especially around the summer season, but it’s often hard to identify them because the product names can be so…uh…unhelpful 😂 Skinfood Peach Sake Pore Serum is well received for preventing shine. Another thing that is really famous for keeping even oily skin shine-free and oil-free all day is the Biore Perfect Milk sunscreen. The Bright Milk has the same strong oil-controlling effect but a more natural (less white) tint. I hope that helps!

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    • I’m not Fiddy and cannot in any way, shape or form claim to have the prodigious knowledge of, and experience with, AB/KB products that she does, nor will I ever have skin that is anywhere near as fabulous as she does.
      That said, I do have combo-oily skin, and my initial foray into “real” skincare came about many years ago as a result of my disgust in having my glasses continually sliding down my nose because it was so oily.

      I’ve had an AB skincare routine for about a year now, and was really concerned that my face would be a greasy mess this past summer – my first “summer of AB”. I really thought I was going to have to significantly modify my twice-daily routines or cut way back on the products I use, but, fortunately, this did not turn out to be the case. So, this is what I have learned thus far, with the proviso of YMMV (of course) and also that I do not claim that any products I use are the “best”, and there may very well be similar and/or better ones available.

      The biggest thing, I think, has been switching to a low pH cleanser so that I’m not stripping my skin with an overly alkaline cleanser twice a day. I also think that adding an oil cleanse as a first step in the PM (and actually using a facial oil in my PM routine) has also helped bring my skin more into balance, as opposed to always being “at war” with my skin and its oil. We’re never going to actually be rid of the oil and maybe that’s a good thing. Rumor has it that those of us with oily skin age more gracefully than those who have dry skin and, have already achieved somewhat advanced age – and without wrinkles – I would have to say that there must be something to this!

      A second thing was eliminating toners with alcohol (or at least a lot of alcohol) because this was only worsening my skin’s response (oily hyper drive) to the drying effects of the alkaline cleansers I used to use. And, if I do use something with alcohol, I always try to follow it up with something(s) that are soothing, hydrating, and alcohol-free.

      While I still like to use a clay mask every now and then, I’ve sworn off the really heavy-duty ones like the Queen Helene Mint Julep one I used to use. And, when I have the time, I try to do the 3-step pore cleansing routine that Fiddy developed. Even though the last step is an oil cleanse, I do find that when I do this in the AM, I actually have less problem with oil – even on a warm, humid day – than I might otherwise. This seemed totally counter-intuitive to me, and I previously would have scoffed at anyone suggesting I put any oil-based product on my face to “control” oil. But it does!

      I also rather like the Tony Moly Tea Tree Pore & Sebum Control lotion that I apply as my final serum/ampoule step – before moisturizer – in the AM. It is very cooling and soothing and really does help with controlling oil. I’m sure other Tea Tree serums/ampoules/lotions would probably do the same as well.
      Speaking of moisturizers, I often would only use an emulsion and skip the cream step this past summer, and any moisturizers I would use would be of the gel type, including the TFS 99% Aloe Vera gel that I found worked really well as a last step.

      After moisturizing, I typically would use something like the TFS Oil Cut Pore Balm before sunscreen/BB cream/whatever and sometimes after as well. I rather like the TFS Moisture Sun Sebum Control SS (SPF 40 – PA+++) and this, together with the pore balm, did a pretty good job overall. I’d usually apply this in multiple thin layers rather than all at once, and letting everything sink in a little bit before applying the next layer seemed to help, too. Of course, I’d still have to blot very so often, but that is to be expected no matter what.

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  10. I loved this! What you said about university funding and skincare at the bottom of the totem pole is completely true…

    I have a question. I’m to access Wishtrend but I keep getting an error message “403 Forbidden” – is it working for anyone else?

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  11. First, I have to say that I love your blog. I’ve been in the K-beauty world for a couple of years now, but I only recently became aware of the science part of it. Earlier, it was more like ”ooo, pretty bottle. I’ll try this!”, and surprisingly often it worked. Hehe.

    But now that I’ve become aware of which ingredients I like in my products (niacinamide for one, and rosehip oil works wonders also!), I’ve become more aware of the kind of products I use. And I totally agree with you, a nice middle thing is good. Proven ingredients mixed with good ”hoodoo” stuff is perfect. 🙂

    Anywho, I’ve got a question for you: I’ve learned to see which ingredients are good for me in products like essence, serum, ampoule etc. But I still struggle with creams and moisturizers in general. I’ve got dehydrated combination skin, and during winter (in Norway, aka the land of freezing winters) it gets flaky like nothing else. Ergo, I need a good moisturizer to both seal the good stuff into the skin, and give me the right amount of not too fatty moisturization. Could you possibly guide me in the right direction as to which ingredients to look for in a good cream?

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  12. I completely agree with this post, and it’s actually another reason why I started my blog! I felt like there was too much of an emphasis on ingredients/ingredient lists and the science behind it, which led people or companies to discredit certain products without actually giving them a chance. You summed it up very well — why not use the best of both worlds to maximize the benefits?? ^^

    Anyways, I’m glad you wrote this post! I was actually thinking about writing one in the near future, but now I feel no need to do so. Hehe.

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    • While it does appear that your mind is made up, I actually would very much like to read your take on “science” vs. more qualitative or anecdotal evidence in making decisions on appropriate skincare products.

      While I personally have a very strong scientific background (though physical not biological), I often find that it is not the scientist in me that leads me to new products or skincare routine ideas. I am often heavily influenced by the opinions of others whom I respect and admire (like you and like Fiddy), especially (though not always) if they have the same skin type/concerns that I do.

      That said, I have yet to find anyone in the AB community thus far who is anywhere near as ancient as I am (very much despite Fiddy’s – quite erroneous – claim to being an “old lady”). I am, however, quite firm in the expectation that all of you will look far more youthful than I could ever hope when you reach the point of qualifying for Senior Citizen discounts.

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  13. OK, I’m fairly new to this but have been following your blog for getting into the K-beauty, as I really appreciate your scientific approach to the products (I even invested in a skin analyzer because I read about yours).

    I have a question regarding sleeping packs. On my Mizon Snail Wrinkle Care Sleeping Pack it says to use “an appropriate amount”. How much is that really?

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    • Oh Lord, don’t you love how specific skincare instructions are? I’ve used that sleeping pack before and remember that it is quite thick and a bit sticky, so with it, I think it is best to start with a fairly thin layer that will dry down quickly. If you feel like you need more product after that, then continue layering it on in small or moderate amounts 🙂 Does that help?

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  14. Fiddy, if I can manage Korean ingredient translation, then so can you. I can’t read hangul, I just kind of remember the shapes and them innernets do the rest.

    When it comes to ingredients, my skin tends to like the proven ones. The only exception is placenta, which did wonders to my skin. Or maybe it’s just a placebo effect? Either way, I’m happy with the results, and tend to keep an open mind. Yep, croc oil is next. Hahaha!

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  15. Have you tried using silkworm cocoons yet? I’ve been incorporating them into my routine for over a year now and I feel like they speed up my skin repair process and keep things bright and glowy. Of course I have no way of really proving that it is the silk cocoons compared to the other products that I am using other than the claims that they have been used for years by Japanese Geisha’s to keep themselves looking young >_< I have found though that as long as it doesn't look/smell weird, I'm game to try it. Don't think I could try an actual snail facial (with them creeping all over my face) though.

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    • Do you mean those little fingerballs? I’ve been eyeing the ones Cosrx makes–like you, I’ve got no problem with odd things on my face 🙂 I haven’t tried them yet but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time!

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      • Yeah! I love them! Except you can purchase them in bulk on Amazon. I usually purchase a bag of 90 and it’s $5.85 plus free shipping for a bag. I read an article that says you should use them every other night so $5.85 for a half a year supply is pretty affordable!! Make sure you search just silk cocoon and not silk cocoon balls. They bring up the same items but are priced vastly different. If you google them, one lady had her skin analyzed by a fancy machine before using them and after using them for a month and had measurable results.

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  16. Pingback: K-Beauty: Don't Fear the Snail - GoodMoMusic·

  17. Hi Fiddy! Do u still remember the translation of Manyo Factory Galactomyces Niacin serum ingredients? I want to make sure it doesnt contain hydroquinone. Because i have to avoid it at the moment.
    Been searching anywhere on the net but nothing comes up with detail ingredients.
    Thanks!

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    • I do not remember, but I doubt that it does–I haven’t seen AB products using hydroquinone freely. The closest you might find is arbutin. I haven’t found a full translation, but per Memebox it’s 97% galactomyces with the key whitening ingredient being niacinamide (clearly not in the optimal concentration)…and it didn’t do a thing for me.

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