How did I get started in this skincare thing? Like... seriously. I ask this often myself. There are a couple of reasons.
First, I was never really good with makeup. Not only do I have monolids, which make it hard for me to apply makeup that actually showed and made a difference to how I looked, I have short eyelashes that don't really look different after applying mascara. I felt that makeup didn't really do anything for me. Plus, I never liked the feeling of heavy false eyelashes, looking way different than what I look like, and the hassle of reapplying my makeup again later if it melted off. I just didn't really want to rely on makeup that much.
Second, sometime in college (I forgot where I was or what I was doing), I noticed that whenever someone with glowing skin would be around me, I would think that that was beautiful. Of course, I never really knew if these girls were walking around with makeup on, but the idea of glowing skin was gorgeous to me. And when guys would walk around with glowing skin and clear complexions, I somehow felt very gravitated to pay attention to them more. Healthy, glowing skin became my idea of beauty, and it quickly became the idea of beauty that I wanted for myself.
Third, which is the main fuel to my skincare obsession: when I was in high school, I didn't really pay attention to my appearance. I was lucky that I actually didn't have a major acne problem, but I had another problem that did put me under the knife. Now before you go jumping to conclusions that I had plastic surgery - trust me, I didn't. I went to the doctor's office because I had a problem with sebaceous cysts. Sebaceous cysts are kind of like acne, but they don't show up on the skin. These are sacs filled with sebum that form lumps under your skin. I was walking around school with a big lump on the side of my face for 6 months or so, and I didn't really know what it was. All I knew was that it was annoying and it never got smaller; it always just got bigger. I also couldn't pop or squeeze it because it was hard and wouldn't budge even if I tried tampering with it. One day, my mom told me that something was growing on my face and she thought it was strange. So, she took me to the doctor. I had the huge lump on the side of my face removed by a surgeon, and when the surgeon showed me the little clear tube that she was going to use to get a biopsy, I saw that what came out was a big, white cluster of stuff that looked like a sugar cube. I was shocked and relieved at the same time. I wore a big band aid on the side of my face for a month or so. Seriously, the most embarrassing thing ever in my life... but at the same time, I wanted to minimize the size of my scar as much as possible, so I had to wear that white bandage in all of the photos I had senior year. I have some proof to show that I salvaged from my old photo collection. The photo below to the left is the bandage I had to walk around with for more than a month. The photo to the right is the BEGINNING of the lump that I had removed... the lump actually grew to about three times that size and protruded much more than pictured.
After that happened, I realized that there are just some things you can't hide with makeup. Even if I had concealed my lump, which I actually did try to a long time ago when this happened, there is no makeup that can hide texture or dimension. I can't just all of a sudden flatten out my lump with some magic foundation or concealer. (P.S. Sorry for the gross story, and I hope you're not too grossed out by this little encounter I had with something other than whiteheads.)
Since my minor surgery, I started to pay closer attention to my skin. When everyone raved about new MAC eyeliners or the new NAKED palette, I was sitting at home on my computer researching home ingredients for my skin. In my second year of college, I had actually developed a minor case of rosacea and my right cheek was completely covered in broken capillaries and skin bubbles. For awhile, I went crazy with concealer because of my rosacea. I didn't want to go to the doctor again, so I started to read a lot about natural home remedies that used vegetables and fruits as the main ingredients. One time, I actually made an avocado-honey mask. I applied it to my face, and I turned into a tomato with bloodshot red eyes. Yes, I am allergic to avocados (I didn't know it until then). At that point, I also realized that there are many natural things that my skin is allergic to (avocados, cucumbers, and melons). Not only that, it was messy. My mixtures would get everywhere and washing the masks off was such a hassle. Homemade masks did not work for me, and even though they were cheap to make, I had to find another solution for my skin. So, I spent big bucks and decided on Sephora. (If you were wondering how I got rid of my rosacea, I actually researched online and found a dermatologist-approved aloe formula that I ordered on a whim. It worked and I was so thankful.)
I've tried many big name brands at Sephora (with dropping at least $200 each time) and they all did work in the beginning, but after using them, I started to see that my face would look more dull, more damaged, etc. I wasn't satisfied because I wanted something that worked long-term and would prevent all of my skin troubles and future skin mishaps. Somehow, I also felt like a lab rat. I would read the ingredients list and note many lab-made compounds that made my skincare products seem so artificial.
Because I had studied abroad in Seoul and had always taken an interest in Korean culture, I read into Korean beauty more as I was thinking about transitioning out of my Sephora products. I found out that not only is the idea of beauty different in America and in Korea, methods and products were different. At the time when I bought my first set of Korean skincare products, Korean skincare wasn't a well-known thing in America at all (now, Korean beauty is becoming more mainstream in America). I was skeptical myself because I had been so loyal to the big name brands that I had read on American beauty blogs, and Korean skincare was such a mystery to me.
After using my first set of Korean skincare products, I was blown away. I was so blown away that I actually kept it a secret from everyone; I wanted people to ask me how I was able to get my skin to look like that. When I started getting more and more great comments about my skin, including questions on how they could achieve glowing skin, I realized that Korean skincare actually worked for me long-term. Because of this realization and the doubts that many Americans have about Korean skincare, I decided to make a blog about it as an outlet for this discovery.
Now, I have officially joined the rest of the Instragram world with my #skinstory!
If you share my love for Korean skincare and have any tips or products up your sleeves, I'd love to hear about them. If you're just getting started, have doubts, or need a few recommendations for your personal skin concerns, please send me a private message and I will get back to you as soon as I can. As I am now receiving more and more personal messages from people and do have to think about the types of products and methods that may work for the individual, I may be a little slow at responding to your mail. Please bear with me though; I haven't forgotten about you!
And thank you, thank you, thank you so much for all of the support that you have provided vklSKIN during its humble beginning. I do hope that I am providing information that will help you to make better skincare product decisions and help you to take better care of your skin!
Until next time, guys!