Friday, December 11, 2015

Starting Tretinoin: 4 Asian products to help fight flakes

Tretinoin: The dreaded dry skin flake-maker that promises to eliminate our acne and smooth our wrinkles. After attempting to fight my hormonal acne with AHA, BHA, benzoyl peroxide, Voodoo, Vitamin C, and anti-androgenic birth control, I finally caved in mid-October and scheduled a dermatologist appointment to get a retinoid prescription.

Now after around two months of using Tretinoin almost every day with very very minimal of the infamous flakies, I figured I'd write a quick blog about the Asian products that helped me survive starting tret. Yes, I use a lot of Western products too, but this post is just focused on the Asian ones. No, I don't use these all at once, I mix and match as needed.

I am not a doctor (nor do a play one on a TV show. I do, however, have a background in Theatre if you're casting for one...) so please take everything I say with that in mind. And remember: your mileage may vary (YMMV).

Meishoku Ceracolla Moisture Lotion

Please enjoy my heavily photoshopped pictures.

Defend the barrier!

The skin barrier, that is. And Meishoku's lotion (Japanese-style toner) is pretty baller at amping up your skin's condition with multiple ceramides, hydrolyzed collagen, sodium hyaluronate, and cholesterol. The good kind of cholesterol in your face, not the bad kind in your arteries (of which I also have ample, thank you genetics). I've used this twice a day since before I started a retinoid and I'm still not quarter of the way into the bottle.

Meishoku makes another Ceracolla lotion, the Super Moist Lotion, that is for dry skin and packaged with pink writing instead of blue. Both lotions are fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and contain a shit ton of parabens to help it survive the journey from Japan to the west without spoiling (and no, they won't give you cancer or estrogen or whatever the current hype pseudoscience says).

Meishoku Ceracolla Super Moist Lotion cosDNA

Meishoku Ceracolla Moisture Lotion cosDNA

Meishoku Ceracolla Perfect Gel

This product is basically the Moisture Lotion in gel form. I really hate gels, to be honest. Every one I've used feels like it leaves a bit of a film on my face. This one does slightly too, which I don't mind overnight but during the day I have to apply another moisturizer over it to make the odd feeling go away. I will use a thin layer of the Ceracolla gel and then top it with my Atrue Violet Black Tea moisturizer, because the latter has a velvety matte-ish finish that negates the slight saran wrap-esque feeling.

It doesn't feel filmy under my fingers when I touch my face, or if I put it on my arms, so that may just be one of my own hypersensitivities. Either way, I slather this goo on at night and my face has sung its praises.

Meishoku Ceracolla Perfect Gel cosDNA

Goodal Repair Plus Essential Oil

This oil came to me as a gift from a dear friend, so it wasn't a product that I researched extensively before slapping on my face. Really, I didn't even look up the ingredients before trying it for the first time. I like livin' on the edge like that.

This is one of the big YMMV products, as I've noticed that those of us predisposed to breakouts seem to vary quite drastically in which oils break us out and which are soothing. Goodal's oil blend has a really wide variety of oils mixed into it, some which may be comedogenic or irritating to certain people so please check the ingredients and don't be stupid like me.

This is another product that I use at night and where a little goes a long way.

Goodal Repair Plus Essential Oil cosDNA

Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream

I purchased this when I was on a bit of an Innisfree kick. As they were the first Korean brand I ordered from, Innisfree will always hold a bit of a soft spot in my heart. An over-fragranced spot, but a spot all the same.

Just skip this one if you can't handle fragrances, because it does have a fairly strong scent. A beautiful orchid scent that isn't nearly as assaulting as some Innisfree products I've used, but an artificial fragrance all the same.

If you can deal with scents and are looking for a moderately heavy night cream, the orchid enriched cream might work for you. It isn't thick and heavy in a shea butter way, but still manages to be very rich and moisturizing. The cream has squalane, arbutin, multiple silicones, and minimal acne triggers on cosDNA.

And it smells pretty.

Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream cosDNA

All products were purchased with my own money, except for the Goodal which was a gift from a friend. Like a real person friend, not like a company shill "friend". Questions, Comments, and Casual insults are always welcome (as are book recommendations, gift cards to places that sell chocolate, and pictures of kittens.) 


  1. Do you use face oils often..? Like you I break out very easy so it's difficult to figure out which oils do break me out and which don't..


    1. Yeah, I've been trying a few lately and kinda hoping and praying I don't burst out into whiteheads overnight. I've had good luck with argan oil, though.