I wonder if the title is too grandiose. But hear me out - here's how the story goes. I'm feeling a bit chatty today, so this post is going to be long.
When I was in Korea during my 'dark days' (that's how I like to call it ._.), my mom and I used to go out and spend money like there's no tomorrow. My mom and I are big spenders. I was making good money from my books and my dad's business was doing great, so nothing was able to deter us. One of the things we got into was going to all the famous dermetologists in Shinsadong, Seoul to get 'the perfect skin.'
My skin has a long story.
My grandmother has skin that is so pale white, she looks like she's been living in the shade all her life. Her skin is extremely sensitive and weak. She gets red and burnt when she's out in the sun and can't even stand under incandescent lighting for 5 minutes because it irritates her in some way. She can't wear anything fake, and has to be extremely careful of what she uses on her skin.
As a result, her skin is pure white. Not that she admires white or pale skin, it's just a result of her sensitivity.
It is hard to tell how white she is in this photo, but that is how her skin is.
My dad is exactly like my grandma. He has snow white skin too, doesn't get a tan (just starts burning red), and has very sensitive skin. You can spot him from 500 feet away because his face is so pale. He is pale to a point where he could make snow white go crying home.
Sooooo, as a result, my skin was always like that too. I too have always had pale skin with a lot of sensitivity issues since I was a kid. It's odd because it's not the healthy looking pale. You can tell that all three of us have very weak and thin looking pale skin. There's nothing glowy or plump about the appearance, it's rather paper thin looking in a way and the texture isn't smooth.
I don't get tanned, I just start burning red and my skin likes to react to all sorts of factors in my life. I never really minded having pale skin, since a lot of my friends in Korea admired it when I was a student there, it just came with a lot of downsides too.
Anything that happens on the skin will look extremely emphasized because of the pale background. If I have even one pimple, it makes my skin look extremely red and patchy. I have faint freckles, red spots and all sorts of acne scars, so my skin looks extra dirty(?) when seen up close. My mom never liked the fact that my skin was reddish and that I was starting to have infrequent breakouts.
So to fix the 'dirty' looking skin, my mom and I roamed the streets of Shinsadong (a district in Seoul, Korea famous for plastic surgery and anything that's related to vanity) to find the perfect place to change my skin appearance.
I went to a lot of places until I finally settled with a famous clinic called "CNP (Cha n Park, 차앤박)." I had V-beam done there (which I was very satisfied with), and I had my weekly acne treatments for quite a while. My skin cleared out and I was scheduled to do more sessions, but I got arrogant and decided that I was going to be fine without any more and ceased going there.
Fast forward to 2010.
Here comes my very stressful job, lifestyle and a period of continuous disappointment and failure in my life. I lived in a high-rise building that provided very little air circulation (although the air outside was no better than the inside). Along with stress, New York's air, water (yes, the water may be the cleanest but the pipelines that deliver the water is probably as old as the city - so that cancels out a lot of the 'cleanness'), noise pollution was hitting me hard.
I started breaking out and 'waiting out' didn't seem to cure the acne problem. Rather, it kept getting worse.
When I went to Korea last month, I actually called CNP (because I'm still registered there) to consult if I needed continuous visits to cure my problems. I also wanted to start treatment on my mole on my nose (long story on this too), but the answer was "you have to come in and we have to see how severe you are."
Knowing that I would only be in Korea for 20 days, I decided not to go.
When I came back to the states, surprisingly, I got an e-mail from CNP cosmetics. They were wondering if they could send me some of their products and I was so weirded out by how funny life works. Obviously they didn't know I was one of their long time clients since I'm registered under my Korean name there.
I said "of course! I have confidence in CNP products, I had a very good impression of them when I used them before!" and gladly accepted the offer.
So, long story short, I wanted to introduce some CNP products that I know by heart are really good, because I was an avid user myself.
Here's the entire package.
It includes 2 BBB creams.
1 black head clear mask box (has two types in it)
1 black head cleaner
1 sunblock lotion
1 total peeling program.
First the BBB creams
They sent me two shades. I tried both and no.2 is a tad dark on my NC20 skin.
Here are some swatches on my hand
As you can see, no.2 (on the left) is dark on my skin and no.1 blends in well. The formula isn't light weight, it's rather medium coverage. It doesn't have a dewy shine to it. I think the texture is fine and thick enough to build up. The smell is nice too (and thank god it's not that rosey strong scent that most Korean products have!).
It helps block UVA/UVB rays and provides SPF46, PA++. It also brightens the skin (very typical of Asian products) and helps soften fine lines. I'm not sure about softening lines part, but I'm sure it's going to be a good sun barrier with this amount of thickness.
If you want to read more about it you can go here.
Next is the Pore tightening Mask
Looks complicated at first, but it's really pretty simple.
You first wash your face and place the first mask (green) on your trouble area. Wait 10 minutes, and then take it off, wipe the area down with the swabs that came with the product, and then put on the second mask (white) to tighten up the pores.
You can read about it here.
The scrubby tool that came along is a blackhead removal tool too. You can rub it to get rid of dirt and oil AND massage the area. If you want to squeeze out a certain pore, you can do so with the other tip that has a small hole.
Read more here.
Next is my favorite! :)
The Omega Sunblock!
It is UVA PA+++ and UVB SPF 50+
It's very light and water resistant. I don't think it's oil-free, but it's so light weight I don't even get greasy through out the day. It doesn't have any fragrance in it which makes it even a better deal! :)
..and here's what's in it.
You can read more here.
Next is the cleanser. I like that it's oil-free, but I haven't had a chance to use it enough to form an opinion.
Last but not least is the White Peel system.
I don't need any whitening, but I like how huge and demanding this box is LOL.
Here's how it looks inside.
You go by steps. You do the #1 with the brush, then you neutralize it with #2, and then you sooth your face (since it has been peeled) with the #3 mask.
Sounds fun, but I'm saving this for special occasions :p
I'll definitely make a post when I'm doing this!
You can read more about it here.
Just a side note to this post. One of the most long time regulars of CNP is Yoo JaeSuk (a famous Korean entertainer), and I used to always bump into him when I went to CNP :p. I once fought over a towel with him, but all in all he was a very polite guy. It seems like Wonder Girls Sohee goes there too - so if you have a chance to go to Korea and you want some skin treatment, definitely check this place out. The staff are nice, the products are nice, the service is nice and you seriously see a lot of celebs (or pre-celebs), which adds a lot of fun to the experience.
I hope you guys enjoyed the intro. I am going to talk about this issue a bit more in my up coming skin video, but I actually prefer spa, medi-spa or clinic products more since they are made specifically for people with problems. I think mass marketed products are a bit more watered down and for people with troubled skin (like me!) it might not be the right solution.
Anyway, enough with the talking!
I'll see you guys in my next post-
FTC: Products were sent as a consideration with no monetary compensation for an exchange of a good review. The review is solely based on my experience and honest opinion.
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