It's not the first and certainly not the last time I've been enabled to purchase a product because of Driveller Kate's glowing recommendation; as it was the case with this dinky bottle of Dr. Wu Renewal System Intensive Renewal Serum with Mandelic Acid 18% ($28 for 0.5 fl oz/15 ml, I purchased mine on eBay; there's also a 6% concentration available). Oh you frivolous Driveller, you! *shakes fist*
an incredibly helpful post on hyperpigmentation-fighting skincare finds for folks with sensitive skin. In general terms, me and Kate have completely different skintypes, but we do share two common skin qualities: sensitivity and hyperpigmented areas (Kate has adorable freckles, I have less adorable freckles + post-inflammatory acne marks). I was actually planning to get my act together and share an overview/ comparison post of all the different brightening serums I've been trying, but this is (spoiler alert) too good to just sit on for the next couple months - so here it goes!
I find it very interesting that I seem to get much better results on my skin from mild exfoliants geared towards sensitive skin (Dr. Wu Intensive Renewal Serum & First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads) versus stronger/ more concentrated exfoliants I'd tried in the past (prescription tretinoin, higher concentration glycolic acid). I think that maybe the inflammation and dehydrated skin I was getting after using those stronger exfoliants was in fact effectively counteracting any benefits I might have been getting from the active ingredient, and making my skin even more unbalanced, and thus prone to more redness and breakouts. I've recently learnt a hard lesson on overusing glycolics (Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner) - my skin broke out in tiny itchy bumps on tops of my cheekbones and on my upper lip, and it actually looked rather close to eczema. I shoved that toner to the back of my cabinet, busted out Avene Cicalfate, and then slowly reintroduced my milder exfoliants - and thankfully the rash is gone now. But it was a valuable skincare lesson.
Anyway, to conclude this rather lengthy review: do check out Dr. Wu Intense Renewal Serum if your skin is sensitive and you're in need of some gentle but effective exfoliation. The small bottle should actually last you a pretty long time - I've had mine for over two months and I've maybe used up 1/6, so I think the price point is very reasonable. I will definitely repurchase once I run out - I now can't be without it! So thank you, master enabler Kate. What type of exfoliants do you use in your skincare routine? Do you have any favorites from Asian skincare brands?