Even Then I Met You founder Charlotte Cho was surprised when the brand’s newest products (now available on Soko Glam!) helped clear up her hormonal acne. Below, she details her results after two months of use.
My #1 skin concern in recent years has been hormonal acne. Once I turned 30, I started to experience painful cystic acne along my chin. It was the reason I started diving deep into curating more brands and products on Soko Glam that would provide me and others relief from these recurring breakouts (like the Acropass Trouble Cure pimple patches). And in the meantime, concealer and vitamin C became my best friend.
Four years later, I am writing to let you know that it seems I have finally cracked the code. I have been hormonal acne-free for over two months now, and there are two special products that helped me get there.
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Enter: Then I Met You’s The Skin Balancing Duo
When I was working on new products for Then I Met You, I never intended to create products to directly treat my acne. I had resigned myself to the fact that I had done everything I could to reduce the breakouts, especially since breakouts are also a result of environmental factors that are sometimes outside of our control. Instead, I set out to create an acid toner to refine pores and buff out fine lines and a treatment essence to add a layer of deep hydration and offer brightening effects.
However, I was excited to discover that the products not only deliver the effects mentioned above, but that when used together after double cleansing (have you tried the Then I Met You Cleansing Duo yet?), they’ve also cleared my stubborn hormonal acne.
Birch Milk Refining Toner has an optimal blend of 1% AHA and PHA that has allowed me to gently exfoliate my skin daily to help reduce breakouts. This is a far better approach than attacking it with a very strong solution of 4-7%, which we see often on the market.
Over-exfoliating is easy to do, and it can lead to sensitivity in the skin and a compromised skin barrier. This could cause even more breakouts since your skin becomes susceptible to bacteria and inflammation. The Korean philosophy for tackling acne has always been about gentle, hydrating treatments, unlike the common Western mindset of literally burning it off or drying it out. That’s why the Birch Milk Refining Toner’s focus on hydration with squalane (a natural skin moisturizer) and over 76% birch milk is key here.
After using the products for two weeks, I noticed that my skin looked like smooth, soft marble, with my fine lines blurred especially around my forehead and cheeks. With time, I noticed the effects more and more all over my face.
In four weeks, my usual chin breakouts were nowhere to be seen. After six weeks had passed, the absence of my acne didn’t feel like a fluke anymore, and it was really getting me excited to the point that I felt panicked when I thought I forgot to pack the toner on a weekend trip.
Within two months, my complexion is not only hormonal acne-free, it’s much brighter, smoother, and more even. I’ve also noticed that I’m actually able to extract some blackheads and congested pores around my chin where I have larger pores much easier than before. I even believe I was able to dodge a hormonal acne breakout because the sebum and congestion in some pores were loosened in advance by the gentle chemical exfoliants I was applying on my skin.
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With a polished base, my skin soaks up the silky treatment essence, The Giving Essence, which I believe is key to healthier, dewy skin. It’s made with a base of over 80% fermented yeast and antioxidant-rich red algae and black chokeberry.
The formula is complementary to the Birch Milk Refining Toner thanks to its deeply hydrating formula that protects skin with polyglutamic acid, a new and improved hyaluronic acid that holds 5000 times its weight in water to retain moisture in your skin.
And because I wanted the essence to have a kick and brighten the skin, it contains ellagic acid – my new favorite natural brightener. (Move over licorice extract, there’s a new fave in town!)
With just a few drops smoothed over your face and neck, you’ll experience that dewy, dumpling skin that lasts the entire day.
For my simple 5-step routine, I add a lightweight moisturizer as the finishing touch. Depending on the weather and mood, the d’Alba Piedmont No-Sebum Repair Cream or the SKINRX MadeCera Cream are a great way to seal in all that goodness with natural ceramides, emollients and humectants. Once in awhile, I’ll alternate use of vitamin C into my routine to fade my leftover pigmentation.
While this routine has worked for me, I acknowledge that this is not a guarantee for everyone. Acne is a complex beast. But I’m a firm believer that any skin routine that offers exciting changes will need to be earned with consistency (once a day) and patience. Any dermatologist would tell you that true, healthy results come with a consistent routine after at least five to six weeks. I hope you see the same results that I have been able to achieve!