Community Spotlight: Sensitive Skin and J-Beauty with Mary

Posted on February 07 2021

Cosme Hunt editor here again to bring you another community spotlight. Today, we’re learning more about one of our writers: Mary! 

So Mary, I think we should let the community know who we are. Could you give me a mini bio about yourself? What did you study/studied and what do you do at Cosme Hunt? 

I graduated from Seattle University with a B.A. in English. I’ve been living in the PNW for my whole life and recently moved back to the little rural island I was raised on! I’ve always loved writing and have worked in skincare for years, so being a writer for Cosme Hunt was the perfect job for me after college. I focus on educating readers about ingredients and want people to find the best possible routine for their skin! I think knowing what’s best for your body is super empowering.

Oh right, I remember you saying that you worked at Glossier, was it? Between Glossier and Cosme Hunt, how different are Asian and western beauty companies in regards to skincare routines, ingredients, or anything like that? Are there any similarities?

I think western beauty has historically been very focused on intense cleanliness and purging impurities. Harsh products (like, for example, physical exfoliators) are really popular among drugstore brands. There’s an attitude that encourages buyers to think of their skin as very dirty and that oil is a bad thing. I’m not sure what led to this mindset, but in contrast I’ve noticed that Asian beauty companies seem to promote a gentler approach to skincare. I remember hearing a J-beauty influencer say to treat your skin like a “fragile fabric” which I thought was very sweet. There’s definitely a tough love vs. gentle love dichotomy going on.

That is very true, I remember growing up surrounded with various scrubs from drugstore brands. "Scorched earth" vs. "TLC" seems like an accurate way to describe how they differ.

Yes totally!! Why were we harshing on ourselves? So mean haha. But in the last 5 or so years there has been a huge emergence of natural, simple skincare and beauty in the western beauty industry. I think it’s pulling from many Asian beauty messages of anti-aging through protecting your skin rather than punishing it. Glossier, MAKE, RMS, and Milk Makeup are all examples that I think showcase this transition.

Speaking of makeup, what was your introduction to J-Beauty? Was there a makeup product or skincare item that got you onto the J-Beauty wave?

Yes! I love blush and a friend of mine brought back this cute little compact from a drugstore in Japan. It’s called the Canmake cream cheek! The blush had skincare ingredients that prevented dryness and I remember being so excited because most western makeup doesn’t include skincare in its ingredients. After that, I just started to do my own research and got into some pretty popular lines like DHC. There’s still so much for me to discover though!

Hey Canmake!! I have their sunblock and it is the truth! Do you mind sharing what your AM/PM routines are like? What J-Beauty products have you implemented?

I have a really simple routine because I have super sensitive skin, so if I implement too much it gets irritated! In the morning, I use the Kitao Matcha Cleansing Cream, then follow with plain rose hip oil and Glossier’s sunscreen. At night, I cleanse with the DHC deep cleansing oil and follow with the Kitao cleanser again. Sometimes I’ll use a Saborino sheet mask as a treat! Then after, I’ll moisturize with rose hip oil.

Kitao Matcha Cleansing Cream available on Cosme Hunt

Ah, so Kitao is definitely a staple in your routine! Is it one of your current faves? Also, if they are any different, what are your holy grail J-Beauty items?

Yes! I used to use Glossier’s milky jelly cleanser but wanted to switch it up and I really love the consistency of the Kitao cleanser. My staples would definitely be that cleanser, the DHC cleansing oil, and for a long time, I loved the Shiseido ultimate sun protector SPF 50, which I’ve been meaning to repurchase.

Ah yes, we need to yell it to the mountains that sunscreen is vital! Well, that about does it for this little interview, thank you for your time, Mary!

We hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about our Cosme Hunt team today! If you’re interested in organic beauty, check out Mary’s article. You can learn more about clean beauty and get a head start on some organic products we carry on Cosme Hunt. Keep your eyes peeled for Mary’s next article that introduces a new edition to the Cosme Hunt family: Paso a Paso! 

To find out more, visit our website!


 Leila Nevalasca

Leila is a self-proclaimed "child of the internet" as she has been a netizen since MySpace and Neopets days. The website that fascinated her most was YouTube, which eventually led her to graduate from San Francisco State's Broadcasting and Electronic Communications program. When she's not going down internet rabbit holes, she experimenting in the kitchen or doing weird voice impressions.

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