As you may know, I turned 30 this year. And I’ve been loving my inner transformation every step of the way: I’m much more confident, I care way less what other people think, my compassion/giving meter has gone up. Also, it’s great being able to afford solo trips and nice things for myself that I wouldn’t have dreamed of in my 20s.
But I totally was caught off-guard by all the physical changes! Up until about 28, I thought aging was kind of an exaggeration (like how I didn’t “believe in” hangovers in my college years). Then at 29, I started getting crepe-y undereye skin. At 30, I started battling laugh lines, also called nasolabial folds (ewww) (that should not be a name). Also this year, I noticed my lips de-plumping to an extent that it was changing the proportions of my facial features. I disliked how the face I knew as my own was shifting so much. Why was this happening?! I’m vegan, exercise 6 days a week, eat mostly organic/local, and use natural beauty products, and plus I’m Asian which is said to ward off evil aging spirits. My mom looks about 45, not 60. Clearly, I took after Dad’s side of the family. :/
In a stroke of serendipity, my friend introduced me to 5Yina, a holistic and cruelty-free line that is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its name refers to the 5 seasons (fall, winter, spring, summer, and all seasons), with recommended products for each. I picked up its Divine All Seasons Bio-Cellulose Mask, quite skeptical whether the $85 price tag for a set of 5 ($20 per single mask) is justified. Sure, it has schisandra berries (adaptogenic), goji berries (antioxidants), peony root (anti-inflammatory) and Job’s tears (anti-allergic, calming, clarifying), but could it really be effective?
Still, I put the vegan collagen mask on and watched Netflix in the peace of my bed on a Saturday night (pure bliss). The mask itself feels super hydrating, silky, and cool. The instructions tell you to keep on for about 30 minutes, but you can do leave it on for 1-2 hours; then you take off the sheet, *don’t* wash off your face, and pat on some beauty oil to seal in moisture.
The morning after I did the vegan collagen mask for the first time, I woke up thinking, “why are my lips all swollen?” I hurried over to the mirror and was shocked by how plump my skin looked, especially my lips. The effect was such that I could feel how my lips were pouting on their own, like they used to when I was younger. My problem areas like my laugh lines and undereyes looked more filled in and firm. And this effect lasted the entire week. I instantly started planning in my head when I should do the remaining vegan collagen masks to fit in with my social calendar. (Since each mask costs $17, and the facials I used to get every month cost around $100 plus tip, this is practically a bargain–and it’s actually more effective!)
One month later when I did the second mask, I followed my friend’s advice and saved the leftover serum in the packaging, and it lasted me more than 1 week in the fridge. I put it on at the serum stage of my nightly routine, layering my Bella Aura night cream on top. I especially made sure to dab some right on top of my lips.
The morning after the vegan collagen mask, late November 2017. No filter.
Late July 2017. Different lighting obviously, but notice the undereyes, laugh lines, and less volume in the lips.
When my face is resting, you can still see a trace of the laugh lines, but it looks natural. And here’s the thing: it’s not possible or desirable to look perpetually like you’re 22.
My mom maintains to this day that she was her most beautiful in her 30s. I used to think that was because she became more and more beautiful then, but now that I’m 30 I think it might be because she was her *happiest* during that decade. She loved having a young family. If you are happy and loving, you will look and feel beautiful.
I’m sure peak Juhea is somewhere in the future, not in the past. There’s just so much I look forward to, from living abroad to mastering a new language, seeing elephants in Africa and the Northern Lights in the Arctic Circle. But when I pack my bags for my adventures, I’ll definitely bring along some vegan collagen masks. It’s about balance. 😀
Have you tried vegan collagen masks?
More in skin care: Vegan Bone Broth Alternative (Collagen-Boosting Veggie Plate)
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Photo: Peaceful Dumpling