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Welcome back to Adulting 101 – where Jess figures out things that everyone else seems to be perfectly capable of doing since… well since forever it seems.

This week I’m fixing something that has NEVER been an issue for me until I moved to Albania and that’s skincare (and haircare TBH but that I haven’t figured out yet). I’ve always had pretty good skin, I’m not one for wearing a lot of makeup so I’ve not felt the need to be as attentive to my skin, and any skincare products I did try ended up messing with my skin to the point that I either got major breakouts or dry skin (or in the worst case both). So I have just ignored this topic.

BUT it turns out since I’ve moved to Albania the skin on my face has taken a turn for the worse and my hair is the driest I’ve ever seen.

I’m assuming at this point that it is a combo of a few environmental factors:

1. Bad water quality

2. A lot of sunshine, hot summers and cold winters

3. Lots of pollution in the air

So, I’ve decided to start making an attempt at fixing this – as difficult as it seems.

In the UK or in Germany this would have been as easy as picking some products (whichever ones you figure out to start with) and then getting them delivered. In Albania this project’s first stage started with some research on which shops even sell what (mainly achieved by scouring instagram for a few hours), then seeing which products they REALLY have in stock and THEN picking some that may work for me from whatever I can get.

I ended up doing some research and found a place that imports Korean products and I decided to just start with a basic combo of a cleanser, a moisturiser and sun screen (which I haven’t used for 2 years that I’ve lived here – bad me!). Then I also threw in some chemical exfoliant because them blackheads are sure going strong in a couple of places.

Koral Secrets

I ended up ordering from Koral Secrets. I’m super frustrated with places here that don’t have a working website, nevermind having stock/ actually delivering the item. So I really appreciated the fact that

a. the website works

b. stock levels are accurate

c. I got a question answered in English via the FB page

d. The order got deliverd by courier the same afternoon which even amazon wouldn’t have managed

The whole experience was painless.

How to NOT mess this up now

I’m not going to bore you with the details on the products since this is NOT my area of expertise and I’m simply trying to find some basics that work for me before playing around with it.

I’ll add some pictures below so you can see what I got (and if you have some words of wisdom on any of it, let me know!).

What I do wanna talk about though is the simple aspect of adding something NEW into your life that you haven’t done for the 10+ years you’ve been a functional adult.

I’ve in the past not been terrific at using something at a specific time of day/night and my days and evenings have been a bit unpredictable at times, so I’ve gotta makes this eas easy as it can be – otherwise it’s never gonna happen. I also will not track some kinda beauty regimen in my Notion account to make sure that I’m doing it or whatever, I don’t enjoy additional complications when it comes to this sort of stuff.

So, I’ve done a couple of simple things.

1. I’ve left the bottles ON THE SINK instead of in the drawer underneath the sink (sorry to the dude in the house…) – if I don’t see it, I will forget to use it.

2. I’ve kept an extra towel in the bathroom ready to go (sometimes I’m up way before the man and I don’t wanna go into the bedroom to get a towel) so that’s a perfect excuse not to follow through – and I’ve avoided it).

3. I’m gonna use the BHA AFTER the shower. I’m trying to wash my hair less often (trying to move to every 3 days) because my hair isn’t doing so well either and that lines up perfectly with how often I wanna use the BHA (2 – 3 times a week). So I can simply remember that the extra bottle is needed on days where I’ve washed my hair (which mostly tends to be mornings or evenings anyways).

Let’s see how we go with this one. I’ve used the products a couple of times already and so far they feel good and my skin doesn’t seem bothered by them which is a first in history. The cleanser smells a bit plasticy and the sunscreen has a weird lemony scent but not quite. I can’t exactly name it, but it’s all pretty ok. The rest doesn’t really smell of anything which is amazing since I don’t like the usual “cream smell”.

Anyways, enough rambling. Here is another thing of the adulting 101 list ticked off for now. Shumë Faleminderit Koral Secrets.

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