not a professional. just crazy.

Rio Answers Her Most Frequently Asked Beauty Questions

Photo: Rio Viera-Newton

Over the last couple of months, I’ve noticed that different people were asking me the same beauty questions (via DM, on Twitter, and even in my real life) over and over again. The questions varied in subject: some were about skin care, some were makeup-related, and some (since summer is approaching) were about SPF. And although I love gabbing one-on-one with fellow beauty obsessives (I can, and have, spent entire days chatting with the members of our Facebook group “The Beauty of It All”), I decided it might be more useful if, instead of answering these oft-asked questions individually, I gathered them up and answered them here. So, below: The answers to the questions I’m asked most frequently about acne, lip care, and what to splurge on to look your wedding-day best.

I have dry skin and hormonal acne. What should I use that works but won’t dry me out?

Conventional K-Beauty wisdom says that acne-fighting products do not have to dry your skin out. Which means that a lot of Korean products integrate soothing and healing ingredients such as centella asiatica or mugwort that help get rid of the redness and inflammation, instead of high percentages of benzoyl peroxides and salicylic acids (which are popular anti-acne ingredients in most American drugstore products).


Centella Blemish cream, for one, is an acne-treatment cream that helps reduce inflammation and heal pesky scabs, and will never dry you out. Read my full review of it here.

This Mugwort Mask, which calms red, angry, pissed-off skin without stripping the skin like a traditional clay mask, is an equally good choice. Read my review of this one here.

Do you feel like light therapy actually works? What are some of your favorite light gadgets?

Yes! I’ve seen it do magical things for my skin during stress breakouts and my time of the month. When I have super-stubborn hormonal zits, I find that a deep-reaching LED treatment is often the only thing that can shrink them down.

I love the Neutrogena light therapy mask, and tend to use it when I’m having breakouts all over and want to tackle my whole face.

When I just have one annoying lump on my chin, I like to go in with Dr. Dennis Gross’s spot treatment gadget, to give it some pinpointed attention.

What’s your favorite finishing powder?

Interestingly enough, since Fenty’s very matte, full-coverage concealer has come into my life, I don’t find myself setting my under eyes and areas I’ve spot-concealed quite as frequently as I used to. It’s just so matte that I find it doesn’t need a powder to make it stay put! That being said, shine control on my forehead and around my nose remains an issue. So I like to mattify those oily areas with my Glass Powder from Ohii.