Ask Keiko

ask keiko your skincare and beauty questions

Have a skincare question? Need a product recommendation? Ask me a question below, and I’ll either send you a reply or write a full post on it!


You can also use #askkeiko on social media to ask me your skincare/beauty related questions!

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29 question

  1. @spacegirltina says:

    What are your favorite ways to treat pigmentation from acne scars?

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      While I don’t have acne scars, I do have some hyperpigmentation and I’ve had great results from laser treatments. I’ve done both fraxel and laser genesis — the latter is much more gentle, so it takes more sessions but is still very effective. I have seen someone with pretty substantial scars before and after a few fraxel treatments, and it yielded great results — but I also know someone who wasn’t very impressed with theirs. So, I would meet with a doctor and discuss your best options before dropping any serious money on a laser treatment. I would also recommend introducing a vitamin c serum (l ascorbic acid) daily. You won’t see results right away, but it will help even out skin tone over time.

  2. Gabriela Mendez says:

    Hi Keiko, I actually have three questions but two go hand in hand.
    *Adult acne. Is there a cost effective product that can zap pop up pimples? I always get one or two but they take forever to go away.
    *Acne scars. A lot of the pimples I get leave behind scars/dark spots. I don’t touch or mess with the pimple but it still leaves a mark. What can one do to prevent these spots? All o find is lightners but I don’t want to lighten my whole face, just that one mark.
    *Under eye circles. Is there a regimen or cost effective beauty product that can lighten up dark circles or remove them all together? I always hear the whole thing about sleep and diet but I still get circles. Help!

    Thanx for doing this Keiko!

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Is your adult acne cystic or just regular blemishes? The little ones can be zapped with something like Kate Somerville’s EradiKate and introducing an acid toner and retinol into your routine can keep them from coming back, but if it’s cystic, it’s likely hormonal and there aren’t many topical solutions for that. Retinol can help, which is why many doctors will prescribe a prescription strength retinoid, but unfortunately there’s not a one size fits all solution and it’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to acne.

      Brightening solutions aren’t the same as whitening treatment — you want to target the hyperpigmentation. Use a good vitamin C (has to be L ascorbic acid — I like Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and PCA CE Max) daily, and it will help — but it’s a gradual process. Otherwise, chemical peels or laser treatments can help a lot faster. I would recommend consulting a professional for their opinion, but I’ve had great luck with light chemical peels (I have a whole post on them!) and Laser Genesis.

      Under eye circles can be genetic, from lack of sleep, low iron, loss of volume. So many things! It’s difficult to eradicate dark circles if it’s genetic or from volume loss, unless you go for filler or possibly something to boost your collagen production like microneedling with PRP (they can actually inject your plasma there to reduce the appearance and naturally boost volume). Using a great eye cream or gel can help keep your skin supple and bright and will help over time, but they won’t go away with anything topical.

      If you want to cover your circles, there are a couple of principles that can help: one, start with a peachy or orange toned concealer to combat the blue, depending on your skin tone. Then use a concealer that *matches* your skin tone over the top — preferably something with light reflecting, brightening properties. Bare Minerals makes one called “Stroke of Light” which is great.

  3. Raquel says:

    Your hairstyles how do you style them (braids, upd dos etc,.) And love your scarfs vintage style hairstyles.
    What products and hot tools do you use?
    ? thanks! Love your style and you’re great inspiration! 😉

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Thank you! Lately I’ve been using all Wella products, since I’m currently a brand ambassador. But I happen to LOVE their products, so I will definitely be repurchasing several (and already have). One thing I love is a workable hairspray that still has hold. I don’t like shiny hairspray — I prefer more of a matte finish so it doesn’t look too “done” — and I’ve been using their “Stay Firm” spray. But the most important thing is to have a heat protectant, which I spritz on my hair before using any hot tools. For hot tools, I still love the cheap Conair curling iron! I have some more expensive ones, but I often go back to Conair.

  4. Kirsten says:

    What is the one skincare product from your routine that you feel is most important?

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      I think the most underrated product is retinol. It has so many benefits: anti-aging, brightening, collagen production, unclogs pores. It gets a bad rap because you have to find the right product for you. My skin is sensitive to a lot of retinol products, but I absolutely love this one:
      and Sunday Riley’s Luna, an oil based retinol that is easier on your skin.

  5. Rachel K says:

    What is your updated skincare routine? Especially curious because it’s summer and a face full of foundation with moisturizer can feel so heavy. Also, when you had Invisalign, what lip products that are smudge proof do you recommend? I want to wear lipstick again, but I don’t want to have red trays! ?

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Oh girl, I can totally relate to the invisalign struggle. I’ll do an updated skin care routine for reference, and as for invisalign — you have to commit to a liquid lip life. The more matte the formula, the better. Try out the Sephora Cream Lip Stains, Smashbox Always on Matte liquid lipsticks, and Too Faced melted matte formulas. They’re some of my favorites.

  6. Elise says:

    Hi Keiko! I’ve had oily, acne prone skin for most of my life. I have always shied away from using moisturizer other than as a skin prep for makeup (and then i always have to do a full face of light powder to compensate…). Do you have any recommendations for a product that moisturizes and doesn’t leave my skin feeling slick and oily? Thank you!

    • Amber says:

      Elise, I had the oiliest skin in my 20s. It embarrassed me. But then my friend and skin enthusiast (on top of a being a primary care physician) told me that by frequent cleansing and not using moisturizer, I was making my face create MORE oil. Sort of like you can train your hair to not need daily shampoo-ing (if that makes sense)! Maybe this will be the case for you, too. If you have an ULTA or other store nearby, go in with a freshly cleansed face and try Juice Beauty’s daily oil-free moisturizer. It’s my go to on days when I don’t wear foundation and it never leaves my face greasy. I always recommend trying it in the store so you can see how it wears throughout the day before committing to buying a full size. I hope this helps!

      • Elise says:

        Thanks, Amber! I know I need to be moisturizing more but I’m petrified of adding even more oil to my skin ? I’ll check out the product you recommended!

        • Keiko Lynn says:

          Amber is exactly right. Stripping your skin of oil will only make it over-produce more oil. Sometimes the best way to combat oil is with oil! I’ll go more in depth in a post. Do you find that your skin is both oily and dry/irritated, or is it just oily? The two aren’t mutually exclusive, so that will help me make some product recommendations for you.

  7. Gabby says:

    What do you use to keep your face from looking sweaty and your makeup melting off in the heat?

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Primer, setting spray, and blotting sheets! I don’t wear much face makeup (like foundation or powder), but if I do, I will start with primer. It keeps everything in place. I love the original photo finish from Smashbox. And Oil Slick setting spray from Urban Decay is great for setting makeup on oily skin, or all nighter for an all purpose setting spray. But otherwise, I carry around blotting papers. I love these:

      Just dab your face before applying makeup and then throughout the day. Dab — don’t wipe. It will soak up excess oil and keep your makeup in place.

  8. erin says:

    Do you use any natural or organic skin care products and if so, do they work as well as some of your non-organic favorites?

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Funnily enough, I go to a natural skin care place for my facials (Joanna Vargas), but my at home treatments usually don’t fall under that category. Don’t get me wrong — there are some amazing natural products out there, but it’s not really my area. I love Tata Harper but I’m not knowledgable enough about natural skin care brands to give the best advice!

  9. Anna Louise says:

    Hi Keiko!! I’m wondering what makeup and/or skincare products you would recommend for people like myself who are cursed with large pores. It’s something I’ve always been self conscious about!

    P.S. Thank you for being such a bright light in the world. You inspire me tremendously ?

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Thank you, Anna!
      There is nothing that “closes” your pores, but resurfacing lasers can help refine them in a way that at home, topical treatments cannot. However, you can gradually help your pore size by introducing some products into your routine. Number one, keeping your pores clear will reduce the appearance. So it’s important to make sure you’re getting rid of all your makeup and spf, dirt, etc each night. I recommend two cleanses: one with an oil or balm to break down all your product, and then again with your normal cleanser. Follow with an acid toner (I love Pixi Glow Tonic, Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle, and Biologique P50 — Pixi is the most gentle, so you can start with that) and start introducing a retinol. Retinols are the most underappreciated products — they’re proven for anti-aging and will help keep your pores clear, which will reduce the appearance of their size. I LOVE PCA Skin Intensive Brightening Treatment ( Start by using it at night a couple times a week, cocktailing it with a serum to start if your skin is sensitive. Then gradually increase to nightly use as your skin allows it.

  10. Amber says:

    I’m so intrigued re: eyelash extensions, but as someone with sensitive eyes, I’ve been on the fence! Do you feel that they are worth the money, and what would you ask for? 🙂

    PS: You’re amazing, and love how open and real you are with all of us. xo

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      I love lash extensions, but they’re quite a commitment. They’re expensive and once you get them, you either have to maintain them every few weeks to keep them from looking ragged or let them fall out on their own, and go through the awkward period of weird sparse long lashes mixed with your own. Still, I LOVE them for special occasions or vacations when I don’t want to wear makeup. They make it so you wake up and already look glam! I have short, straight lashes so I go with a 13mm C curl synthetic mink and ask for extra volume, which means they put some double on my single lashes since I have fewer lashes to adhere to. If you have straight lashes, always go with the stronger curl because the J curl (the “natural” one) will end up tilting downward. If you already have curly lashes, a J curl will be fine for a natural look.

  11. Lily says:

    I have been reading your site for years and, during a visit to Japan (where my parents are from) in 2015, I took my then-8-year-old daughter to the bunny cafe on your recommendation. For her, it was the happiest part of a very happy trip, and I will be forever grateful to your site. My question is about eyelash extensions and/or mascara recommendations. As I get older, my natural lashes are getting noticeably thinner (though the # and length still seem the same). I’d like to try eyelash extensions but am afraid they may damage my already thin lashes. When you were doing extensions, did you find that they damaged your natural lashes? If so, do you have any mascara recommendations for someone (i) who needs volume more than length, but (ii) who typically gets smudgy raccoon eyes within an hour of applying mascara? Something about my straight eyelashes (and the slight puff under my lower lashes) makes most mascaras smudge almost immediately. I’m told that “tubing” mascaras may be a good bet, but am not sure where to start. Thank you!

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Lash extensions can be incredible but very costly, and they *can* affect your natural lashes. People will swear they don’t, but if your lashes are already thinner it might cause them to fall out more rapidly due to the weight. For me, it’s worth the risk because my lashes at their best are barely noticeable, but I have friends who were left with really weak, short lashes after letting their extensions go. I would recommend trying a lash serum, and then getting them lifted and tinted to avoid raccoon eyes! My friend Helena ( does this and her lashes are AMAZING.

      I totally feel you on that because my lashes are super straight and mascara tends to smudge.
      If you’re definitely wanting mascara, sometimes it’s not just about the mascara but about setting your undereye area so the oil or product doesn’t break down your mascara. Try setting your concealer just under your eyes with a translucent powder.

  12. Ela says:

    How can I get cool clothes like you on a small budget?

  13. Wendy says:

    Hi!! On You Tube I watched a video you posted called My Daily Makeup Routine. You didn’t use face primer on that one but on the Dewy Glow You Tube video you did. I’m trying to buy the items for your daily routine to try but should I buy the primer too? Also does any of the products from My Daily Makeup Routine video cause breakouts for you? Thank you for your videos!!!

  14. Wendy says:

    Hi!!!! I watched you video on You Tube called My Daily Makeup Routine and you did not use a face primer on that one but your other one THe Dewy Look video from Sephora had the face primer. I’m trying to get the items from your Daily Makeup video but am curious if I need to buy the primer too? Also does any of the products you use in that video cause breakouts? Thank you for your time!!! I love your videos 🙂

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      Hi! If you’re using tinted moisturizer, you don’t need a primer. If you’re wearing foundation, I highly recommend it! Everyone’s skin is different, so I’m hesitant to say it won’t cause breakouts. However, I haven’t had any issues! Just make sure you cleanse thoroughly at the end of the day.

  15. Paulette Lovato says:

    Yes, hi! I desperately seeking a pair of Keiko Barbie Pink glasses. Please tell me you know where I can find them. sincerely, Paulette