It seems like Koreans have found the fountain of youth. In every korean drama I’ve ever watched, I have never seen a korean with bad skin. I instantly thought, it’s the make-up…little did I know, makeup was only the tiniest part of it. It’s no secret that skin care in Korea is light years ahead and is slowly making its way into the U.S.
It must have started over the summer when my skin was just at its complete worst, I was breaking out one pimple after another. It left scars that took a little longer than usual to heal, and that was the last straw. I knew I needed to do something. I became really interested in Korean skin care regimen that I ordered a whole bunch of products to try. I do not recommend anyone to do so! I started breaking out from trying way too many products all at once. I think the best way is to first, get to know your skin, and then gradually introduce products into your skin care routine. Now that I am a little more settled into the new products I am using I’m happy to say, my skin is recovering well, and it’s looking and feeling way better!
Once upon a time I had a two-step skin care routine. Washed my face, then used a moisturizer. It worked then, but now that I am a little older and my skin is experiencing more, as far as dryness, pores, and wrinkles go, I wanted to add in products that targeted aging, wrinkles, and elasticity. According to Alicia Yoon, Korean skin care expert, preventative skin care is easier to do than reparative skin care. I’ve taken that advice into consideration and have slowly incorporated the 10 step skin care routine.
Step 1: Removal of Makeup
Start with a makeup wipe and gently remove what you can with it. Avoid tugging too hard around the eyes. I like using baby wipes. I just find it to be the most mild and gentle and I don’t experience any stinging in my eyes.
Step 2: Cleansing
I’ve started using an oil cleanser to take off the rest of my makeup at the end of the day. I am obsessed with using oil cleansers, they take off makeup so well and is tug free. This is another way to keep the skin from wrinkles or saggy eyes caused by all the tugging and rubbing from using makeup wipes alone. So I’m not too worried if my makeup wipes didnt completely take off everything, I go in with an oil cleanser and it melts everything right off. I am currently using Banila Co’s Clean it Zero sherbet cleanser, and it’s amazing! I massage this into my makeup in circular motion to melt off any remaining makeup and debris. It gets deep into the pores cleaning out anything a face cleanser can’t get out alone.
Step 3: Exfoliate
I usually like to go in with the Clarisonic Mia brush and gently exfoilate using the refreshing gel that it comes with. This cleans deep into the pores and removes any dead skin cells clogging up my pores. Now depending on my mood, or what I’ve had on my face that day, sometimes I’ll use an exfoliator with beads. A popular exfoliator is the Skin Food Black Sugar Wash Off Mask. I like to make my own using honey and sugar, and it works amazing!
Step 4: Toning/Refresher
Toning, also known as a refresher sometimes. Restores your skin PH level and removes any residue of your cleanser and preps your skin to absorb the next skin care product. I’m currently using the Etude House Wonder Pore Refresher. It is mild and has a multitude of tasks, from balancing my skins PH levels, deep cleaning my pores, to moisturizing inside and outside of my skin. I like that most Korean toners are far less drying and focuses on hydration while toning the skin.
Step 5: Essence
This step is consider very important in Korean skin care regimen! According to Alicia Yoon, “Your skin is like a sponge. When it’s brittle and dry, anything that moves across its surface will crack it.” Now I truly believe that one! I’ve put something on my face before when it’s dry only to find out it didn’t absorb very well because my skin was so dry. I have very dry skin, so this step is very important to me, I’ve incorporated this step into my regimen and have jumped on the band wagon and is currently using the Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence. When I first introduced this product to my skin, I’m not sure if it was just a time where my skin was breaking out too much or if it had something to do with my lifestyle but I had broken out. I gave it a chance again after recovering from the breakout and i havent broke out from it since. I’ve recently notice a smoother texture to my skin, so I’m glad this product worked out well for me after all.
Step 6: Serum/Ampoules
Another important yet, customizable step in korean skin care regimen. Serums and ampoules is a more concentrated and vitamin packed versions of essence that targets specific skin issues like wrinkles, firming, elasticity, brightening etc. I haven’t quite settled with a serum and is still on the hunt for the perfect one. I’m am temporarily using pure coconut oil as an under eye serum and so far, it is moisturizing and keeps my under eye hydrated and wrinkle free. Popular ingredients to look for in a serum are collagen, peptides, and vitamin C, which focuses on firming, cell renewal, and brightening. Some popular serums and ampoules are the Missha Time Revolution Night Repair New Science Activator Ampoule and Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester.
Step 7: Face Sheets
Face sheets are packed with nutrients. This is a bonus step. Its used quite frequently by Koreans as an anytime kind of skin care treat. I like using my Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Masks sometimes in the morning to help with brightening or over my refresher and serum for an extra hydrating effect. I’m stocked up on these face sheets. They are just nice to have when your too lazy to go through the whole routine, just pop one of these on for a few minutes, and your skin instantly feel hydrated.
Step 8: Eye Cream
Gently apply on eye cream. This helps keep your under eye super hydrated while you sleep. Your under eye is the most sensitive area on your face so always make sure to be gentle in this area and ALWAYS keep it hydrated to prevent wrinkles. A popular eye cream, according to Soko Glam, is the Skin Food Royal Honey Eye Cream.
Step 9: Moisturize
Apply on a moisturizer to help seal in all the good nutrients you just packed on into your skin. I like using my Cerve Moisturizing Cream. Because I have super dry skin, this cream keeps my face hydrated without it feeling overly heavy and oily.
Step 10: Sleeping Masks
Sleeping masks are the latest obsession in Korea right now. Applying a thin layer of Etude House Collagen Moistful Sleeping Pack will help seal everything you applied prior, to penetrate deeper into the skin. I like that not only does this sleeping pack seals everything but I wake up with more hydrated bouncy skin.