The Korean skincare routine has been slowly but surely getting more and more popular in western culture. I’m not at all surprised by this because, after all, Korea is a #1 country in beauty products and heavily dominant in the skincare industry. I have personally switched to this routine (not every day because “ain’t nobody have time for all that”) for at least three nights a week, and it works wonder.
Don’t let the number of products overwhelm you and prevent you from giving this a try. Korean skincare routine usually consists of ten easy steps. It is similar to getting a facial once in a while, but you can do this at home in the comfort of your own home. Like I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to commit to this routine every day for this to work. Even if you only do this one day out of the week, you will see the difference significantly after a couple of weeks.
Step 1: Eye Makeup Remover
If you have any makeup on, you want to remove it with a makeup remover wipe properly. Nobody loves the panda look, even though those panda bears are adorable. Most people would recommend a Korean brand, but I enjoy my drug store Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes.
Step 2: Oil-based cleanser
If you love doing facial massage, this is a perfect chance for you to give yourself a quick facial massage using the oil cleanser. With oily skin, don’t be scare of a bit of oil. I found out that oily skin is most likely to dehydrate, and using the oil cleanser, it will balance out your skin and reduce the amount of oil your body produces naturally.
The oil-based cleanser will help you to clean up all the remained makeup. My personal favourite is Mizon King To THe Kong No.1 King’s Berry Cleansing Oil. This bottle will last you for at least half a year using regularly. I have it for a little over six months, and I haven’t used half of the bottle yet.
Step 3: Foaming cleanser
Water will not wash off the oil cleanser, so you need something mild to get rid of all the oil. Nobody wants to sleep with their faces dripping oil and makeup now. There are many choices in the skincare market; in my opinion, it doesn’t need to be a foam cleanser. Any cleanser of your choice will do great.
Step 4: Exfoliator (optional)
I’m a big fan of exfoliator, but they will damage your skin if you over-exfoliate. It is highly recommended to exfoliate your skin about once a week and no more than twice a week. Exfoliation products with microbeads are recently banned because they do more harm than good for your skin. Sugar mask is a great contender, and any gel-based exfoliator is the perfect contender. I love the gel-based exfoliator because you can feel your dead skin rubbing off of your skin. My favourite brand is from Japan, and it is Cure Natural Aqua Gel.
Step 5: Toner
Some people skip this step, but this is probably the most important step on any Skincare routine. Why? Facial toners help balance the pH (potential hydrogen) of your skin. The pH scale is measured from 0 -14, with 7 being the most neutral level. Having a balanced pH level means your skin is less prone to oiliness and infection, creating a more vibrant and smoother appearance. You can make your toner like rose-water/lavender or purchase the toner from any local retail store.
Step 6: Essence
This is the step that makes the Korean Skincare routine stand out, or I should say, Korea created this category. Essence is not the same as toner, even though most people think that way. They usually come in a large and stunning glass bottle.
Essence has higher dose active ingredients and is meant to penetrate deep into the skin surface after you’ve gone through the process of cleansing. It has hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and other natural extracts for an immediately hydrated and comforting feel. This product makes most people in the state very confusing, and some companies have combined both toners and essences as “treatment toners, essences”. It is still advised to use separate products for the best result.
Step 7: Serums
This is a holy grail for oily skin, serum. Why? Serums are different from a cream or lotion is inside the formula and what doesn’t include in it. Serums contain less lubricating and thickening agents, which include nut or seed oils. Rather, serums are water-based which helps eliminated oils. It has a weightless feel and a non-greasy finish.
Serums are not recommended to people who have eczema and rosacea. But among its wonderful benefits include smoothening fine lines and reducing age spots.
Step 8: Sheet Mask
From Buzzfeed to Instagram and every other social network, you see this everywhere. Sheet mask contains hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which are fantastic for anyone with dry skin or to use for added moisture because of cold, winter weather. You can pack this along with your carry-on for a long fly to combat the dry air.
Step 9: Eye Cream
We all know what eye cream is and why we need it, but when do you start using it? I think it is most appropriate for ages 25-28 and up. To find the correct eye cream, you have to determine what benefit you want to get out of the product. Different eye creams aid in puffiness, dark circles, fine lines.
Step 10: Night Cream
Phew, this looks like a lot of work, isn’t it? But I guarantee the reward will be a phenomenon. Night creams tend to be a lot heavier than day creams and doesn’t contain SPF. The purpose of night creams is deep moisturizing, deep nourishing, and restoration.
Wow, you have made it to the end. Even though this routine sounds like it will take over 3 hours, it will only take 15 minutes maximum before bedtime. It is a perfect way to pamper yourself and wind down after a long day of work. By doing this routine regularly, you will eliminate all the need for expensive facial treatment at the spa. If you find yourself stumbling face-first on to your bed, forget all these steps but never forget to remove your make up.