Hi, guys! … So this is my update on trying out the 10-step Korean skincare routine. I reached the 2-week mark 2 days ago, and I can say it really does work!
I saw results within 5 days of starting it. My skin is smoother, and has that shine that you see when the light hits my face. Not oil, more like a luminosity from within? It’s really difficult to explain. My skin just glows!!!
It wasn’t only me, but all of my nearest and dearest also noticed. My secretary (who has to look at me most often), was open-mouthed in surprise when I arrived to work and asked what did I do because my face looked different. The boyfriend said I looked “revitalized” and “fresh” (his words). Even my mom noticed. And now she wants to do “the Korean thing” too! Hahaha 🙂
Yesterday I made rounds and the nurses were like “Wow! You look amazing! Nag ano ka?” (What did you do?).
That being said, I can definitely say that skincare as the Koreans do it, really does result in smooth, luminous, younger-looking skin; and so I really just have to share it!
I actually started this “experiment” after reading a few articles on said Korean routine. I researched what products were “best-sellers” in the individual brand’s websites, and also which were most recommended or most reviewed in the internet.
So, here are the steps as I do it. Not all products that I used were Korean. I incorporated what already worked for me. And not all “highly recommended” products were readily available and I had to substitute other brands (still pretty good performers IMO). This is just a rundown of what I used. If you guys want a review on any of the products, just let me know and I’ll try my best to do it.
1. Cleanse. You have to remove all traces of the day’s makeup. f you’re using waterproof mascara, use a waterproof makeup remover soaked in a cotton ball to really do the job. After removing all your makeup, use a cleansing oil to dissolve any remaining makeup and excess oil.
I use The Face Shop Herb Day Cleansing Tissue to remove all my makeup, then follow it with their Oil Specialist Anti-Aging Cleansing Oil (Anti-aging, people!)… I’m on my third bottle now, and I think they’ve stopped producing this line. So I think I’ll probably try the Rice Water cleansing oil next.
2. Double-cleanse. This is part 2 of the famous “double-cleanse” of Korean skincare. Wash your face with a foam cleanser to wash off the dirt and any residue your face. I use Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser in Revitalizing.
3. Exfoliate. Exfoliation removes dead superficial skin cells. This gives you fresh-looking skin, and helps your products to be absorbed better. It is recommended every 1-2 times a week only. Apparently, less is more with exfoliation.
You may use a mechanical scrub (think Skinfood Black Sugar Mask) or a chemical exfoliant. I prefer the latter because I find scrubs painful and harsh on my skin. I already reviewed Cure Natural Aqua gel here.
4. Toner. This is the last step of the “Cleanse” part. Korean toners are different than Western toners which are more astringent and/or alcohol-based. Korean toners are called “Refreshers/Fresheners” and come in a watery or gel-form. A toner is supposed to improve the pH of your skin and clear any residue left on your skin.
So you soak a cotton ball with the product and wipe it all over your face, which results in a lot of product wastage IMO… I just put a small amount of Etude House Collagen Moistfull Facial Freshener on my palms and pat it all over my face.
5. Essence. An essence is usually a watery gel, it enhances skin’s cellular turnover and prepares your skin to receive all the succeeding steps. I hadn’t even heard of an essence before I started this routine! I got small freebie bottles of Etude House Moistfull Super Collagen Ampoule Essence so I’ve been using that.
6. Serum/Ampoule. Serums and ampoules target skin’s specific issues: anti-aging, brightening, acne-control, pore minimizing, to name a few… There are a lot of serums in the market so you can take your pick.
In the morning I use Skin Food Peach Sake Pore Serum to help minimize my pores. In the evening I add their Gold Caviar Serum for anti-aging/wrinkle care.
7. Sheet mask. A sheet mask is saturated with essence or serum, and helps your skin to absorb more of the good stuff as it stays on your face for 15-20 minutes. This is as opposed to just patting it on where you use just a little of the product at a time, and what’s not absorbed just dries off your skin.
I use Watson’s Camellia Callus Cell Vitamin F Facial Mask. It’s alcohol-free, relatively cheap, easily accessible, and it gives me surprisingly plump and hydrated skin after 15 minutes!
8. Eye cream. Lightly pat eye cream over your eyes. Use your ring finger only as it is the weakest, and so will cause the least pressure and pulling on the delicate eye area. I’m currently using up my TFS Flebote Collagenic XP Total Lifting Eye Cream.
9. Emulsion. Emulsion, or moisturizer, hydrates your skin. It’s best to use a light moisturizer. I put a little emulsion on my palms and lightly pat it over my face and neck. Etude House Collagen Moistfull Emulsion is not sticky, light, and hydrating. Smells like green tea too, which I love!
10. Night cream/Sleeping pack. A night cream provides a second layer of moisture and seals in all the moisture and nutrients on your face as you sleep. Every 2-3 times a week, you can substitute a sleeping pack which is richer and thicker for better hydration. I alternate Etude House Age Defense Firming Cream and EH Collagen Moistfull Sleeping Pack.
- Pat everything on, instead of rubbing it on. (Can you say wrinkles?)
- When in doubt, start from the most watery to the heaviest.
- If still in doubt, read the label. Most products come with instructions when to use them.
- If you have sensitive skin, add 1 step at a time every week so you can pinpoint which product causes breakout, rashes, allergies, etc.
- You don’t need to get everything in a skincare line. Match your skincare to your needs. Incorporate what you know works for you.
What I have outlined here, is for nighttime care. For daytime, skip the cleansing oil, and use SPF protection instead of night cream.
I hope this helps you guys. The Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather fight is on later, and we have pay per view. Go Pac Man!!!