Hello my lovely amazing readers! Starting this week, I’ll be doing a column called “Beauty Takeover” every Wednesday, to share with you the latest beauty trends, tutorials and tips from around the globe. I will also be rounding up my top picks in makeup, hair care, skincare, nails and all things beauty at the end of every month, so do stay tuned for that!
We’ll be focusing on all things Korean for this month of August. So without further ado, let’s get into this week’s topic – the 10-step Korean skincare guide. Yes, you read that right, 10 steps! Being a major skincare fanatic myself, I actually tried this out for two weeks straight and I must say – there has been a major improvement to the texture and appearance of my skin.
STEP 1: CLEANSE
Before going in for your first cleanse, don’t forget to remove your makeup! Take a cotton pad and soak it with a liquid or water-based makeup remover. Remove your eye makeup gently and avoid any pulling or tugging motions. For waterproof makeup, gently press the cotton pads over your eyes and wait for 10 – 15 seconds before carefully sweeping it off. For the face, use gentle buffing motions to remove the bulk of your makeup. Once that’s done, take 3 pumps of your oil cleanser and rub the product onto your hands to spread it out evenly. Pat it onto your face and give yourself a nice relaxing massage. Use gentle circular motions, starting from the centre of your face and sweeping outwards and upwards. For your neck, use upward sweeping motions. When massaging the eye area, go counter-clockwise to avoid stretching the delicate skin around your eyes. Cleansing oils contain lots of skincare benefits and remove your makeup without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Once you’re done with your massage, rinse everything off with lukewarm water.
STEP 2: DOUBLE-CLEANSE
It’s now time to do a second round of cleansing using a gentle cream or foam cleanser (a dime-sized amount will do). This is to remove any oily residue or remaining dirt particles on your skin. Once again, use gentle circular motions and avoid rubbing or tugging at the skin. Rinse everything off with cold water and pat your face and neck dry with a clean and soft face towel.
STEP 3: EXFOLIATE
When it comes to exfoliating, be extremely gentle and don’t overdo it! It is recommended to exfoliate only 2 to 3 times a week. However, you can exfoliate everyday as long as you only focus on areas that really need it – like on your nose, the inner part of your cheeks, as well as your chin and lips using a granule-free exfoliant. Lactic acid helps to slough away dead skin cells naturally while Vitamin C is great for brightening and lifting any sallowness in the skin. However, if you do opt for exfoliants with micro-beads in it, do apply it with a lighter hand as you don’t want to cause micro-tears on the surface of the skin from scrubbing too hard.
STEP 4: TONE
Use alcohol-free toners as toners that contain alcohol can really dry out and irritate your skin. Either spritz and pat it onto your face with fingers or apply it using a clean cotton pad. Korean women use toners that are rich with vitamins and anti-oxidants to restore their skin’s natural pH levels and infuse moisture back into their skin.
STEP 5: TREATMENT ESSENCE
Treatment essences feel light on the skin but are jam-packed with skincare nutrients. Patting or spritzing it onto your face throughout the day will keep your skin looking and feeling happy and hydrated. You can try keeping it in your fridge the night before and spraying it on the next morning. The refreshingly cold mist or essence will feel amazing on your skin. It’s also a great base for layering your serums on top as it helps your skin absorb the skincare benefits of your serums better.
STEP 6: SERUM/AMPOULE
Serums or ampoules are similar to essences but are usually slightly thicker in consistency, almost oil-like. Serums contain high concentrations of certain skincare ingredients. Vitamin C and white flower complex are great for brightening the skin while Retinol helps to prevent signs of premature aging. Additionally, Chamomile and Aloe Vera-based serums help to calm down skin inflammations and irritations. Apply about 3 drops onto the tips of your fingers and rub it to distribute the product evenly before pressing it gently onto your face.
STEP 7: MASK
Most masks only need to be left on for about 10 to 15 minutes. It’s a great way to treat your skin to a much needed hydration boost. Some masks can be used to treat acne, tighten pores or firm up the skin. You can even layer your sheet mask on top of your serum to really lock in all the moisture and skincare benefits of the serum.
STEP 8: EYE CREAM
Our eyes need some lovin’ too! Go for lightweight eye creams or serums for your delicate eye area as heavier textures tend to clog up the pores and cause milia to form around the eyes. Gently pat or roll the serum around your eyes using the tips of your ring fingers in a counter-clockwise motion. Try keeping your eye cream in the fridge – anything cold will help to reduce swelling and puffiness.
STEP 9: MOISTURISE
After all those essences and serums, moisturise your face and neck area with an emulsion, gel or cream-based moisturiser. Gels and emulsions are more lightweight (suitable for oilier and more sensitive skin types) while creams tend to be heavier in texture (suitable for drier skin types).
STEP 10: SUNSCREEN/NIGHT CREAM
Hurray! You’ve made it to the final step! In the day time, don’t ever forget your sunscreen! SPF30 is sufficient if you’re going to be in the shade most of the time, but if you’re going to be running around all day, go for SPF5o instead. Remember to apply sunscreen to your ears and on your neck and body as well. Opt for water resistant formulations, and try to reapply every 3 hours as the effects of the sunscreen will wear off over time. At night, you can go for heavier based creams or masks and let them work overnight while you sleep.
It may seem like a long and tedious process, but the results are worth it. You don’t necessarily have to use all Korean products, or incorporate all 10 steps into your routine, but taking a little time out of your day to take care of your skin is going to keep it looking radiant and healthy in the long run. Other than skincare, it’s also important to be healthy on the inside. If you’re not eating or sleeping well or practicing a healthy lifestyle, it will reflect on your skin, and all the best skincare products in the world would be for naught. I can’t guarantee that all these products will work for you, as we all have different skin types and it’s possible to be allergic to anything. I’d advise to test any product on a small area of skin to ensure that it doesn’t irritate your skin or cause any adverse reactions before committing to a product.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to skincare, but knowing and understanding the right skincare ingredients for your skin type and the right application methods are already half the battle won.
What are your personal thoughts on the 10 step skincare routine? Feel free to comment down below, I’d love to hear from you!