I know what you’re thinking, how did she get into Korean skincare? In 2017, my mom had started watching Korean dramas weekly. Then, she started researching other Korean trends… low and behold I became obsessed with Korean Skincare. At first, I was thinking “10 steps?! I can’t even do two!!” Little did I know that I would LOVE the steps!
How I Got Started
Once my mom & I got into researching, I found peachandlily.com. This is a website that sells all types of brands of Korean skincare including their own. They sell all price ranges! All I was thinking at this point in time was “Where do I even START?” How would I know what oil cleanser wouldn’t break me out? Which exfoliator should I buy?! Then I began to look on their website and found out that I could message a representative my skin-care concerns and receive a whole 10-step routine. They had sent me affordable and more expensive products, depending on what I wanted to spend. Currently, I have not had the chance to order online, but many retail stores have started to carry Korean Skincare. Now let’s go through the process.
A big belief in Korean skincare is double cleansing. You start off with an oil cleanser to melt the make-up off. Plus it is soft and a smooth application, therefore it does not pull on your skin and eyes to get off your mascara.
The first oil cleanser that I ever used was the Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. This product is a little pricey for a cleanser, but I really liked it. If you are acne prone, I do not recommend the Tatcha. The two main ingredients of this cleanser is Japanese Camellia Oil and Hadasei-3 Complex. The Japanese Camellia Oil is rich in oleic acid, vitamin A,B,C, & D and Omega 3,6,&9. The Hadasei-3 Complex consists of green tea, rice, and algae. (These are anti-aging foods!) Recently, I purchased the Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser. So far I love it because I am a lazy girl. It is the two steps in one cleanser! It turns from oil to foam. The smell is very potent but delicate. If you love the smell of rose, this is for you. If you are sensitive to smells, do not buy this product. I love how soft and elegant the texture is on my face.
2. Foam Cleanser
The foam cleanser’s purpose is to get rid of any excess residue left on your face after wearing make-up or extra dirt on the face from a long day. We want that face squeaky clean. I have one foam cleanser that I loved from Peach and Lily. This was the one that the representative recommended for my skin. Granted, I have combination skin. Sea Daffodil Cleansing Mousse exfoliates but does not strip your face of oils that you need. This product also has a distinct fragrance.
3. Exfoliator (2-3x a week)
Most of us know what an exfoliator does. The gentle exfoliators unclog pores. Do you ever get those nose blackheads that just won’t go away? Once you become consistent with exfoliating 2-3x a week. If your skin is sensitive, only exfoliate 1-2x a week, due to over irritating. I love the Tatcha Rice Polish because of how gentle it is. Tatcha also gives different formulas for normal to dry, normal to oily, dry, and sensitive skin.
Toning is a usual step that we use in America, but we think of it as cleaning off excess dirt. At least I did. Most toners dry out skin but Korean toners do the opposite. They balance your pH after the double cleansing while hydrating the skin leaving it ready for the next step. I use the tester-size Laneige Essential Power Skin toner. I have been using this for about a month and love it! This formula consists of zinc, maganese, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and potassium. It has no parabens nor phthalates which can be harmful to your skin. When using a toner, use a cotton ball and slightly sweep it over your face. Do not be harsh with this. This leaves my skin ready for the next step.
This step is ESSENTIAL in the Korean skin care routine. It is a game changer! The first time I had used an essence, I was shocked by the results. Think of your skin as a sponge, if the sponge is dried up, it won’t soak in all the serum. If it is plump with water, then the serums will soak in. The essence prepares your skin for the serums and lets it absorb easier. No serum is going to work well on dry skin. These essences are a little bit thicker than warer but thinner than a serum. The first essence I ever used, I fell in love with it. I used the entire May Coop Raw Sauce travel size (which is rare for me with a product). It was 40 mL. The mini lasted me about two months. The May Coop Raw Sauce is a toner, emulsion, and essence all in one. It is made 93% maple tree sap along with antioxidant-rich ingredients to get rid of free-radicals. Now I have been trying Kiatao Matcha & Chia Essence. This is a Japanese brand. I have been using this for a week now, and I see a difference ALREADY. The bottle is 200 mL for only $25. There are four power foods in this product: Matcha, Chia, Açai, and Quinoa. Matcha and chia come together to fight off aging free radicals. Açai brightens the skin complexion while quinoa balances the oil and prevents pores to be clogged.
Serums are used to target your specific skin concerns. I currently use Joppa’s Raspberry Seed Oil and Peach & Lily’s Glass Skin Refining Serum. Peach & Lily’s has peach extract, niacinamide, east asian mountain yam, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. I use Joppa’s Raspberry Seed Oil to get rid of acne scarring and reduce fine lines. I do not think I have been using the glass skin serum long enough to see a difference. I am currently in the process of perfecting my skin-care routine. But use any serum that matches your skin type. For example, there are so many different serums for: anti-aging, calming, hydrating, pore reducing, toning, scar reduction, and brightening. So many kinds to choose from!
7. Sheet Mask
This is an optional step. They tend to do this 3-4x a week depending on what the skin needs. My mom bought us a 16 pack of Korean masks for $10.49 to try off of Amazon. This pack has masks with a different main ingredient within each one. For example, some have gold, snail, pearl, aloe, etc. On each mask it says the purpose of this ingredient. For example, the snail mask says, “Regeneration, Moisturizing, and Nutrition.” In order to see a difference in your skin from this step, you must stay consistent. This goes for any step! Leave the sheet mask on for 15-20 minutes then use the excess “juice” to spread on your chest and neck.
8. Eye Cream
I have been using Joppa’s Lighten Up Eye Cream. This step reduces dark circles while preventing and reducing wrinkles. (I really NEED this step!).
This is my favorite step because my face is complete. I currently use the Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream. This locks in all the serums you just applied. Niancinamide brightens dark spots and fights inflammation. Adenosin firms and lifts. There are NO sulfates, animal fats, parabens, and many more harmful ingredients. I fell in love as soon as I put this on. Plus, it comes with a skin-care spatula which keeps the product bacteria-free. I also have loved Mizon’s All in One Snail Repair Cream. The glycolic acid in snail mucin helps build collagen and elastin in your skin. This is a thick but light once applied cream. A little goes a long way. Plus it is only $16.90!
Last but not least, SPF! During the day, do not skip this step. SPF prevents aging and wrinkles. My favorite SPF for summer is iS Clinical’s Eclipse 50+ Perfect Tint.
What won the “Best of K-Beauty Awards”
- May Coop Raw Sauce $14 (travel size) $25.45 (full size)
- Peach and Lily’s Glass Skin Refining Serum $39
- Peach and Lily’s Matcha Pudding $40
- Mizon’s All in One Snail Repair Cream $16.90
References: Tatcha.com, PeachandLily.com, Laneige.com, JoppaMinerals.com
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