There are people like my boyfriend who don’t even have one single skincare product in their cabinet (or somewhere else in their house) and there is me: who has about a solid 15 products (not counting the sheet mask drawer – oops) hanging around the bathroom.
No, I’m not crazy just a tini tiny bit obsessed with skincare. But there’s no such thing as waking up in the morning with that glowy skin, looking at the mirror and singing Looooord this is going to be an amazing day! Who’s with me?
So for about a good year or so if been stumbling across that korean skincare thing on every corner. I mean literally everybody was talking about how korean skincare has changed their life, their neighbors life and probably even their dogs life. And like with every hype, I tend to get very excited about it just to find myself being too overwhelmed the next second and throwing every single video/chat/text about that specific topic right in the trash corner. But where’s a hype there is often a good reason why and after finding my own way of getting in to the topping I’m finally convinced: korean skincare is THE shit!
Skincare is a huge, huge topic over in Korea and therefore people are willing to invest money and more important time to give their skin a treat to make it look as glowy and healthy as possible. Not the baddest goal in my opinion so I started to do some research and find myself exploring my way through the one and only 10 step korean skincare routine.
And to be honest it was kinda hard. I mean even as a skincare lover 10 steps don’t just sound much they actually are much. Especially for a girl like me who is not the most active person in the morning and tends to snooze that one extra hour in bed (yep hour, not minutes). But where’s a will there’s a way (and a million pictures of glowy korean skin everywhere) so I got my shit (and products) together and created my very own way of dealing with 10 products entering my face every morning and evening.
So without rambling on any longer (it’s going to be a long one anyway – but it’s worth it, promise!), let’s see how that magical korean skincare routine works. And to give you the most important thing right in the beginning: it is not always the product that works wonders. But find my two tips on how to incorporate some korean skincare hacks into your routine without spending a single penny (!!!) a bit further down the page.
So double cleansing is practically a way to make sure your face gets as clean as possible before treating it with all the good stuff. In the first step you’ll always give yourself a little massage with some kind of oil based product (or even pure oil). Oil has the nice feature of cracking down very single dirt of your face. It just pulls the dirt out of your pores (even on oily skin don’t believe these myths about no oil for oily skin!).
I use the Tony Moly Pro Clean Sherbet Cleanser, but I think after finishing this one I’ll go get a cleansing Oil. In in the tub the Sherbet Cleanser has a creamy texture but when it gets in contact with the face it starts to melt down into an oily texture. I love giving myself a little face massage after a long day, massaging every little piece of dirt out of my skin.
If you’re done just rinse everything with water and go on to the next step: the second cleanse.(next tab)
From foam cleanser to gel, to milk, depending on your skin type you can use whatever you want in this step! Gently massage and rinse off with cold (!!!) water.
And here comes my first tip for you: after washing everything off do not ever think to use a normal towel to dry your face. Or any towel in general! Instead of taking all that moisture from your face start padding it into your skin (Yes, gently padding yourself). Normally I just dry my hands and start padding my wet face until it’s dry. I know, I know it sounds a little bit cray cray but it actually works wonders!
Besides the fact that you give your skin a huge doses of extra moisture, in addition the padding increases your blood floatation which helps keeping the skin texture smooth and healthy looking. I mean just try it once and you will immediately see and FEEL a difference – trust me!
Not all of them are coming from your face but there are definitely some bad boys hanging around, waiting to clog your pores and celebrating a good old pimple party. Nothing I’d like to be invited at and if you do neither you better start to exfoliate.
When it comes to exfoliating there are a million different products out there to choose from and even more myths on how often to use them. I’m by no means an expert so these tips are coming just from my personal experience over the years. Before even thinking on how often you should use an exfoliator you should decide which kind of exfoliator suits your needs the best. Then there is quite a wide range to choose from. Starting with mechanical exfoliation, like the good old sugar-honey scrub, to chemical exfoliations – the selection can be quite overwhelming (chemical exfoliators use chemicals like salicylic acid to get rid of all the dead skin cells on the surface).
Depending on your skin type and personal perforations, most experts suggest exfoliating once or twice a week. More can actually irritate your skin and in fact damage it even more. So be carful with that!
I personally use an organic konjac sponge. Konjac sponges are made from the konjac root which is a common in the asian area. In general konjac sponges are 100% chemical free, vegan and biodegradable. A lot of people actually use these sponges for removing make up or as a tool while cleansing, but I prefer it as a really gentle exfoliation on a daily basis. So yes, I exfoliate everyday with this little one and so far my skin is feeling great with it.
But once again: exfoliation is nothing to act careless with. Start slow and look how your skin is reacting to a specific product. No kind of exfoliation should feel hurting or cause any redness. If it does: stay away or think about reducing the amount of use!
Toning is nothing but really important in your skincare routine because it gives your skin a final cleanse whilst prepping your face for what to come. I personally have really dry skin witch tends to be combination from time to time. Nevertheless of your skin type stay away from any toner that contains alcohol in it. Alcohol may be your friend when having a fun night out with your girls but definitely not in your skincare regime.
I decided to go for a moisturizing toner from Avène. I love the fresh and moisturizing feeling when wiping that cotton pad all over my face (and neck!). There is no single feeling of dryness afterwards and I feel perfectly ready for the next step.
An essence is a mixture in between a serum and water. It is hard to describe because there aren’t much european products out there that are comparable with what koreans understand under essence. I personally do not use an ‚so called‘ essence because I just can’t make myself spend 50 Euros on something I still do not quite understand myself, yet. But I’ve been eyeing a certain one for a few weeks now, so you’ll probably hear a bit more about that essence topic in near future.
For know I use this step to refresh myself with my beloved Avène Eau Thermal. I can’t even describe how much I love this product. Adding two to three spritzes to my face just give me the ultimate feel of hydration and refreshment and are a perfect prep for the next step.
Let me tell you something. Yes, cleansing is important. And yes, sending that dead skin cells to hell is also very important. But friends what, really, what is more important than hydration?! Exactly, nothing!
That’s why I love using not just use one serum or two – no, no. I use three of these babies everyday. And before you gasp and close the tab let me tell you; it is worth it! Layering different types of serums made a huge different to my face just because it finally got that moisture that it has needed so badly.
I personally use two serums from The Ordinary (the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and the Buffet) and one from Balea (the Aqua serum). Starting from the lightest (most watery consistency) to the heaviest I like to give these products enough time and space to sink into the skin.
Which leads me to my second tip; using the piano finger technique to help products sink in. Like I said in the beginning I pad my face wet to get the water into my skin. And so do I to help the serum get deep down where it belongs to. Instead of padding I gently use my fingers and play piano over my face. It doesn’t cost much effort but makes quite a big difference in how your product react with your skin. By stimulating your skin mechanically you activate the blood flotation and the way the product and your skin connect with each other. When using this technique my products sink in way, way faster and at the same time I prevent them to just evaporate on top of my skins surface.
Sheet masks aren’t just fun to do but also effective af! No kidding, no exaggeration these things are just my personal hero’s. If you’ve never seen a sheet mask before it is basically a thin mask made out of some kind of cellulose and soaked in high percentage goodness (aka amazing ingredients).
Sheet masks act like a really concentrate treatment and a relaxation in one. The sheet actually helps to prevent the ingredients from evaporate and ‚forces‘ your skin to soak up more of the product. In just 20 minutes you get the treat of a three-days-vacation. Ok, that might be a little bit over the top, but let me tell you these things give your skin life, literally life.
Even in the european areas you can get cheap and good sheet masks (Garnier has good ones to offer), so give these magic workers a try. But be warned; people may find you a little bit scary while wearing them!
And you better start in you twenties not particularly to prevent wrinkles and stuff but because the skin is back then quite thin and will be in 30 years from now. But when it comes to the eye area I’m a newbie as well. So for now I’m fine with my Balea Hyaluron Booster but in long term I’m looking for something a little bit more rich.
What also means that all of the hydration you gave your skin in the earlier steps can start to evaporate while sitting on top of your skin without being fully absorbed. Nothing we want, right? Thats the time our moisturizer kicks in. Firstly, to give even more hydration but secondly (and more important!) to lock that moisture down inside the skin. Your moisturizer should always be the heaviest in consistency and come as the very last step to act as the needed barrier.
Right now I’m using a a moisturizer from Innisfree (the Green Tea Fresh Cream) which is a ultra moisturizing light gel cream. But with the days getting colder I’m going to invest in the richer version of this cream very soon.
To be honest I never use sunscreen. Not in my face not even on the body (shame on me – i know). But these days are gone and I start to really understand how important sunscreen actually is. The sun is the humans most dangerous enemy when it comes to our skin. Sun damage is nothing to be careless about.
In fact even when the sun is not ‚shining‘ the UV (ultraviolet lights) reaches our skin and do their damage. What they do is damaging our skin fiber elastin. Elastin is responsible for the tightness of our skin. When these fibers get destroyed our skin starts to lack in tightness, get wrinkly and begin to sag. And the most cruel thing; the most damage happens when you can’t even see it. While we’re young we don’t notice most of the damage done to our skin. But as soon as we get older and things got even worse, chances are high that a lot of the damages are irreversible. So go get your sunscreen!
Btw. I don’t care if the sun is shining or not or I’m inside I always use SPF 50. Safety first peeps.
And that’s it! In the beginning everything may sound a little bit overwhelming and way too much for every morning and evening. But take your time. May start step by step. I hope this post is a helpful guidance for your individual process in reaching your personal skin goal.
There’s so much more to say – but not in this post. Check out the other posts to get more tips and hopefully helpful insights.
Do you have any other tips we all can add to our skincare regime? I’d love to read them down below in the comments!