I didn't get into Korean Skincare products till about Christmas of 2017. It wasn't until the Fall of 2018 that I adapted the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine and used Korean beauty products exclusively. The results? Healthy, hydrated skin and growing self-confidence in going out barefaced.
I don't do the entire 10 steps of the routine. I do on average about four and add other steps in as needed. The 10 steps are as follows:
- Oil Cleanser
- Water-based cleanser
- Eye Cream
- Sun Protection
Some do these steps morning and night, some do different variations morning and night. Below I'm going to give you a break down of my night routine. I'll also include my favorite products and brands that have truly changed my skin!
1. Oil Cleanser
The oil cleanser is one of the most important steps as it is the foundation of the routine. Oil cleansers break down oil-based debris like makeup and sunscreen. With most oil cleansers you don't even need a makeup remover as they take the makeup off right before your eyes. I love using Clean It Zero by Banila Company ($18). They offer four oil cleansers for all skin types, sensitive skin, oil and combination skin, and dry skin. You're bound to find one that works well for your skin and for the money you get a lot. A little goes a long way!
2. Water-Based Cleanser
This step isn't necessary for everyone however, I really love double cleansing. It serves to remove water based impurities that your oil cleanser might miss like dirt and sweat. Sometimes when I'm really tired I'll skip my water-based cleanser and usually regret it as I'll have a pesky breakout the next morning. Green tea is a great ingredient to look for in water based cleansers. I use Neogen's Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick ($15). This product leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated after use.
Exfoliating isn't something you should do every day. I exfoliate about once a week (if that even). It helps clean out your pores and remove dead skin cells that could get trapped. I like using Neogen's Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads ($16). They look like cotton rounds and have a gauze side and a cotton side. You simply use the gauze side first, rubbing in circles around your face and then switch the cotton side repeating. They offer wine, lemon, and green tea. The wine is for tightening, lemon for brightening, and green tea for moisturizing!
Toner!! Perhaps my absolute favorite and most used step. I tone throughout the day. Toning balances the pH level of your skin and helps your skin hold moisture. It's a lovely freshen up. I have two different toners that I absolutely LOVE. One is Klairs Supple Preparation Toner ($22) and the other is Leven Rose Rose Water Facial Toner ($14). Both prepare my skin for absorbing the products after and leave my skin soft and supple.
Masks can be used on an as-needed basis. Some use them multiple times a week, some use them a couple of times a month. Depends on the skin, the time, and the person. A few of my favorite masks are Cocokind Chlorophyll mask ($14), Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask ($11), and Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque ($40). All are regulars in my routine and provide different benefits for my skin. Cocokind is honestly my favorite company ever. Their ingredients are natural and healthy and their products seriously work while also being well priced.
6. Eye Cream
Do you struggle with those dang puffy dark circles under your eyes that reveal to the world just how tired you are? I definitely do. While I don't use a cream per se, I do use Cocokind MyMatcha ($9) stick which is a matcha green tea moisture stick. Because the skin under and around our eyes is thinner and more sensitive the moisture stick helps reduce the puffiness and dark circles while also being multipurpose to use on lips or on dry spots anywhere else.
This is a MUST step! Moisturizing seals in moisture and plumps and smoothes skin. It has great hydration for your skin and vital for those with dry or dehydrated skin (there's a difference between the two). As gross as it may sound to some, I use Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream ($17). Snail mucin has natural ingredients in it like glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid. The cream is odorless and looks and feels like any other face cream. An added bonus is it absorbs without feeling oily. If in the middle of a breakout I'll use Cocokind Chia Seed Oil which is rich in omega 3. It reduces inflammation and leaves my skin oh so soft while also providing a nice glow.
Just to summarize: Highly recommend double cleansing, don't exfoliate too often, tone tone tone, always moisturize, and check Cocokind out because I promise you'll love them as much as I do! They're safe, organic products on a college student budget. Remember that it's not about having perfect skin, it's about having healthy skin. Here's to happy, healthy, and glowing skin!