Asian skincare has been around for years and practiced as far back as the Geisha traditions of Japan. Recently, Korean skincare has become more and more popular in the states thanks to advocates like Alicia Yoon and Charlotte Cho who brought the US peachandlily.com and sokoglam.com and made Asian skincare easy and accessible for all. I’ve been adopting a K-beauty skin routine for 5 months now and I have to say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. My skin is clearer, brighter, smoother, tighter and generally feels a lot healthier. The k-beauty routine is intensive-it takes about 15 minutes in the morning, but the results are more than worth it and the feeling of self care that you get is priceless in itself.
So here is a quick rundown of the basic K-skin routine with the products I’m currently using:
- Oil based cleanser – removes make-up.
- Water based cleanser – removes everything else.
- Toner – tightens pores and tones skin as well as removing anything else that’s left.
- Essence – A hydrating prep for the skin which can have a multitude of beneficial effects as well as helping serums and moisturizers sink into your skin.
- Serums and Ampoules – the most variable step-you can find a serum to do literally anything for your skin short of making it breakfast. Hyper-pigmentation, acne, dullness, dryness, redness, cranky sad or angry skin-if your skin can do it, there’s a serum for it. Some people take this step to the extreme using dozens of these before moving onto the next step.
- Water based moisturizer and eye cream- less oily and more gel-like than traditional American moisturizers, these leave your skin feeling baby soft.
- Optional oil based moisturizer, also known as “sealant”.
- Sunscreen – All skincare advocates will agree this is an overlooked step, especially in the colder months.
- Optional masks-done once to a few times a week, these are like a booster shot for your skincare routine when your skin needs something in particular.
Asian products have a focus on natural ingredients, attractive packaging and major results. The general sense that I get is that there is a “prevention is better than cure” approach to skincare with most women starting young to keep their skin that way and that all brands steer clear of anything that could be harmful or irritating to the skin or has more than four syllables.
I have to say, without doubt, my favorite part of the whole routine is step 9. A mask takes about 15 minutes to do, forces you to take a meditative moment in your day, feels just a touch glamorous 🙂 and makes you look and feel like a million bucks afterwards. Most of these brands are fond of sheet masks, which are pre-prepared sheets in the shape of your face infused with whatever elixir they’ve chosen. I find them a little uncomfortable, so I prefer the ones that come in gel and cream forms but either way, they’re spectacular.
Overall, I truly have never found a skin routine so enjoyable and effective and if you haven’t tried it yet, I would urge you to give just one or two products a shot. Advocates suggest trying one product for a few weeks before incorporating another. Pretty quickly, you’ll have a whole arsenal of products you love and you’ll have jumped on the K-beauty bandwagon with the rest of us 🙂
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