Take a moment to call upon the skincare Gods
Less is more? Nope. At least not for the Koreans. In the Korean books of skincare, they like the term “the more, the merrier.” With their skincare regimen ranging from a minimum of 8 steps to sometimes going up to 12, Koreans find it less of a process and more of a therapeutic experience. If you watch their skincare routine videos on YouTube, I can guarantee you, you will not come across even one who finds the whole process tiring. On the contrary, they look forward to it.
By adopting a skincare routine that suits your skin type and sticking to it religiously will guarantee you a skin that is healthy and glowy from the inside. There are so many products that cater to various skin problems such as pigmentation, acne, dullness, dehydration, weak skin barrier, etc. It is crucial to ensure the products you choose are all natural and does not react with any of the other products in your routine.
But where to start? For those who are unaware of the Korean skincare routine can find the process extremely overwhelming – not knowing where to start, what products to use, when and for how long. Don’t worry. We’ll help you understand the basics and once you’ve gained an understanding you can slowly delve into the world of Korean skincare. And let me warn you – once you’re in, there’s no way out. You can take my word for that.
Before starting your skincare routine, you first need to find out your skin type. Do you have oily skin? Dry and flaky? Sensitive? Or perhaps, combination skin? Knowing your skin type is the first aspect you need to figure out as it is based on this you will buy your products to build your skincare regimen. And mind you, this step is crucial. Buying products meant for dry skin when your skin type is oily will not benefit your skin in any way and is nothing but a waste of money. You need to listen to your skin and understand what it wants to accordingly “feed” it with goodness.
Know your skin type? Great! Let’s build our skincare routine!
STEP 1: OIL-BASED CLEANSER
The first step to flawless skin is removing any impurities that may be on your face. Now, many may think it’s okay to skip this step if you don’t have any makeup on, but THAT’S NOT TRUE! Makeup or no makeup, our skin picks up fine dust and impurities from the surrounding. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure they are out of your face before you go to bed. Note: even sunscreen, if not washed off by the end of the day, can harm your skin!
Choose an oil cleanser that is light-weight and not too heavy on the skin. They get every bit of makeup and dirt of your face while being gentle on the skin. Cleansers come in various textures – from runny liquid to balm-like consistencies. So, find one that suits your preference (and skin type).
Method: Take a small amount onto your palms (you really don’t need too much of this) and massage it onto your face in small, circular motions to melt all the gunk in your skin. Finally, you can either use a washcloth to wipe clean or rinse with lukewarm water.
Tip: Rub the product between your palms before applying it on your face. This heats up the product and allows makeup to melt much easier.
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STEP 2: FOAM CLEANSERS
Thought you were done with cleansing? Nope. Heard of the term ‘double cleansing’? It refers to cleansing your face twice: first time with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and dirt, and the second time with a foam cleanser to deep clean your face. Please refrain from washing your face with soap bars that are meant for the body! Our facial epidermis (or skin layer) is thin compared to our body and hence, we should use products that are much more gentler. This is why we specifically advice to use ‘foam’ cleansers.
The pH level of our face is 5.5 and using the wrong cleansers will alter the pH balance of our skin. If your skin is more on the acidic side (below 7) it starts to lose it elasticity, leading to wrinkles and fine lines. On the other hand, if it is alkaline (above 7), it means its not producing enough oil, making your skin dry, sensitive and prone to acne. Koreans prefer using cleansers that have a low pH of 5.5 to ensure their skin is clean, without stripping it of its natural oils.
Method: Squeeze a small amount of the product onto your palms and start rubbing them to form light, fluffy foams. Apply it onto your face and massage in circular motion. Be sure to not neglect your neck and your hairline. Wash off with lukewarm water.
Tip: don’t pat dry your face with a towel. I know, but hear me out. Since face towels, or towels in general, tend to accumulate fine dust, what they prefer doing instead is gently wiping the water away with their hands.
How has it been so far? Watch out for our next post where we will explore the world of Exfoliating. Until then, happy cleansing!