As soon as you walk outside, your skin is exposed to all types of environmental factors such as UV rays, wind (particularly winter weather), and pollution. Then what you eat throughout the day can also effect your skin from the inside.
By the end of the day, it's essential to have a skincare routine to maintain the effort you put in the night before being exposed to different elements. This is the best way to continue to look vibrant for years to come.
Step 1a: Oil Cleanser
Regardless if you wear makeup or not, oil cleansing can benefit
Oil cleansing helps gently remove excess sebum, makeup, pollutants, and dead skin that a cleanser can miss. To bring home a mini spa treatment for graceful aging, use the effleurage massage technique which consists of long upward, circular motions to massage your face while oil cleansing.
Recommended oil cleansers:
Iunik Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil: Light cleansing oil made with 94% pure plant oil
Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil: Gentle light cleansing oil with Korean traditional herbal oil complex and squalane.
Step 1b: Cleanser
A foaming cleanser works as a partner to help rid of everything you broke down in Step 1a. Without cleansing would mean your skin will be more prone to frequent breakouts and premature aging.
Isntree Onion Newpair Cleansing Foam: Soothing and evening skin tone
The Plant Base Natural Cleansing Foam: Naturally-derived ingredients to hydrate and retain moisture in the skin
Step 2: Toner
Toners can be anything you want it to be. Depending on the ingredients, toners help remove dead skin cells, provide hydration and can act as a primer to allow the rest of the skincare ingredients absorb better. It can also replenish what was stripped during the cleansing process.
Toners are not necessary for everyone, but they can offer additional benefits for specific skin concerns.
Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Toner: 50% of hyaluronic acqueous solution for lasting fresh hydration for dry/dehydrated skin
The Plant Base Pore N Turn-over 28 ABA Toner: AHA dissolves hardened/dead skin cells and BHA cleanses deep within the pores
COSRX Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner: A moisturizing toner that contains 72.6% of Black bee Propolis extract and 10% Honey extract for a glowy and smooth complexion
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Step 3: Serum/Ampoule/Essence
Traditionally there was only serum before a moisturizer. In K-beauty, there is also essence and ampoule. Nowadays different brands, especially non-K-beauty brands, use these names interchangeably. Regardless, all of these are to target specific skincare concerns.
Essence is usually a watery consistency with ingredients that prep for better absorption in the next steps. It is similar to a toner but has higher concentrations of ingredients.
Serum and ampoule can be interchangeable. The main difference is in the concentration, where ampoules are generally more concentrated. Both serum and ampoule can serve the same purpose if you know what you're targeting (i.e., brighten, nourish, repair).
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence: Filtered highly-moisturizing snail mucin to increase skin elasticity and strengthen barrier
Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence: Eight forms of water-binding hyaluronic acid with different molecular weights for powerful hydration
The Plant Base Time Stop Collagen Ampoule [20ml]: Mushroom power in this bottle with 67% Hericium Erinaceum Extract to prevent skin damage, adenosine to soften wrinkles, and 3 types of mushroom ingredients (Hericium Erinaceum, Tremella Fuciformis and Schizophyllan) that increase skin elasticity
Type in 'ampoule' or 'essence' in search bar and view all for more options!
Step 4: Mask
Masks can be used to target a skincare concern or for general maintenance every day or only when your skin needs extra care (2-4 times a week).
Sheet masks are travel-friendly! Their price differs depending on the materials, ingredients, and concentration of active ingredients used.
Sheet masks are drenched in ingredients suited for your needs and the physical sheet provides a barrier above your skin to allow for effective absorption.
Mediheal Vita Lightbeam Essential Mask: Brightening mask with Vitamin C derivatives + Vitamin E acetate, white willow bark extract
Mediheal Tea Tree Essential Blemish Control Mask: Blemish control mask with tea tree, chamomile and centella asiatica extracts that soothe sensitive skin and regulate sebum production Esfolio Pure Skin Honey Essence Sheet Mask: Hydrating mask with honey extract, vitamins of Chaenomeles Sinensis Fruit Extract and Portulaca Oleracea Extract to increase skin elasticity and boost hydration.
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Step 5: Cream
Some may argue that if you're putting on a moisturizing serum/ampoule/essence, you may not need a cream. However, if step 4 consists of ingredients that targets a specific skin concern, you may not have enough protection for those active ingredients to continue working without external factors affecting their progress.
View each step as its own. It's tempting to get a product that has a multitude of ingredients in one bottle, but that can cause certain ingredients to counteract each other's potency and deem the product ineffective altogether. It's possible to get a moisturizing sunscreen if you wanted to combine steps 5 and 6, but if you truly care about protecting each step, try to keep them separate for effective protection.
Isntree Mugwort Calming Cream: Soothing cream with Ganghwa Mugwort Extract to calm sensitive skin, Artemisia Capillaris Extract and Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract to strengthen the skin barrier and protect skin from environmental factors
COSRX Full Fit Propolis Light Cream: Moisturizing cream with 64%+ black bee propolis complex and antioxidants for the ultimate supple skin
COSRX Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream: This is where you would apply an eye cream if you choose to add into your routine. This light- weight eye cream is made of 73.7% Snail Secretion Filtrate to targeted dull, dehydrated, dark skin around the delicate eye area.
Type in 'cream' in search bar and view all for more options!
Step 6: Sunscreen (Daytime)
If you're going to be lazy about anything in your skincare routine, this is one of the steps you can NOT be lazy about. Getting sun for vitamin D is vital to our wellbeing, but too much exposure leads to quick aging of our cells and thus premature aging of our skin.
Don't be lazy about sunscreen. Protect the youthful, vibrant look you work so hard to maintain daily from steps 1-5.
Missha Soft Finish Sun Milk: Non-sticky, non-greasy invisible protection for all