Over here in the UK, Korean skincare and the term K-Beauty seems to be coming up more and more in beauty magazines, blogs and youtube videos. So I thought it would be a good time to look into this trend and see what I can use from it to help rescue my skin. Read on to find out what I am incorporate from the 10-step Korean skincare routine.
My Skin at this stage...
Now I am definitely no skin expert...in fact, this past year has been the year I really learnt some important skincare lessons and tips. It wasn't long before that I was only using makeup wipes to remove my makeup (and those panda eyes after a drunken night out!). I would occasionally slather on whatever moisturiser I could find in the cupboard. That was the extent of it.
And I guess this is because for most of my life I was one of the lucky ones...my skin was problem free.
But as my face reluctantly crawls towards the dreaded 30, I have definitely noticed some serious changes. And while I still don't suffer from acne, I have noticed a number of different problems including; redness, broken capillaries around the nose, bumps/texture on my forehead as well as increased sensitivity to skin care products.
And honestly, I've been fighting a losing battle trying to return it to normality.
So I've decided to take more of an interest in looking after my skin, and chase that glowy, radiant, flawless complexion that I seem to see everywhere. I mean I won't be embracing the 'No-Makeup Makeup' look anytime soon unless I have that 'Glowy' healthy skin to make the most of first.
So in an effort to ditch the extremely high coverage foundations, I've turned to the Korean philosophy and principles on achieving beautiful skin.
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The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine
The Korean 10-Step method is a rather lengthy skincare routine (and a philosophy) that is focused on making sure the skin is fully cleansed and then very hydrated. The Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise routine is just the basis for this routine, with many many steps under each of those.
Adopting the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine - To a 5-Step Simplified Routine!
Why a Flexible Routine?
I decided to adopt the Korean skinare principles, but shorten the routine to a simplified, 5-Step Method that would be based on my skins needs at the time.
My skin ranges from oily to dry but is also sensitive to adding too many products. I found that swapping a few of the steps according to how my skin feels that day (and also how much time I have) means that I am still following the basic principles, but it is better tailored to my skin.
I go into detail about each step below, but the key to this is to really assess what kind of a 'skin day' you're having and then treat appropriately.
For example, if you skin is extra red and sensitive one day, I would keep the steps simple and just do two cleanses, tone, use a calming face mask or a hydrating serum and then moisturise.
If your skin is particularly conjested another day then: Cleanse, go in with a Cleansing Mask, Toner, Treatment Serum, and a light moisturiser.
That's why I love this version. It's completely adaptable to what's going on with your skin, and recognises that it isn't always a one-size-fits all situation when it comes to our face!
The two additional steps that I have noticed really benefiting my skin are the extra 'Cleansing' step (or Double Cleansing), and adding in an extra layer of hydration with an 'Essence/Serum/Face Mask'.
1. Cleansing / Removing Makeup:
This step removes the top layer of whatever is on your face. Makeup, dirt, oil. Initially, I used Micellar Water to remove makeup, or even just excess oils when I wake-up in the morning, and I feel this works nicely for my skin.
I still use Micellar Water, but I do try and swap this for my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which is a cream cleanser. I also use it with the hot cloth, which acts as a gentle exfoliator as well as cleanses.
Oil Cleansers or Balms are great for this step. They break down oils on the face really well, without stripping the moisture from the skin. There are some great ones available on Beauty Bay and Amazon.
2. Cleanse Again / Exfoliate / Deep-Cleansing Mask:
This step is to really thoroughly clean the skin and lift any dirt or makeup out of the pores.
This is where the foam cleansers come into play, and I have recently purchased the Soap and Glory Foam Cleanser for this step. Also a few times a week I use either this little Silicone exfoliator pad or a Konjac Charcoal sponge with this cleanser to act as the exfoliating step and really massage the cleanser on the skin.
But once a week I like to use a Charcoal deep cleansing mask, or my Mario Badescu Flower and Tonic Mask to really lift the dirt out of the pores (yum!).
In the UK this step is typically seen as a final 'cleansing' step to remove the last traces of any grime off the face. Some toners are also now including AHA's (like Glycolic Acid) to gently exfoliate the surface of the skin and help with the skin renewal process.
But in the Korean Skincare Routine, this is actually an essential step that is seen as prepping the skin for moisture. As the Double Cleansing took care of the cleaning, this is actually the first step of hydration. It is also there to help the essences, serums etc. to be more effective.
Initially, my sensitive skin was not particularly happy with this step and tended to sting or react a little using a stronger toner. Since switching to the Mario Badescu Seaweed Lotion (it is a toner, not a lotion how I pictured), my skin is loving this step and it just feels like it really does give the skin a good base ready for all that moisture!
4. Essence / Serum / Face Mask
These are 3 separate steps in the Korean routine, but essentially this is the 'Hydration' and 'Treatment' stage. I combined these to save time - and possibly over moisturising! But also because it really depends on what your skin is lacking or in need of that day. That might be tons of hydration - or it might be a treatment to solve a skin issue like blemishes or redness.
I have the Body shop Vitamin E essence which is currently a little strong for my sensitive skin, so I only occasionally use this. But I am assuming this may be pregnancy hormones as it never used to cause any irritation.
I really want to give the Ordinary serums a try soon, but the ones I seem to be after always seem to be out of stock at the moment. But Sheet masks are already filled with serums so if I have time to stew under a mask for 15 minutes, then this is a nicer alternative.
5. Moisturise / SPF
This is the final step and can be used to either put a moisturiser down ready for the day, or one that will work wonders overnight.
This has always been an important step for me as my skin can get dry, but I recently learnt that it is equally important when your skin is oil - however wrong that feels!
Eye cream is mentioned as a seperate step in the Koren 10-step routine, but I would usually include it while I moisturise. I have to admit though I have been lazy with this step in the past. Unless my under eye is particularly suffering from lack of sleep, or dryness, I will tend to just use my face moisturiser.
So there you have it! My take on shortening and simplifying the Korean 10-Step Skincare Routine to suit your skin. By combining a couple of the step, you have a more manageable and flexible regimen where you can pick and choose based on exactly what your skin needs that day!
Of course, you can adapt it however you like, but this one suits my skin and also my lifestyle (aka I haven't the time or the patience for 10 whole steps every day and night ha!). Also if I try to include too many products it would irritate my sensitive skin. This way I am thoroughly cleaning my skin and still ensuring I am making sure it is well hydrated, without over complicating it.
Fingers crossed it helps me achieve that beautiful glowy, glass-skin!
Are there any steps here that you would add to your current routine? Or any you do that you'd love to share?
Later lovelies...I'm off to go get that glow...