Skin Health 101
Unsure of your skin type? Wondering what is an exfoliant and why do you need one? Curious about an ingredient? Does skincare confuse you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this page is the one for you!
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Skin care routines are truly the sum of the person doing them. How much time one has, the effort one is willing to put forth... so on and so forth. For some, simpler is more or if you are anything like me, then more is definitely more. The infamous Korean skincare method is definitely more. With 10 steps this routine can definitely be considered a daunting task. I have taken on this task and it truly is an interesting process; it is hydrating, deeply nourishing and the ultimate experience. Today I want to share an overview of the steps, share my favorite products to use during the steps, let you know how often each step should be done, and any tips or tricks related to the steps. So, let's jump into it!
Step One: Oil Cleanser
Oil Cleanser is the first step of not only the Korean skin care routine, but also the first step in the double cleansing routine. Double Cleansing is a cleansing method that's origin can be traced back to Korea. Korean women used this method to achieve clearer skin. Double Cleansing involves washing your face in two steps, first by using an oil-based cleanser, then followed by a water-based cleanser. Oil Cleansers remove the top layer of dirt, makeup, bacteria, and pore clogging substances such as sunscreen. Oil Cleansers can be used daily; they must be massaged into the skin with dry hands on dry skin and then removed with lukewarm water.
Favorite Oil Cleansers:
Circada Vitamin Veil Cleanser
The Body Shop Chamomile Oil Cleanser
Estee Lauder Micro Cleansing Balm
Farmacy Green Clean Meltaway Cleansing Balm.
Step Two: Water-Based Cleanser
Water-based cleansers are always the second step. This step removes any excess residue left behind by makeup, dirt, or even the oil cleanser. Water-based cleansers should be used daily and can be applied to damp skin, massaged in and then promptly removed with lukewarm water.
Favorite Water-based Cleansers:
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
Farmacy Clean Bee Foaming Cleanser
Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Triple-Action Foaming Cleanser
Step Three: Exfoliator
Exfoliating is a critical part of a skin care routine. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, smooths texture, and helps products/ingredients penetrate the pores. Korean exfoliators are typically physical. (Physical exfoliators are made of grains, sugar, salt, etc.) Exfoliating should be done 2-3 times a week maximum; massage the product into the skin and then remove it with lukewarm water.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub
Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Scrub
Trader Joe's Blueberry Acai Facial Scrub
Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Instant Refinishing Facial
Step Four: Toner
Toner is an essential product when it comes to the premise of the Korean 10 step method. Toner helps to prep the skin for all the hydrating and moisturizing products. It also balances the skin type. Toner should be used on cotton pads; wipe the pads over the skin. Toner can be used twice daily.
Thayer’s Rose Witch Hazel Toner
Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel
Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Toner
Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Softening Lotion
Murad Clarifying Toner
Step Five: Essence
An essence is a deeply nourishing, hydrating, and revitalizing water-based product. This product goes on after toner to help promote healthy cell turnover and cellular repair. Use this product by putting a few drops of the essence into your fingertips, then pressing the warmed product into the skin and then massage the essence into the skin using upward motions. Essences can be used twice daily.
Estee Lauder Micro Essence
Missha First Treatment Essence
Exuviance Probiotic Lysate Anti-Pollution Essence
The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion
Step Six: Treatments
Treatments are the heroes of this routine. Treatments are boosters, serums, ampoules, etc. These treatments are full of highly concentrated ingredients. Treatments help to target and treat specific skin health needs. Treatments can be layered; I would recommend no more than three at a time. Treatments can be used day and night. Depending on the ingredients, the time of usage may vary. For example, retinol and acid-based treatments are usually only recommended for nighttime usage.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
Arcona Vitamin C Serum
The Body Shop Tea Tree Night Serum
Step Seven: Sheet Mask
Sheet masks are the eighth wonder of the world! These hydrating beauties are chalked filled of concentrated serums. Like most masks, the ingredients are targeted towards specific concerns like brightening, acne, aging, and dehydration. Apply the sheet mask to clean, dry skin for the allotted amount of time; once removing the sheet from the skin, massage the leftover serums into the skin. Sheet Masks can be used several times a week.
Favorite Sheet Masks:
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Foil Mask
Patchology Hydrating Sheet Mask
Skin Laundry Hydrating Sheet Mask
Step Eight: Eye Cream
Eye cream is a lightweight, small molecule creams used to target specific concerns such as dark circles, puffiness, firming, and crow’s feet. Lightly tap the cream around the undereye area with the ring finger or an underdeveloped finger.
Favorite Eye Creams:
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex Synchronized Recovery
Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Firming Eye Cream
Dermalogica Age Smart Multivitamin Power Firm
Derma E Hydrating Eye Cream
Step Nine: Moisturizer
Moisturizer seals in moisture and smooths away fine lines. Apply a dime to nickel size amount of moisturizer to the face. Smooth the products into the skin using upward motions.
Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Regenerating Crème
Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Light Moisturizer
Dermalogica Active Moist Moisturizer
Estee Lauder Day Wear Matte Moisturizer
Derma E Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer
Step Ten: Sun Protection
Sun Protection aka SPF products the skin from environmental and UV (ultra violet) factors. UV exposure can cause premature aging factors and skin cancer. The FDA recommends a SPF of 30 or higher. This only needs to be used in the morning times. Reapply every 90 minutes of sun and/or UV exposure.
Favorite Sun Protection:
Estee Lauder Day Wear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant & UV Defense SPF 50
So, I know that after reading all those steps you guys may now be wondering how in their right mind is going all these steps every single day?! The answer is simple, they aren’t. Exfoliating and masking only happens 1-3 times a week, double cleansing is only need once per day, and sun protection only happens in the morning when needed. That means on a daily bases you are likely only doing seven-eight steps regularly. It also isn’t as time consuming as one may think. Both cleansing steps take about three minutes in total, exfoliating on three to four minutes, masking is the longest; however, you can do other things while masking. I often clean, do homework, watch TV, get ready for the next day while the mask is on. The other steps take a few seconds. All in all, there should be no real down time during this routine.
I’m not saying this routine is necessary for everyone to do to achieve great skin, but it is relatively realistic. I have been doing it myself for several months now and I find it to be easy and quick. It also is pampering which we all need. I would urge you to at least to try it out. Maybe get some samples from Sephora and try the steps. I’m certain at least a few of you will enjoy the process.
That’s all folks!
Thanks for stopping by Nia Imani. I am so grateful for all your continued support. If you have any questions, comments, etc. please leave them below. All my social media and other forms of contact are in the “contact” tab above. Make sure you check out other Skin Health 101 posts! Thank you again for stopping by I hope you enjoyed today’s posts remember to like and share—until next time!