Skin first, make-up second.
A year after my life-changing education on skin care, I’ve skipped the daily medium to full coverage foundation and opt for a light tinted moisturizer or BB Cream – except on the occasional whole day event. I forego the thick cream concealer, sans the acne, and use a brightening liquid concealer to highlight my under eyes and the bridge of my nose. Bumps on my forehead are gone – thanks to my Aloe Vera Gel – and my dry skin looks healthy, radiating with a natural glow. My skin’s never been at a better state (no jinxing please), and I have to thank the 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine.
Before anyone else, especially if you’re a beginner, attempts to create her own regimen, know that you don’t need 10 steps to achieve good skin. Layer if you must, but know that skin may be sensitive and can get agitated. Certain products can counteract one another, and the list goes on. If you break out from new products, stop using it immediately, and give it away! I suggest for you to read The Little Book of Skin Care by Charlotte Cho, and do your own research by religiously following The Klog, Wishtrend TV, Liah Yoo, Gothamista, and The Beauty Breakdown.
If you want a personal regimen designed for you, I suggest to:
- Identify your skin type, first and foremost.
What works for my dry skin may not work for your oily/combination skin. When shopping for products, you’ll discover that brands produce lines to cater to every skin type. Choosing the right products for you becomes less overwhelming when you acquaint yourself with the state of your skin. Choose well, and save your money, energy, and time.
- Know which skin issues need to be treated.
Stubborn acne, pigmentation, premature aging, rough texture, dullness? Evaluate which needs to be treated, and keep building your routine with that in mind. A good serum and/or essence is your best bet!
- Most of all, be patient.
As with all things, good skin takes time. You won’t see instant results, and it can get frustrating. Be consistent with your routine, hydrate, eat good food, and cut back on the full-coverage foundation. Enjoy the process! Keep listening to what your skin is telling you, and you’ll see a great change overtime.
I’ve patterned *some* steps from the intimidating but highly effective international phenomenon. Given the state of my skin at present, I’ve simplified a bit and let go of essence, serum, and sheet masks. My daily routine consists of all-natural products – mostly Korean – through constant research and trial and error. Shall we get to the products?
Garnier Skin Natural Micellar Cleansing Water in Pink (Watsons, P249; Night)
Because my crazy skin care lady double cleanse (cleansing balm and cleanser) isn’t enough, the first step of my (nightly) routine is to remove my eye and lip make-up with cotton pads soaked in my holy grail Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. It’s the best and most gentle drugstore option I’ve tried! This is no match for my smudge-proof liquid lipsticks and waterproof mascara. I still can’t believe that the 400ml bottle is this affordable. Get the travel-size (125ml) for P149 if you want to test it or bring it for travel.
Disclaimer: I’ve heard stories about this particular product carrying the substance Polyaminopropyl Biguanide (PHMB) which should, apparently, be banned because it’s believed to be carcinogenic but still appears in make-up removers, lotions, and creams. Please do your own research as a consumer to see what you feel about it!
Banila Co. Clean It Zero Sherbet Cleanser in Purity (Shop Pibu, P890; Night)
To start off my double cleanse, a non-negotiable in my routine, I use the Banila Co. Clean It Zero Sherbet Cleanser which I find to remove make-up more effectively than the Heimish All-Clean Balm. A cult favorite from Korea, the oil cleansing balm hardly needs any introduction! It goes on a solid balm then melts into a milky consistency, dissolving impurities and excess make-up. I finished a big tub of the Classic version at the beginning of the year and thoroughly enjoyed it. At present, I use Purity (for sensitive skin) after suffering from stubborn acne for a few months. It could *almost* be perfect if it were not for the blurry sensation it leaves when near the eyes.
Banila Co. Clean It Zero Foam Cleanser (Banila Co. or BeautyMNL, P595; Day and Night)
After emptying 2 bottles of the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, a basic yet non-drying cleanser from the drugstore, I’ve loved using the Banila Co. Clean It Zero Foam Cleanser. As the last step of the double cleanse, this thick cleanser removes oil residue left from the cleansing balm. The price tag may seem unreasonable for such product but you only need so little that it can last for months!
Make sure to always cleanse your face properly, especially if you apply a lot of make-up and sunscreen, to avoid clogged pores and irritation. A clean face is the best foundation for all the other products to work. Make that extra effort, and you’ll see (and feel!) fantastic results overtime.
I have repurchased this after my skin went crazy upon emptying it. The Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask detoxifies and pulls out impurities from skin. It also rids it of excess sebum and minimizes the appearance of pores – because you can never really make it disappear. Unlike other face masks, this leaves skin feeling cool and hydrated. This is perfect for your next pamper sesh!
Lush Mask of Magnaminty Face and Body Mask (Lush, P425; Once a week)
This isn’t only for your face but also your body! Primrose seeds and Aduki beans both act as natural exfoliants, scrubbing away dead skin cells to increase cell turnover. It’s luscious and smells sweetly of chocolate! My favorite thing about this is how fast it dries – less than 5 minutes – best for days when I don’t have all the time in the world. I personally wouldn’t recommend this if you’re dealing with any stubborn breakouts, as with other harsh scrubs that can agitate acne even more rather than healing it. Again, don’t over-exfoliate and only use 1-2x a week.
Watch: Lush How It’s Made: Mask of Magnaminty via LUSH Cosmetics
My love affair with the K-Beauty multi-tasker, Son&Park Beauty Water, has officially ended after months of bliss, and I’ve gotten to know the equally raved about Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner. I’m a fan of viscous toners so this is such a treat to use! Not only does it balance skin’s natural pH levels but it prepares it to absorb the products to follow. This deeply moisturizes and leaves face squeaky clean!
Useful tip: Soak up your cotton pads with product and apply on face then use your hands to apply another layer for extra plump and hydrated skin.
For a gentler exfoliator, I use the One-Step Moisture Up Pads, a recent release from CosRX after the much raved about Acne One-Step Pimple Clear Pads. The pre-soaked pads are perfect for days when you have extra dry and flaky skin – either before applying make-up or after removing it! Cut it in half with a pair of sterilized scissors to save your money! This is good for everyday use but because of its price tag, I only use this 1-2x a week.
Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream (BeautyMNL, P294; Day and Night)
Our under eyes are the most delicate part of our face so it needs extra TLC! This is the first eye cream I’ve ever tried so I’m honestly still on the search for a better product. This has effectively lessened my lines because of the snail mucin and gives it that extra moisture but hasn’t really lessened discoloration. This is also great for wrinkles so I use this on my smile lines.
Buy the 25ml tub (P750) from Shop Pibu.
Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Fresh Watery Cream (Shop Pibu, P680; Day and Night)
I can heavily attribute the change of texture of my dry skin to Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Fresh Watery Cream. This is fantastic for the weather in the Philippines because it seeps into skin, and it won’t leave you sticky or oily. Packed with humectants, this restores and seals hydration. I also still stand by my love for the St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer, which is a great option from the drugstore for those on a budget.
Nivea Sun Protect Aqua Gel SPF 50 PA+++ (Japanese Drugstore; Day)
For daily sun protection, I never leave the house without slathering my face and neck with the Nivea Sun Protect Aqua Gel, my favorite drugstore find from Japan. If you ever find yourself in the area, don’t leave without hoarding a few! Never take this step for granted because sun rays age your skin. A locally available alternative is the Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, a lightweight, non-greasy water-based sunscreen. It’s just like you’re applying moisturizer on your face!
What’s your personal skin care routine like? Any tips for beginners? Leave them in the comments below. 💙