August 21, 2017 / 20:11 PM
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!
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.
Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask (BeautyMNL/Althea Korea, P560; 1-2x a week)
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
Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner (BeautyMNL/Althea Korea, P880; Day and Night)
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.
CosRX One-Step Moisture Up Pads (BeautyMNL/Shop Pibu, P900; As needed)
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. 💙
June 08, 2017 / 23:58 PM
(SON&PARK Beauty Water from Shop Pibu, P1,200)
If you’ve been neglecting a toner in your routine all these years, it’s about time to include one! It restores your pH level – retaining moisture to the skin – and prepares it for the rest of the steps leading to better absorption and protection. You basically add back what you lose during the cleansing process. It also wipes away grime and residue left. Some Western (astringent) toners tend to be drying because of the alcohol content so I personally prefer Korean brands.
Watch: Everything You Need to Know About Skin Toning via WISHTrend TV
The SON&PARK Beauty Water is liquid gold for all skin types. I’ve heard so many Korean beauty gurus and experts rave about it – even Soko Glam #GirlBoss, Charlotte Cho, author of The Little Book of Skin Care. TBH, this wasn’t love at first swipe. I first tried it during my Osaka trip in January where it was winter. My skin was so dehydrated, and I was underwhelmed. Back in Manila where it was summer, it worked fantastic.
What is Beauty Water?
A brain child of Son Dae Sik and Park Tae Yun who are both famous Korean celebrity make-up artists (Jeon Ji Hyun, etc.). You can think of the product as a bridge between cleansing and the other steps. It works amazing as a toner but it also functions as a make-up remover (think micellar water), a gentle exfoliator, and a facial mist. It’s also made of natural plant extracts!
Use it after the double cleanse (morning and night), before you apply make-up, or when you just need a clean canvas. You’ll end up with hydrated, plump skin! This allows make-up to look so much better. It’s so gentle that you can layer the product multiple times. Use it with a trusty cotton pad or your bare hands. I’ve been using this since January, and it’s still half full; talk about a bang for your buck!
Get the travel-sized bottle (60ml) for P450. I bought this from Althea Korea during its release (P1,269).
May 22, 2017 / 00:47 AM
In the age of magical cleansing and micellar water, removing make-up is easier than ever. Now, why would anyone of sound mind want to complicate their lives with a 2-step method to add to their already staggering daily checklist? Elisa, can you not?
What is the double cleanse?
The double cleanse is a staple for Koreans for their skin care routines. Removing make-up, sunscreen, and filth from your face after a long day is absolutely essential since skipping this will lead to premature wrinkling, congested pores, and breakouts. The first step is the solid cleansing balm or cleansing oil to be followed by the second step, which is the cleanser. I personally do the double cleanse only at night. If you want great skin, incorporate this in your regimen!
How do I do the double cleanse?
Get the cleansing balm or cleansing oil with your hands (or a spatula, if provided), and massage it on your face until it emulsifies. Rinse with water. For heavy duty make-up, you can repeat this step. Follow it with a cleanser to remove any residue left. Once rinsed off, don’t pat your face dry with a towel for a damp canvas. This is also more hygienic! Continue with the rest of your skin care routine.
Watch: Double-Cleansing Routine: The Tutorial via The Klog
Heimish All Clean Balm (Shop Pibu, P850)
The Heimish All Clean Balm is impressive! YouTubers say it’s even better than the bestselling Banila Co. Clean It Zero, which is my holy grail. Word has it that the creators of the new brand were former Banila Co. employees so they improved the formula. I personally think that they both do the job well although Heimish doesn’t give you the uncomfortable blurry eyesight, and it has more product in the tub (120ml) compared to Banila Co.’s (100ml) for the same price.
The cleansing balm dissolves into a milky oil consistency, and it works even for stubborn make-up. The super lightweight balm contains Citrus Herb Oil to brighten skin plus Coconut Extract, Shea Butter, and Donkey Milk for that extra moisture! It also contains a plastic spatula inside, which is more sanitary than, let’s say, using your finger. That packaging is also *kawaii!* I just wish they used less…fonts (says the design student who doesn’t know how to design).
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (Watsons, P180)
Ever since the worst breakout of my life, I’ve simplified my routine and use more gentle products targeted for sensitive skin. I’m currently using the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, which does the job. It doesn’t strip my face off moisture, which a ton of generic drugstore products do.
I just discovered the best place to buy Korean skin care products in the Philippines! It’s called Shop Pibu, and they have pretty competitive (cheap) prices compared to BeautyMNL and Althea Korea e.g. Heimish All Clean Balm is P850 and in BeautyMNL, it’s P975. What did I tell ya? They carry the newest in skin care, and most of the time, the products I want are in stock, which isn’t the case with others. Check them out! ✨
December 22, 2016 / 13:00 PM
2016 was all about rekindling my inexhaustible love for beauty and educating myself with the Korean 10-Step Skin Care Routine. If there’s one thing I learned from watching snippets of my mother’s Koreanovelas, it’s that Koreans have the best skin. It’s all about layering! I’ve been a religious follower for months, and my skin has never been better – with the exception of stubborn acne during that time of the month. Texture’s improved so much, and I owe it to these life-changing products. Of course, drinking water is still my number one essential! A useful tip, if you can’t remember the order, apply the product with the lightest to the thickest consistency.
My personal x-step routine – devoid of a holy grail sunscreen and eye cream for now – is all about curating products that work for my (dry to combination) skin and making a conscious effort to follow through every day. Discipline, my friends! It only takes 5 minutes in the morning and 10 in the evening (if you don’t include the occasional masks). It may be overwhelming for beginners but it’s also very exciting especially when presented with a myriad of possibilities from the local drugstore and online beauty shopping platforms like Beauty MNL, Zalora, and my personal favorite, Althea Korea.
I cannot reiterate how important it is to take care of one’s skin. Not only does the process improve its quality over time, it allows make-up to adhere to skin better, and more so, uplift one’s confidence and change one’s lifestyle.
Banila Co. Clean It Zero Super Size (Beauty MNL, P1,250)
My two-step cleansing process begins with the game-changing Banila Co. Clean It Zero. If you remove make-up properly – especially when you have a full face like I do every day – you allow your skin to absorb other products and prevent breakouts from occurring. It’s fast, easy, and foolproof! I’ve been using it for the past 3 months and am close to emptying it. The only thing that bothers me is how it blurs my sight when applied to my eye area. It’s a temporary affair but still a very strange sensation.
Read: Unboxing: Banila Co.
L’Oréal Micellar Water in Moisturizing (Watsons, P225)
For those on a budget, the recently released micellar water from L’Oréal does a stellar job of removing make-up. I’m so relieved that there are actually drugstore options now including Simple, Garnier, and Bioré. It’s so gentle, almost as if it were really just water; others have a tendency to sting. It’s perfect for removing elaborate eye make-up including budge-proof mascara and even long-wearing lip products. I just find myself reverting to Banila’s cleansing balm because I don’t like wasting cotton pads – the Cuddles Cotton Rounds (P55) and the Cleene Facial Cotton Pads (P65) being my favorites.
Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash (Watsons, P299)
The water-based cleanser I’ve thoroughly been enjoying is the Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash. It actually reminds me of the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser because of the gel-like consistency. It helps remove whatever oil residue remains from the cleansing balm. It’s recommendable for all skin types and leaves the skin feeling fresh and smooth.
Collagen by Watsons Moisturising & Gentle Peeling Milk (Watsons, P249)
Now, this is where it gets fun! Exfoliating is always so satisfying especially since you see results quick. The Watsons skincare line is so good, I can’t believe people don’t talk about it. It’s a great local drugstore alternative for skin care products. The Gentle Peeling Milk is the first product I’ve tried from the brand, and it’s incredible. I use it once a week to remove dead skin cells without drying or irritating my face. My skin feels like an actual baby’s butt after use!
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Scrub Foam (Althea Korea, P450)
I can probably live on Innisfree everything. I use the Jeju Volcanic Pore Scrub Foam once or twice a week before the Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask to remove impurities, control sebum, and unclog pores. Every time I have a really long day and get home from a tough commute, I use this, and it immediately transforms my skin.
Read: Unboxing: Althea Korea (Innisfree)
Watsons Collagen Youth Lock Essence Water (Watsons, P359)
Toning is such an overlooked step on every girl’s regimen. It restores skin’s PH balance, removes impurities and pollutants, and prepares it for the next steps.
Aside from the Watsons Collagen Youth Lock Essence Water, I really love the Nivea Mattifying Toner (P174), which I abused in the beginning of the year. The Essence Water is almost like a toner-and-essence combo because of its thick consistency but I prefer having 2 separate products since I’m a crazy skin care lady. I also prefer toners with more natural ingredients and less alcohol; it proves to be more refreshing and less drying. I plan on purchasing the much raved about Son & Park Beauty Water (P,1850) when I finish this – maybe in the year 2058 because this contains so much product.
CosRX One-Step Pimple Clear Pad (Watsons, P665)
If you’re lazy and having 65 steps on your routine is simply unintelligible, I recommend having the award-winning CosRX One-Step Pimple Clear Pad on your top shelf. It delivers instant results! These convenient pre-moistened pads removes impurities from skin, wipes away excess sebum, and helps treat and prevent breakouts. It has two sides: the textured for exfoliating and the other for a gentle cleanse. It’s not only great for days when I’m struggling with major skin issues but it’s good for daily use.
You get a ton of product on each pad (70 pieces/pack); it’s more than enough for your face and neck! Because of how expensive it is, I only use it at night and use the Watsons Essence Water in the morning. Saving tip: You can cut the pad in two. You can also purchase this on Althea and Beauty MNL but for a heftier price tag. I plan on exploring the brand more in the future. Of course, it’s a plus that the packaging design is really swell!
Collagen by Watsons Youth Lock Intensive Serum (Watsons, P349)
Serum is still a mystery to many but I find this step to produce instant results! As with essences and ampoules, it usually addresses specific skin care problems. The Watsons Collagen Youth Lock Intensive Serum retains the suppleness of skin and makes it extra firm and smooth. The product comes out looking and feeling like a moisturizer but more lightweight. I’m really impressed by the Youth Lock line from the brand; it’s so underrated!
St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer (Watsons, P249)
I’ve never enjoyed a moisturizer as much as I have the St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer. It’s not at all greasy or sticky. This seals in all the other products applied previously. It definitely changes how my make-up applies. When I’m lazy, I also use it as a lotion. It also comes in a huge tub which will last anyone a really long time.
Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask (Althea Korea, P560)
Masks are my favorite. When I feel like pampering myself at night, I apply the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask once a week for around 10 minutes. It rids my skin of filth and excess sebum, makes my pores smaller, and exfoliates! It’s also super cooling.
Daiso Charcoal Face Mask (Daiso, P88)
The Daiso Charcoal Face Mask is the first mask I’ve ever tried. I started using it this summer (once a week) and am surprised how it isn’t empty yet. I leave it on my face until it completely dries and peel it off to reveal cleaner skin. It dries my skin unlike the Pore Clay Mask but nothing a good moisturizer won’t solve. Did I mention that it’s also P88?
The Face Shop Jeju Aloe Fresh Soothing Gel (The Face Shop, P195)
The Face Shop’s Jeju Aloe Fresh Soothing Gel completely changed my skin! I’ve been struggling with strange, tiny bumps on my face for months until I watched a video on how to get clear skin. I tried it every night for a week as a sleeping mask and in just a few days, the bumps decreased. It absorbs to your skin which leaves you with a very smooth canvas.
Aside from using it as a sleeping mask, this multi-purpose gel can be used as an all-around moisturizer. It hydrates skin and retains moisture. It also calms the redness and inflammation of pimples. Major plus, it also helps relieves insect bites and sunburn. What a miracle worker!
What were your favorite skin care products from 2016? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know!
P.S. Use my discount code for Althea! Click here.
P.P.S. All my favorite sheet masks require a separate entry. Wait for it!