The Korean beauty skin routine is world famous. Here is my daily beauty steps — advice from a Korean woman, living in America. Amazon links to the best Korean skin products (tried and true, from me). Layering is absolutely key, so here’s how to do it properly.
10 Step Korean Beauty Skin Routine
1. Make-Up Remover & Oil Cleanser
I use a mixture of coconut oil and jojoba oil (half and half) to wipe off my make-up (especially that annoying eye lash glue!). But oil provides the absolute best way to remove even the most stubborn “water-proof” make-up … I say “water-proof” because it’s really “June-proof.” And here’s the thing … make-up is soooo difficult to remove. You can remove it and remove it and remove it … you can still wash your face and more make-up will come off. It’s so gross, and if you think about it, that’s the stuff that seeps into your skin and makes it all bad and junky and stuff.
Add a layer of coconut/jojoba oil, put some warm water on your face, and massage into your face. Wipe off very gently with a steamy hot face cloth. (I absolutely LOVE these organic cloths … so gentle!)
2. Water-Based Cleanser
This is the “double” portion of the “double cleansing.” And frankly, this is the place that most, ahem, white women fall short. From what I’ve read in the comment, tons of women experience break-outs after only using the “oil cleansing method.” And that’s because you leave a layer of oil on your skin, which is not necessarily good for it. Cleansing twice also has the added benefit of cleaning your skin again, so if you still have make-up on, it will come off.
I wash my face with a bit of Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Pure-castile Liquid Soap and water. I use this mixture all over the house, and I reuse those foaming hand soap dispenser. Tea tree oil has great anti-bacterial properties to zap those zits, too.
As if your face wasn’t already clean enough. 🙂 But, now we gotta rid of those floating skin cells that clog up stuff. Use something very gentle here. I absolutely love my Clarisonic Mia 2 for this step, but I found that I cannot use it every day, so I substitute a gentle Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Scrub to the mix.
Okay, ladies, this is where I am going to go Korean on you. Have no fear, because I can tell you the exact Korean beauty secrets, and what you can’t read, you can find on Amazon. Korean women swear by rice water for toner, and this is exactly what I use. I also consume loads and loads of rice … so this isn’t an issue for me. Toner basically preps your skin for moisturizers.
Koreans wash their rice before cooking it in a rice cooker. (I buy my Korean rice from the Korean grocery store, but you can buy some Korean white rice on Amazon if one isn’t available near you.) But, this rice water is pure skin toner gold. After washing my rice in a bowl, I take this water and put it in a old ketchup bottle, which I then use on my face. Give a good shake. Refrigerate it, and change the water often.
For those who don’t wish to make a toner, you can try Etude House Moistfull Collagen Skin 200milliliter 2016 New, which is a great alternative.
Essence is a Korean thing, something often overlooked in other skin care routines. It’s a bit of a toner and serum together, made especially for aiding cell turnover. A lot of your “alpha hydroxy” and “collagen” stuff falls into this category. I use MIZON Collagen. Think of this stage as just your anti-aging step.
There are quite a number of serums on the market, and really, you use these to address certain issues with your skin. I like to use a Vitamin C serum. You can have any number of serums, so this step could really be like 10 different steps. But, I try to keep everything really simple and use the Klairs Freshly Juiced Drop Vitamin-C Serum. I believe that Vitamin C serum is absolutely essential to anti-aging of your skin, both inside and out, and that’s why I also make sure to eat a lot of fruit and veggies that have Vitamin C.
7. Sheet Masks
Sheet masks became quite popular a few years ago, and there is good reason why. That’s because these little babies are pure anti-aging, beautiful skin gold. Make sure to take some selfies and post on FaceBook how much you love it. Once or twice a week is enough for them. I use Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheet. However, you can’t overdo this step, so if you want to use them every single day, then you can. I try to use them as much as possible. You actually want to use this after the exfoliation stage — and you can skip over steps 4 through 6 when you do it. I also wash my face, then do steps 4 through 6 in the morning as well.
This step is a morning-only step. I wear sunscreen every single day. My absolute favorite, because it is SPF 50+ and non-greasy is MISSHA All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk. For those of you with a love-hate relationship with sunscreen, this is your brand. This stuff is perfect to wear under makeup.
Hydration is the key to keeping skin looking young. Finding one that works for your skin type is crucial. I will tell you what I use, but this is the most personalized step in any skin care routine — pretty much all the other steps are good for almost all skin types. I actually use three different types of moisturizers: one for the morning and two for the evening.
In the morning, I use BB Cream (ALSO a Korean invention — Koreans are beauty queens, here, ladies). I use Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream — I use the honey beige, but you will need to find a matching color for you.
In the evening, I use straight argan oil. The company who sells this stuff is crazy good because they send you some free oil samples that I use in my VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser to make my house smell totally awesome. Then I use [MIZON] Collagen Power Firming Enriched Cream 50ml (1.69 fl.oz.). This stuff makes my face so soft and supple. On a side note, I think that the diffuser actually helps my skin, too.
Once per week, I add a Etude House Moistfull Collagen Sleeping Pack, 3.38 Ounce instead of using the second moisturizer.
10. Eye Cream
The skin around your eyes is so delicate and should be treated like a fragile cherry blossom. You need some extra protection, both in the morning and evening. That is why I use MIZON Korean Cosmetics Snail Repair Eye Cream, 1 Ounce twice per day. The thought of using snail goo on your eyes might weird you out, but I promise you, this is another fantastic Korean beauty secret. It will make the skin around your eyes so soft!