In the West, it’s not usual for a child to be concerned about his/her skin, especially if it looks fine without any major problems. I remember I wasn’t even allowed to put any kind of cream on my face, because it was for “adults” only. It was ok, because soap and water were pretty good doing the job. You had to reach a certain age in order to have the privilege to use a moisturizer. Thus, one lives with little to no worries about his/her skin until maybe it passes the teenage years. And then, the emphasis falls more upon make-up and covering certain sins of the skin, rather than following a routine. Then, when we become more aware of our appearance, we are starting to look for that Miracle cream that would solve all our problems and restore our skin to the youthful self.
Koreans are a little bit different. Skincare is a part of their culture. It’s embedded in their lives since early childhood. It’s taught by parents, it’s part of the school curricula, it’s acclaimed by the society. In their view, beauty is as much about rituals as it is about specific products and brands. Creating and following a skincare ritual is the ultimate answer to a youthful and revitalized skin everyday. That $100 miracle cream will never give the skin all the nutrients it needs. Can we eat the same food over and over again and feel good? Can we eat just apples everyday and expect to survive? It’s very questionable and most probably the answer would be “no”. This is how the skin should be perceived: as a living being that needs a vast array of diverse nutrients. These nutrients can be provided only if we combine certain products so that they work together in perfect synergy delivering the flawless skin. The skincare ritual is exhaustive and it may appear a little bit overwhelming and exaggerated for any person not accustomed to have one, but once you get in the habit, you cannot think otherwise. It’s fully efficient and with the adorable Korean beauty products one risks to develop a real love affair. I know I did and there is no way back.
So, let’s start the ritual!
- CLEANSING – This is the most important step and it never should be missed. Cleansing the face properly prepares the skin for a better absorption of the next product. For this step, I absolutely love the Cleansing Oils. I will dedicate an entire post to them, because I think there are still a lot of beautiful ladies out there that are not aware of these miracle cleansers. After using a cleansing oil, one may proceed with a cleansing foam just to make sure that there is no trace of make-up and other products.
- EXFOLIATING – Twice a week is enough, but there are very gentle exfoliators like a peeling cream, which could be used on a daily basis to prepare the skin for maximum penetration of the serum and moisturizers.
- REFRESHING – Balanced pH levels are vital to clear skin and toners accomplish this mission. They refresh and remove any left residue.
- PAPER/SHEET MASKS – These are my favorites. Skin-plumping masks represent industry’s greatest breakthroughs! They are more concentrated than the regular serums, and consequently, very efficient. They come loaded with a variety of natural nutrients and the visible effects are incredible. These masks are recommended 2-3 times a week.
- ESSENCE – I know this one was a mystery to me when I first started to indulge in Korean skincare ritual. Koreans are very particular about using the essence and they claim this is one of the most important steps. The essence usually is a very concentrated formula and contains one active ingredient that will penetrate the skin and have a very targeted action. It’s more like a treatment with visible results.
- SERUM – As you can notice we are slowly increasing the thickness of our products the more we are advancing in the ritual. Serums are my favorites and I use them religiously day and night. Serums are thicker than an essence, but definitely lighter than a moisturizer. They have more concentrated ingredients and act much faster than a moisturizer. Most of the sheet masks contain a certain serum, that’s why one can see fast results from using them.
- MOISTURIZER – I believe that everyone uses a moisturizer. A moisturizer is our traditional way to take care of our skin. It’s very thick and as a result it will be used as one of our last steps. I was completely astonished when one of the Korean ladies I met, informed me that a moisturizer, even if it’s indispensable to our skin, it has the slowest action. In other words, it takes much longer to see any specific results (ex. Anti-ageing, pore-minimizing, etc.) from just using a moisturizer, no matter how good it claims to be. I moisturize my skin a lot throughout the day.
- EYE CREAM – I am perplexed at how many women do not use an eye cream. A special targeted eye cream. The skin around our eyes is the most sensitive, and therefore, the weakest. It’s this area that will show the first signs of ageing. Taking care and constantly hydrating the eye area is imperative for a youthful look.
- BB CREAM – As I already stated it, the BB creams are my inspiration. I apply it as the last step in my morning skincare regimen. It’s simply perfect. I very rarely use a foundation, almost never. The BB cream gives me the protection I need, it’s anti-ageing, moisturizing, and the cover is natural and dewy.
- SLEEPING MASK – If the BB cream is usually the last step in my morning routine, there is no doubt that the sleeping mask will be my last step in the evening routine. The sleeping mask was a very new concept to me, I remember, but I am totally dependent on it now. It’s another Korean innovation and once you get to use one, you’ll be in awe the next morning. The sleeping masks are used to seal all the products that were applied on the face and keep the skin abundantly moisturized throughout the night. It has a pretty thick consistency and it’s more watery than creamy. It’s the Holy Grail for the skin.
All the steps described here are essential for a complete Korean skincare ritual and if followed consistently, they promise to bring astonishing results. It’s fairly intuitive, as enhancing your skincare from a mere moisturizer to a 10-step process is one of the best decisions one may take for her skin. I call it a little bit of extra care, extra attention, and extra awareness. I am not, by any means, a skincare guru. I learn everyday and I like to experiment a lot. This ritual may seem complicated and time consuming, but, trust me, it’s very easy to get used to it and after that, it’s very difficult to think otherwise. Also, the Korean products are design to be layered, so there is no need to be concerned about clogged pores or other skin troubles. You will definitely see big changes in your skin and once that happens, I guarantee you’d want to add a couple of more steps to this ritual.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN INSIDE AND OUT