2 Jan 2017

My 2016 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

Today I'm back with my updated, 10-step Korean skincare routine. This trend is highly popular in YouTube now, a lot of vloggers I subscribed are doing their 10-step Korean skincare routine hence I am intrigued to introduce mine!

Just for your information, I don't usually commit to a 10-step routine unless if I am deliberated enough on that particular day. I have a lot of multitasking products like Blithe Pressed Serum, Scinic All-in-One Ampoule and so on to help me skipping steps, but sticking to the 10-step routine definitely has its cons of helping me skin to retain moisture for longer with better "glow".

Let's go over to my 2016 10-step Korean skincare routine!

Step 1: Makeup Remover & Oil Cleanser

I rarely put on makeup and I believe that reducing the amount of makeup you put on your face is itself a form of skincare. I normally use Primera Seed Energy Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup on occasions when I apply makeup. These tiny ones are miniatures I received from my previous Primera hauls and you can see that I still haven't finished them. The Primera cleansing oil is an oil-based cleanser that will effectively dissolve all dirts and pigments and can be easily emulsified with water. For points makeup, I use The Saem Marseille Olive Waterproof Eyes & Lip Remover. I got this from Koreadepart. It is quite meh and I think I will still go back to the Bifesta one.

On days when I don't apply makeup, only sunscreen, I will use my recently discovered Laneige Vitamin Brightening Cleansing Water. This is a neat, convenient, and effective cleansing water to remove not only sunscreen but light makeup and dirts. It will not leave my skin squeaky clean or tight and does not irritate my eyes.

Step 2: Water-Based Cleanser

Next I move on to a water-based cleanser, or foam cleanser. My current favourites are The Saem Urban Eco Harakeke Foam Cleanser and SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. The Saem is a convenient, fresh-floral smelling foam cleanser that is quite gentle and moisturizing whereas SU:M37 is like a cleansing soap in a tube that you need to massage on your skin before foaming it up. There is a lot of hypes on the SU:M37 cleansing stick but I personally find it quite decent. I think I still prefer my Belif Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist which is gentler and much more moisturizing.

Step 3: Exfoliation

I would then use a physical exfoliator, or scrub to even out and smooth my complexion. Normally I won't advise sensitive skin to try out physical exfoliator but drier skin will find this a good way to remove some of your dead skin cells to achieve that polished Korean celebrities' skin look. It also allows the rest of your products to penetrate better and more effectively.

My current favourites (actually long-time favourites) are Primera Intensive Facial Peeling and Belif First Aid Transforming Peel-Off Mask. Primera comes in a soft, grinded plant stem texture that works softly but effectively on your skin. Like DIY facial scrub made of broccoli and lotus root stem. Belif is a wash-off mask which relies on its natural BHA content to gently slough off dead skin cells in a non-abrasive manner. I don't use Belif as often as I want to probably because I always forgot about it after stepping into the shower. But I can't deny that it is in fact a good and innovative product.

Step 4: Toner

You can use your treatment essence before a toner, or after, depends on the consistency of the treatment essence. But if you are using a toner with cleansing property, then use it before the essence. I have a lot of products for this step (because I'm a skincare junkee you see) but 5 of them are what I usually use.

If I were to use Cosrx AHA or BHA Power Liquid, then I will spray the AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner on my skin before proceeding with the Cosrx Power Liquids. I will use those only if I have more time since I normally wait 10-15 minutes between acids.

Normally, I will go for Hanyul Rice Essential Skin Softner, which is a hydrating toner made of fermented rice and a bunch of oriental herbal extracts. My skin is velvety soft, plump and moisturized after using. I would advise this for drier season and winter country. If you have oily skin or live in a hot climate, they have a Balancing version but with significantly less herbal extracts.

Sometimes I will use Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Skin when I need a refreshing, light-weighted hydrating toner with watery consistency. Whamisa Original Organic Toner is something I am testing recently. I am sort of disappointed with most Whamisa products I've tried so I am hoping that this will save my impression on the brand. And then I also have another toner I'm testing recently, the Dear by Enprani Moistful Booskin having read a lot of good reviews on it. I would agree that it is indeed a decent toner with decent skin moisturizing benefits and might consider purchasing the full size!

Step 5: Eye Cream

Eye cream is NOT a must in my skincare routine because I have the luxury of applying moisturizer around my eyes area without any complication. However, I do use eye cream from time to time to delay, and if possible, diminish the appearance of fine lines under my eyes.

My favourite is the Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream which is a more delicate version of the Moisturizing Bomb from the same brand. It nourishes without being overwhelming, suitable for younger skin compared to the Peat Miracle Eye Cream. I am recently testing the Yuripibu Maronza Cucu Eye Cream and Kiehl's Super Multicorrective Eye Opening Serum which I find really good for my eyes area as well. I sometimes layer Yuripibu after Kiehl's as the latter is lighter and functions better as a serum than a cream.

Step 6: Sheet Mask

As a budget-conscious smart consumer, I usually skip all my essences if I were to use a sheet mask, or sheet mask before essences. But you could revert the flow and end your essences and serums with a sheet mask to lock everything in if you want. I don't have any particular one that I am committed to as I am always experimenting different sheet masks. My favourite brands are My Beauty Diary, Lovemore, Jayjun, Papa Recipe, Innisfree and so on. And I also find local drugstore brand Guardian has really great sheet masks too! You can check out all my make episodes for more in-depth reviews!

Step 7: Essence

Essence is a staple in my skincare routine. Not only does it sometimes function like a toner, it also a light-weighted version of all-skincare-benefiting-ingredients-in-one. And it is not surprising because you have treatment essence that can do moisturizing, anti-oxidizing, anti-aging, exfoliating, and brightening at the same time! I am currently testing Laneige Clear-C Advanced Effector and just finished the Tony Moly Galactomyces Intense Care First Essence with 94.5% fermented yeast extract for dry skin. You can find my review here. I personally prefer the Laneige one as it helps to brighten up my skin but I find it to be a little bit drying if I didn't apply a moisturizer immediately after. Although the Tony Moly one works pretty well too, but I dislike how it leaves my skin feeling greasy after so I wouldn't repurchase the Tony Moly one.

Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid and Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid are great additions to my skincare routine. They are chemical exfoliants that work to dissolve blackhead and prevent the building of dead skin cells that clog pores and resulted in whiteheads. So far so good, although leaving my skin unmoisturized during the 10-15 minutes wait time between each step can sometimes leave my skin feeling dry and irritated.

Step 8: Serum, Booster & Ampoule

This is a treatment step for skin issues like acne, wrinkles, dark spots, pores, and dullness. My primary concerns are three: hydration, anti-oxidizing and brightening. For this step, I normally use Laneige Water Bank Essence_EX to add moisture back into my skin. Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Essence can do this as well but it has added anti-oxidizing benefits that I enjoy. I sometimes use Belif Peat Miracle Serum Concentrate for hydrating purposes but it is a primarily anti-aging product. And then I have the more heavyduty The History of Whoo Ja Saeng Essence and Sulwhasoo Ginseng Fortifying Serum to nourish, moisturize and repair earlier signs of aging-related damages. The key is prevention here.

Ops, I forget to include my recently finished Kiehl's Dark Spot Solution, which I have reviewed here as a potent skin brightening serum.

Step 9: Moisturizer

I have a lot of moisturizers to suit different skin needs from time to time. My favourite for the last few months of 2016 is the Belif The True Whitening Cream which has the hydrating property of my holy grail Aqua Bomb and additional whitening benefit of nutmeg extract. And then the recently launched Kose Sekkisei Herbal Gel I bought during their Parkson Anniversary Sales. It claims to be an all-in-one herbal gel but I find it best as a moisturizer. It is light-weighted, moisturizing and hydrating with brightening benefits. J.One Hana Cream is a new hit in the Korean market, which I find really convenient and interesting as an anti-wrinkles remedy. Squeeze a tiny ball size capsule between your fingers and you are indulged in a semi-matte and velvety skin experience. My last favourite is the Beauty of Joseon cream (this one has tonnes of names) which has the texture of a bouncy, light-weighted serum and the moisturizing goodies of a cream.

Step 10: Sunscreen

And lastly, the sunscreens. I have reviewed about all of them before, which you can check out in my previous posts. Among them, I love Kose one the most for its light-weighted and refreshing texture and broad spectrum protection. Senka Mineral Essence UV is useful as a light-weighted sunscreen base whereas I normally apply the Innisfree one on area where sunlight hits the most.

Here is my updated 10-step Korean skincare routine for 2016. I normally wouldn't follow this every single day but I do notice that my skin retains moisture better, looks healthier and plump if I put on a few light but potent layers of products on. I hope they will provide you with some insights on how I mix and match my routine and I would like to hear yours too! That's all for today, I hope you like my share today and do leave me a message down in the comment below if you have any questions.

[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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