It's ideal to do the 10-step Korean beauty skin routine every day for radiant skin. But I know for many of us, it's not the most practical when you are busy. If I were to truncate the K-Beauty routine with just my essentials, there are five of those ten steps that you can't go without.
I would love to apply a face mask, essence, and all of the 10 steps in an ideal skincare routine, but that's not always practical due to a busy life and needing to prioritise other things over skincare. I find myself probably limiting many of these ten steps to a few times a week as opposed to everyday. To keep my skincare routine down to 5 minutes while giving it the minimally necessary hydration and nourishment, there are a few steps that I can't skip without risking the health of my skin.
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One of the most enjoyable parts of my skin care routine is cleansing. It has wonderful and necessary benefits to your skin. Cleansing in the morning awakens your skin and washes off the oils your skin produced overnight along with drool and any other impurities. Cleansing at night washes away all of the environmental toxins and oils accumulated on the skin after an active day, prepping my skin for some wonderful overnight moisturising and healing.
Foam cleansers are best for those with oily skin and personally, I see it removing more of the makeup residue at the end of the day. But there's still a special part in my heart for cream cleansers because they cleanse thoroughly without stripping my skin's natural moisture. Cream cleansers are ideal for your morning routine and foam cleansers are ideal for your evening routine.
Toner is made to rebalance the pH on your skin. Since the pH of water is usually around 6-8 and the normal pH of your facial skin is a bit more acidic at 4.7-5.7, the toner is necessary to recreate an ideal environment for your skin to heal, regenerate, and remain balanced. It seems so minute because it comes as a clear thin liquid, but it actually packs a punch when it comes to boosting your skin's health. It also helps to clear away any residual makeup left over after the face wash. This is a basic step I would never skip.
This is my favourite step, of which I find the most benefit in my skin care routine. If I had all 10 items lined up in a row in front of me and was only allowed to choose one item to take home with me, it would be the serum. So, what's a serum? A serum is a thin liquid that is full of concentrated plant extracts, antioxidants and vitamins. Due to it's chemical makeup, it penetrates more easily and deeply into your skin compared to any other step.
I'll let you in on a little secret. I use two different serums - one for the morning and one for the evening. My daytime serum is filled with antioxidants to reverse signs of ageing, polysaccharides to enhance hydration, yeast extract to protect against environmental damage, just to name a few ingredients. My evening serum is actually a facial oil made up of almond, grape seed, neroli, lavender, rosemary, and rose oils. All of these ingredients hydrate, nourish, and regenerate the skin overnight. Even with my oily combination skin, the added oils regulate my skin's sebum production. Basically, I'm getting the best of both worlds using both serums.
Moisturising is an essential step. It's very important because you want a moisturiser that will create a barrier on your skin to keep the good stuff you just applied from evaporating off of your skin and it keeps the bad things out, like environmental toxins. Meanwhile, it should also nourish and heal. Just like your body needs food, your skin also needs nourishment twice a day.
You can use an emulsion to replace the moisturiser step if you tend to have more oily skin. Some also substitute oils as moisturisers especially in their evening skin care routine. I recommend using a lotion in your evening routine that includes polypeptides to heal and increase skin cell turnover to help reverse early signs of ageing. Your skin is constantly battling antioxidants and harsh environmental factors all day so it needs healing help with this step.
Sun damage contributes to fine lines and wrinkles by causing dehydration. SPF lotion is very essential to maintain healthy skin. SPF lotions are available everywhere and in all different forms to protect against harsh UVB rays from the sun. This step is easy because you just need to find a non-irritating one that's at least an SPF of 35, but ideally 50. Anything above that (as I mentioned in a previous post) won't be very advantageous and you'll be paying an unnecessary premium. Don't skip this step! Protect your skin especially when you're going out for the day. To learn more about what type of SPF is necessary, read my previous post about PA and PA+++.
I urge you to add these steps to your daily skincare routine if you're skipping them at the moment. You'll see a major difference when you do. If you're already using these steps, keep it up. Then, I challenge you to move on to the 10-Step Korean Beauty Routine for extra hydration, nourishment, and anti-ageing for your skin. You skin will thank you by creating a radiating glow.