Korean Skin Care Routine

My cousin just returned from Korea, and we spent about 6 hours talking about Korean skin care secrets. I realized that Korean skin care products is YEARS ahead of American/European skin care products. Plus, many Asian women have combination/oily skin, which means many skin care products are designed to specifically target this skin type. I have combination skin in the winter and oily skin in the summer, so naturally I find many Asian skin care products a lot more friendly for my skin than many Western skin care brands.

Song Hye Kyo's flawless skin

South Korean women spend more money on skin care products than any other women in the world. They often use 14-16 different skin care products on a weekly basis! In contrast, a lot of people here in America use a simple 3-step skin care routine: cleanser, toner, moisturizer. Once upon a time, I had a 2-step skin care routine (cleanser, moisturizer), and that was enough to keep my breakouts in check when used with my prescribed topical cream. I only get occasional breakouts, some blackheads, and enlarged pores (probably from years of acne). I decided at some point to try the Korean skin care routine to try and heal old acne scars and allow my skin to become radiant.

Here are the steps for a typical Korean skin care routine:

MORNING...

1) Cleanser

I suggest you pick a foaming cleanser that is gentle on your face. A lot of gel cleansers that I have used are very intensive and often very drying (even for my oily skin). Cream cleansers can sometimes be too oily (especially if they're not oil-free) in the morning, even if your toner can make it work. Generally speaking, I've found that foaming cleansers are perfect for my skin. 

This is a trick I learned to determine if your cleanser is too drying/not strong enough: 
After washing your face with your cleanser, place a sheet of tissue paper on your face. If it falls off immediately, your cleanser is too dry! If it takes more than two seconds to fall off, your cleanser is not strong enough and too much oil is left on your face! Anytime in between is just right. 

2) Toner

Most people think toners are useless/overkill/drying to the skin, but if you pick the right toner for your skin type, it will be well worth your money. A few days ago, I went to Sephora and had a chat with one of the skincare specialists. She said that toners were designed to balance the skin's pH levels following cleansing, as some cleansers are not pH balanced. My dermatologist actually said the exact same thing to me before, and told me to use a gentle toner (alcohol-free) if I wanted to use a toner. While many Western toners are designed to simply balance your skin's pH levels, many Asian toners aim to do that AND hydrate the skin with nutrients. That is what makes Asian toners different than Western toners. 

Here's the thing: toners are things you want to be willing to splurge a little on (unlike cleansers where you can find similar ingredients in cheaper products). You want to use a toner that is alcohol-free to avoid drying out your skin and one that has as many natural ingredients as possible to condition your skin without harmful synthetics and chemicals. 

3) Essence/Serum

This is a super important step that a lot of people here in the US skip - which is really unfortunate... I cannot stress how important this step is to transforming your skin or maintaining youthful, radiant skin. My cousin highlighted this point in the Korean skincare routine. Many people think serums are used by older women whose primary concern is wrinkles and what-not, but many serums in Asian are more than just wrinkle treatments - many have hydrating, whitening, oil-controlling, etc. abilities. Even if you're under that belief, it's never too early to start fighting wrinkles! This is another product that you want to be prepared to spend more money on because the purity, quality, and quantity of the special ingredients make a big difference.

Very jealous of Han Ga In's luminous skin

What the heck is essence anyways? 

An essence is very similar to a serum, but is usually lighter and has a more liquid-y consistency. Both essences and serums aim to treat specific skin problems such as wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, etc. I like to think that this is THE product to use when you're unhappy or unsatisfied with your skin in someway. My problems are mostly occasional breakouts, blackheads, large pores, and excessive oiliness.

4) Emulsion

Okay, so emulsion may not be for everyone, so depending on the season and/or your skin type, you may or may not need to use am emulsion.

When I think of emulsions I think salad dressing...what the heck is emulsion as a skincare product?

An emulsion is uncommon in western skincare routines, but it is essentially a lightweight moisturizer. Most emulsions are relatively liquid-y and is quickly absorbed by your skin. It's really meant for people with dry skin or for people who live in dry climates (i.e. New England in the winter). It provides an extra layer of moisture for those whose skin needs it. If you have oily skin, you may not need to use emulsions in your daily skin care routine.

5) Moisturizer

This is also a super important step in the Korean skincare regime! Finding the right moisturizer can be really tricky, especially if your skin type changes with the seasons like mine does. In the summer, my skin is oily, so I need a lightweight moisturizer (oil-free, too!) that can easily be absorbed into my skin. However, in the winter my skin becomes a combination of oily and dry (oily in my t-zone and dry on my cheeks), so I need a heavier moisturizer (still preferably oil-free) to accommodate the season change. 

6) BB Cream/CC Cream

BB creams and CC creams are very similar: both are aimed at concealing blemishes/redness and treating the skin to improve overall skin condition and texture. Many Asian BB/CC creams have a laundry list of skin benefits that include whitening, anti-wrinkle, skin elasticity, etc. Think of them as tinted moisturizers + sunscreen + anti-wrinkle cream + primer + concealer + ....... Anyways, they're awesome for people who are lazy or dislike going through the whole make-up routine. I will be doing a full comparison between BB creams and CC creams another time!

7) Powder

In all honesty, this step can be skipped....depending on your skin type. If you have oily skin like me, it's a good idea to tap on some powder after BB/CC cream to absorb excess shine. Just make sure the powder is oil-free/mineral make-up to avoid clogging up your pores! If you have dry skin, avoid powdering- it can actually irritate your skin or make it even drier! If you have combination skin, only use powder where your skin tends to get shiny. Sensitive skin should also be careful to use only as much as needed.

Suzy's skin is so dewy and bright!
MID-DAY...

You wonder what Korean women use to refresh themselves in the middle of the day (especially a hot and humid day)? Facial mists are HUGE in Korea right now! My cousin literally bought 12 different facial mists back from Korea! Most of them are targeted to deliver nutrients and minerals while hydrating and refreshing your your face. This is a step that isn't usually present in a typical Western skin care routine (I didn't start using this until I switched up my skin care routine), but is a nice luxury to incorporate into your everyday life. You won't regret it! These make those super humid, gross days a lot better and fun!

AT NIGHT...

It's super important to note that Koreans take face cleaning very seriously. So seriously they've developed a particular method to obtaining super clean skin. It's called the double-cleansing method. Essentially, it's a two-step cleaning method to get your skin super clean. The first step is to use a make-up remover oil to take off as much of your make-up as possible. Don't worry about using the make-up remover oil if you have oily skin- all traces of the cleansing oil will be removed in the second step. The second step is to use a gentle cleanser to remove any excess make-up (that wasn't removed by the oil remover) and leftover oil remover. Really this method ensures that make-up is completely removed so that leftover make-up doesn't clog your pores and lead to nasty breakouts!

Yoona's skin is smooth and healthy-looking with minimal make-up!

1) Make-up Remover Oil

Don't panic if you have oily/acne prone skin! Make-up is easily removed with an oil-based make-up remover. It beats scrubbing down your skin with water! Trust me on this- the oil actually protects your skin from scrubbing your skin too hard while you attempt to remove the make-up.

2) Cleanser

Again, focus on a gentle cleanser, not one that will strip moisture away from your skin! In fact, taking away all traces of oil from your skin will only induce more oil production (I can cite my dermatologist on this). There are definitely gentle gel cleansers as well, but I happen to find that foaming cleansers are nicer on my skin. All this cleanser has to do is really just take away left-over make-up form step #1 and any other dirt and debris.

3) Toner

Use the same toner as the morning, or use a different one- either is fine! I like to use an an antibacterial toner at night to make sure any bacteria on your pillow don't give you any breakouts! But you can use any toners that cater to your skin's need (i.e. moisturizing, mattifying, etc.)

4) Essence/Serum

I would highly using a different essence or serum as the one you use in the morning. Why? To gain more skin care benefits. Like I said, serums and essences are made for many different uses (aside from just anti-aging). A good nighttime serum/essence to use is one that focuses on repairing/conditioning the skin (i.e. vitamin-based serums, balancing serums, etc.). That way, your skin can heal while you sleep (which is, by the way, super important to your skincare routine!), and you wake up with beautiful, radiant skin :)

5) Night Moisturizer

Typically at night I like to use a heavier moisturizer to help my skin heal intensively. Heavier doesn't necessarily oil-based moisturizers, so don't worry if your skin is oily! Using a richer gel-based moisturizer works very well on oily/acne prone skin. Or you can find an oil-free lotion/cream.

ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK...

You thought we were done with the list?!

In addition to a daily skin care routine, Korean women often have weekly regimes too! Of course, you tailor your own needs to each weekly treatment. These weekly products are definitely worth the splurge because these are the skin care equivalents to icing on the cake, and no cake is a cake without frosting (c'mon let's be honest here). When doing weekly treatments, make sure you understand your skin type and needs. For example, a clay mask may be better used twice a week instead of only one in the summer for someone with oily skin. However, someone with normal skin may find that only once a week may be intensive enough! Tread lightly and be open to trying many products to find the ones that work best for you!
Yuri's skin boasts a creamy, silky complexion
1) Exfoliator/Peel

I recommend using an exfoliator or peel for all skin types. For acne prone/oily skin, scrubbing away dead skin cells will help clear your pores. For someone with dry skin, it can scrub away flaky skin spots (be careful not to scrub too hard!) and promote healthy skin growth. For sensitive skin, be careful to read what the ingredients in the exfoliator/peel is before using. Always test on your hand before using on your face when using a product first! Try finding a product that uses natural ingredients as the "scrubbing agents." When exfoliating, make sure to use your hands (your hands are the best gifts from your parents) and massage your face in an gentle outwards circular motion. The outwards motion helps retain skin resiliency and minimizes skin stretching to prevent wrinkles. You would use the exfoliator or peel after your gentle cleanser and before your toner.

2) Deep-cleansing mask

This one here is awesome for people with oily/acne-prone skin, combination skin, and normal skin- especially in the summer or in humid weather. Many deep-cleansing masks are made out of clay (kaolin), which help draw out debris from your pores. The environment can be full of debris, dirt, and other gunk. The purpose of this step is to create a blank canvas, or to deeply clean out your pores.  Dry skin and sensitive skin definitely want to consider the weather before making this a weekly treat. Most deep-cleaning masks are quite intensive, so if you have dry or sensitive skin, your skin may not like this mask very much. You may want to skip this step! You would use the deep-cleansing mask in place of your gentle cleanser after using your make-up remover and before your toner. Make sure to use a heavier moisturizer afterwards if you have sensitive or dry skin!

3) Sheet mask

Did you know that sheet masks were made popular throughout Asia by Koreans? Originating from South Korea, sheet masks are cheap, fun, and useful devices to use against dry weather and bad complexion days! Sheet masks are slowly making their way into the Western market- Sephora recently started selling Masqueology sheet masks online. There is a ridiculous number of brands that make sheet masks, and in my humble opinion, only a few of them really do what they say they do. Most sheet masks are great for refreshing and hydrating the face, as a lot of them are saturated with serums.

Sheet masks are great for any skin types, and should be used depending on your skin type. Tea tree ones are great for oily/acne prone skin. Aloe is great for sensitive skin. Honey is awesome for dry skin. Most sheet masks don't need to be washed off, though I have used ones that require a quick rinse afterwards. Leftover serum in the package should ALWAYS be either massaged into the chin or neck area or patted into the skin using clean hands or facial cotton. Sheet masks are best used after exfoliator and toner, and before your moisturizer. So on a night when you decide to use your exfoliator, break out your sheet mask too! You can skip your essence/serum (the sheet mask does the trick). Depending on the season, the condition of your skin, etc., you may want to use sheet masks 1-3 times a week.

4) Sleeping mask

You might not be super familiar with sleeping masks, which are basically leave-in masks (at least most are) that you put on before going to bed. They come with many different functions including hydration, oil control, rejuvenation, etc. Sleeping masks can be thought of as the "deep-cleansing masks" for dry/sensitive skin. For oily/acne prone skin, there are some really nice sleeping masks that help balance oil production (works like a balancing cream). These are your best friends in the winter and fall!

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I know this is a laundry list of skin care products to buy and try out, but if you're like me and you have tried all sorts of solutions to help your troubled skin (dermatologist, traditional Chinese medicine, over-the-counter, etc.), then the Korean skin care routine may actually help change your skin (and your life!) for good. Whatever decisions made, it is always good to be open-minded and be persistent about try new things out.

Good luck with your new skin care routine! :)






292 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. You're welcome! I'm sorry I've been rather inactive lately -- just started college. I'll be bloggin more during my breaks and weekends!

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    1. This is great!, You know many skin problems occur because of the food you eat! Many of us just simply do not want to accept this to be the reason why we have wrinkled skin or acne or so on. The healthier you eat the healthier your skin a body will be and the happier you will feel! http://www.thehealthywoman.net

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  3. I love your Blog!! I'm also a fan of Korean culture. You helped me a lot. I like everything about Korea but for me it's quite questionable when it comes to their Skin care Routine. I thought its exaggerating and only applicable for middle-aged women. Go ma sseum ni da!!!

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    1. Thanks! Sorry for being so inactive... I've been loaded with tons of work from college professors... I will be doing more posts during Thanksgiving break! Please bare with me...

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  4. Hi! Thank you so much for this! Helped me a lot! I jus wanted to know if I can use all of these products like toner, emulsion/essence and serums and if it would be very good for my skin since im only 16? I have oily combination and skin have blemishes :s btw I have brown skin too so. plss reply, would help me so much! :)

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    1. Absolutely, Nabilah! All of these different skincare products work together to do different wonders for you. If you are still hesitant, I would recommend starting with a simple cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer (with maybe a mask once a week), and slowly working your way up. I have oily combination skin as well, so you can trust me on this! Good luck :)

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  5. Thanks,i wanted to ask,can i use different kind of mask everyday? I have oily combination skin.

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    1. I wouldn't use a mask a day unless you have an unlimited amount of them... it also depends highly on the type of mask. If you are talking about a sheet mask, I suppose you can use one daily. I wouldn't just because I don't plan on spending THAT much money on them. For sheet masks, once or twice a week will suffice.
      Because you have oily/combo skin, clay/charcoal based masks are your friend. However, these can be intense, so use once a week (twice, if you really need it). Experiment with it and good luck!

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  6. Thank you so much monica.This information is very helpful.

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  7. can you recommend me any good serum?and do you apply serum before toner or after?thanks :)

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    1. It depends really on what your skin problems are. That's why you would use serums in the first place! What are your skin problems? You also apply serum after toner. Always.

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  8. Could you recommend some products in each category.. That would be really helpful.. There are so many brands and so many different kinds of products that it is quite confusing to choose right ones.. My skin type is also oily in summer and combination in winter.. Could you suggest the products?

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    1. I can do a post on this actually, but it may take a while haha... you can email me if you have specific requests at monicahe.mh@gmail.com.

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    2. I will also (eventually -- so sorry about not updating... college is busy haha!) do a post describing in detail my current skincare routine!

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  9. Thanks for all this informatioon. it was really helpful. I'm living in europe and i we don't have any asian products i can buy from a shop. could u please recommend some products u use and tell me from where u get them? My skin is also oily and combinitaion.

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    1. I am doing a post right now about where to buy Korean skincare products. However, in general it is to your advantage to buy them online (unless you happen to be close to an Asian skincare store... haha). I just published a post on my daily skincare routine -- read it, you'll like it :)

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  10. Wah,that is complicated! O_O But I still wanna try it out...I don't know which product I should use though....I tried BB cream Hot Pink Skin 79 and it's great!But other than that, I have no idea which one of all those products is the best T_T Thanks so much for this post :3
    Sophie~

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    1. I personally do not like the Skin79 BB Cream as much because I find that it is a bit too light for my skin tone (I am a bit tanned for an Asian). However, if you are relatively pale, it is really good :)

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  11. I'm really thankful to you, that you shared this with us! After reading your helpful blog I'm going to change my skincare routine to this - thank you!

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    1. Haha, I'm glad I made a difference!

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  12. Hi there!

    I just wanted to say that this post was so helpful and allowed me to make sense of the complicated Korean skincare routine! I have recently found a number of products I love and used your tips to make sure I was using them correctly, so thanks a bunch :) I recently wrote a post about my own skincare routine and linked to this post because it was so helpful. Just wanted to give you a heads up and tell how much I enjoyed this! ^^

    Thanks again,

    Stephanie x

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    1. Thanks! I'm really touched :) You should link me to your blog!

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    2. Not a worry! This post really helped me ^^ my site is Misc. Bliss, it's linked on my name but just thought I'd include it again to make it easier hehe. Hope you enjoy!

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  13. Thanks for this post, helped a lot. Ive been using western products and now I wanna try korean cosmetics and hopefully my skin gets better as I get breakouts quite frequently and then leaves scars (ugh). Anyways, for my question if youre doing the once or twice a week night routine, do you put on moisturizer before putting sleeping mask on? ^^
    thanks for this post again!

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    1. I generally like Asian skincare products because I believe that they are more tailored for my Asian skin. However, upon doing my research, I've found that many Asian skincare brands actually use more technological advanced ingredients and the like!

      As for your question, you do not need to put moisturizer at all if you are using a sleeping mask. Most sleeping masks are moisturizing already, so you don't need your daily moisturizer.

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  14. Im usig these routines... and i can see improvement... nice blog! Can you give some list of korean products that are nice to oily skin.... thanks

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    1. Thanks!
      I have oily skin, so you should check out my other post on my skincare routine! I think the products there will be good for you :)

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing all of the information about Korean skin care routine. I have been thinking to start using Korean products, which I have no idea. You helped me a lot with this.
    xoxo

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    1. Absolutely! I'm glad it was helpful :)

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  16. This is a fabulous article. I really enjoyed reading it. I was wondering if you have any opinion about using two serums at the same time. I have been using Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence and I would like to incorporate a Vitamin C serum. What do you think of that combination?

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    1. Thank you!
      I think using two serums at once is fine, assuming you mean one serum at night and one serum in the daytime? It's also fine if you want to apply different serums to different parts of your face (e.g. a sebum controlling serum on your T-zone and a brightening serum on your cheeks). The Vitamin C serum would be great on your cheeks for brightening effects! Where do you apply the Benton serum?

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  17. I have oily skin, breakouts quite frequently and then leaves scars. Anyways, for my question if your doing the once or twice a week night routine, do you put on moisturizer before putting sleeping mask on?

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    1. On a night that you use a sleeping mask, I don't think it is necessary to use a moisturizer.

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  18. I had heard abt Korean beauty rituals and thought they must be doing something right to have such awesome skin.. Your blog was an eye opener is that regard. Also i really want to add that what makes ur post stand out to me is the info on when each item is to b used. Alot of sites don't give that and i really like ur post for that.. I am also a person who uses the regular 3 items..but wanted to know what else can be done. Thanks for the enlightening post.

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    1. You're welcome! I'm glad I helped!

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    1. Haha sorry about being awol for such a long time! I will be doing more posts now that I am on summer break!

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  20. Monica, thank you for this! I currently am an expat blogger living in Taiwan and I've just started my journey with Korean skincare brands. Your post was absolutely perfect for me because, like you, I've got pretty oily skin and the humid weather in Taiwan summer just exacerbates the problem. I've always seen Korean-brand beauty stores around Taipei (and it is really quite decently priced!) but have only recently started researching. I was wondering if you would be willing to share which specific products you use (like a full rundown of your personal routine!) Or if you'd be willing to recommend some specific brands that you enjoy?

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    1. I'm so happy you liked my post! :)
      I actually did a specific post on my skincare routine back in February. Here's the direct link to it: http://saranghaehangug.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-daily-skincare-routine-21014.html
      This post describes my daily skincare routine for the winter. I am more than willing to do another post on my summer skincare routine and/or my weekly skincare routine, if you'd like?

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  21. Thank you so much! This is exactly what I'm finding. I'm just curious if they are really put all those products at one in the morning (toner, essence/serum, emulsion, moisturizer, then BB/CC cream).

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  22. Yes, I really do apply on these morning and night! It seems really like a hassle when first being, so work your way up! Start with the basic three cleanser, toner, and moisturizer and then add more one at a time. I actually recently added an eye cream as well!

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  23. Waww.. U just answered so many questions I was just about to ask.. I'm from the philippines and may I just ask if the products of the face shop is effective.. Coz that's the only brand of korean products that I know.. Thanks!

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    1. The Face Shop's effectiveness depends on the specific products. I would say that the sheet masks are really good, the CC creams are great, and the Chia Seed Sebum Control Moisture Cream is one of my personal favorites (very good for humid, hot weather). As for other products, I can't say because I have not tried them, but generally speaking, The Face Shop has fairly good products for the price they are offered at.

      One brand I really like that I find to be very effective is IOPE. They are pricier, but their products are some of the best I've tried. Some of the very good ones include IOPE Bio Essence and IOPE Trouble Clinic Essence.

      Hope this helps!

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  25. Goodness me that is complicated... Did I miss a how to be a girl-101 class or something?

    I'm only starting skincare and makeup (I only wear eyeliner and lipbalm) and I'm in my 20's! All of this info is overwhelming! O_O'

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    1. To be honest, I only started really getting into the whole Korean skin care routine about a year and a half ago. Before that, I only had a cleanser and a moisturizer (along with my prescribed acne medication). I will admit this was all overwhelming at first, but it's a gradual process, you know? Slowly add more skin care products to our daily regimen... not all at once!

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  26. Im very grateful for it to share with us! Im reading your blog useful to change your korean skin care - thank you!

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  27. Helpful insights here. To have naturally good skin health, you will have to do the right kind of workout and you will need to be careful with your meals. Getting sufficient sleep and understanding how hormones interact will also be helpful. Take your time to choose the routine that you feel comfortable with and stick to it. 

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    1. You're absolutely right! I workout for an hour everyday (I do a mix of cardio and pilates) with one day of stretching/relaxation. It's very much true that maintaining your health from the inside and out is important for overall health and beauty.

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  28. Wao,the information is so detailed and it's really helpful.. Thank you very much..It's an excellent blog!

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  29. Thanks for sharing this good post with us.

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  31. Hi :) what can I do to avoid having acne :( I really dont like my face because of that acne. Too many :( please any advice?

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    1. Well, what is your skin type? You have to understand that first.

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  32. Hi,
    I'm an 11 yr old girl and my mum suggested that I look at your blog!
    I have an oily T-zone and a few pimples on my forehead what products do you think I should start off with? The only store that carries Asian products close to me are the FaceShop.

    Thanks��

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    1. Would you say your skin is oily or combination?

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  33. My forehead and nose are oily and rest are quite dry.

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    1. Sorry for getting back to you so late! I started classes again and I must have just missed your comment.

      First of all, you have to understand that skin care products will only help your skin so much. Genetics and hormonal imbalance are more influential in terms of acne and oily skin.

      I would suggest you start off with a very basic three-step skin care routine, since you are still so young. You can gradually incorporate more into your routine once you get used to this first. The FaceShop has many gentle cleanser such as the FaceShop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam. As for your toner, I suggest trying out The FaceShop Green Tea Oil-Free Toner. For a moisturizer, I personally love the FaceShop's Chia Seed Sebum Control Moisture Cream.

      If you can order things online, it will also open up more possibilities for you to try other brands.

      Hope this helps!

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    2. Hi Monica,
      Can you suggest other gentle foam cleansers (Korean) apart from the rice water one?

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  34. I read your blog and I noticed some useful tips from this post. Thanks for sharing for Best Natural Skin Care etc.

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  40. What kind of moisturizer do you use?

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    1. I have different moisturizers for different times of the year. Where I live we have four distinct seasons. I currently use IOPE Moistgen Essential Emulsion in the morning everyday. I also use Tony Moly Red Appletox Honey Cream at night.

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  41. I hope i would have such a glowing, flawless, healthy and charming skin. From today i am following your foot prints so that i can have ay least some percent of such a awesome skin.

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  42. Thanks you for sharing important tip about skin care.
    Best Natural Skin Care

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  43. I really like your blog, it has helped me realise that some things my skin has gone through is not so good for it at all(though I´ve stopped now:))
    I´m just wondering if there are any specific stores(maybe in Canada since I´m visiting there soon) or any good online shopping site that has these korean products?
    I´d appreciate it if you could reply soon :)

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  50. I’ve been trying bits and bottles of these korean products (serum, essence, toner and emulsion, facial masks) for around 2 years now but I see no difference in my skin. I am still overwhelmed by the magnitude of their routine that I periodically question if they still get to sleep.

    How do you enter sunblock in the routine? I have asked numerous sales personnel from different branches and they kept giving different information like before this product or last.

    Another question,are those innisfree. Mini-tub capsule masks have to be washed off afterwards? It’s easy to buy in Seoul as these stores are like 7-11s yet the problem is language. Can’t exactly get much from body language when my qurstiin is on frequency, order and how long to apply

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  68. Thanks for the info! I recently became interested in Korean skin care regimens as I had already been doing several of the steps to care for my aging dry skin. I'm wondering if you can recommend an emulsion? It's the one product my research hasn't found. Also, what are your thoughts regarding acid exfoliatiors over scrubs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like the IOPE Essential Emulsion product. I find that it is not too heavy to use in the summer (my summers are wet heat), nor is it too light for the winter.

      As for the acid exfoliators versus scrubs, it depends on your skin. I would say try both. I do have to say, I prefer acid exfoliators over scrubs because scrubs get rid of dead skin using physical abrasion versus the chemical abrasion of acid exfoliators. Physic abrasions can create micro tears in your skin, which can damage your skin in the long term. Chemical abrasions can be too strong on your skin. The take-away is to try both for yourself. Hope this helps!

      Delete
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  74. I've been wondering how the Korean celebs can have such beautiful skin. Of course I understand they use make up. But compared with American celebs their skin seems to be more flawless.
    I have a very sensitive skin and am allergic to pine and heavy fragrances among others. I'm using mostly organics products and products with a short ingredients list. Are there a lot of Korean cosmetics catered for the very sensitive skin or people with skin allergies?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I have personally never had too much of a problem dealing with sensitive skin (my skin is fairly resilient), so I do not have too much experience with cosmetics that deal with such. I also personally don't wear much make-up (all I wear day-to-day is some brow pencil and tinted lip balm). However, I know that Caolion and Innisfree are two skin care brands that advertise very natural approaches to beauty- I think their products are pretty gentle on my skin. Again, that can be because my skin is not too sensitive anyways... I would say do some research yourself, as I'm sure there exists cosmetics brands that are made for sensitive skin.

      Delete
  75. Hello, I'm 16 and will be 17 this year. I live in a humid country and my skin is oily/combination (oily on the T-zone and cheeks, normal elsewhere/the sides of the face). I have acne and blemishes/redness on my cheeks, open pores on nose and cheeks (blackheads and whiteheads), and excessive oil production on nose (it products a lot oil than other areas). Hence, I have a few questions regarding the Korean skincare routine.
    1) My morning skincare consists only cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Do you think, with my age and skin conditions, it's time for me to add the essense/serum and emulsion in my morning skincare?
    2) For the night skincare routine, with my age and skin conditions, do you think I should use both essense and serum? I'm afraid I'm too young to put all of those products on my face and therefore will make my skin even worse than it is.
    3) I've been using Laneige Balancing Emulsion Light for my morning and night skincare routine, and eventhough it says "emulsion" I've been using it as moisturizer. Would you like to enlighten me about this product, is it an emulsion or a moisturizer? And do you think it's fine to use this product in both morning and night?
    I'm sorry for so many questions but I'm still a little confused. Thank you in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1) I don't think you're too young to amp up your skin care routine, especially if you want to add a serum/essence. Since you mentioned having acne, I would suggest getting an anti-acne serum, or a moisturizing serum. I would not worry about getting an emulsion unless you feel like your skin is still dry even with the moisturizer. Emulsions are good for people who need an extra layer of moisture.
      2) Whatever you choose to use in the morning, you can always repeat in the night (except for products with SPF... you don't want to sleep with SPF on your face). I actually use different serums for day and night, but that's my preference and you don't have to do that. You are right that perhaps adding on those layers onto your face and aggravate your acne even more. This is why it's important to always test out a small patch of skin with the products first to see if your skin reacts. I would say start basic, and gradually add more products. Maybe use the new serum once or twice a week and slowly build up to daily usage.
      3) The Laneige emulsion I have personally found to be very much like an emulsion (light lotion) as opposed to a "moisturizer". Many Koreans refer to "moisturizer" the way many Westerners refer to "face cream". Korean moisturizers therefore tend to have a heavier consistency than what many Westerners generally think of moisturizers. Because it is so light, you may want to consider adding a "moisturizer" (cream) on top of the emulsion if you feel that your skin still needs more. Otherwise, you're fine using this in the morning and night.

      Good luck and hope this helps!

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  82. You Korean people have got amazing skin tone.

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  85. hello! i just want to ask if its okay for a teenager (14 yrs old) to try korean skin care. Im not really going to do all the steps i think im jjust going to use cleanser, toner, moisturizer, serum, a mask and im not sure about a sleeping pack (im not even sure what it is) but anyways, i just got rid of my acne and i want to work on my skin texture now because my acne pretty made my face dull and full of pores, so is it okay to use those or maybe u recommend me what routine i should do? it would also help if you give me some brands safe to use for me. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It is absolutely okay for you to try Korean skin care products! Just make sure you test all the products on your wrist (or some other part of your body first). It's important to leave it on your skin for at least overnight to make sure you are not allergic or sensitive to the product before trying it on your face first. You are absolutely right about not trying all the steps at once. I would start out first with cleanser (use an oil-based cleanser to first remove make-up, and then follow up with your normal cleanser), toner, serum, and moisturizer. I have the same issue -- I used to have bad acne and now I want to soften my skin texture from acne scarring and large pores... so I get your pain!

      You are still very young, so it's good to start now and give your skin more time to heal nicely. Because you are young, your skin is likely still growing dynamically and changing, so make sure you tailor your routine to your skin needs. I would look for a cleanser that is NOT anti-acne (or any cleanser containing salicylic acid) because most anti-acne products are very harsh on the skin and strip away all moisture, which your skin needs. In order to compensate for this loss of oil, your skin will make more oil, leading to more clogged pores and acne. Find a gentle cleanser for your skin, and follow up with a gentle toner (always try to find an alcohol-free toner, as these are much more gentle on your skin). It's important to invest in a good serum- I would suggest either a moisturizing serum (if your skin is more sensitive) or an anti-acne one (if your skin is less sensitive). Always follow up with a moisturizer (try an oil-free one).

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for replying!! This really helps alot. I recently bought 3 korean products and my skin is loving it so far, my acne didnt come back so i was really happy! I bought the foam cleanser by peripera (sensitive skin), its skin plant water cream and a seaweed mist by liole. Im thinking of just sticking with its skin brand since my skin doesnt have a problem with it and i guess its for sensitive skin. Thank you for making sure its alright to use Korean products, its very helpful... KAMSAHAMNIDA AND FIGHTING!!!!!!

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  106. I have a combination skin, oily on the T-zone, although not dramatically oily.. Then, dry on the other parts of my face, not too dry either.. My face never had any break-outs, so basically I never had any problems with my face. I want to buy a skin care products for my regimen. I've looked some products for my skin type like Neutrogena, Clinique, Olay, and Bio therm. I've read on the reviews about them as well, and Neutrogena came at the top of my list. Have any of you used those products? I need your suggestions on those products, the plus sides and the minus sides.

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  107. I do not use make up or anything like that. never. Js.
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I'm a person who has come to appreciate Korean culture through all my contact with Korean influences. I have experienced K-drama and K-pop fever, tutored five Korean kids, made more Korean food than you'd think, and dreamed about visiting Jeju Island and Seoul too many times... welcome to my world! 나는 한국을 사랑!