I had never heard of the craze that is Korean beauty, until I was at the mall a few weeks ago picking up travel size beauty products. I wandered into The Face Shop and my life was CHANGED! I bought a sample-size pore strip and was given a sheet mask and an essence/ serum sample to try! So basically I spent 3$ and walked away with 6$ worth of product! The thing I love most about The Face Shop is the amount of samples they hand out. Today I spent 24$ and was given about 10 samples of cleansers! Thats almost an entire bottle of cleanser itself!
The Korean skin care philosophy is something I can 100% get on board with. It involves many steps with many products, and because I have yet to place my order with beautynetkorea.com, I decided to improvise, mainly because the 10-12 step routine is meditative and highly moisturizing (perfect for these Canadian winter months).
Step 1: Makeup removal. You can use any makeup remover, but right now I’m using Rice water bright eye and lip makeup remover from the face shop. (2$ in a 10$ set)
Step 2: Oil or butter cleansing. I’ve played with oil cleansing before, and it is incredible. Right now I’m using Mango seed cleansing butter samples from The Face Shop until I run out, but a simple and effective version is simply sunflower oil with a touch of tee tree or lavender.
Step 3: Cleansing foam. This step is one we’re all familiar with. I’m using Rice Water Bright cleansing foam mousse from The Face Shop. $5 in a 10$ set. You can use a regular foaming cleanser as well.
Step 4: Exfoliate. A lot of people say not to exfoliate everyday, but nothing makes me feel better in my skin than a good scrub, and after oil and cleansing, it feels much more gentle and soothing. I’m using Derma e’s Anti Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycol Scrub. I got it in my February BirchBox (review coming soon) and I’m absolutely obsessed. It’s one of the best scrubs I’ve ever used!
**When Cleansing and exfoliating, rub in a gentle, circular motion
Step 5: Toner. Toner is ESSENTIAL to Korean Beauty Philosophy. I’m using my usual Thayers Rose Water Toner. Cotton ball. Dab. Done.
Step 6: Sheet Mask. This is the fun step. You plop on a horror-movie esque sheet mask, and wait 10-30 minutes for the moisture to sink in. I’ve tried a few, but here’s an exhaustive list. I’m loving the Rice Face masks so far. This is a bi-weekly step, and masks run about 2-4$ at most Korean Beauty retailers. This is an important step, however, and it leaves you feeling like you’ve just walked out of the spa. Once you remove the sheet mask, dab the leftover serum over your skin.
Step 7: Essence. As of now, I do not own any *real* essence, which is like a mist, but instead I used The Face Shop’s Clean Face Mild Lotion which is incredibly light and targets acne. (Pat onto skin)
Step 8: Serum. Serum is another KBeauty product I lack, but I have a lavender and aloe facial serum I made, so I patted that on over top of the *essence*
Step 9: Moisturize (again). Are you seeing a pattern here? Each product is layered and typically targets a different skin issue. For this step, which is usually a medium-weight lotion, I used Vitamin E Moisture Cream from the Body Shop, because my skin is still recovering from my vacation sunburn, and because this is a really light and soft cream. (pat this on again- NO RUBBING!)
Step 10: Night moisture. Your “night pack” or night moisturizer will be THICK. At this point your skin should feel like a bucket of water, but we’re not done yet. My night cream is Lush’s Skin Drink, which is INTENSELY hydrating, and a must-have for Canadian Gals.
Step 11: Eye Cream. Do you feel like you’ve just meditated or taken a long, warm bath? That’s the effect such an intense skincare routine has on me. My eye cream is from BeautiControl and is their “restructuring” eye cream. I’ve used it since I became a consultant a few years ago, and it is quite pricey, so once I run out, I’ll probably find another. I love how thick and juicy this cream is, and I love that you see instant results with it.
Step 12: Sun Protection. The routine above is for night-time. For a day routine, I replace MOST of the moisturizers with Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 60, and I definitely don’t do a mask. I usually skip the exfoliation in the morning, too! Sun protection is ESSENTIAL to any skin care routine, and Korean Beauty really emphasizes this.
Korean beauty is all about nourishing your skin instead of covering it up. It also creates a really beautiful and meditative practice around skin care that allows for a 15-20 minute window for self love at the end of each day.