The basics of an everyday skincare routine are on everyone’s fingertips. You know the drill – cleanse, tone, exfoliate, apply a serum, moisturise, put on some eye cream and a night cream at the end of the day and you’re done. Five to six unfussy steps to help keep your skin healthy and young is just what everyone wants.
But new beauty trends are introduced in the market every single day and we are fascinated. Remember when BB (blemish balm) creams became all the rage? A multipurpose cream that is a moisturiser, a foundation and an SPF packed into one. Or the cushion foundation which is a liquid foundation inside a compact that you press using a sponge and apply?
You must’ve definitely spotted the sheet face masks. From Drew Barrymore to even your mom posting selfies in these tissue paper-like serum masks making them look like the ‘Phantom of the Opera’. All these products have one thing in common – they originated from South Korea. Women from the region are known to have envy-inducing ‘glass skin’. Seen pictures of women (not photoshopped) in their late 30s looking like they just turned 22? Yep, it is true. Of course, genes come into play and your diet/lifestyle too, but K-beauty (Korean beauty) routine has taken the world by storm.
A 10-step routine is more of a lifestyle that can lead to gorgeous skin if adopted with some serious commitment for at least a few months.
Ready for it? Let’s walk through the process step-by-step:
The K-beauty routine involves cleansing your face twice. The first time you need to use an oil-based cleanser. Make sure your hands and face are dry. Pour some cleanser on your palm, rubs your hands together and then gently massage your face for at least a minute. This will help remove the impurities and oil that collect on your skin from makeup, sunscreen and other products as well as pollution particles and debris. Take a washcloth, soak it in warm water and cover your face so it softens the pores. Then gently wipe your face. Rinse the washcloth again in warm water and repeat at least twice.
This is the second part of the cleansing process. Since it is important that you do not scrub your skin hard while cleansing, there will be some impurities still clinging on to your skin. Use a foam or a water-based cleanser to wash off the remaining particles or oil away. Pat your skin dry with a towel.
Exfoliate to get rid of the dead skin cells and unclog your pores that’ll also help allow other skincare products to do their work. Apply some scrub or a natural exfoliator to your skin and massage with wet fingers in circular motion. Get the sides of your nose, temples, cheeks and your chin but avoid the eyes. Rinse your face with lukewarm water. Make sure you don’t exfoliate on a daily basis. Twice or thrice a week will do but if you have sensitive skin, then exfoliate only once a week.
Double-cleansing might help you get rid of excess oil and dirt but it also messes up your skin’s pH level which should be between 4.5 and 6.5. That’s where a toner comes in. pour some toner on a cotton ball and dab your skin with it. It not only helps balance your skin’s pH level and hydrate it but all removes any residue left behind.
An integral part of the Korean skincare routine, an essence is often mistaken for a toner because of its water-like consistency but it is a bit similar to a serum. It adds another layer of hydration to your skin, brightens it and fights signs of ageing. After using a toner, you take a small amount of essence in your hands and gently pat your face with it. No need to massage it.
Serums are more of a personalised product that one can use to target specific skin issues like dark spots or hyperpigmentation, dullness, wrinkles, acne. If you are suffering from acne, you need to look for a serum which has Vitamin C, retinol, salicylic acid in it. If your focus is on wrinkles then a serum with retinol, hyaluronic acid and vitamins will help. Serums have active ingredients that penetrate deep into your skin when it is clean and a little moist. Dab your skin with a warm washcloth. Apply a few drops of serum to your skin and blend till it gets absorbed.
Sheet masks are now quite ubiquitous and can be used to address certain skin problems like acne and wrinkles as well. These masks are packed with minerals and vitamins (in a serum texture) which the skin will then absorb leaving it radiant and hydrated. It is not necessary to use a face mask every single day.
The skin around your eyes in much more delicate and sensitive compared to the rest of your face. It is also more susceptible to fine lines as well as dark circles. Make sure to protect it by applying an eye cream every day.
The second last step of the routine is not to be missed at all. Once you’ve pampered your skin, it is crucial to lock in the moisture and other nutrients. Pick a moisturizer according to your skin type and massage gently.
No surprises here. Rain or shine, you must apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF before you step outdoors. You need to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays that can lead to premature ageing, dark spots, sunburns, etc. Apply generously to all the exposed parts of your body
And you’re done! For results to show, you must be consistent because miracles don’t happen overnight. Do your research about what product to apply and how your skin reacts to it so always remember to do a patch test. A 10-step routine might seem a lot but you can customise the routine according to your skin’s demand and it won’t take more than 15 minutes.