By TAI GERREN
Winter is officially here, along with its cool winds, which means less moisture in the air and dryer skin. The Korean 10-step skin care routine is all about moisture and keeping your skin bright throughout this season. Here is an introduction to Korean skincare so that your skin stays hydrated and glowing during the winter.
- The first step in the Korean skin care routine is an oil-based cleanser. Oil-based cleansers are perfect for getting rid of makeup. Usually coming as oils or balms, this is the perfect time to massage your face and remove all your makeup or dirt after a long day. Simply rub on your face until all your makeup is gone and wash it off.
- An essential part of Korean skin care is double cleansing. The second step is a water or foam-based cleanser. This removes all the dirt and makes sure your face is nice and clean. Simply pump on your hands, rub it in and wash off.
- Next is an exfoliator. Exfoliators remove all the dead skin from your face and neck leaving your face fresh and soft like a baby. This will do magic to your pores. Simply apply to your face and wash off; some will have you let it sit as a mask for maximum effects. You only have to exfoliate a few times a week especially if you have sensitive skin.
- Next is our toner. While in America we have Witch Hazel and alcohol toners, Korean toners are different. Use a toner to send moisture to your skin and restore your skin’s natural PH balance after cleansing. You can use a pad to apply and sweep across your face or—my personal favorite—apply with your hands and pat into the skin.
- Next, similar to a toner is an essence. This is the heart of Korean skincare. The essence maximizes the hydration to your skin pairing with your toner to decrease dehydration. This helps in the skin repair process by keeping your cells moist. This will also keep your skin from looking dull this holiday season and keep you looking bright.
- The next step includes serums and ampoules. Serums are the aiding agents in skin repair. Serums come in all types from vitamin C serums to acid serums depending on which one can help reduce wrinkles, brighten your face, lighten dark spots and restore skin discoloration most effectively for your skin type. But use them in moderation as serums usually come in small amounts.
- Next is the most enjoyable part: sheet masks. There is a plethora of sheet masks on the market with many different jobs for each, from hydrating your skin to brightening your skin. Some can be peelable masks and some wash off. It is all dependent on what you would like to do and what you need for your skin. Usually leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes at night and take this time to relax. Use these 1 to 2 times a week or every day if you’d like. During these winter months I recommend a hydrating mask.
- Towards the end is eye cream, used to provide moisture and brighten the sensitive skin around the eyes. Also use in small amounts as they all come in small batches. Applying with your ring finger, use these to hydrate your eye area.
- Next to last, we have moisturizer, also known as an emulsion. While we typically use whatever lotion we use on our bodies, on our face, those are usually very oily and can cause acne and leave your skin feeling greasy. Use moisturizers to maximize your skin’s moisture and keep your skin full of nutrients. Once a week, try using an overnight sleeping pack as these help retain moisture and leave your skin super soft in the morning.
- Last but certainly not least, we have the most important skin step which is sunscreen. While in America we only put this on at the beach or the pool on a hot and sunny day, you should apply sunscreen whenever you leave your house. While many may think it is not necessary especially during dark, cloudy days in the wintertime, this keeps you from prematurely aging and keeps your skin youthful, preventing wrinkles and sunspots. Use liberally in the morning before going out.
While this routine and its many steps may seem like a daunting process, you never use all 10 steps at once. And once you get the hang of it, it will seem like nothing. These steps and their magnificent products will help you retain moisture and look glowing during this dry winter season.