10 Step Skincare Routine


I adopted the ways of Korean skincare in the past few years and my skin has transformed. I've put off old lady face for a few more years and I credit this exact routine for that delay.

I don't do all ten steps every day - occasionally I even fall asleep in my makeup - NO ONE IS PERFECT. But when I'm consistent in following the routine, then my skin is brighter, less congested, and it glows just like a Rihanna diamond. 

1. Cleanse:
This is the foundation of a PM routine. If you've been wearing mascara or full coverage foundation or any makeup at all, then this will take that off. These oil-based balms or actual oils will melt your makeup into a glorious puddle.

2. Double Cleanse:
This isn't a critical step for everyone in the PM but it is for me. This cleanser should be water-based to take care of water-soluble drama like dirt or sweat. In the AM, you could rinse with water or use a gentle creamy cleaner to get rid of your pillow residue. Unless you wash your pillow everyday, it has residue.

3. Exfoliate:
This is a step you should just do 1-3x a week. Although, truthfully, I exfoliate 3-5x a week because my pores are a B. This product is a chemical (Alpha Hydroxy Acids or Beta Hydroxy Acids) or a physical exfoliant that will unclog pores and rid yourself of last year’s gross skin. BHAs help most with congestion such as acne and blackheads. AHAs help with skin cell turnover. BHA is salicylic acid. AHAs include acids such as glycolic, lactic, mandelic, citric, etc. If you have sensitive skin, start slow with all exfoliants.

4. Toner:
Don't think Sea Breeze (that's an alcohol-fueled exfoliant - avoid alcohol on aging skin since it's drying). This step is a chance to get ride of any residue from the previous steps as well as return your skin's pH level to normal for future goodness. Korean skincare toners are hydrating.

5. Essence:
This can feel like a mysterious step, but I think it's critical. Essences are concentrated liquids that can target dryness, acne, redness, or any other annoying traits of your face. If you have dry or normal skin, this is a delight.

6. Serums:
These are your weapons for battling fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and the most delightful sagging. These are super-potent and absolutely necessary to getting better skin. You can use one all-star or more than one product. If you use more than one, apply thinnest to thickest.

7. Sheet Mask:
These are packed with concentrated ingredients that can't evaporate since they are FORCED into you skin by the 10-20 minutes of Jason-like masking. Use them 2-3x a week for a spa feeling on your couch. Or just to scare your children. These are addictive and perfect for a night out or special event.

8. Eye Cream:
My derm has said that eye creams are a marketer's ploy. Read more about that here. If you do skip this step and just use your regular moisturizer, be gentle...because eyes. Your ring finger gives the lightest pressure so use it to pat on any product around the eye.  

9. Moisturize:
This seals in all the previous skincare. Hydration creates toddler skin without the dried ketchup stains.

10. SPF:
According to the World Health Organization, the sun causes up to 90% of aging on your face. Fight back like a ninja. Look for mineral sunscreens and wear every day. Is the SPF in your foundation enough? Experts say no.


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