It took me a while to post about this because I was (1) Not expecting I will last this long when it comes to skincare routine so why bother blogging about it, (2) It took me this long to build my preferred 10-step products, and buying them takes a while since some products are just expensive!, and (3) I was waiting for actual results that I can share.
Scroll down to see my favorite products, the steps I actually go through everyday, and actual before-and-after photos.
Some notes after 2 months of following the 10-Step Korea Skincare:
1) Do not take "10-step" literally, every single day. There are products that you will only use alternately and not for daily use like facial scrubs and mud masks!
2) I also learned along the way that I have different skincare routines for day-time before leaving for an event, and nighttime before bed. It is shorter for my morning skincare since I am always in a hurry, just as long as I prepped my face for makeup then that's already fine with me. For night, I take my sweet time! I put on mask sheets, and allow my face to absorb those serums, essences and ampoules I invested my money on (haha) while watching an episode of Kdrama.
3) When traveling (I only had 1 for the whole 2-month duration), my skincare is a bit limited since I don't want to bring all my bottles and jars in Korea. 😂 Feel ko naman 8 days without my ampoules and serums won't harm my face. I brought with me sachets lang, and also used up the small bottles of samples I got when I also shopped for Innisfree in Myeongdong! 😋
Same camera, same lighting, no filters and editing, with around 2 months interval (April 13, 2017 and June 14, 2017):
(Sorry sobrang lapit, haha, for transparency purposes!)
What I noticed:
1) Feeling ko, my skin got a bit lighter.
2) Smaller pores (although still visible) around cheek area.
3) Lesser blackheads and milia.
4) Less prone to forehead and cheek acne, especially during that time of the month.
5) Smoother and more hydrated texture, less oily.
What I use / used:
Step One and Two: Oil Cleanse + Foam Cleanse
If there's anything that I learned from Korean skincare, it's that double cleansing is a must! Before I just wash my face with a bar of soap (lol), but now I realized that it's not enough to remove all the grimes from my commutes and accumulated makeup on my skin! Aside from the facial foams featured here, I also use Japanese brand Shiseido's Perfect Whip Cleansing Foam which I bought in Miniso Korea.
BanBan or Half-Half is from the Korean brand Lebaton (available in Yeppunonnie) which already has a foam and oil cleansers. Sadly I broke my bottle without finishing halfway of it, huhu, ang bango pa naman nito! Smells like pomelo.
Calmia Oatmeal Therapy foam cleanser, available in Althea Korea.
Wipes from Calmia, Simple and Purederm, I use one of these whenever I went out and wore makeup:
Step Three: Exfoliate
Except for CosRX One Step Pimple Clear Pads, I scrub my face around once a week only. Aside from the Korean face scrubs featured below, I also have the classic Saint Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrubs.
CosRX One Step Pimple Clear Pads - ultimate favorite Korean beauty product discovery! This is my second jar already.
Skin Food Black Sugar Mask Wash Off
iWhite 2 Minute Whitening Miracle (this works like Cure, but less expensive!)
Step Four: Toner
After all the cleansing, skin needs toner to prep it better for the next treatments. I used to think that toner works as cleanser, haha! 😅 Toner also brings the skin's PH level back to normal. Not super knowledgeable about this, though!
In photo is Korean brand MCHLOI Hypoa Purifying Toner, available in Suaviss Beauty Lab, but I regularly use my Witch Hazel toner which I bought in a Japanese store and placed in spritz bottles for convenience. Another Witch Hazel toner that I recommend is from local brand Beachborn. It smells good, and safe even for sensitive skin!
Step Five: Essence
The consistency of an essence is like toner (watery), but it works well like serums and ampoules. I've read somewhere that essence is the most important step in a Korean skincare routine. Popular essence brands include the very expensive SK-II, but I use its more popular and less expensive dupe - Missha's Time Revolution The First Treatment. Alternately, I also use my Suaviss Beauty Lab Brilliant Boosting Essence, which smells so good!
Step Six: Serums and Ampoules
This is the most expensive and also the step that's not necessarily for all. Serums address very specific skin concerns like large pores or wrinkles or dark spots. They feel like oil, thicker in consistency than essences and toners, and usually comes in small bottles with dropper.
Meanwhile, ampoules are supercharged serums but with thicker consistency and higher concentrations. Ampoules also comes in small bottles with dropper. This is for people with really problematic skin. To choose which brand I will go for, what I did was searched for Ampoules and Serums in Althea, and read their descriptions and reviews while looking for the ones that will address my problem area (huge pores).
Mizon Multifunction Formula Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule (Skin Repair) and Fresh Herb Origin Serum (Minimize Pores)
New purchase in Korea: Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum (nourishes skin)
Sheet masks contain serum, and feels nice on the skin after. I usually just do this around 2x a week. It's also the most fun skincare to shop because there's just so much variety, fun packaging, and brands in the market! If not in Korean online stores or in Korea, I also buy my sheet masks in Watsons and Mumuso.
For mud masks, it's just once a week for me. My favorite are those from Innisfree!
Assorted face masks available locally in Watsons:
Mumuso Green Tea Face Masks that only costs Php 399 for 10 sheets. I also love Beauty Fix Peel-Off Charcoal Mask (available in Watsons).
Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
Scinic All Day Fine Pore Clay Green Mask and Innisfree Capsule Recipe Pack
Step Eight: Eye Cream
Guilty for not applying my eye cream every night! Anyway, I have the Suaviss Beauty Lab Double Effect Eye Balm.
Step Nine: Face Cream
I alternately use Innisfree and Laneige for this step, which helps lock in my skin's moisture. Both smells so good, too! Factor talaga sakin yung scent, hehe.
Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Deep Cream
Suaviss Beauty Lab MCHLOI Hypoa Moisturizer, Lebelage Collagen + Green Tea free sample bottle from Yef Philippines, and my favorite Laneige Waterbank Moisture Cream
Step Ten: SPF
The only step where I don't use Korean brands, I love Biore products for my daily sun protection. The Aqua Rich Watery Essence also works as primer for my makeup. I use this before heading out.
After following the 10-Step procedure for several weeks, I actually enjoyed the process and it does not feel like a chore to me. Even after a long day, I at least do the double cleansing and just slather serums or put on a face mask.
If you're still confused with the essences, serums, and ampoules, remember to put on the watery stuff first, then the thickest last. Again, there is no step-by-step manual in a Korean skincare. Just find products and steps that will work well with your unique skin conditions and concerns, as well as your lifestyle.
I also noticed how I've become more obsessed with Korean and Asian skincare brands, compared to its western alternatives. I think they work perfectly on my skin, and luckily I haven't experienced any major boo-boos from trying out different stuff!
My favorite brands I guess will include Laneige, Innisfree, CosRX and iWhite. Anything that I use from these brands are effective!
iWhite products are available in selected Watsons stores. Favorite ko din their BB-holic BB Cream, but I guess makeup is for another blog post na! 😁
Dermal face masks are available in Beauty Bar stores. Early on in my 10-step regimen, I even had a face roller (available in Japan Home) to massage my facial skin at night ala the ahjummas in Kdramas! 😂 Of course, also in photo is my favorite toner from Beachborn.
I also consistently post about this local skincare brand, and although I admit that they sponsor me, I actually use their products! Kojiesan's Dream White Anti-Aging line also works effectively on my skin, I love their soap and toner the most (smells like baby powder, and mattifying!).
Share to me your thoughts and tips on the 10-Step Korean Skincare! Do you think it's too time consuming, or most prob worth it? Tweet me @anagon, let's discuss! 😌