The secret to a great complexion? Be meticulous in your skincare! Try out the Korean 10-step skincare regime by following this guide. By Dawn Chen
The Koreans must be doing something right. Genes aside, their flawless, porcelain looking complexions are also the result of hard work. They are diligent when it comes to skincare, and the typical cleanse-tone-moisturise routine is a far cry from their 10-step regime.
Instead of chasing after “do-it-all” or “multitasking” products, Korean skincare tends to be broken down into different components, making it more customisable. You can tailor items to suit your specific skin needs. The Koreans are also all about perfecting the skin, and they understand that a great complexion is the best makeup base you can have. Even though following a 10-step regime sounds daunting, in reality it probably won’t take up more than 15 minutes of your time. That’s not a bad investment to make, since better skin means less time spent on makeup as well. So, does it work? I’ve put it to the test for a few months now and I can honestly say I’ve never been happier with my complexion. Here are my usual steps if you want to give it a go:
Step 1: Pre-cleanse
This is the first part of the Asian “double cleanse” method and often involves using an oil cleanser to remove all traces of dirt and makeup before your facial wash. Oil cleansers can dissolve makeup, dirt and impurities without drying out the skin. Even when I’m not wearing makeup, I’ll still use an oil cleanser to remove sunscreen.
Step 2: Cleanse
Now that all the makeup and sunscreen is gone, cleanse again with your facial wash. Work up a gentle lather and use small, circular motions to massage the cleanser into your skin.
Step 3: Exfoliate
This helps to buff away dead skin cells to reveal new, soft skin below. Concentrate the product on areas where you tend to get oily, such as the T-zone. Don’t do this more than twice a week as exfoliating too often can irritate skin. When I use an electronic skin cleansing brush, I’ll skip using an exfoliating scrub too.
Step 4: Tone
Asian toning lotions tend to be much gentler and are used to soften and hydrate skin. They don’t contain any alcohol, and are used to help prep skin to better absorb subsequent skincare.
Step 5: Essence
Layer on your serums starting with the lightest to the heaviest. I usually pour a few drops into the palms of my hand and pat it on, starting from the centre of my face. Use your fingers to lightly tap (imagine you’re playing the piano on your skin) the remaining product in (I don’t like rubbing my products in as I think that drags and pulls the skin).
Step 6: Targeted treatment
Here’s where you can treat your zits (or other specific skincare concerns) with targeted products. If you’re having a good skin day, you can skip this altogether.
Step 7: Eye cream
The key thing to note is that you should pat in your eye cream. The skin around your eye area is delicate, so you don’t want to be pulling or tugging unnecessarily. Instead, just use your ring finger to gently pat in your eye cream around your orbital bone.
Step 8: Facial oil
To give skin a moisture boost, consider incorporating a facial oil into your routine. If your skin is on the oilier side, you can use this about twice or thrice a week. Just remember that a little goes a long way – two to three drops per use will suffice. If you find Singapore weather too humid, save this step for when you travel to a cooler and drier country.
Step 9: Moisturiser
Want your skin to look dewy and healthy? Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I like to apply my moisturiser the same way I apply my serums – by patting it in. This helps my skin absorb the product better. Choose a moisturiser that suits your skin type. I have combination skin, and find that oil-free moisturisers are enough to keep my skin hydrated without clogging my pores.
Step 10: Sleeping mask
As a final step, I like to slather on a rich sleeping mask. Your skin repairs itself at night, which means it’s primed to absorb all the goodness from your skincare. A sleeping mask ensures it stays well hydrated through the night too.