Hello Everyone! I hope everything is going well. As for me, things are going good. I’ve really taken a step back and prioritized my priorities-particularly with self-care! As we all know, your health is really one of the most important things a person can have, so I really took a step back and wrote down and processed what that meant to me. Personally, my physical health is a priority for me and that includes weight loss, gaining strength, eating better, etc, with saying that one can not forget that we are more than just physical and self-care and health encompass more than just our physical well-being. That’s why as I previously discussed here, I started working through my emotional eating and I’m glad to report that is still going well.
Now, when discussing self-care one of my priorities and something I always wanted to try was having a proper skin care routine. I’m no stranger to basic facial products, but I’ve never been the person to go all out and have a proper regiment. For the most part and for most of my life skin-care for me consisted of washing my face with a facial cleanser while in the shower in conjunction with using a battery powered face scrubber, then using a daily moisturizer with some SPF and mixing that together with a much stronger sunblock. That has been pretty much been my routine since the age of 12-now my cleanser has changed a few times over the years but the routine has stayed relatively the same, except for the past few years. Over the course of the past 3 to 4 years I eventually stopped using the scrubbing brush, then I started to sporadically use moisturizer and rarely sunscreen (since I didn’t really go outside much during the past 2 years),and as we’ve discussed previously I was in a bad place in my life primarily mental-health and self-care.
Yes, being a new mom is a whirlwind in itself with trying to figure out when to take care of yourself and what parts of you are really a priority, but Covid also happened so obviously mental-health took a hit and I was floundering. Then, within the past year or so, I’ve been hit with exfoiliative chelitis on my lips, as well as, a few other mystery/reoccurring facial ailments (don’t worry, I have gone to the Doctor and we are looking into everything thorough blood work as, yes, I may have an autoimmune disorder, but that’s okay, we will handle it one day at a time and as it comes). So, with the original facial ailments, particularly the chelitis, the first suspect is something new added to my environment such as a moisturizer, face wash, etc. So, I ended up stopping all of my products for about a month while my Doctor prescribed antibiotics for my eyes (possible autoimmune disorder so I was having reoccurring eye styes, as in some infection was just being persistent) and hydrocortisone cream for my lips.
In which, my face suffered-my face was dry, getting scaly(aka dead skin build up), and just overall lacking smoothness, and the nurturing care that I, at the least kept attempting to give it. That is when I decided to jump back into skincare with doing a Korean Skin-Care routine! My face had a complete detox from any outside assistance besides a daily plain tap water rinse during the shower so now would be the perfect time to start new and fresh and really see what all the fuss was about!
The first step into starting my Korean skin care routine was research, in which I found a very helpful article from Self magazine that I have linked here. Also, a quick reminder you can also view this journey on YouTube link is here (coming soon 12/22/21!) or follow the “YouTube” tab on the header, as yes, I recorded myself during this little experiment/process 🙂
Now, besides doing research on what is a Korean Skin-Care routine- it’s 10-ish step morning, night, or both skin care regiment process that is greatly inspired/originated in Korea as Skin-care is more so a strong priority there. The products used are primarily Korean brand skin-care products or at least those that have crossed over to become popular staples in Korean households. Here are the list of steps, products, and why I decided to use them, as well as, my overall thoughts concerning each item:
- Oil Cleanser. I chose Etudes House Real Art Oil Cleanser. From what I gather the Oil Cleanser is the first step in the cleansing process as it is meant to be rubbed on a dry face and helps remove dirt, other oils, and clears skin of make-up. I personally don’t wear make-up (nothing against it but just why would I add another step to my getting ready to hang around the house, am I right?), but I still decided to use this product as I have heard/read things during my research about people using Oil Cleansers for their face as their face wash and it checked out. Oil is attracted to oil and if you’ve ever used a product like baby oil or an oil based make up remover to remove your make-up, the same principle still stands and I can definitely understand if you were someone who wore foundation, mascara, eye shadow, etc, that using an oil cleanser would be a great way to remove make up from your face. This was my first time using an oil cleanser and it felt nice, I was able to work it around my face very smoothly and it rinsed off well. It did not leave my face oilier or dried out, but it felt like a great balance of not stripping too many of my natural oils from my face while still cleansing it.
- Facial Cleanser. I chose Etude Soon Jung Whip Cleanser. The facial cleanser is exactly as it sounds, it is meant to cleanse that face. Anything that the oil cleanser happened to leave behind, the facial cleanser should get. I actually started using the facial cleanser first, as that was my first purchase once getting back onto the skin-care train. I first used it in the shower, washing my face three days in a row with it, and although it did work at starting to remove the dry skin build up and exfoliating my skin- on its own it definitely started to dry my skin out. So, using the oil cleanser first helps give you skin a healthy protective layer or just something for the facial cleanser to work with and then adding the other steps after the facial cleanser helps return any needed moisture and brings back that balance to the skin.
- Exfoliator. This step should only be used up to 3 times a week, depending on your skin sensitivity. I chose Dermalogy by NEOGENLAB Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads. I never actually used exfoliating pads before, but it was actually pretty fun, the pads themselves have a slightly rougher side and a smoother side, in which it has a pocket in each pad for you to put your fingers in so it is easier to use it across your skin. Another reminder that if you would like to see some of these products in action the YouTube video is the best place for that (Coming Soon, I promise) 🙂 As probably gathered, the exfoliating step is really there to help you pinpoint and work on problems areas by manually exfoliating those areas. It helps actively work off any dry skin or extra debris that is hanging out on your face 🙂
- Face Mask. This item will only be used about once a week, at least that’s what I did, once I introduced it into the routine. I chose MEDIHEAL Sheet Mask Heroes– this 6 pack contained an assortment of face sheet masks. I decided to just stick with the hydrating face mask my first few times as I was really unsure as to what type of mask my face “needed”, you know? Overall, the biggest learning curve with the face mask was just getting it out of the packaging, I was very worried about accidentally ripping it. Once I put the face mask I definitely felt the “goopiness” of it and it took a bit of time to warm to my skin and feel acceptable. In the end, I would have to say it really did its job and oh yes, my face was hydrated-super smooth and felt great afterward.
- Toner. This is the toner I chose ETUDE HOUSE Soonjung pH5.5 Relief Toner, but in all honesty I’m still not 100% sure what toner does, but here is what I experienced. The toner definitely opened up my pores, I mean the next morning oils were flowing so if that’s the result I can see how it helps clear out clogged pores and helps them stay cleared. The first time or two I tried to use a cotton pad but I found that the cotton pad absorbed too much of the toner and I felt like I really needed to drench the pad to get the coverage I wanted. In so, by the end of the first week I was just directly placing the toner onto my palms/fingers and just patting it all over my face. The bottle of toner will last a lot longer if just applied directly and nixing the cotton pad-over the course of the month I barely was able to use 1/20th of the bottle, if that, and that is with very liberal use so to save on product I would highly recommend using your hands/fingers directly.
- Essence. The Essence I chose to use was DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB Hyal Glow Rose Essence. The purpose of the essence is to to further help hydrate the skin-skin tends to absorb moisture better when it is already wet so it’s like pre-gaming before your actual moisturizer. I actually enjoyed this one a lot not only because it was in such a fancy seeming clear-ish pink bottle, but the liquid was also pleasantly rose fragranced so yea, luxurious 🙂 The essence also had me feeling a nice “closing off” effect, at least mentally, to fussing with my skin and continuing onto the steps I was more so use to (regular moisturizing).
- Serums/Ampoules. I chose not to use a serum as it’s more so considered extra, as in if you know you have specific skin problems-crow’s feet, old scaring, skin discoloration, etc. Then you would add a serum as spot treatment or more depending on the extent of your “issue”, since this would be more specific to your skin issues and at the time I was unsure what my skin may be needing a little extra of, I decided to skip this part. Although, after spending so much time on my skin- I realized what I may be looking for is a collagen booster and possibly something for scarring. I eventually noticed that the skin on my forehead is a bit thin and I felt that it’s showing my age a bit more than the rest of my skin is-luckily I currently have bangs. I also found that I have a couple of small former acne scars on the side of my face, so that is something I would like to help remedy in the future if possible 🙂
- Eye Cream. I chose ETUDE HOUSE Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream. As we know, the skin around our eyes tends to be on the delicate side, in which I chose a collagen eye cream to help give that skin a bit of a boost. Now, I didn’t really notice any big differences under my eyes, but as of yet, my eyes have not started forming too many lines so that’s not an area where I was expecting any drastic results. I did have a small issue with this cream possibly blocking some pores around my eyes so I may switch it out in the future- nothing lasting or damaging but in the end it just may be too heavy for my skin. I will be looking into maybe finding an under eye cream that is more tube like that I can “drop” or place under my eyes as I try not to rub or even pat my eyes since I am aware of how sensitive the skin is.
- Face Moisturizer. I chose ETUDE SoonJung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream. This face moisturizer actually felt pretty amazing. For the first week of the routine I primarily just had the face cleanser then I added in the moisturizer (as those are the products that arrived first) and wow, this moisturizer made my skin feel great. Now, I’m no stranger to moisturizer as I have been using Olay Complete since I was 12. I know the value of a good moisturizer, but this knocked that one out of the water. Not only did it come in a tube that I had fun figuring out how it opened, but it felt smooth just on my fingertips, and once it was on my face I felt the softness and smoothness of my skin right away. I think if I were to take one thing away from this whole experience is that a good face moisturizer matters and 10/10 would recommend this one.
So, there we have it! That was the routine and after about a month there was definitely a difference. No more dry skin flakes and the roughness was gone from my face- like my face is so smooth and soft right now. If you’d like to see the process for yourself- here is the link to Part 1 (will be available 12/22/21) on my YouTube channel 🙂 and yes, in case it wasn’t clear I do plan on keeping all of these products in my normal routine and this is now my regular skin-care routine!