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Skincare Regime

 

There has been much hype of late about Korean skincare technology, leading the beauty world.  It has been widely reported in fashion magazines with the likes of Allure, Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire all publishing articles on the notorious 10-12 step Korean skincare regime, which may be enough to put anyone off (honestly, how many people have that much free time to care for their skin?), so lets break it down.

Embedded in the Korean culture is the notion of gently caring and nurturing your skin, a daily regime that is worthy of their time and money.  Not considered as a chore but rather a process that is to be enjoyed.  So, what are all the steps involved?

1.    First Cleanse (oil cleanser or cleansing wipes) – The regime typically starts with the infamous double cleanse.  This involves either using cleansing wipes or oil cleansers.  This will remove the bulk, if not all make up, along with other impurities and excess oils. 

2.    Second Cleanse – To ensure the skin is thoroughly clean, Korean women will then cleanse again with a foam cleanser.  Korean women believe in treating the skin with gentle care so always gently pat or softly massage in a circular, outward motion.

3.    Exfoliate – To ensure truly clean and supple skin, the skin needs to be free of dead skin cells.  So how better than to exfoliate and scrub these wastes away.  We would not recommend exfoliating every night, as exfoliating and scrubbing can be very harsh on the skin. We recommend 2-3 times a week.

4.    Toner – This removes any residual dirt and cleansing or exfoliating products left behind.  Toners will also moisturize, restore the pH of the skin and prep the skin to better absorb products that are later added, such as essences and serums.

5.    Essence – Considered by many Koreans as the essential step.  A liquid that is rich in nutrients and aids in the skin regeneration process by enhancing the skin’s cellular renewal and turnover rate.

6.    Serum/Ampoule– A concentrated solution that is rich in key active ingredients and nutrients.  Serums typically tackle a specific problem or skin concern such as anti-aging, hydration, skin tone and brightness.  Serums can be layered.  The beauty of this step is that you can truly customize your skincare regime to your skin’s needs. For example, you can add a collagen and hyaluronic acid serum for anti-aging and hydrating and softening the skin.  Or if you want to brighten and even out your complexion, you can also add a skin brightening serum.

7.    Sheet Masks – These come as a sheet mask or gel mask. Both are used in the same way. Simply remove the packaging and align on the face. Leave on for the recommended time frame and take off and discard.  We recommend using it 2-3 times a week to maximize effectiveness.

8.    Eye Cream – The skin around the eyes is generally thinner and more sensitive, therefore a specially developed cream is necessary to nourish, hydrate and protect this area, to help prevent and improve puffiness, dark circles and fine lines.

9.    Moisturiser/Emulsions – Necessary for rehydrating the skin after cleansing and delivering key ingredients and nutrients to the skin.  Don’t rub into the skin but rather gently pat or massage in a circular motion.

10.  Sleeping Masks – A rich and powerful cream that works while you sleep. Given there are so many different masks, it is easier to think of this as a powerful moisturizer, therefore apply as you would a normal moisturizer, not thick as a traditional mask. 

11.  SPF – Essential to protect against the sun’s harsh rays, to help prevent sun spots and freckles. 

While we don’t disagree there is a lot to digest and take in, and can easily be overwhelming, do not fear. All the steps are not required every day.  Those who are new to this system can just start with the bare minimum, cleanse, tone, moisturize and sun protection.  You can slowly build on as you feel more comfortable, by adding an essence and/or serum (which really doesn't take much extra time) and later add an exfoliator, sheet mask or sleeping mask once, then twice a week. 

Be warned:  it can become an addictive and somewhat therapeutic process, as you take time out for yourself (otherwise known as "me time”) as you nurture and care for your skin as how the Korean women have been doing for decades, particularly as you start seeing positive results and improvements.

For the love of beauty and elegance. Discover your inner beauty.

Aniqa

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