First things first, Happy New Year everyone!
It’s been over a year since I’ve written any reviews even though I do pop in every now and then to reply to comments. I apologize for the lack of activity, other things took priority and the blog unfortunately took a backseat. Additionally, I’m not the type to splurge on products and use them once or twice for the sake of reviews. After several hauls, I realized I had way too many products on my hands. If you follow my blog, you might recall me writing about that in an older post. Anyhow, a lot of time has passed and I’ve used up a lot of products that you may have seen on my blog.
In the past year and a half, I’ve discovered some new products as well as rekindled my love with some old ones. Since I’ve freed up some time on my hands, I’d like to write up a post for those readers who have liked, followed and been active at this blog even during my insanely long absence.
In this post, I will share the names of the products that I currently use and give a run down of the steps that I take to keep my skin in its best condition during the harsh Korean winter months.
Following the pattern of my previous skincare posts, I will begin with my routine at night.
I wear makeup 5-6 days out of the week therefore my cleansing process usually starts with a makeup removing oil or eye makeup remover. Thorough cleansing a must in my opinion!
1) Remove makeup – Steps one and two are oftentimes reversed depending on my time and mood. However, I do prefer dissolving my makeup with an oil cleanser as opposed to removing my eye makeup first. I usually work the oil cleanser over my eye makeup and get a good amount of it removed and then clean whatever that’s left over with an eye makeup remover. I’ve tried a lot of makeup cleansers but I have to say, my ultimate favorite is Innisfree Olive Real Cleansing Oil. I love it’s effectiveness at getting my makeup off while leaving my skin feeling soft and clean. There is one drawback though, don’t let it get in your eyes, it tends to sting.
2) Remove eye makeup – I’m currently using Aritaum Ppoyan Eye & Lip Remover ( it reads funny doesn’t it?). It’s cheap and effective and I have nothing but love for it. I’ve already gone through 3 bottles of it and plan to repurchase it again soon.
3) Cleanse – After using a makeup cleanser and removing any leftover traces of my eye makeup, I proceed to the last step of my cleansing routine, which is washing my entire face again with a foam cleanser. I’m currently using Innisfree Real Olive Cleansing Foam. This is actually an old favorite and I highly recommend it.
Mask (optional) – As I age, the pores on my face have become incredibly more visible and uncooperative. I started using Caolion Pore Original Pack about a few weeks ago. I haven’t used it enough to give it a fair review but so far I’m liking the way it leaves my skin. In additional to pore masks, I also use sheet masks on days my skin seems to need a bit of TLC. I don’t have a particular brand that I go to for sheet masks, I usually just buy them when they are sold in bulk and heavily discounted. If you have sheet masks, store them in your refrigerator.
4) Tone – I actually use two types of toners and I think Korean toners may be confusing to some. For most of us, when we think of toner, we think of an alcohol based product that picks up residual makeup and refines the skin. Well Korean toner is a bit different. It’s mostly called “Skin” which I found awkward at first until my residence reached it’s tenth year in Korea. Skin is runny in consistency and feels more like a serum. I usually apply it directly onto my skin although a lot of product instructions will tell you to dispense it onto a cotton ball and apply it onto your face. I use toner every other day and use Skin on a daily basis.
Mist (optional) – My skin has become unpredictable compared to before. I find it drier during the winter months therefore before applying Skin, I usually gave my face a quick spray of mist. Just to avoid confusion, let me put it this way, tone -> mist -> Skin. If I don’t tone, then I just spray the mist and go to my reliable bottle of Skin after that. I’m currently using Uriage Thermal Water Spray. I’ve tried a few facial mists but this one is my ultimate favorite. I’ve gone through 3 bottles of it already.
5) Serum/Essence – Depending on what I have on hand, the next application can vary between serum or essence. I’ve started to use serum/essence only during my nightly routine as opposed to using it both during my day time and night time routine. I’m currently using Isa Knox MX-II Wrinkle Recovery Serum. It was part of a promotional set that I had purchased but I quite like it and will consider making a separate purchase of it in the future.
6) Moisturize – Usually referred to as “Lotion” or “Emulsion” in Korea, I sometimes feel as if this could be an optional step as cream seems more effective at providing and sealing in the moisture than moisturizer itself during the colder months.
7) Cream – Creams are tricky. A lot of individuals who have oily skin may not be too keen on cream. I mean, why slather on a layer of cream when your skin is already oily to begin with. The trick is to find one that works for your skin type…or just use it at night. Well lucky for me, I found a gem that works on my skin. I actually am the owner of several creams. Ones that are tad bit on the oily side that I keep to use at night but leaves my skin radiant in the morning and one that I use during my day time routine.
I’ve come to terms with my under eye wrinkles for the time being, therefore there aren’t any anti-wrinkle eye products pictured or spoken of here. I felt like some of the ones I was applying worsen the appearance of the wrinkles and that gave me a huge scare.
I feel my morning routine is a whole lot simpler compared to my night routine. It consists of less products and requires much less work! I know a lot of people who just wash their faces in the morning and moisturize after that. I wish I could do that but I can’t start my morning if I don’t wash my face with a foam cleanser. Sure the products that I apply at night nourishes my skin but the day should start with a clean slate.
1) Cleanse – I wash my face with the same foam cleanser that I do at night.
2) Tone – After drying my skin, I tone it with the same Skin from my night routine. I apply an ample amount of Skin and pat it until it fully absorbs.
3) Moisturize – Once the Skin absorbs, I apply the same moisturizer from my night routine.
4) Cream – This is an entirely new step in my morning routine. I’ve only used cream in the past when I wanted to moisturize some dry patches on my face. However, I’ve started to apply cream to my entire face this year. I use Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream. To be honest, I feared creams for the longest time and only used them at night when I initially got over my discomfort of wearing them. However, after trying out this cream, I’ve placed my faith in it and it’s only done me good. I’m currently out of it though, so I was unable to photograph it and include it with the other products in the collage. I’ve been using Uriage Aquaprecis Moisturizing Refreshing Gel Cream in place of the one by Kiehls but I can’t wait to get my hands on the Ultra Facial Cream again.
5) Sunscreen – I’m a huge sunscreen advocate and I won’t go outside without it so this step is a must. I was using Hanyul White Chrysanthemum Sun Screen SPF 50+, PA+++ after having a very long love affair with IOPE UV Shield Sunscreen. However, I finished the tube while I was writing up this blog post, therefore I had to substitute it in the collage with Hera Sun Mate Daily SPF 35, PA+++.
And that pretty much concludes my skincare routine, both morning and night! While this post may seem redundant as I’ve posted twice about my skincare routine, the products that I currently use are different, therefore I hope some of you may look into some of the products that I’ve mentioned here. If you have any questions regarding the products or my routine, leave me a comment below and I’ll reply as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!