Soko Glam (NYC-based experts in Korean skincare and makeup) founder, Charlotte Cho has curated a 10-step Korean Skincare routine that gives us mere mortals guidelines to achieve the smooth and perfect (poreless) skin that Koreans are known for.
I must say, when I first came across her article, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the multi-step regimen. However, as a skincare junkie, I have amassed a collection of skincare products, so I thought I would incorporate her beauty routine of cleansing, exfoliating, treating, intensively moisturising and applying sunscreen (if I’m heading out after). After adapting the routine for two months, I can proudly say that my skin has never looked better - less breakouts and more compliments!
So, here is my take on Charlotte’s skincare routine:
Step 1: Remove makeup
I apply a few drops of coconut oil onto the cotton pad and gently rub over my face, paying special attention to my eyes. I gently dab the area under my eyes instead of tugging it, as the skin around the eyes is the most delicate. For me, coconut oil does a really good job at removing makeup, including waterproof mascara!
Step 2: Cleanse
Then, I kick-start my double cleansing routine using a cleansing oil. When massaged onto skin, cleansing oil helps to draw out sebum and dirt. The oil cleanser has the dual effect of removing impurities without leaving your skin dry and taut.
Step 3: Cleanse again
I proceed to wash my face again with a foamy cleanser in circular motions to clean any makeup residue left. Initially, double cleansing was tedious for me but I now believe that proper cleansing is the key to radiant skin.
Step 4: Exfoliate
I exfoliate twice a week focusing on my T-zone to remove dead skin cells, promote cell turnover and allow better product absorption to achieve that polished look. I try to use facial scrubs with natural ingredients and it is very important to note that we should avoid using scrubs that contains plastic microbeads which are not environmentally-friendly.
Step 5: Tone
Next, I prep my skin with some toner to remove any residual balance. I pour it onto my hands and tap directly onto my face. It helps with reducing redness on my skin and also balances my skin’s PH level. Another option would be applying face mask or lip mask once or twice a week.
Step 6: Essense
I learned from Charlotte that essence is the heart of the Korean skincare routine. It is a liquid concentrate that improves the skin’s cell renewal process and enhances the skin’s elasticity. I do a light pat starting from my neck in an upward direction and slowly move my way up and around my face.
Step 7: Serum
Serum is considered the skin-perfecting step. It helps to address any issues related to pigmentation, pore-refining and acne. I got myself an eye serum to reduce the appearance of fine lines and sometimes I use it on my face, depending on my skin condition.
Step 8: Eye cream
A wise lady once told me, to keep dark eye circles at bay you can never be too young to use eye cream. As the under eye area is very delicate, I usually do a light pat with my fingers (like playing the piano) when applying the cream.
Step 9: Moisturiser
I use a light-weight moisturiser to seal and lock in all the products that have been applied onto my face. I apply it generously on my face and neck.
Step 10: Night cream
During the day, I would apply BB cushion with an SPF 50 and I’m out the door. But if I’m getting ready for bed I would apply a sleeping mask and it would stay on my skin the entire night, while I get my beauty rest. The best is, I wake up with softer skin in the morning!
Since young, I was only taught a 3-step skincare routine and teenage skin was certainly unkind to me. Growing up, I have tried and tested numerous products hoping that I would eventually find a product that will work for me. Frankly, I found it intimidating and sometimes discouraging. Now that I have found the “holy grail” of skincare routines, I am going to stick to it! Cheers to healthier skin!