I can honestly say that my skincare routine has absolutely changed my life! No more blemishes; no more worrying that my skin looks bad. All it took was a spark of realization and a book.
A Moment of Realization
The moment of realization happened like this: I was sitting on my couch watching YouTube videos of gorgeous women applying their makeup. One of which – and I won’t name names, because her views have since changed – was gushing about the magic of makeup and how, if applied properly, it will ‘paint away’ your issues. Pimples? Use concealer. Rough patches of irritated skin? Slather on that foundation, baby. Now, she wasn’t wrong in saying these things. Makeup does have the ability to mask the face and hide imperfections. It’s what she said right after this that made my teeth on edge. She said,
“If you spend enough money on your makeup, you never have to worry about how your face actually looks ever again!”
I kid you not, I snorted in detest. My brain screamed, “Sure, that’s how lots of women see it, but that’s not how it should work!” And right at that moment, a light bulb clicked on in my head.
If we spent the amount of money that we spend on expensive makeup and instead invest it in proper skincare, then we wouldn’t have to worry about how expensive our makeup is!
Think about it: look at all of the picture of models, your role models, the women who rock the #nomakeup trend. What do they all have in common? They have flawless skin.
I’ll admit, this seemed like a radical notion. I had always been taught to cover up, cover up, cover up. Pimple? Cover it up! Irritated skin? Cover it up! Lackluster, parched skin? Cover it up! I’m sure many of you are nodding right now.
From that moment, I stopped looking at how makeup could cover up my face and began investing in how to let my skin be its own pure canvas.
The book that actually set me on the right track to wonderful skincare was Charlotte Cho’s The Little Book of Skincare.
I had always admired the women in the East for their gorgeous glowing and blemish-free complexions. As soon as this book came out, I snagged a copy immediately and chose next day shipping (crazy, I know!). When it came in, I literally dropped everything I was doing, rooted myself onto my couch, and read it cover to cover.
And it was life-changing!
This little book is a plethora of astounding skincare revelations from only using non-drying products on your face (as well as scientific reasons that backed it up) to using up to 10 products and how to layer them to how to maintain your skin and achieve a healthy glow well into your aged years! If you are ever going to buy a skincare specific book, I HIGHLY recommend The Little Book of Skincare.
Cho offers a list of products from her website, and I may or may not have given my husband a heart attack when I ordered about $150 worth of skincare products (seems like a lot in one go, but you can totally stagger your purchases. Also, they last a really long time, so you won’t be buying them all that often). I threw all skepticism aside and plunged myself face-first into my first foray with Korean skincare. And, let me tell you, it might have been my first foray, but I’m never going back!
My Skincare Routine
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Cleanse One – Oil Cleanser
The Banila Clean it Zero Sherbet Cleanser is my go-to right now. It starts as a solid, and comes with a ton of product, a small spatula, and the wonderful ability to go from solid to liquid from the temperature for your hands.
I’ve used actual liquid oil cleansers before, and I find them to be messy and wasteful. With this, you just scoop out about half a teaspoon’s worth with the spatula, melt it against your hands and rub all over your face.
It take makeup off in a flash – waterproof, included! And it smells nice.
Cleanse Two – Water-based Cleanser
I adore the Cera Ve Hydrating Cleanser! It cleanses my skin and removes any oily residue from my first cleanser (usually from when I use too much of it!), and it does this all without making my skin feel too dry. You know that feeling when your face feels like it’s super taut after you are done washing it? That’s actually bad for your skin!
As I use this at night, I also use my Clarisonic Mia 2 for some extra cleaning power. If you would like to read how my Clarisonic experience has changed my life, you can find it here.
I really love a good exfoliating session. It makes my skin look and feel amazing, and it encourages new cell turnover for an anti-aging effect. However, I only use exfoliators once every two weeks or so because my skin is so sensitive. I haven’t tried (but am actually in the process of finding and trying a good) non-physical peel. I’ve only used physical, or manual exfoliators on my face. And I’ve tested a lot. The only one that I absolutely love is the Philosophy Micro Delivery In-Home Vitamin C Peptide Peel. It is cheaper to go to your local Ulta, mosey over to the Philosophy skincare section, and buy it in-store than it is to buy online.
I’m trying to find a gentle chemical peel instead of this physical one (I only use this maybe once a month because it is so powerful!) that I can use more often. I’ll keep you updated on if I find one.
I know what you are thinking, “But, Lindi, toners are almost always drying because they are the same as astringent, right?” Wrong! You can find moisturizing toners your skin will love! I love the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner. It’s formulated to help balance your skins PH level so that your skin stays moisturized, supple, and calm.
This is a step that is just now breaking into the western beauty world. This is similar to a serum, but is much lighter and provides essential nutrients, anti-oxidants, and moisture for dewy, supple skin. I honestly cannot live without my Snail Bee High Content Essence.
It has a wonderful deep, earthy scent, and it is fast-absorbing. Out of all of my skincare products, this one is one of my top three! And don’t let the snail or bee part alarm you; it only contains extracts from both of the animals’ productions, not that animal itself. (So, think snail slime extract and royal jelly extract!)
Also, on nights that I feel that my skin needs a little more oomph, I use the Missha Time Revolution Treatment Essence at nigth right after my Snail Bee one. I absolutely love the combination of the two! Especially if I have a big event the following day!
Ok, so I have two serums that I use. One is for day and one is for night.
The one I use for day is my Klairs Freshly Juiced Drop. Talk about a whammy of anti-oxidants! Since using this, I can honestly say that my skin has been brighter than ever, and my acne scars are no longer visible!
The one I use for night is the Missha Time Revolution Nigh Repair Science Activator Ampoule Serum. What a mouthful! This is designed to give your skin what it needs to stay firm and supple while you sleep at night. This is also one of my top three!
I’m not talking about the goopy ones that you smear on your face and then wash off. I’m talking sheet masks! I don’t really have a favorite brand, but I do stock up on these from Ulta and Forever 21. I also put them in my fridge for a wonderful cooling sensation for the duration of the mask (it also calms redness!)
If you follow my Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen my mask selfies. I can’t get enough of these!
I’m not kidding when I say that this Korean skincare is serious about moisturizer! Even though there are plenty of imported brands of lightweight moisturizers, my absolute favorite is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturizer. It’s chock full of Hyaluronic Acid, which plumps the skin with moisture, giving you a dewy, super-healthy glow! It’s actually the top of my top three!
Sunscreen (for Day Only)
Guys, I kid you not. My hubby and I both used this when we and two friends went to Ohio, and even though our friends were applying regular sunscreen, only the hubsters and I left unscathed by sunburn!
Since you are supposed to always wear sunscreen, I needed to find one that did not clog my pore, make my skin irritated, and had zero flashback for photography. My holy-grail product that I absolutely cannot live without (as in this tops my top three!) is the Missha All Around Sun Milk. I cannot live without this! It is the best sun block I have every used for my face in my entire life!
If I can encourage you to buy only one of these items, I would suggest this one, HANDS DOWN!
You would apply this after the light moisturizer if you were heading to bed. I find the my favorite night moisturizer/cream is the Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream. It’s thick, moisturizing, and smells really good!
Sleeping Mask / Sleeping Pack
Ok, so this is also a new thing that is just making its way into the Western beauty spotlight. I have not tried that many of them (read: I’ve only tried one…) but I really do love it! It’s a super thick gel moisturizer that you would use in the place of your heavy moisturizer. You apply, let it absorb into the skin, and then sleep! When you wake up, your skin will look amazing! As I said, I’ve only tried one, but this one works really well for me. It’s the Miss Spa Sleeping Mask found in your local Ulta. It’s honestly probably a lot cheaper to buy it in Ulta than online, though.
Granted, I don’t use all of the 10 steps every single day or night. Some times, if I want to really pamper myself, I will, but usually, I just stick with my two cleansers, toner, my essences (depending on night or day), serums (depending on night or day), my moisturizers (also depending on night or day), and my sunblock. I use the exfoliators, face masks, and sleeping masks for pampering.
In using this process, my skin has made a change for the better!
I hope I inspired you to take a look into what a Korean skincare routine can do for you as well! I’ll be sure to keep this updated so you will always see my latest skincare routine!
Also, if you would like to see a video of how I do my skincare routine, let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!