This newfound skincare regimen that I have been doing for the past 2-3 months has been inspired by the steps in the Koreans' skincare regimen.
In my "ritual" though, I prefer using Philippine-made organic and natural skincare products mixed with some South Korean stuff. All of them are said to be safe to be used by pregnant women like me, so far they all did well with my skin!
REMEMBER: we should always do a patch test first to see if we will not react to certain products badly, preggy or not. If irritation and allergy occurs, discontinue use no matter whether the products are organic, natural, herbal, and/or derma-formulated! Results may vary.
Anyway, so what is this 10-Step Korean Skincare that most beauty enthusiasts and bloggers are talking about? For those of you who do not know, check this out!
Some of them have different versions which goes first or last, etc.
Why did I choose to follow their skincare steps?
Koreans are known to have beautiful porcelain-like skin worldwide. Thorough skincare regimen has always been part of their culture and most of them started doing it since they were young. We all know that Korean skincare products are usually made of high-quality ingredients which is why they are known to be one of the countries who have the best skincare products! Also, if you have noticed, Koreans who are in their 40's and older, usually look younger compared to the other people in different countries within the same age range. It is because of how they take good care of their skin: they are into hydrating, hydrating, hydrating! Most of them usually layer on applying products, each catering to a different need or as a treatment that targets various imperfections.
I have been practicing this "ritual" and I am lovin' the results! For a pregnant woman like me in her mid 20's who doesn't really have perfectly clear skin to begin with, it is very important that I focus on my skincare regimen to avoid premature formation of wrinkles and to cure whatever dark blemishes that I have left on my face. Not to mention, ayoko maging losyang! Haha! (I don't want to let myself and my beauty go!)
Basically, I have sensitive combination skin: oily on t-zone and dry on the cheeks, so I have to use different products on various areas because they have different needs. Then when I got pregnant again, my hormones got out of whack so I am having 2-3 hormonal pimples on my jawline every now and then. It isn't because of the products I use but my hormones, though using the wrong ones can irritate my skin further.
Using these skincare products helps me in maintaining a glowing and radiant facial skin which diffuses all the imperfections that I have. My husband commented that he likes my skin now, it looks bright, nothing dull, even w/o the use of whitening products and makeup.
To easily understand this regimen, I basically start from removing make-up, cleansing, toning, and hydrating from the lightest formulas like liquid to moisturizing with the richest formulas like the night cream.
This first step is optional for me as I don't wear make-up everyday, but when I do, I make sure that I have them thoroughly wiped out before washing my face to ensure that my face is cosmetics-free!
As you see, I have various types of make-up remover. It is because I use them depending on the situation and what kind of cosmetics I used.
Make-Up Eraser (Pink Cloth)
(from Instagram: @_beautylabph, Php390)
If I am over-fatigued after a night-out or when I feel terribly sleepy right when I get home, I use this one. I just wet it with water, rub it on my face until the base make-up, like foundation, gets removed. The rubbing action with the soft cloth gently removes make-up thoroughly. It is ALWAYS better to wash your face with facial cleanser/soap after.
Eden's Paradise Cleansing Oil
(from www.edens-paradise.com, Php349)
Made of natural ingredients, it is milder to use for most sensitive skin types. When I've got more spare time, I massage this oil on my face and neck on a circular motion until all the make-ups, even the waterproof ones dissolve. After which, I make sure to thoroughly wash my face with soap and water for a squeaky clean feeling without the dryness! A little amount of product goes a long way. The one in the photo is the old packaging.
Sooper Beaute (Wipe Out Gentle Makeup Remover)
(from Instagram: @sooperbeaute, Php380)
This one is like a mixture of oil and water combined, it has castor oil and cornflower which helps in gently removing makeup. I like using this for erasing stubborn matte lipsticks, lip stains, and waterproof eye make-up.
Biore Cleansing Oil Cotton Facial Sheets
(from Instagram: @bioreph, price available upon request)
I always make sure that I have this in my bag just in case we are not able to go home as early as expected. There are times when there are surprise sleep-over in a friend's house when there are birthday parties, etc and if there is no facial cleanser that you can use right away, it is helpful when you have this! Highly recommended for "emergency" purposes, hehe!
S-Lumie Facial Wipes
A friend from Japan gave this to me as a gift. I love how easy-to-use this one is and also it effectively removes stubborn eye and lip makeup too! Perfect when you're out and can't wash your face right away! When I go to Japan, I'll make sure to hoard this! (It effectively cleans all the makeup containers contaminated with makeup residues too!)
Eau Thermale Avane Micellar Lotion
(from www.eau-thermale-avene.ph, Php735)
So far, this is the one that feels the lightest on the skin. It feels a li'l bit thicker than water and way lighter than oil! Using this effectively removes make-up completely after wiping your face with this and a cloth over and over for a few times, some aid that it is alright even if you don't wash with soap and water afterwards (yet I still prefer to). If there is no water and soap around, you can rely on this one!
SECOND STEP: FACIAL CLEANSER
(Skin Genie Apple Cider Vinegar Soap Bar)
THIRD (OR FOURTH) STEP w/o Exfoliation: FACIAL TONER
(Skin Genie Apple Cider Vinegar Toner w/ Vodka & Witch Hazel)
both from Instagram: @skingenie
ACV soap: Php 150 / 135 grams, regular price
ACV toner: Php 250 for 100ml/ Php 200 for 60ml)
Formerly called Skin Potion, this local brand from the Philippines is now called "Skin Genie", shown in the photo is their old packaging.
For the 2nd step: Apple Cider Vinegar soap, I like how it smells like sweet apples, unlike the usual sour ACVs being sold in the market! The soap lathers well, thoroughly cleanses the skin without stinging and micro-peeling, helps in drying some of my hormonal pimples in just 3-4 days.
For the 3rd step (or should I say 4th, if we use facial scrub on certain days): Apple Cider Vinegar Toner w/ Vodka and Witch Hazel, it has the same sweet scent like its soap combo. It thoroughly helps in removing residues left after washing the face if there are any. It also primes the skin for the next steps that will involve moisturizing. For days when I didn't put on make-up, I just spritz the product on my face 3-4x on different areas, massage the product on and let it dry.
THIRD STEP: EXFOLIATION
to be used 2-3x a week only
(Natura Organics Facial Scrub)
(from Instagram; @realnaturaorganics, Php 269/ 75 grams)
Facial scrubs help in bringing out radiant and brighter skin by removing dead epidermal skin cells which causes the skin to look dry and dull. Using them 2-3x a week (or once for ultra-sensitive skin) is enough for maintenance.
What I like about Natura Organics products is that they are made with only natural and organic ingredients, no harmful chemicals and preservatives which makes it safer for hypersensitive skin like mine. Their scrub has a creamy formulation which helps in moisturizing the skin while the fruit beads in it are the ones that gently exfoliates dead skin. Its natural sweet fruity scent is a plus for me!
FIFTH STEP: SERUMS
(The Raw Shoppe: Pure Love Plant Oil w/ Tsubaki Oil)
(from Instagram: @therawshoppe_organicand natural,
regular price: Php 380 / 20ml)
Serums and facial oil are essential in hydrating our skin in a deeper level because they balance out the oil production of our skin. At first, I was afraid to use them because I have combination skin and VERY OILY T-zone area but when I tried using them, I have noticed what difference do they make in my face!
The concept goes like this: when our skin feels dry and dehydrated, it has the tendency to produce more oil but when our skin feels hydrated enough, it doesn't produce much anymore. Because of that, my face is now already balanced compared before. Even if my t-zone area is still, umm, "oilier" than the other parts of my face, it isn't greasy anymore.
What I love about this Pure Love Plant Oil with Tsubaki is that aside from smelling sweet and floral, it also helps in lightening some of my blemishes because love plant oil can naturally lighten skin without the harmful side-effects that some artificial chemical skin whiteners give. One drop of oil is enough to spread on the face and neck, giving it a dewy look that doesn't feel sticky nor greasy at all.
SIXTH STEP: ESSENCE/ GEL
(Elella Aloe Vera Refreshing Gel, Php 350, 100ml)
Elella Ginseng Therapy Clarifying Essence, Php 730/ 30ml)
I use these two products as a combo all the time, day & night, so I consider using them both as one step.
Anyway after the oil has been fully absorbed, I immediately apply the Aloe Vera Refreshing Gel all over the face and neck (sometimes on the hands and arms too) and tapping my skin until it gets fully absorbed. The formulation feels so light and cool on the skin, it soothes irritation and cystic acne, I have noticed that it helps calm down an irritated red bump of pimple too and any allergy for that matter based on my experience!
Next, I apply one pump of Ginseng Therapy Clarifying Essence on my face and neck. The essence is white in color, feels so light and is easily absorbed by the skin. After using this, my face feels a bit more hydrated by doing this step. If you are in a rush, you can stop with this step, but if you want your face to be more hydrated, applying more is the way to go especially when you wanna prevent wrinkles, which brings us to our next product in line.....
SEVENTH STEP: EYE CREAM/ SERUM
(One Earth Organics Fatigue Eraser Eye Serum)
(from Instagram @oneearthorganicsbeauty, price available upon request)
They said that the best way to prevent wrinkles on the eye area is by using an eye cream or serum for it deeply moisturizes and targets that problem. Aside from that, using this has helped in making my eye makeup application easier. Usually my eye makeup cakes up especially when concealing the under eye part, but with this product, even if I don't use an eye shadow primer, the makeup applies smoothly especially the concealer! Of course, in my opinion, everything is better with a primer, hehe!
Anyway, One Earth Organics Fatigue Eraser Eye Serum also soothes my puffy eyebags and refreshes tired eyes. I usually sleep late because I have insomnia then when my toddler is up early, I gotta wake-up even if I have less than 6 hours of sleep. Usually it happens for many days in a row leaving me feeling tired and looking haggard, but with the help of this eye serum, my eyes look like I had complete 8-hour sleep! I don't have wrinkles on my eye area as of the moment but as they say, prevention is better than cure. It is never too early to use sunblock and eye cream!
8TH STEP: COLLAGEN CREAM
(Lather Goods Collagen: The Skin Restorer Cream
Php 200 / 30ml)
9TH STEP: SUNBLOCK for daytime only
(Lather Goods Multi-Fruit: The Skin Booster Cream with SPF45
Php 250/ 30ml)
(both from Instagram: @lathergoodsph)
For the 8th step, I am hydrating my skin better with the use of this Collagen cream which helps in repairing skin and reducing wrinkles. As we age, our skin's elasticity slowly wears off but if we wanna slow down the aging process, applying collagen creams do help. It might not be able to penetrate the deepest layers of the skin hence the minimal effect but it is better than using nothing at all. Some people drink collagen supplements though for faster absorption and more effective results but since I am pregnant, I can't take those so using this product made with natural ingredients anyway is a safer option for me.
Using this nearly completes my ritual as I have noticed that my skin feels and looks more plump and tight after every use. The formulation is rich enough to moisturize the skin yet light enough that it doesn't feel sticky, greasy and oily!
For the daytime's 9th step, I apply the Multi-Fruit Booster with SPF45, not only does it complete my ritual in the morning but for moisturizing, it also provides me sun protection which everybody should focus on and not take for granted! As my mom said, you may forget every other skincare products there is, just not your sunblock!
Sunblock is very important because without it, the sun's UV rays will damage our skin so bad, there will be immediate results such as skin darkening and sunburn; while there are others that can't be seen instantly such as melasma and worse, skin cancer! The process of aging also becomes faster when we are constantly under the sun without a sun protection! So ladies and gents, please, wear that effin' sunblock!
9TH STEP: NIGHT MOISTURIZER/ CREAM
(Proyoung's SeriAsia E-Action Cream Skin Moisturizer
with high concentration of Vitamin E: 10,000 IU)
(from Instagram: @proyoungph, Php180/ 30g)
Every night, I make sure to put on the richest, most dense cream that my face can tolerate so that when I sleep, it will deeply moisturize and penetrate my skin! Doing so, will help in further preventing aging and wrinkles. It will also give me a glowing look when I wake up in the morning! Can I say #SleepingBeauty #IwokeUpLikeThis now? Haha!
Seriously though, what I like about this cream is that even if the formulation is thick and rich, it doesn't feel sticky and greasy on the skin. Actually after putting this on, my face becomes well-moisturized yet it looks dewy enough to look healthy but matte enough to look clean, fresh and presentable! Oh, it can also be used in the morning as well if you prefer since it can be a good base for your makeup, it helps in making the cosmetics application smoother too!
TENTH STEP: FACIAL MASK SHEETS
(Vedette Facial Mask Sheets, used nightly 4-5x a week
from Instagram: @vedetteph Php 55 each for 25g)
or other Korean Face Mask Sheets from different brands
(various shops, price varies depending on the store and seller)
Facial mask sheets are VERY EASY to use. You will just open the packaging, spread the folded mask sheet apart, apply it on your face, then sleep the night away (or do whatever chores/activities on the day).
I apply this 4-5x a week nightly or some other days in the morning. Doing so instantly refreshes and invigorates my facial skin! Before I started this 10-step skincare regimen, my face looks fair 'çause my complexion is light alright, but it wasn't as glowing as it is now, according to my husband. Facial mask sheets are like the icing on the cake for this "ritual" because they give that radiant finishing touch, hehe! Some bloggers made a review testing these for everyday for the whole week and all of them noticed a big improvement on their skin! Some of my photos might not justify everything but in my experience, I am totally loving em!
OPTIONAL STEP: CLAY MASKS
(to be used 1-2x a week, depending on your skin type, after washing the face and before applying any skincare products on)
(The Yellow Cocoon Purity Clay Mask, used 1-2x a week
from Instagram: @theyellowcocoon, Php 380/ 200 grams)
There are many different types of facial masks in this world but my top 2 would be the facial mask sheets and the facial clay masks.
Why clay mask? Because after all the cleansing and hydrating, comedones tend to build up on our skin no matter how much we take good care of it, hence the need for something stronger than the usual facial cleansers.
For people like me who have large pores, combination/oily skin due to genetics, we gotta work harder to achieve a well-balanced skin condition and clearer skin. Using clay masks help in deeply cleansing the face, it helps in removing deep-seated dirt as well as lessen blackheads and whiteheads that accumulated in our facial skin. After using this product, my face feels squeaky clean and with continued use, I as well as other beauty bloggers, have noticed that their blackheads were easily removed!
Some people are blessed to have low-maintenance normal skin which is why they might not need this kind of product, but for people like us with problematic skin type, this is truly heaven-sent!
Me using The Yellow Cocoon Purity Clay Mask below:
After all that ritual focusing on the skin, do not forget and overlook your lips since well-moisturized, smooth, and kissable lips will always be a sexy thing that will never ever run out of style! Putting on lip balm regularly is one of the best things that you can give yourself.
ADDITIONAL STEP: LIP BALM
(Eco Skin Love Strawberry Lip Lightener)
(from Instagram: @ecoskinlove, Php 188 / 10grams)
This smells like strawberries, doesn't taste like anything though , nothing fruity, but most importantly, nothing waxy and artificial! This product is made of natural ingredients and Vitamin E go keep the lips supple and well-hydrated. It promises to help lighten dark lips, as of now, I haven't noticed any change YET but that is because my lips are naturally pigmented. Though I must say that even without lip products, my lips don't look that dark anymore at all. Maybe it really works after all. Hehe! But seriously, I love how it keep my lips moisturized, those who have chappy, dry, and flaking lips might benefit from using this!
To everyone, thank you so much for reading this blog, I experimented with various facial products, observed my skin for more than 2 months just to be able to write this blog. Now, here's my shameless selfie so you can see the results.
p.s. I know I don't look perfect, my skin isn't too, but truth to be told, my skin now looks better compared to my teenage, early adolescent years suffering from severe acne! Haha! In the left photo, you can see that I have a few pimples and blemishes and yet, in person, my imperfections are diffused because the majority of my facial skin looks better compared to those few red spots, thanks to this facial skincare regimen! On the right, a little bit of makeup helps in concealing them, no need for meticulous base application of color correctors and concealers.
For more of my reviews about local Philippine brand of organic and natural products, please follow me on my micro-blog in Instagram: @iamkrishenriquez
Founder of Astral Crystals.