Surely you’ve heard about the famous (or infamous) Korean-derived-almost-OCD-like skincare regimen. While the deeply revered 10-step routine can be a little excessive (but comprehensive) for some, because “aintnobodygottimeforthat!!”, it’s worth nothing that Koreans subscribe to a philosophy where skin must be handled with the utmost care and whether your routine consists of 5 steps or 15, what you put in is what you get out. BECAUSE SCIENCE. TRUST. My tips/products below might not work for you, because we’re all unique snowflakes and all of our needs are different, but winter is high time for hydration and BAD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOUR SKIN IS DRY. Don’t let it happen to you.
1. MAKEUP REMOVER: Before using your cleanser, you need to remove your makeup. Because if you don’t, it’s like showering with your clothes on… it’s still there. Cleansing oils are gentle and perfect for dry, dehydrated skin. Right now I’m using Garnier Clean+Nourishing Cleansing Oil. I’m not crazy about the scent so it’s not my favourite (SHOUT OUT TO THESE ALL-STARS, THOUGH: MAC Cleanse Off Oil, Boscia Make-up Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil), but for a drugstore price that does the same job as Boscia and MAC I guess it’ll suffice.
2. CLEANSER: Thorough cleansing is key to minimizing the possibility of breakouts! My all-time favourite is Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple Cleanser. It’s ultra-gentle, removes whatever residue is left from your cleansing oil, and your face feels SQUEAKY CLEAN but not tight. I also use the Foreo Luna with this cleanser and I like it a lot more than the Clarisonic. I KNOW, I KNOW, everyone and their grandmothers are all about their Clarisonics, but hear me out: yes, the initial cost is more than a Clarisonic but you need to replace your Clarisonic brush head every 3-4 months depending on how often you use it, otherwise the bacteria and gunk in the bristles will render your Clarisonic useless (the Foreo Luna doesn’t need brush replacement). But listen, I did the math for you and over time you’ll end up spending more money on a Clarisonic. TRADE UP FOR A FOREO LUNA AND NEVER LOOK BACK, YOU GUYS.
3. THE TONER: I alternate between Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Acid Toner and the Special Cleansing Lotion “C”. The former is a GAME-CHANGER. Contrary to popular belief, problematic skin isn’t only reserved for those afflicted with the throes of puberty… I THOUGHT I WAS DONE WITH THAT SH&T. But alas, I’ve had so much trouble with my skin over the past few years; regular use of MB’s GAT helped clear my skin and remove all of the hyper-pigmentation from past breakouts. Further, Special Cleansing Lotion “C” has significantly improved the oiliness in my t-zone, and I like using it when I feel like my pores need a deep clean. Mario Badescu makes really good sh&t. Trust.
4. THE TREATMENTS: (Whatever your treatments are, the rule of thumb is to layer from thinnest to thickest in consistency). I’m a long time fan of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Put it on before you go to sleep and then you WAKE UP IN THE MORNING FEELING LIKE P.DIDDY!! Kidding. I digress, this makes your skin noticeably radiant, rested, hydrated, and smooth the next morning. It’s the MVP of my night time skincare regime and I give you permission to ignore all of the products I suggest in this post EXCEPT for this one. You need it in your life. It’s insane. Like, witchcraft insane. You can thank me later. Additionally, I recently started using Ole Henriksen’s Invigorating Night Treatment Gel; it’s super lightweight and encourages cell turnover, which improves skin texture and “brightness” i.e., your skin won’t be dull from BEING SO DRY ALL THE TIME, THANKS WINTER.
MASKS & SCRUBS & SPOT-TREATMENTS (when needed):
Skin Food Black Sugar Wash Off Mask – I use this once a week as an exfoliator. Exfoliating goes a long way because sloughs off dead skin cells (preventing clogged pores), which is important for skin turnover. If your skin looks dull, try exfoliating once a week but avoid micro-beads. Those are nay good for your face.
Sheet Masks – These are excellent for when you’re turning down for the evening. Look for masks with hyaluronic acid, and you’re sorted. They can really pick up the slack when you’re trying to save money on serums or if you need a little extra radiance (e.g. I like to mask on extremely cold days or if I went drinking the night before)
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – Super potent spot treatment when you’ve got a massive zit on your face.
5. THE EYE CREAM: I’m not super picky about what I need my eye cream to do; all I ask is that it’s lightweight, moisturizing, has no scent, and absorbs quickly. Currently, I’m using Sibu Sea Buckthorn age defying eye cream. I don’t have any lines that need to be eliminated (#foreveryoung, y’all) so I can’t speak to any of its “age defying” properties.
6. THE MOISTURIZER & NIGHT CREAM: After applying all of the above, you need one more layer to LOCK IN all of the hydration and treatments that you just applied onto your skin. I’m a huge fan of the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream but during my recent trip to Korea, I discovered the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack. Sleeping Pack’s are essential to Korean skincare regimes, yet they haven’t caught on in North America. At all. Except that sleeping packs are like the grand finale to achieving smooth, glowy skin in the morning. Both products are super lightweight and absorb quickly (so don’t worry about having all this stuff rub off on your pillow) but will keep your face hydrated all night long.
This seems like a lengthy process, but it really only takes 4-5 minutes (yes I timed it for the purposes of this post). A solid skincare regime is only half the battle as diet and hormones have a lot to do with how your skin looks. However, prevention and nurturing early on will help you reap the #flawless rewards when you’re 40.