For a long time I played with the thoughts to make a post about skin care routine. Suddenly I’ve found myself already in the process. And what has become of it you’ll come to know, if you read this post.
This post is dedicated to all of that girls and women who have troubles with their skin care. On the basis of my experiences I’m gonna show you the steps which can help you to build an own skin care routine. In addition, I’ll try to give some tips what is better to do and what to leave undone. I hope it’ll be helpful for you to enjoy skin care process and to become a more healthy and beautiful skin.
Why I’m doing this?
First, it is better to explain why I actually decided to do this post. It is simple: at the age of 37 (and I’m now 38) I finally realized that what I’m doing to my facial skin is more than wrong. I had many skin troubles: post-acne, excessive sebum production and as a result oily skin, blackheads, big pores. little pimples, dull and dehydrated skin. I have a combo skin with oily T-zone. Sometimes I felt my skin cannot breath, but wasn’t able to realize to build an own skin care routine, though I used many cosmetics.
I tried many treatments: from cosmetic shop and drugstore to pharmacy. I tried high budget (for me) and low budget products. Nothing helped.
A year ago I found some Korean cosmetics in German drugstores. Suddenly I’ve noticed a big hype for K-beauty. I didn’t know at that time anything about K-beauty and how popular it is for beauty-junkies. I decided to try some of them and was excited about the result. It was something very different from the cosmetics I knew. Out of curiosity, I started to watch K-beauty reviews on Youtube and read K-beauty blogs. Over time I became a fan and increased my knowledge not only about Korean cosmetics, but about beauty and cosmetics in general too.
And then came the big point: finally I realized my previous skin care was wrong. This is because I had skin problems! You can imagine the disappointment I felt! About all that money and waste of time. But better late than never.
In this post I’m gonna speak only about facial care. I’ll try to make it as short as I can, who wants to read long texts nowadays? Actually I planned to mention the body care too, but I thought it would be to much, so I push it for some other time, without promise, of course.
Building an own skin care routine
Phase 1: First of all
Before you run to the cosmetic shop and buy everything you can see, you should know skin care is a long process for the rest of your life without holidays and vacations. The skin needs a 24/7 – care that won’t tolerate your laziness or tiredness. What you need is:
- Will: You should have a burning desire to take care of your skin. Otherwise it wouldn’t work. Only if you really wish you can do it!
- Discipline: Lazy days were yesterday! Lying on the couch and dreaming of a “glass skin” is forbidden. The desire alone wouldn’t help you, but if you build a skin care routine for everyday that you can precisely follow without “the ifs and the buts”.
- Time: The skin care procedures can be time-consuming. Be ready to invest more of your time for it. Try to organize your daily routine to get more free time for your skin care routine.
- Money: Be sure you’ll need not only one cream and tonic for a long time, but a wide range of products for every part of your skin care routine that won’t last for the rest of your life. Good cosmetic is cosmetic that works and is usually high priced. Be ready to invest more money for your skin care.
Phase 2: Get ready
In this phase you should prepare yourself for the next one in the role of a detective spying on YOU! Yes, before you start you MUST FIND OUT
- Your real skin type: This is the most important part you shouldn’t ignore. The success of your skin care depends on do you really know your skin type? Observe your skin. how does it look and how did it react to your previous cosmetics. Take advice from cosmeticians or even from your mates, if they have more experience than you.
- Do you have skin problems and their reasons: After you found out your real skin type, find out wether you have skin problems and which. Find out your real skin condition. Check your skin by your cosmetitian. If you have heavy problems you need special treatment, then a visit to a dermatologist is a necessity. The next step after is, to find out how to heal your skin problems. Mark, if don’t treat them early on, it’ll be more difficult to get rid of them later.
- What are the common cosmetics suitable for your skin type/needs: If you don’t have any serious problems with your skin, it is time to look for suitable cosmetics. Check beauty-blogs, ask questions, visit your cosmetitian, look at the cosmetic shops. I personnaly always try to get some information about cosmetics I’m intrested in before I decide to buy something.
- What types of cosmetics are there and what ‘s the correct order of applying: Don’t underrate this point. Some cosmetics can be very effective and harmful at the same time, if you use them incorrect. Inform yourself about cosmetics: which sorts/types are there, which should be used when, which should/shouldn’t be used together and in which order.
Phase 3: The right order and definition of skin care products
You cannot build a skin care routine without knowing what products should be used and in which order. As a K-beauty junkie, I personally prefer the 10-step routine. But even if you don’t use Korean cosmetics I think it is the most perfectly order for a skin care routine. Here’s a short explanation of each step:
- Cleansing: Beautiful means to be clean! The cleanser alone cannot remove all the dirt, fat, make-up and any other trash from the skin. From Koreans I’ve learned the double cleansing system. First remove make-up with a cleansing oil or cleansing balm. Oil/Balm removes gently make-up from the skin. Then wash it clear with cleanser. You can also use micellar water instead of the oil. Cleaning with oil demands much time, good chance to do a face massage. I personnaly prefer micellar water when I don’t have not much time for an oil cleanser.
- Exfoliation: I don’t want to go deep in this theme – it is to big, but a few words are necessary. Our skin is built up of many layers and renews for a definite period. The cells from the deeper layers grow out to the outer part and die. This outermost layer of the skin is called epidermis and the dead cells are its upper layer. The epidermis itself has a function to renew every 28 days and helps our skin to look younger. With the age this process slows down to 45 days and more and the skin gets the signs of age. Exfoliation removes these dead cells and helps the skin to renew itself. But not only this, the dead cells prevent from a better absorbtion of cosmetics and that can cause clog pores and other bad things. This is because peelings and other exfoliation products should be a part of your skin care routine even if you’re younger than 30. Peelings can be used in form of gels, masks, pads or serums.
- Toner: Toner is the first treatment you should apply after washing. The cleanser and peelings can dry and irritate the skin and it is better to apply a toner after. It works as a moisturizer, softens, nourishes and prepares your skin for the next care. About differences between toner and tonic read my post Beauty-Lexicon: Toner vs tonic
- Essence: Essence is more concentrated than toner and has often a light gel texture. Its job is to prepare the skin for the basic care like serums and creams. Essences are enriched with useful active ingredients, but less than serums.
- Sheet-mask: This sort of masks distinguishes from paste masks we know. It is a simple piece of fabric soaked in serum you should only put on your face for some minutes and Ready! Very convenient and hygienic and time-saving. There’re many varieties of sheet-masks for every skin type: with fruit and herbal extracts, with snail extract and collagen, with charcoal and bird’s nest, for oily and impure skin, for dehydrated skin, anti-aging etc. Choose a mask according to your needs.
- Serum: Compared to essences are serums or ampoules very high concentrated. Unlike essences serum can penetrate deep into the lower skin layers and enrich them with its active ingredients. Some serums are good moisturizers, but it is always better to apply a cream-moisturizer after it to lock all the products applied before for a better effect.
- Emulsion: It is a cream-like substance, but lighter than creams. Emulsion is enough concentrated to be used instead of a cream. It is something I’ve found only in Korean skin care. Good solution specially in summer or for people with oily skin who cannot use thick fat creams.
- Eye cream: Don’t forget your eyes! In fact, the skin around eyes is sensitive and thinner than the rest of your face and needs special care. Sometimes I read in comments, that some girls use facial cream or moisturizer for eyes too. It is not correct. I personnaly did a test last year to try what would happen and had tearsacks for many weeks. And it took me a lot of time to get rid of them. Don’t torture your skin, choose the care you need and your skin will thank you with healthy glow.
- Cream/Moisturizer or Sleeping Pack: The choice is yours what you wanna choose to lock all the treatments apllied before. Then, this is the basic job of a cream to seal the layer-cake on your face.
- Sunscreen: But it isn’t summer yet! Oh, dear! The second thing I’ve learned from Korean skin care is to use a sunscreen during the whole year, no matter is it sunny or cloudly, winter or summer. A sunscreen protects the skin from the harmful ultraviolet radiation which can cause not only sunburn, but other some not nice skin diseases and let the skin age faster amongst other things. Sunscreens are a very important topic. Maybe I’ll do a special post dedicated to protection from the sun.
Of course there are more products outside the 10-step-system. Here are some of them:
- Eye patches are collagen pads soaked in serum to apply under eyes. They reduce wrinkles, tearsacks. give a small lifting effect and let the skin look healthier.
- Lotions look more like emulsion and have a thick-liquid consistency. Mostly used as treatment. Not every lotion is for daily use.
- Mists are toner-like liquids to apply as sprays. Mists are used for extra moisturizing and refreshing effect specially on hot summer days or for fixing make-up.
- Spot-treatment and pimple patches are acne and pimple treatments for local use only.
Phase 4: Let’s start
Now you know your skin type.
You know a lot about cosmetics.
You have found a lot of things you wanna buy/or have already bought .
The next step is to build the routine. It’ll be helpful to take a notebook and to write down all the steps you think are necessary in your case.
But it doesn’t mean you should follow all the steps every day. The schemes listed below are only an example. You should make your own choice. Find out what is more suitable for you and with which sort of cosmetics you feel comfortable.
Group the routine in parts:
Daily care, Weekly care ( including Additional care)
Group each of them in parts too. As a follower of K-beauty, I prefer Korean skin care system to western because it gives the possibility of using more products to achieve better effect.
The ideal case according to Korean skin care
Daily care (face)
1. Day care
1.6. Eye cream
2. Night care
2.1 Cleansing oil or balm/cleanser
2.6. Eye cream
2.7. Cream/moisurizer/sleeping pack
Weekly care can include all the additional care you don’t apply/do every day like peelings and exfoliation with acids and without, eye patches, other sorts of masks etc. Once more, it is only an example, the choice is yours what you want to add in your Weekly care.
Weekly care (face)
1. Day care
1.5. Sheet-mask and eye patches (the patches can be put under the mask for time-saving)
1.7. Eye cream
2. Night care
2.1 Cleansing oil or balm/cleanser
2.2. Paste masks/peel-off masks/peeling if you need to apply it on clean skin
2.3. Essence (-optional a treatment after)
2.5. Serum (-optional a treatment before/after)
2.6. Eye cream
2.7. Cream/moisurizer/sleeping pack
Phase 5: Last but not least
Now you know the right order and the purpose of every product. Take your remedies/cosmetics and decide what would you like to use, in which order and when. Of course you might ask: why to spread all the stuff on you to look like a layer-cake? Once again: there is no need to use all of these steps every day, but choose only what you need at the moment. It’ll spare your time and money.
1. You don’t need double cleansing in the morning, if you don’t sleep with make.up of course))) Simply use a gentle and good foaming cleanser with good cleaning qualities.
2. Peeling and exfoliating every day can cause irritation and other not nice things, so it is better to push it to the “weekly care”. Exfoliate always on clean skin, except of lotion-peelings. If your skin is sensitive, apply a moisturizing toner before lotion-peeling.
3. Don’t forget that there’re remedies only for day/night use, as well as for summer/winter seasons, like acids, vitamin C or sunscreen. It is highly recommended not to use the acids for day care (the same for vitamin C), but push it to the night care and always apply a sunscreen, because the acids make the skin thinner and sensitive against UVA/UVB. It is also not recommended to use some of the acids in summer.
Allowed for using in summer are:
some of the AHAs:
⦁ Mandelic acid
⦁ Lactic acid, but not more than 10 %
⦁ Malic acid
⦁ lactobionic acid
(Hyaloronic acid is not an acid!)
4. You should know that there are some unsuitable products. It means it is not recommended to use both of them at the same time:
⦁ vitamin C and AHA/BHA
⦁ Retinol and AHA/BHA
⦁ Retinol and vitamin C
⦁ Snail mucin and BHA
5. (resulted from point Nr 4) Learn to read the ingredients-list. If you want to use several deffirent products at the same time, you should know what contains each of them. Are they compatible? And if not what precaution should be taken.
6. (resulted from point Nr 5) Find out which of the ingredients are not suitable for your skin to avoid such products. For example, some people avoid coconut oil (is often used as ingredient for creams) because it can be pore-clogging. Anyway, once more I recommend before buying a product always inform yourself about it, read some of the reviews so not to waste cash.
My motto – less is more that means I don’t think the more products you use the more benefit you get.
To save money try to buy samples first by testing new products.
And notice: A beautiful woman is a well-groomed woman, who cares about herself no matter, if she looks like a beauty queen or not.
Try to feel much fun during your skin care or by choosing and buying your cosmetics. Otherwise, you’ll never manage it.
I wish you much success and all the best!