Skincare Routine

Happy Thursday everyone!

I thought writing about a routine would be helpful for anyone new to skincare, anyone trying to change up how and when they apply products, or anyone who just doesn’t understand where to put a new product in their current routine. I very loosely follow the Korean 10-step method, pictured above, but by no means do I ever do the full 10 steps, on any given day! (or night, because you have to do the whole thing over again at night!)

Here’s what my average day would look like, based on this routine:

1 – Makeup remover/Oil Cleanser: Various types of oil can remove makeup and “grit” (dirt from your pores) from your skin. Right off the bat, I usually skip this step, because oil cleansing has proven disastrous for me, personally. However, Pond’s Cold Cleanser does fall in this category, so if I need to remove eye makeup, that’s the first product that goes on my face. Others have had success with jojoba oil. Try out Pond’s Cold Cleanser here:

2- Water based cleanser: These are similar to soap, packaged similarly to soap — except for your face! I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser in the morning, and Cerave Foaming Cleanser after I get home from work, to take off my makeup. Try out Cetaphil: or Cerave:

3- Exfoliate: Exfoliators are products that turn over skin cells more quickly, like glycolic acid and lactic acid, to name a few. I only do this step at night, and only on nights where I’m using less abrasive exfoliators (Paula’s BHA, or Vitamin C serums). On nights where I use Epiduo Forte (adapalene + benzoyl peroxide), I have to apply a very thin moisturizer first. Epiduo and my skin just won’t get along otherwise! Check out Paula’s BHA here:

4 – Toner: this is usually a thin, watery “layer” that is intended to even out the size of your pores. When I remember to do it, I use Thayer’s Witch Hazel:

5- Essence: I never do this step! This is another very thin moisturizer intended to plump up your skin, and take in the heavier moisturizers more readily. I’ve tried several snail essences in the past, but I felt that it clogged up my pores. CosRX Snail Mucin 96 Power Essence is a common and well-liked essence:

6 – Treatments: If you have a skin “special need”, this is the time to apply it. If I have a bad patch of acne, I’ll apply a spot treatment of benzoyl peroxide. Another example is if you have a collagen treatment that you like to use, this is the step to use it. My favorite spot treatment is Neutrogena Benzoyl Peroxide:

7- Sheet Mask: These are paper or gel masks that you put over your entire face for 5-30 minutes. Once the time is up, you throw them out! Not a step I use anymore, sheerly out of laziness, but this was incredibly refreshing while I had cystic acne. Unfortunately, you have to decide what masks are good for your skin type, based on their primary ingredient. My favorite was My Beauty Diary – Natto mask:

8 – Eye Cream: Here’s my thought on eye cream: they’re usually the same as moisturizer. Just apply a thin layer of that moisturizer, and be careful that the moisturizer doesn’t have any abrasive properties to it, since the skin near the eye is very thin.

9 – Moisturizer: this is a medium weight to thick cream or gel that’s intended to add moisture, and hold some of what’s already there in. There are so many examples I could list here! But my favorite right now is Clinique Moisture Surge.

9.5 – Occlusives: I added a step! But this is usually where I put on anything to “lock in” extra moisturizers. I only do this step at night, before I go to sleep. Elta MD’s Intense Moisture usually does the trick:

10 – Sun Protection: the most important step! This one’s for morning only — find a sunscreen that complies well with the skin on your face. It’s Skin 2pm works best for me.