How to create your own Korean skincare routine (and stick with it)

11:02:00

How to create your own korean skincare routine steps
How to create your own korean skincare routine
When some of my friends used to tell me after watching my entries here and on instagram "I wish I could do a routine like yours!" I was shocked, always replying "well, why don't you just do it?" to be answered with a sigh. It was then when I started thinking about this entry. So really, thank my friends because they were the ones that gave me the idea.

How to create your own korean skincare routine steps
How to create your own korean skincare routine 
I assume that every body knows that what makes a Korean skincare routine special in the amount of steps and different products used in them (if you don't and you know Spanish, I explained it here). While these skincare routines are fantastic for the skin, let's be real, it can get a little tedious to do them in the beginning.

I will also assume that you're kind of unmotivated (think: lazy) to do such an extended skincare routine. Or maybe your not used to long skincare routines. And I want to assume you at least take your make up off because I don't want to live in a reality where people don't do that. The most important things in building a routine is knowing key points, and well, routine.
Remember that "practice makes perfect"; here you go the points I think are the most important when you're trying to start a Korean skincare routine. I will be linking posts of the products mentioned, if it doesn't have a link it's because it hasn't been published yet:

How to create your own Korean skincare routine disclaimer
How to create your own Korean skincare routine disclaimer

1.- Don't be an overachiever. A typical Korean skincare routine can go from 5 to way over 10 products. If you just remove your make up be honest with yourself- but just in case I'll be the one honest with you: you're not going to be doing a 15 step skincare routine overnight.

      You can see every step in my previously posted routines:


2.- Start slowly and make it a habit. It is said that doing something for 21 days will make it a habit. I think that's true but it can also be a lot less time. Set a small goal for the first week, doing 3 easy steps that everyone is very familiar with: cleanser, toner and cream. No, removing makeup is not cleansing your face, you need a separate cleanser for that (and you'll be doing a double cleanse that way! See, you're already halfway a Korean skincare routine). Which leads me to the next point.

How to create your own Korean skincare routine cleansers
How to create your own Korean skincare routine cleansers
3.- Chose your "core" products. I call them core products because they are repeated all days. There are different types of cleansers (foam, gel, foaming), toners (hydrating, astringent) and moisturizers (gel, cream, lotion).
4.- Stick to doing this for a whole week.  Seriously, morning and night. Just those 3 steps (plus removing your make up if you wear) every day, twice a day. You got it? Perfect.

How to create your own Korean skincare routine toners and moisturizers
How to create your own Korean skincare routine toners and moisturizers
5.- No one is going to do it for you.  Your skin won't become better just because you want. You actually have to move your ass for it. If you go to work early in the morning and don't have much time do your skincare routine while having breakfast; if you feel like you just don't wanna do it at night get your ass off the couch and go to the bathroom with some music, or do it while you watch your fave TV show. If you don't put the effort, you're never going to see results.


6.- Detect your main concern. Refer to the first point. If you haven't been doing a skincare routine don't try to cover all areas at once. Which ones are your concerns? Dehydration? Acne? Acne marks? Hyperpigmentation? List them. No, seriously, do it. And now select the one you think it's the most important one.

How to create your own korean skincare routine steps
How to create your own korean skincare routine
My main concern is my skin post-acne. I have that covered with Naruko's am+pm A40 pore minimizing complex (on the right in this picture)

7.- Chose an essence or ampoule. After deciding your main skincare concern, choose an essence or an ampoule to combat it. If it's dehydration, a product that's moisturizing etc, you get me.
8.- Introduce the new product for a week. Wether your want to use it only at nights or twice a day is up to you, but use this new product every single day. It will only add a couple of minutes to your already skincare habit.

9.- Add more products. You probably haven't noticed yet any improvement in your skin but you've done something very important- force yourself to follow a routine. Now the fun part of following a korean skincare routine begins! Add a couple of things, like an eye cream and a exfoliator for example.

How to create your own korean skincare routine scrub
How to create your own korean skincare routine scrub
10.- Incorporate actives and/or acids. AHA? BHA? Never heard of those, or heard but don't know what they are? Here is a quick and good article that covers the basis. Retinol can also be a good addition, Paula's Choice have a very good in depth article about it. But wait! Don't star yet. To add these actives into your routine, even if you chose just one (honestly, chose just one before going crazy with them), you have to plan their application days because you have to go slow with this if you don't want to damage your skin.

  • Other great products:
    • Neostrata Gel Forte 15% AHA.
11.- Use a weekly planner. No, I'm not kidding. When I started doing long routines I needed to keep track on when to use which product. You're only going to need it for the first month or so, then you're just going to know when to use each each product. Hang it (or stick it using blue-tack) in a visible wall, your room or bathroom. It doesn't have to be a fancy one, you can eve use a white piece of paper and write the days of the week at the top. This is what my skincare-planner looked back in the day:

How to create your own korean skincare routine planner
How to create your own korean skincare routine planner
Remember that you have to be cautious os active ingredients, so use them for the first week 2-3 times a week and keep increasing the quantity and days you apply it weekly. Always give time for your skin to adapt.

How to create your own korean skincare routine clay masks + sleeping pack
How to create your own korean skincare routine clay masks + sleeping pack

12.- Masking! Wether it is sheet masking or using clay masks, masking is my favorite step of my skincare routines. I used to only sheet mask once a week (because I didn't have access to sheet masks that weren't overpriced) and apply clay masks twice a week (Sunday green clay, Tuesday white clay). I now sheet mask almost everyday and use clay masks up to thrice a week because I use the fantastic Dr.Jart+ Clay to foam trio. Sheet masking specially is very interesting and it's exciting trying new ones and seeing if your skin likes it or not.

How to create your own korean skincare routine sheet masks
How to create your own korean skincare routine sheet masks
I keep the sheet mask I want to use in a displayed pouch (this one was a free gift at the Skinfood store), I keep the rest a the drawer.

13.- Display it. You're more likely to do something if you see it constantly. If you have it in a drawer and you're not used to it, chances are you're not going to do your skincare routine. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, it can be in the bathroom counter or in shelves. I personally put it in cute open boxes in the past.


How to create your own korean skincare routine steps
Don't forget to keep your hands and lips moisturized as well!
Pictured here: Rituals Lips Service moisturizing lip balm

14.- That's it.  Really. By the time you've used your first sheet mask and fall in love with it you'll have been doing this "Korean skincare routine" for almost 21 days, and thus, it will be a habit.

How to create your own Korean skincare routine
How to create your own Korean skincare routine

It doesn't have to stop here of course. My morning and skincare routine are so different that the only product they share is the eye cream, I also use sleeping packs 4 days out of 7 of the week (the one pictured is the Nature Republic Honey & Herb )... But the basics are there. With trial and error you'll discover what products your skin prefers, and that's one of the things that I like the most about following this lengthy routines.

And, as I said at the beginning, don't hesitate to share your trips and tricks, maybe someone finds them useful!


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