Buzz, Buzz, Buzzzzzz. Korean beauty routines are running rampant lately. Do you think that the Koreans have a lock on the perfect skin care regimen? Do the multiple steps they perform really make a big difference in your skin? And, ... is it REALLY so different than what you are already doing every day? It's time to find out.
The "Traditional Korean 10 step Routine" consists of the following (pending on what site you are on):
- Step 1: Oil Cleanser
- Step 2: Water Cleanser
- Step 3. Exfoliator
- Step 4. Toner
- Step 5: Essense
- Step 6: Treatments
- Step 7: Sheet Masks
- Step 8: Eye Cream
- Step 9: Moisturizer
- Step 10: Sun Protection
The recommended Platinum Routine consists of the following:
- Step 1: Deep cleansing Acid-Based Wash.
- Step 2: Exfoliator or Mask *Optional* 1-3x per week as needed.
- Step 3: Toner *Optional* pending individual desires.
- Step 4: Spot Treatments for targeted issues.
- Step 5: Eye Cream
- Step 6: Hydration
- Step 7: Sun Protection
Now I really want to dig into each of these steps and see if they are truly what is best for everyone! My opinion is a definite no on following a basic, rigid regimen for everyone. But that is because I know that each person has different skin needs and also different budgets that they need to fit into. I feel that we have to treat everyone as the special individual that they are and not PUSH them into a spectacularly detailed box that is just too much for them.
We also do not want people to purchase a product just because it has a different language on the label/box. "Look, pretty symbols... it must be better". "Awwah, cute piggies and animals... it must be great for my skin". If you have seen some of the recent products out there you will see where I am coming from. Products that appear to be marketed to a pre-teen market. I feel that these all just fall into "quick Fad dollars" for the selling companies and not true performance products.
Here at Platinum we are about performance!
A language barrier can exacerbate troubles such as accidentally getting a product with ingredients you are allergic to, or not being able to understand usage instructions. Or how about putting an ingredient on your skin that has been banned in the United States because of toxicity, but that is not restricted in other countries. INCI names are hard enough to read when they are in your native language, now try reading something that doesn't have letters. It can be tough.
Step 1, Oil Cleanser. Now an oil cleanser can be an excellent tool if you have very, very dry skin, and if it is made from only oils that can not further dry (some do), irritate of clog pores (of which there are many). So, if you fall into this category it may be a good option for you. Now on the flip side. If you want to get rid of the excessive dryness that you are dealing with, a hygroscopic acid, such as lactic is the best choice for your skin. Lactic will gently exfoliate your skin while pulling moisture to the stratum corneum. The end result is exfoliated, smooth skin that is now able to retain moisture long-term.
Now, if you are not extremely dry and even possibly - acne prone, well you will be looking at a huge crop of pimples in about 4-6 weeks from this regimen. You, and really all people are in serious need of deep pore cleansing and exfoliation (step 3 of this Korean method). So, why not get your exfoliation and pore cleansing in one potent step? That is why in our Platinum Style facial we recommend that you choose an Acid-based cleanser based on your skin type. We have an acid to help all. Dry = lactic. Normal = glycolic. Oily/Acne = Salicylic or Mandelic. Simple and combining two steps into one for a faster regimen.
Step 2. Water Cleanser. We just went over an oil cleanser and now they would like you to wash away all of the oils you just imparted to your skin? How about just using a more potent cleanser that is acid based, and skip this step entirely.
Now there are times where you can have excessive amounts of make up applied (think TV anchors or actors..), now they would most likely benefit from washing their face two times. That can be done easily with a single cleanser.
Step 3. Exfoliate. Exfoliation is key for healthy, smooth and fresh looking skin. We agree wholeheartedly! There is also a point where you can exfoliate too much and cause unnecessary sensitivity, so we only recommend using a granular scrub (pending skin sensitivity) maybe 1-3x per week. If you are sensitive, but still want the extra exfoliation after your acid cleanser, then one time should be sufficient. If you are oily or have clogged pores though, more times will be necessary to keep the pores clear.
Step 4. Toner. In the Korean regimen they advocate the use of toners to "re wet the skin" prior to applying other products so that they penetrate easier and to balance the pH level of the skin. *Usually dropping it a bit. We don't push toners here at all. We have found that the world is split into two. Those who love toners and those who can leave them. LOL. So, if you love them we help you to find the one that will suit your needs the best. And if you do not, then we skip it entirely.
Now, the idea of applying product to skin that is still damp is 100% correct! Especially if you are of the oily-prone persuasion. If you do NOT apply a moisturizer before your skin dries, then it goes "OH NO... we are DRY... start pumping oil NOW". It's true. So, if you want to avoid your skin pouring out oil, then hydrate while your skin is still moist. *Just barely towel off your face after washing and then start applying your products to keep skin balanced. *If you have dry skin this will not work. Just hydrate immediately with something hygroscopic such as Hyaluronic Acid.
Step 5. Essence. Essence sounds "fancy" but it is just another term for a serum. Serums are always your powerhouse products. They are thin and pumped full of active ingredients. They are meant to go on prior to any creams and can be layered as many times as you wish. A very popular asian essense is from the snail. Care to try?
*TRICK of applying products: Remember to apply thinnest to thickest and you will never fail!
We suggest you begin with your antioxidants like Vitamin C, and then move onto your targeted treatments. These can be products that are geared to treat spots, like our Fade Bright, or ones that help to dry pimples like our Clear Benzoyl, or just things to treat wrinkles or stimulate collagen. The world is your oyster when you are talking serums/essences. So, choose what you need and then move on to the next step.
Step 6. Treatments. Now, as we explained above this step is entirely redundant. Just another "step" to make it appear like a longer list. Ah well. Since I have a special spot here, I am going to recommend a serum that everyone should be applying each and every evening. Retinol Molecular Serum .10% for beginners is an excellent and extremely anti-aging (and anti-acne) serum for everyone. This is a key product that can take your skin from average to "outstanding". Nothing tricky here, apply it with all your other serums/essences as a last step.
Step 7. Sheet Masks. Now masks we have included up with our Step 2. Masks and Scrubs do not need to be applied every day. They are targeted treatments that will be used to exfoliate or hydrate, maybe dissolve dead skin with enzymes. There is a mask for everything these days.
The sheet masks that are very prevalent nowadays are generally a "serum" that is saturated on a thin piece of cloth. You can let it sit on for 15 minutes and then remove. OR, you can just apply your super potent Dr. Platinum Potion serum and then go onto your next step.
Step 8. Eye Cream. Eye creams are of the utmost importance. They are generally very emollient and are full of anti-aging and tightening ingredients to keep our thinnest skin looking its best. Gently dab your cream on, or apply your caffeine to tighten and then dab on your eye cream every day morning and evening. This is a step that no one should skip.
Step 9. Moisturizer. As we recommend the "thinner to thickest approach", applying your hydration will definitely follow suit here. Wait a few minutes for all of your serums to penetrate, and then apply a moisturizer that is geared to your specific skin type to your entire face, neck and upper chest. This can include ingredients that fight fine lines or acne. The important thing is that it hydrates your skin. ... and now I bet you thought you were done?
Step 10. Sun Protection. We agree one hundred percent again that SPF is mandatory before you step foot out of your house! I have to give a big High-Five to the Koreans on keeping their skin protected. I believe a large part of why they have beautiful skin is because they stay away from the sun! This is a lesson that many of us in the United States have to learn. The sun is not good for your complexion. Yes, you need some vitamin D, but you don't "need" a tan - ever.
*UV rays can even reach your skin if you are indoors all day long! Check out this video on that phenomenon. We recommend an SPF value of at least 40, and even 50 if you are dealing with problematic pigmentation. The key with sun blocks though is not only the SPF number, so don't get confused. If you are going to be in the sun you need to REapply your sunblock again. It will only last a few hours, and if you are going to get wet then reapply as soon as you dry off.
Ok, I want to sum up things. There is really nothing "special" or "spectacularly different" about a Korean Skin Care routine than what you are already following. If you care about your skin you are already (probably) washing, and applying treatment serums and creams every day. I bet you are doing it two times per day! Perfect, because it is important to wash your face and treat morning and evening.
Just because they have it labeled a "10 Step Routine" or toss in the word "Korean", that doesn't make it different or better than what you are already doing. If you are following a regimen to make your skin the best it can be, then you are doing exactly what you should, and adding on 3 more redundant steps isn't going to change anything. Now, the only thing that I want to add in here has to do with exfoliation.
If you want your skin to look the very best, then you want to add on a chemical peel. It doesn't matter if you do a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly peel. Just perform one at least four times per year to give your skin the extra BOOST it needs to regenerate itself.
While we often focus on new cell growth, we sometimes forget that the first step in renewal is destroying the old, broken-down cellular machinery. A peel is your friend to help flush out the old and get brand new tissues front and center on your face for all to see.
I hope that you found that the regimen you are already using is just perfect for you. If not, and you need help choosing the products that will help reduce your troubles, then please contact us or fill out our Consultation form and we will set something up for you.