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Building your own Skin Care Routine. Where do you start?



Hello

I am excited to create this guide for all those just getting into skin care or for those who are looking to enhance their overall skin care routine. I'm so grateful for the dear friend who gave me this genius idea (you know who you are 💗). I've essentially, created a step by step of how to create your very own skin care routine. I tried my best to break it down as much as possible and I really hope that it helps you in some way.

Disclaimer: These are just suggestions based on my personal experiences and experiences of friends and family compiled with extensive research from other books by trained professionals, articles and videos. 

How important is a skin care routine and why do we need one?

Just like healthy eating and exercise, implementing a skin care routine is preventative and is highly beneficial for the the long term. Not only will you be slowing down the signs of ageing but you will also be strengthening the skin's ability bounce back and repair itself from external stressors (e.g. free-radicals - pollutants, unhealthy eating habits). In this post, I share my own personal skin care advice and tips, that have worked for me and my friends and will hopefully help you on your skin care journey.

Skin Care Basics 101: What are the fundamental Steps? Where do I start?

You may or may not have heard of the 10 step skin care routine, popularised in Korea. It isn't recommended that you do the 10 steps every single night, but it does provide a good basic understanding of how your skin care routine can look like. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Skin Type

The four most commonly known and identifiable skin types that may help in assessing your skin type are: Oily/Combination/Sensitive/Dry/Normal. It's possible that you are a combination of at least two of these skin types. But here is a quick and easy guide to help you decide. 


Oily

- Acne prone and breakouts
- Large pores
- Your skin appears greasy at the start and throughout the day. 

Combination

- Oily and large pores focused on your T-zone (nose, forehead, chin)
- All other parts of your face are dry/normal

Sensitive

- You experience redness
- Your skin is highly reactive to skin care (itching, peeling or burning)
- You have prominent skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and others.

Dry

- Little to no pores and/or blackheads
- You don't experience oiliness throughout the day
- Your skin feels tight all year round
- You don't experience regular breakouts



Step 2: Your skin care history

Now that you know what skin type you are, let's get into the skin care you are using or have used in the past. This gives you a very good indication of what works and hasn't been working out for your skin. I've created a little guide for you to follow just to make things a little easier!



Step 3: Let's get building! 

You can now start building your very own and personal SKIN CARE ROUTINE! I mentioned in step one that you won't always need all 10 steps in your routine. So let's figure out which steps you will be needing. This will highly depend on what your skin needs and this can change all the time. These changes can be environmental, hormonal, seasonal or genetic and this will be the drive behind each step of your routine.

1. Double Cleansing: The Skin Care step for every skin type!

To get the an in-depth understanding of what double cleansing means or what it does for the skin you can quickly read my post 'Washing you face twice: Your quick guide to double cleansing.' But essentially this cleansing step is for everyone. No skin type left behind! This step basically involves two products, an oil cleanser and a water/gel/foam based cleanser.

2. Exfoliating: Chemical vs. Physical - for every skin type 

I will do a whole post dedicated to exfoliating soon! But just to give you a little bit of background, this step is what will make your skin care work. It's important that you exfoliate to remove the dead skin and debris so that the following skin care products can fully absorb and take full effect. So it's important to remove that layer, "gently." If you have large pores, exfoliating is your best friend.

Exfoliation and toning kind of overlap in a sense that toners are capable of exfoliating the skin, but not all exfoliation methods can tone (a little confusing). However, the important thing is you get to know what exfoliation methods are good for your particular skin type.



3. Toning: A must after cleansing. 

I've also done an in-depth blog post on the whole toning process. So you can go ahead and read that to get a basic understanding, 'The 7 skin method: Toning after cleansing.' But essentially toning is preparing the skin for the next steps of skin care, reintroducing moisture back into the skin and stablising the skin's pH levels. I go into more detail in my blog post.

4.  Essence: Boost your skin's moisture!

This is where it can get confusing because toners and essences are often intertwined in the skin care community. But I'll try to keep it as simple as possible. They also prep the skin for the next steps of skin care but they often have more nutrients and active ingredients (e.g. fermented ingredients) that focus on brightening and hydrating the skin. They are like a watery version of your serum.

5. Serums: Target and treat your skin concerns directly

This is my favourite step because I feel like after all the preparation, I can go ahead and use products that are specifically targeting my own skin needs. This is the step where you can venture out, get creative and have fun. There are so many serums out there that are all focused on doing one thing really well and make a world of a different with consistent use and suitability. They're known to be highly effective in addressing skin concerns due to their high concentration of ingredients. For example a pure vitamin c serum will provide anti-ageing benefits and brightening the skin, where as a serum with herbal ingredients may strengthen the skin's barrier and reduce inflammation. So have a look around and see which serum is for you.

6. Sheet mask: Costly but worth it! 

Sheet masks are more of a luxury step in my opinion. Sheet masks daily can be quite costly, so I usually wear a sheet mask 1-2 times a week. Although, there is nothing wrong with using one everyday, if that's what your skin needs. Sheet masks will vary according to your own skin needs. A sheet mask is the best way to lock in and add moisture and nutrients to the skin. Depending on the condition of your skin and your personal skin goals will determine if sheet masking will be a priority in your routine. 

Simply slapping on a sheet mask isn't going to fix your skin (I wish). But the best way to make the most of your sheet mask and to reap all its benefits is to prepare the skin beforehand. There's no point wearing a sheet mask if the skin hasn't been washed, exfoliated and toned. Not doing so, creates a barrier for your skin to absorb the sheet mask benefits.

7. Eye Cream: Prevention is key

One of the first places you will get those fine lines is in your under eyes and this could be due to multiple factors such as genetics, lack of sleep, diet and the list goes on. So that's why eating right is another huge component of happy skin. The skin under our eyes is also one of the thinnest and most delicate parts of our face, that's why it gets it own cream (such as diva). But products such as eye cream does a great job of preventing the signs of ageing. The earlier you get on the eye cream train the better. Eye creams don't only provide anti-ageing benefits they also moisturise our delicate eye area, de-puff and reduce dark circles.

8. Moisturiser: Lock it all in

Another confusing step, because up until this point we have been pretty much restoring and filling our skin with lots of moisture. A moisturiser can be the last step to your routine to lock in all the skin care and hard work thus far. A moisturiser can often take on many forms and will depend on your own skin type. Here's a little guide, that may help.


9. Sun Protection: A Skin Care Secret

Actually, there is not secret. It's no secret that most of the damage we do to our skin is caused by the sun. In addition to keeping a healthy diet, protecting our skin from the sun's harmful UV rays is important. This one step can really preserve your skin for the many years to come. So make sure you apply a physical or chemical sunscreen before your leave the house and reapply throughout the day. Doing this will preserve your skin, preventing it from ageing faster and protect any acne scarring from becoming darker. Now I'm gonna save the complex science behind what a chemical and physical sunscreen is. But they essentially both will absorb UV rays and protect the skin from burning and sun damage.

One notable difference is that chemical sunscreen can be more irritating, especially for those with more sensitive skin types. So its better to stick to a physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens however, tend to be thicker in consistency and leave a white cast. For an in-depth breakdown on sunscreens, I highly recommend checking out muffinlab's video.


Step 4: Trial and Error

So you've made it this far, now its time for you to go shopping and embark on the journey of trial and error. This will be especially prevalent to those who haven't tried much skin care before, but is an important step in building your routine. Keep in mind, all the steps will depend on your own skin care needs and make sure to do your research before investing in various products. It can get overwhelming and you might get addicted but it's all fun and most of all an investment in your skin.

It might be wise to also take note of certain products that don't work for your skin and what ingredients are in those products, to stop yourself from buying something similar. It will be a long journey but one that is well worth it!



Step 5: The Supply

Now Skin Care is everywhere!

STYLEKOREAN - StyleKorean has huge range of Korean skin care and cosmetics. They carry range of popular kbeauty products and ship directly from Korea. They provide free shipping to Australian orders $40! They also ship internationally so make sure to check out their shipping rates here. I have personally bought products from brands such as NEOGEN and SON & PARK, the shipping took around 10 days and was delivered in great quality!

YESSTYLE - I'm sure you may have heard of Yesstyle before. They're pretty much your one stop shop for Asian fashion, beauty and lifestyle. They have a huge range of kbeauty goods and ship internationally. I've been a loyal shopper on Yesstyle for around 7 years now and they do no disappoint.

NUDIEGLOW - Another cute little store that you'll love. If you're living in Australia Nudieglow is the perfect place to get your kbeauty products. They have a range of Korean Skin care and offer fast shipping if you're in Australia.

SOKOGLAM - If the 10 step routine overwhelms you, let Sokoglam take care of it. They offer the entire 10 step routine for all different skin types. They also have a great blog called the klog which offers a library of skin care knowledge and information. I highly recommend to those who are just starting out with skin care. I've bought skin care many times in the past and they always arrive in top quality!

CULTBEAUTY - Beyond the the Kbeauty space we have great online store such as Cult Beauty. They offer all the most popular skin care products as well are body and hair care products. It is definitely worth checking out.

STRAWBERRYNET - Here's another website you've probably may have heard of. Strawberrynet, has a huge range of drug store and high end beauty products. They're not just limited to skin care but also offer cosmetics, men's products and fragrances.


I really hope this helped! 
Let me know if i've missed anything or any skin care tips you may have. 
Kat x 

16 comments

  1. Such a great post!!! So informative! I just have a question: what is the difference between an essence and a serum? It sounds like it’s just a weaker version of a serum, so why is this step important? Thanks!

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    Replies

    1. Essences focus more on with things such as brightening, cell turnover, boosting hydration and is usually a water like consistency, whereas serums are more viscous and contain a concentrated amount of ingredients. Serums will directly treat, very specific skin problems. Hope this helps!

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