Earlier we reviewed the first half of the Korean Skincare regimen. We talked about cleansing and refreshing the skin. Now we’re going to talk about replenishing the skin with nutrients.
This 80’s girl can’t hear the word “essence” without thinking of The Dark Crystal, but I digress…
Essence is something absolutely unique to the Korean skin care routine, but those who have tried it claim that this product step has been life changing. There is one shining star here: MISSHA Time Revolution First Treament Essence ($45). NO idea on what the magical ingredients are.
There are all sorts of things that fall into this category. Basically this is where things get real. This is where you address all your problem areas. This is also where stuff gets expensive.
A good overall facial oil is Boots Botanics Organic Facial Oil ($16) which may belong in the moisturizer category, rather than here.
Argon oil ($14.99) is the new “it” product in the natural beauty world. Argon oil can be used similarly to the way one would use coconut oil, but Argon has the added benefits of anti-aging capabilities. It also is known to heal acne and scarring.
For those of you with acne Burt’s Bees Acne Targeted Spot Treatment ($8.39) is the way to go.
For those of you concerned with aging, fine lines or want to prevent them try Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum ($71). This treatment pops up on regular and natural beauty tops lists.
8. Sheet mask
The sheet mask is another Korean innovation. It should be applied once or twice a week. (In Korea, women get professional facials once a week.) The Manefit Bling Blinb Hydro Gel Mask looks good to me and at only $6 it’s a fun, affordable indulgence.
For weekly maintenance I currently do one hydrating mask (Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Hydration Mask – $16.99), and one mud mask for clarifying (Chanel’s Purifying Cream Mask – $50). Neither is “green,” but both have been so life changing for me I won’t give them up just yet.
For a good DIY hydrating mask try ones with avocado or banana in them.
9. Eye cream
Eye cream has become a critical step in my skincare routine as I age. Finding the right eye cream hasn’t been easy either, and I’m still on a quest.
I’ve tried and have been moderately happy with the Vitamin E Eye Cream ($18) from The Body Shop.
Two others keep rising to the surface on beauty blogs, and happily they are also from more natural brands I know and trust.
Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream ($14.39) and GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream from Origins ($30). The first I just purchased, and the second is on my “to buy” list. I plan on putting the first on at night and the second during the day.
Another that I have come across is a little more high end is the Korres Quercetin and Oak Anti-aging Antiwrinkle Eye Cream ($45) at Sephora though reviewers claim the antiwrinkle part is a bit of a stretch.
I feel like the best moisturizers are one thing women will get in a knife fight in. Once they find something they like, it’s becomes a passionate way of life. But finding the right thing for me has been a neverending quest. These moisturizers are appropriate for day and night use.
I purchased the Yes to Carrots Moisturizer with SPF 15 ($22), after reading good reviews. And though I would agree is much lighter feeling than most things with SPF in them, it still wasn’t for me. It doesn’t moisturize enough, and I don’t care for the scent.
Others suggested using straight up Coconut Oil. I found it to be much too greasy, and did not play nice with my makeup during the day.
I also tried oil cleansing in the morning, leaving some Olive Oil on for the day. Same results as the Coconut Oil, it did not get along with my makeup. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as these are what I use to take my makeup off at the end of the day!
Shea Butter is a good simple possibility for day moisturizer as it can protect your from UV rays, and unlike coconut oil which has a comedogenic rating of 4, shea butter has a comedogenic rating of 0. These ratings show how likely it is to clog pores with 0 being not at all and 5 being likely. Therefore shea seems like a much better option for face, as well as those with acne prone skin.
A while back I tried Alba Botanica Hawaiian Moisture Cream ($19.49) and I really liked it. It was light and creamy at the same time, and smelled AMAZING. I may just end up back there.
A friend suggested Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream ($16.68). We use their Baby Calendula Face Cream on my daughter who has SUPER sensitive skin and love it. In the case of the latter, it’s thick and a little greasy, so best applied right after bath. Also smells great.
And finally Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Daily Moisturizer ($11.15) comes highly recommended by a friend. I just love lavender, so this may be one for me.
11. Night cream
The final step is one most Americans are familiar with – a thick night cream to help restore skin to its natural beauty.
High Potency Night-a-Mins from Origins ($41) seems to be a great night cream. I haven’t invested in this yet but it’s on my list. What’s noteworthy about this cream is that it pops up on traditional beauty lists, not just “natural” ones. That’s enough convincing for me that it’s a great product.
If it’s morning swap the night cream for a BB cream, which is what opened my world to Korean beauty in the first place. I have heard the US versions have nothing on the Korean ones, but one organic one I’ve found is Physician’s Formula Organic CC Cream ($11.99). Unfortunately it only comes in two tints, and the “light” – although it looks great in the package – dries much darker and makes me look orange. (phooey!)
Following this thorough regimen will surely result in dewy, younger looking skin.