When I first got back to work after a 3 week holiday in Malaysia, a lot of my patients started commenting on the condition of my skin. They were all attributing ‘the glow’ as ‘pregnancy glow’ but deep in my heart, I knew that wasn’t entirely true. If you asked a bunch of moms or mamas-to-be out there whether ‘pregnancy glow’ actually exists, you would probably be disappointed with the answers.
So what has caused my skin to improve so noticeably within a short period of time? These are the top 3 things that came to mind:
#1. The mysterious Korean ten-step skincare routine #2. Investment in good quality and fun products #3. Highlighter
Let’s dissect the points one by one shall we?
#1. The mysterious Korean ten-step skincare routine. What is this routine and why does it sound so tedious and scary? Prior to my Malaysian trip, I didn’t have much interest in skincare at all and regarded it as a ho-hum kind of thing that I needed to go through everyday to keep my skin presentable. I was just so consumed by the busyness of everyday life so most beauty related things were pretty low on the priority list. On top of that, I was also battling with fatigue from the first trimester of my pregnancy.
Those hormonal changes must have made me want to practise self-care and all the extra time that I had at home gave me the luxury to research on all things skincare. I started watching Korean beauty videos on Youtube and was instantly hooked. I was so fascinated with those unfamiliar sounding and innovative products that those beauty Youtubers were reviewing that I started to do a bunch extra googling myself. My curiosity grew to a point where I even purchased a highly recommended book called ‘The little book of Skincare’ by Charlotte Cho and gingerly pored over every single page.
Essentially the 10-step skincare routine does involve 10 steps but not all the steps need to be done on a daily basis. Do keep in mind that the products you choose should be weather dependent.
Here goes (extremely concisely): Oil cleanser to break down oil-based debris > Water-based cleanser to throughly remove impurities > Exfoliator to slough off dead skin cells > Toner to remove leftover residue and to prep skin to effectively absorb all the goodies that follow > Essence to hydrate and increase cell turnover > Ampoules/Serum/Boosters to brighten skin, fade sun spots and smooth fine lines > Sheet mask which increases the absorption of nutrients and moisture > Eye cream to help keep dark circles, puffiness and crow’s feet at bay > Moisturiser for hydration (sleeping pack/mask once a week) and finally > S.P.F. to protect the skin from harmful U.V. rays.
10 steps you ask? You must be wondering about costs and time management. Yes those 10-steps do involve 10 products or more but honestly, many good Korean beauty products are not that expensive. It’s really a matter of doing you research and experimenting. Time-wise, what is spending an extra 10-minutes a day for good skin health? The key to really diligently follow through such a routine is to learn to enjoy it! Choose products that you would have fun with and love using and just indulge in that extra time that you’re giving yourself everyday. I know it may be impractical for really busy women out there so just adjust the steps accordingly to suit your needs. Remember you don’t need to do the 10 full steps. This is simply a guideline. There is no hard and fast rules when it comes to skincare but when you do apply something on your face, apply it with intent and purpose as that does make a difference.
#2. Investment in good quality and fun products Once again, in order to stick to this rather cumbersome-sounding routine, you need to be able to see the purpose of it and really enjoy it. The way to keep up is to purchase good quality and fun/innovative products that wouldn’t cease to make you happy everytime you use it. There are so many fascinating and great products out there. If you’re willing to throw yourself in that sphere, I can guarantee that you will easily find some rather lovely things. Within those specific categories of skincare products, there are going to be products with varying properties, different chemical and non-chemical combinations so if you’re concerned or fussy with ingredients, be sure to (once again) research to sieve out products that are undesirable to you. This is something to take note of especially for pregnant mamas out there and people with ultra sensitive skin.
#3. Highlighter My secret item for that special glow is this baby here. While I was away, I learnt how to properly apply the highlighter on my face and it has worked wonders. Basically, the highlighter is a product that reflects light on your skin and helps make certain facial features pop. I would apply some on my brow bones, along my nose, on my cupids bow, cheek bones and lastly on the chin. I don’t think I could live without the highlighter for a while. Once I’m done with my pot of illuminating balm, I would like to get my hands on this cult favourite by RMS. There is a bit of a price difference so hopefully the RMS one doesn’t disappoint! (P.s. I did try it today and I love how sheer the product is.)
Agh. I have so much to share about Korean skincare but it’s impossible to cover all bases here. What I’ve given you is a rough guide so ultimately it would be your own experiences that shape how you feel about the whole routine. Right now I’m completely loving it as my skin has improved tremendously and I see this beauty routine as a chance for me to unwind and relax after a long day at work. I might have a totally different point of view after the arrival of Mini M but for now, it works for me.
In case you’re wondering about some of the Korean/non-Korean products that I’m really loving, here’s a list of the tried, tested and loved:
Sheet Masks # Paparecipe Honey Sheet Masks (Any sheet masks from the Paparecipe range is incredible)
Rubber Mask # Let Me Skin Ultra H20 Modelling Pack
Sleeping Pack # Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
My Youtube Korean Beauty Consultants:
Hope you find this beauty post useful. Like many of you out there, I’m still in the process of learning and experimenting so I will definitely post little updates along the way regarding new techniques and products that I discovered. Everyone’s beauty (and fashion) journeys are unique so most importantly, do what suits you the most instead of blindly following all the hype all the there.
Please feel free to ask me anything. If you have any holy grail products that you would like to share, do share them in the comments section below!