I Had a 10 Hour Layover in Korea and Discovered the Mecca of Skincare

“The 10 Step Korean skin care regime is divided into a morning routine and night routine. It can even be cut in half for those of us rolling out of bed and having to jet to work.”

Sara Sampaio by Carter Smith

Sara-Sampaio-Beauty-Cosmopolitan-2017-Photoshoot02.jpg

All I ever want to know is what is the RIGHT way to wash my face? What is the right order to apply my creams and serums? To exfoliate or not to exfoliate? I need answers. To find the answers to my pressing questions, I’m traveling to Korea. Well, sort of.

Although this beauty regime is more work so it would appear. Korean women are known to have the most beautiful skin. The 10 Step Korean skin care regime is divided into a morning routine and night routine. It can even be cut in half for those of us rolling out of bed and having to jet to work. I find when I follow the routine my skin is at its best. Disclaimer: I do take breaks from the routine. I feel like I’m feeding my skin when I do follow it however. Here are my favorite products to fit the Korean way.


FYI: A couple years ago I had a ten hour layover in South Korea and ventured out into Seoul where I found the coolest beauty stores EVER. It was like a candy store of beauty products all in fun colorful packaging. It is no secret Korean women have flawless skin. They avoid the sun at all costs which is something this California girl is completely foreign to abiding by. Moral of the story is if you ever have a chance to try out Korean beauty products. TGH approves whole heartedly.

MORNING ROUTINE

STEP 1

Water

Wash your face with only water to remove impurities. Cold water preferably.


STEP 2

Toner

I like to use Thayer’s witch hazel. Its all natural and delicately cleans your skin. This step prepares your skin to absorb the the serums and moisturizers. Also removing any excess natural oils your face produced in dream land.

STEP 3

Essence

This is like a serum but has more of a watery consistency. This is the heart of Korean skin care. This is a step I often skip but is worth mentioning because of its importance to the regime. Use Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence.


STEP 4

Ampoule

This is a super charged serum with a higher concentration of active ingredients. If it’d going to be a stressful day because when is life not stressful then look for something that offers hydration. Try LJH Dr's care Vita Propolis Ampoule.

STEP 5

Serum

Serums for myself are about evening skin tone and preventing dehydration and wrinkles. I interchange between Rosehip and Jojoba oil. Both are anti-inflammatory and fade away darks spots. This step I advise persistence with. If evening out skin tone is your goal, it takes time. Be patient. Also you don’t need to apply the serum all over. I like to target my smile lines and areas of discoloration.

STEP 6

Eye Cream

I love eye cream. I’m constantly smiling which you would think is a good thing but all the facial movement creates creases/wrinkles. I read this in a Glamour interview with Christy Teigen and it scarred me for life. She talked about making faces when she works out and trying to avoid making those faces to prevent wrinkles. Honestly I’m cool with it. I smiling all the time and make faces when my workout is hurting so good. I do use Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum that can be applied both in the morning and at night.

STEP 7

Moisturizer/Sunscreen

Protecting your skin from UV rays prevents wrinkles, and dark spots. I use Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30. The previous steps hydrate my skin like no other so I like to use something oil free. It is very light and perfect to apply before my primer.

Ok so now we’re home for the night! We’re dying to take off our makeup and get clean.


NIGHT ROUTINE

STEP 1

Oil Cleanser

There is nothing I love more than an oil cleanser. It cleans out my pores like no other cleanser, removing makeup and dirt. I use DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.


STEP 2

Liquid or Foam Cleaner

Get in there a bit more and remove impurities with Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser. For a bonus while washing with the cleanser, use the Leaflet by Pop Sonic to cleanse and rejuvenate skin, providing a vibrating massage for your face.

STEP 3

Exfoliator

2 to 3 times a week to get rid of dead skin. It is a more aggressive step in the regime and I feel pure joy while doing it. Use Mario Badescu Exfoliating Scrub or a new discovery I found in Paris by Cattier Paris clay scrub. If you feel like ending at this step try the Fat and the Moon’s Masa and Olive Face Paste. It exfoliates while moisturizing with the olive oil in the ingredients.

STEP 4

Toner

If you’re looking for healthier skin, then go to the store and buy Witch Hazel. I’m not kidding. Buy it in bulk if you must. This is one of those beauty tips that has been passed on from my mom’s mom onto me. Apply Witch Hazel onto a cotton pad and dab the pad along your skin. Have a pimple or red spot? Leave the cotton pad directly onto skin for a few minutes to decrease redness.


STEP 5

Essence (optional)

This will hydrate your complexion and give you a youthful glow so you can be a sleeping beauty.

STEP 6

Ampoule

Over night your skin will especially absorb the active ingredients. Skin let’s hydrate!

STEP 7

Serum

Apply your serum in target areas.

STEP 8 (optional)

Sheet Mask

My version of this step is broad. The Korean regime uses a face sheet to brighten and hydrate skin. This step can be done twice a week. Try Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Mask. Sometimes I skip step 5 and 6 and go for a mask that does the dirty work I need. For break outs I use the Fat and the Moon’s Pimple Mud. For brightening I use Mario Badescu’s Whitening Mask. For antibacterial and moisturizing use Manuka Honey for a mask. I really love me masks. They are like an at home spa.

STEP 9

Eye Cream

The skin around our eyes is the most delicate so take care of it. I use Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum or Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Facial Night Cream. Be careful with Roc Retinol as it can burn skin so start by applying only 2 to 3 times a week only at night. I learned from personal experience.

STEP 10

Face cream

Use a moisturizer to allow your skin to fully absorb all the ingredients from the previous steps. Try Mario Badescu Vitamin E Night Cream or Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream.

If you’re like “Girl this is too much. I don’t have time for this.” Try the:

FAST FOOD VERSION

STEP1

Oil Cleanser

STEP 2

Toner

STEP 3

Serum

STEP 4

Moisturizer

Another active ingredient in the Korean regime is beauty sleep and hydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and get a good nights sleep. For me that is anywhere from 8 to 9 hours. I really love my sleep and my skin thanks me for it. Enjoy pampering yourself!