Korean vs. Western Skincare + 10-step Korean skincare routine

I was wondering how to get to grips with the post on Korean vs. Western skincare and I thought instead of writing a long article on it, I could put it in a more comprehensible way with the use of graphics. 🙂 So there it is, below you can see a very brief and general comparison between Korean and Western skincare. I hope you like it.

Korean

 


 

The second part of this post is going to be about the 10-step Korean skincare routine. I’ve been asked a million times already what it consists of and what step follows which. I’ve also seen many questions on Facebook and Quora on that topic so I thought I’d scribble a short guide (based on my knowledge and experience) for people who are new to k-beauty or still feel lost despite being in it for a while. I hope this mini-guide helps!

 

10-step Korean skincare routine

  1. Oil cleansing

Oil cleansers contain oil particles which help to break down make-up and any other impurities. The oil cleansers are usually applied on a dry face and are rinsed off with water. This type of cleansing can replace make-up removing in that you don’t need any kind of special make-up remover to get rid of mascara or eyeliner (e.g. micellar water) – the oil in the oil cleanser does it for you. Although for the heavier/waterproof make-up I’d recommend adding an extra make-up removing step, such as makeup wipes.

 

  1. Water-based cleansing (foam/gel cleanser)

In this part of a double-cleansing routine you should use a water-based, or in other words, foam cleanser (or gel cleanser) to deal with any residues left after oil cleansing. It helps to ensure that your face is thoroughly cleansed and ready for the following steps.

 

  1. Exfoliating (optional, usually not done every day)

After you got rid of your make-up and dirt that piled up throughout the day, it’s time to exfoliate the skin. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores, accelerating skin renewal process and making it easier for the following skincare products to do their wonders. However, exfoliating isn’t a daily step and should be used 2-3 times a week (or once a week if you have particularly sensitive skin).

 

  1. Toning

Using a toner after cleansing the face prepares it for the following products and makes them absorb more easily. The toner hydrates the skin and brings its pH levels back to normal after cleansing. It can be sprinkled into the hands and gently tapped on the face or, alternatively, it can be applied with the use of a cotton pad.

 

  1. Essence

This kind of product is rather unknown in the Western skincare routine. In texture, an essence is like a combination of a toner and a serum- it’s usually as watery as a toner but targets more specific skin problems, just like the serum. It hydrates the skin and enhances its repair.

 

  1. Serum/ampoule

Serum/Ampoule is a concentrated treatment that targets a particular skin problem (e.g. acne, pigmentation, dullness, etc.). It’s not a necessary step in a daily skincare routine. The rule of thumb for incorporating this step is that if you have a particular skin issue,  go for it.

 

  1. Sheet mask (optional)

Sheet masks are soaked in essence/serum (sometimes even emulsion). There are loads to choose from and each and every one of them is different, addressing different skin concerns. Sheet masks can be a great addition to your skincare routine, especially if you want to add that healthy glow to your skin instantly.

Usually, you should apply a sheet mask 2-3 times a week; however, it’s up to you and your skin to decide how often you should do it. It can also serve as a replacement for a serum/ampoule application.

 

  1. Eye cream

The skin around the eyes is the thinnest and the most fragile area on your face. And that’s why it requires special treatment. A tailored eye cream can provide you with extra hydration, and protection of this important and easy to omit part of the face. You just need to gently tap the cream under your eyes. And avoid rubbing!

 

  1. Moisturizer

And finally- moisturizer. Usually the last step in a PM routine that is supposed to lock in everything you’ve applied so far. Moisturizers come in a variety of forms from emulsions to lotions, gels and your standard creams. Up to your which form of a moisturizer serves you best.

 

  1. Sunscreen (only AM routine)

This is the final step but only in the morning skincare routine (the night skincare routine would end with step 9). Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays that damage your skin and make it age faster. An absolute must, even if you don’t plan to go outside. The UV rays can easily penetrate the window glass! And don’t forget to re-apply throughout the day!

 

 

As you can see, it’s called a 10-step routine but not all the steps are to be followed every day and not all at the same time. One thing to add is that there’s a lot of variation of how 10-step Korean routine is ”executed”. Some people exfoliate their skin daily with gentle exfoliators, some people use both serums and ampoules in one go and some people follow a moisturizer with a sleeping mask. There are so many ways in which you can tweak this routine. The one thing to remember is it’s always up to you to find ways that work best for you (and your skin!). 🙂

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[goodal] Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream Review

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I bought and used this goodal Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream quite a long time ago (over a year ago). I also wrote a review of it but back then I was posting on a different blog and never actually shared the review here. In all honesty, I was waiting until I could use this sunscreen again and update the review to make it more detailed. And I even found the sun cream being sold again at one of my favourite shops (it was discontinued for some time and reappeared relatively recently) at a decent price. But somehow, at the time when I noticed it being sold again I couldn’t place an order. I came back to the website a few days later only to see it’s been sold out. But because I still wanted to share the review with you, guys, I thought I’d post the old review here and update it when I finally get a chance to try the sunscreen again. ❤ Which I’m hoping to be soon.

 

Ingredients and Texture

I will start straight away with ingredients and texture because I didn’t save the packaging and don’t really know what the sun cream’s claims are (so sorry about that!).

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dipropylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Dimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Mineral Water, Pueraria Thunbergiana Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Soluble Collagen, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Oxygen, Methicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Octyldodecanol, Butylene Glycol, Cellulose Gum, 1,2-Hexanediol, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol

 

Okay, then jumping straight to the ingredients list, what is really noticeable is how many botanical extracts and other active ingredients this goodal sun cream has! It’s not just a lot for a cream but a lot for a sunscreen in particular. Even though I used this sun cream over three years ago, I still haven’t come across a sunscreen that has such a high SPF/PA and such a long list of plant extracts plus things like collagen, Aloe Vera Juice, oils and a probiotic (all those ingredients are in bold green colour above).

The goodal Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream doesn’t have many moisturizing ingredients- just Glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate (in bold navy) but it’s not drying at all (more about that below).

On the less happy side, the sun cream has three relatively unsafe ingredients which I put in bold yellow as they also have a yellow rating on CosDna, and three of them (put in red) might cause acne. It also contains Fragrance and Phenoxyethanol and I know some people don’t like those so I thought I’d point them out as well.

 

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The sunscreen is all over my face except for the right (your right) cheek. You can see a clear difference in colour between areas where I applied the sunscreen and the right cheek. The contrast is especially noticeable around my mouth and on my chin.

 

The sunscreen itself is white and easy to spread. It has a subtle scent which isn’t irritating. As the sunscreen is white and many physical sunscreens don’t want to blend in well, I was expecting visible white streaks after spreading it onto my face. However, although it did make my face whiter (or paler if you wish; you can see in the picture above, excuse my ugly face), there were no white streaks as was the case in most physical sunscreens I’ve tried to date.

 

My thoughts

 

Let me break my thoughts down into pros and cons of this sun cream:

 

Pros:

* It didn’t irritate my skin which is a big big plus. The ingredients list is truly amazing although there are a few ingredients that might cause acne (more about that in cons below). And the UV protection is guaranteed by the physical filters- Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide- that are much less skin irritating than chemical filters.

* Have I mentioned how amazing the ingredients list is? Not only it has a lot of skin-friendly plant extracts- Mistletoe Extract, Licorice, Opuntia and so on, but also contains a probiotic which balances the skin’s pH, Sodium Hyaluronate, collagen, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment (in case you wondered what it is, it’s a microorganism from the depths of the ocean, rich in amino acids, enzymes and peptides) and Aloe Vera Leaf Juice that soothes the skin. It’s a really impressive ingredients list for a sunscreen, wouldn’t you agree?

* It provides a broad, high and long protection- high because it’s SPF 50+ PA +++ and long and broad because it’s a physical sunscreen and lasts longer than chemical ones. Plus, it doesn’t make your face shiny that fast.

* As I already mentioned, it did blend in well leaving no white streaks.

* It didn’t dry out my skin. Many physical sunscreens I’ve used tended to make my face feel like a piece of paper after application due to the fact that they contained Zinc Oxide which is an astringent, meaning it dries up the skin (which is not too good for my skin as it’s naturally dry). That’s why I would always put a thick layer of a moisturizer before applying a sunscreen to minimize that drying effect. But with this goodal sun cream I didn’t have to put a drop of any moisturizer before application. And that’s something I value because in the morning I’m usually in a hurry and don’t have time to wait till the moisturizer absorbs into the skin.

 

Cons:

* It was expensive, at least when I bought it some time ago. In comparison to the sunscreens I normally buy this one was far the most expensive. I purchased it for about $20 from RoseRose Shop. I suppose you can actually buy it cheaper on eBay, but I’d be very careful as you never know if you can trust that the seller sells genuine products. It always seems fishy to me when I find something really cheap. I would never be able to tell if a product I bought is fake or not so I’m trying to stay away from eBay. But of course, there are amazing sellers out there and maybe you already have some that you trust.

* There are a few ingredients that have a yellow safety rating (Tocopheryl Acetate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane) and a few that might cause acne (especially Stearic Acid that has a rating 2).

* It’s not waterproof which was quite annoying for me because in the place where I live (North West England) you never know when it’s going to rain. I’ve been caught up without an umbrella so many times that now I wear one with me everywhere, no matter whether it’s sunny or cloudy outside. Better safe than sorry.

 

I got to like this Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream quite a lot. I would’ve given it 10/10 but it was way too expensive for me when I bought it. Also, there are days when I just don’t like looking paler than I already am and this sun cream does whiten the skin (not significantly, but it does nevertheless).

But I have to say I noticed the difference in my skin’s condition after using this sunscreen- it didn’t feel that dry and seemed to have become more bouncy. And I loved the feeling that when applying it I was actually doing something really good to my skin- protecting it from the UV radiation while nurturing it with all those plant extracts and other goodies. ❤

I will repurchase it again in the future when I have a chance. It’s definitely worth it!