skincare

BEAUTY

MY EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE: WINTER

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It is getting SO cold here in the city! I don't know how I did it back in the midwest when it fell to -10 degrees, but it's not even that cold here and I'm usually walking back home, cursing the cold. Usually this time around, we find ourselves combatting ultra dry skin which results from the super harsh and frigid weather. So today, I'll be talking about my winter skincare routine I've been adopting during the nights, so that when I wake up my face feels hydrated, moisturized, and super plump, ready for the day! 

Some of you may have heard of the trending 10-step skincare routine from Korea, but I started to loosely adopt this skincare routine this past year (I don't do 10 steps every night) and I've been loving it. I have sensitive, combination skin and so my T-zone tends to get a bit oilier than my checks, while I'm extremely sensitive to a lot of ingredients found in beauty products. This is why I'm usually very careful in testing out products and once I find something that works, I like to use it religiously. I don't have perfect skin but I hope my skincare routine can give you all a little insight into achieving hydrated skin during this cold winter! You can purchase all the products mentioned below at Soko Glam (not sponsored in any way). 

1.) After I double cleanse, I use a toner.

Look at how pretty this packaging is. As pretty as the packaging, it makes my skin pretty and preps it for my next skincare steps. Using a toner helps balance your skins pH level (a good level to be at is 5.5 which is a bit acidic) and hydrates it at the same time. I've used so many toners that makes my skin feeling even more dried out than before, but this Son & Park Beauty Water hydrates and tones the skin effectively. You can also use this product as a make up remover on a cotton pad or to just refresh your skin throughout the day! 

2.) I use an essence. 

Essences are a huge part of the Korean skincare regimen. I love this step because after my skin has been prepped by the Beauty Water, it's ready to absorb all the nutrients an essence can provide! This Missha Time Revolution Treatment Essence has been known to be a dupe of the popular SK-II Essence. They are in fact, both very similar in consistency (watery) and how well it moisturizes the skin. SK-II contains fermented yeast in the form of Pitera, while Missha contains fermented filtrate, Zyosis. I've found the Missha Essence to have reduced some of my redness but by all means it doesn't ever prevent breakouts because I've gotten quite a few since. I love applying this step because essences are jam packed with healthy nutrients for the skin and I just lightly pat this over my skin. 

3.) I use a serum. 

After my skin has been moisturized from the toner and essence, I like to go in ahead with a serum or an ampoule which is a super concentrated moisturizer. Serums contain the most powerful actives which help to give your skin that extra boost and plumping effect! While moisturizers and cleansers can contain filler actives, serums don't have any of that, so the effects of serums can be absorbed more quickly and efficiently. I've been trying this Klairs Vitamin C Serum to see if it fades pigmentation but apparently I have to wait 4-5 weeks until I see true results... so I'll let you know how this works out! Vitamin C is a great way to fade acne scars or pigmentation and there are a lot of ampoules out there that brighten as well as plump your skin.

4.) I either apply emulsion or a moisturizers (which means the same thing) after.

Emulsion is essentially the Korean way of saying moisturizer. You'll usually find the consistency to be a bit more lighter than other moisturizers but I found them to do similar things. Before I cover my face with a heavy night cream, sleeping pack, or sheet mask, I like to hydrate one last time because you need that extra moisture from all the dryness in the air! This Tony Moly Aquaporin Emulsion has been doing the job well these days. The smell is nice and it really does feel like you're feeding your skin extra water and hydrating it, as the packaging on it promotes.

5.) I either apply a heavy night cream or use a face sheet mask in replacement. 

We're almost there but next, I like to go in and apply a heavy night cream, sleeping pack, or face sheet mask! This is probably my favorite step because well 1.) I'm done with my routine and I can go lay down and 2.) it really feels like I'm feeding my face healthy hydrating ingredients. Using a night cream while sleeping is effective because not only are our bodies getting the necessary rest needed, our skin is working to repair itself as well! This Missha Super Aqua Renew Snail Cream is an all time favorite of mine. It's main ingredient is snail mucin which is extremely good for the skin as you may have heard. The smell is a bit strong but the consistency is of a gel-form and it goes on the skin smoothly. Some days I'll replace this step with a face sheet mask or even do both! 

I love face sheet masks. These little sheets are seriously packed with so much goodness and I just love the cooling effect it has on my skin! They have SO many different kinds of sheet masks and for days you feel like pampering yourself... do it! Lastly, on days I'm not feeling lazy I'll apply an eye cream. Eye creams are pretty self explanatory, right? But for those of you wondering, eye creams help to reduce puffiness and fines lines/wrinkles around the eye area! 

Phew! That was a lot wasn't it? You don't necessarily HAVE to do all these steps or use the same products, but if there are any of you wanting your skin to look and feel a bit more hydrated, the above was just an insight into what could help! Some of you could just use a toner and moisturizer which is fine, but when looking for moisturizers, just make sure it'll keep you fully moisturized for this winter season. You can take out some of these steps, add in more, but this routine is what I try to stick with. Speaking of sticking with it... if you're reading this, thanks for sticking with me throughout this long explanation of my skincare routine. I hope this helped in answering some of your questions in what certain products do for your skin and what might be beneficial for your skin type. Until next time... Au revoir! 

Photography & Styling by: Ji Yeon

BEAUTY

5 TIPS FOR TRANSITIONING TO FALL SKINCARE

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Now that fall is in full swing, it's imperative that we take extra care in transitioning into a fall skincare that will help protect and rejuvenate our skin. Here I have just 5 simple tips/steps on how we can slowly start taking care of our skin for the fall and chilly weather. Since it is a bit chillier, our faces tend to get dry so be aware and let's get started!

1.) EXFOLIATE.

If you're doing this already 2-3 times a week (depending on the product)... great! If not, it's time to get started! You want to start scrubbing off all that oil, sweat, and SPF products your face has been having to deal with in the summer. Either way, find some time in your skincare routine to exfoliate, so your skin can be fresh for this new season and so that it can absorb all the serums you should be feeding your skin for the fall. I personally like to use Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant for a daily use because its so gentle (it lasts a long time!) or a great, cheaper alternative is this St. Ives Apricot Scrub found at most drug stores. 

2.) ADD VITAMIN C TO YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE. 

The summer heat and sun could leave us with sun damaged skin marks and uneven skin tone. Vitamin C serums such as this one, can help recover these dark marks (from direct sunlight) and brighten our skin tone as a whole.

3.) MOISTURIZE MORE BUT DON'T START USING EXTRA HEAVY MOISTURIZERS.

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I know during the summers we all look for a lightweight moisturizer because we get sweaty and we don't want to get too oily by the end of the day. But now that the weather is colder outside, our faces tend to get dry more quickly. So, start moisturizing more but you don't have to start using heavy creams just yet, unless you have EXTRA dry skin and its crackling and flaking from the wind already! Try adding in lightweight serums or using any gel, essence, moisturizers. 

4.) START USING HYDRATING FACE SHEET MASKS BEFORE YOU GO TO BED.

Now is the time to start whipping out some hydrating face sheet masks so you can incorporate more moisture into your skin while you sleep. Face sheet masks are great for hydration because it won't be too overpowering for your skin and opt to find ones that have collagen or extra hydrating elements. TIP: I store mine in the fridge for an extra refreshing pampering time and I try to use on a daily basis during the fall/winter season! Face sheet masks are basically different serums drenched into a sheet so it's a perfect lightweight-medium moisturizer. IMPORTANT: If you have sensitive skin, avoid the ingredient PARABEN, that can be found in skincare products and face sheet masks (labeled in the back of the package). I know some Skinfood masks have these and it can actually irritate your sensitive skin! 

5.) START PREPARING FOR THE WINTER AND DO RESEARCH! 

Get ready for the brutal winter and start doing some research on some heavyweight creams you may want to try! It's never too early and before you know it, winter will creep up on you. I like to use SKII's Essential Power Cream but there are numerous, equally awesome heavy creams such as this one to purchase. Do research and start prepping. 

I know it may seem a bit daunting because I just introduced all these skincare products but it's really not as intimidating as it seems! It's just all about understanding what type of skin you have and knowing the products you are using on your skin. For example, I think it's still perfectly fine to use the lotion you used during the summer for fall but just make sure to then add a serum or use a heavier cream at night so you replenish your skin fully. If I'm using the same lotion I did during the summer for fall I'm just a bit more diligent in my night routine by doing a hydrating face sheet mask or I use a serum after my lotion in the morning. Now, the winter time is a completely different story and you need to hydrate your skin even more. Nevertheless, hope you all are enjoying the fall and make sure to moisturize, hydrate, and replenish! 

Photography & Styling by: Jito

BEAUTY

3 PRODUCTS TO A CLEAN FACE

So, I've done a double cleansing post before but I thought it be nice to do a post just about the best products to get rid of all the dirt and makeup off your face. As important as actually cleansing my face is, getting rid of all my makeup and dirt is equally important to me. These 3 products (plus a surprise product at the end) are the start to healthy, glowing skin because it prompts us to properly remove all our makeup. This leaves our faces as clean canvases for those great serums and moisturizers to do its work. So lets get started!

1.) BOSCIA'S MAKE-UP BREAKUP CLEANSING OIL

This product is great for effectively and gently melting away all makeup without leaving an oily residue on the face. A lot of the times, cheaper cleansing oils have the tendency to leave your face feeling even oiler and even dirtier than before. The Boscia however, is formulated with botanical amino acids and antioxidants which leaves the face feeling smooth and free of all impurities. It also breaks down waterproof mascara, wonderfully leaving you without raccoon eyes. I like to use 3 pumps on my dry face and rub it gently around my skin and then add 2 more pumps for the eye area. Make sure to wash away this cleansing oil with warm water and go in for a double cleansing with your facewash of choice. 

2.) MUJI'S SIMPLE OIL CLEANSING

Prior to trying out this cleansing oil, I had never thought to use the skincare line from MUJI. But after using this, I'm a huge fan of the skincare products they offer! I've always been a fan of ALL their minimalistic packaging and products (especially their pens), but their skincare products are cost-efficient and very gentle to the skin. I purchased the travel sized version and a good thing about their travel sized cleansing oil is that, not only is the bottle smaller to carry around, but it has a lid that actually shuts completely. Although I love the Boscia cleansing oil, it is a bit more expensive and their travel sized bottle does not have a lid that closes completely. MUJI's cleansing oil is equally gentle and soothing for the skin. I just use the same steps as I do for the Boscia cleansing oil by starting on my dry face and working my way towards the eyes. 

3.) CAUDALIE'S CLEANSING WATER

Now this product is not oil based. Although I highly recommend removing moderate to heavy make up with an oil based product, I do recommend cleansing water or micellar water for those who don't wear heavy makeup. The whole purpose of cleansing water is that it is used as a one step cleansing process. Caudalie's cleansing water gently cleanses and tones the skin with its nourishing and natural ingredients. Caudalie is a vineyard-inspired, luxurious skincare company that originated from France. All you have to do is apply this cleansing water to a cotton pad, and smoothly apply it across the face and eyes. There's also no need to rinse your face after using this, which may appeal to those who are looking for an easier skincare routine. Personally, I like to go ahead and double cleanse with an actual face wash but for those lazy nights, this cleansing water is ideal. 

And there we have the top 3 products I found to wonderfully cleanse the face, free of any makeup and dirt. It is crucial for me to properly remove all makeup before I sleep so I do recommend any of these products especially if you have sensitive skin. I also wanted to make a brief mention of a cleansing wipe. 

HONORABLE MENTION: NEUTROGENA CLEANSING WIPES

The Neutrogena cleansing wipes have been my go to makeup remover for the past 2 years before I transitioned into using cleansing oils. Although I do not use these wipes on a daily basis anymore, I still love to use them for when I travel (travel efficient) as well as for removing any left over heavy eye makeup. The wipes are not abrasive and have a sufficient amount of product on each wipe which makes for a nice, fresh wipe. 

And there we have it! These 4 products are all lovely products I rely on for a clean makeup free face! I hope you enjoyed and let me know what you think of any of these products once you've tried them out. 

Photography & Styling: Jito