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