Ever look in the mirror and wonder what you can do to make your skin look better? I know I have. Every single day! I’ve never had great skin to begin with and this goes all the way back to my awkward teenage years where my face exploded with pimples. I had them all. Zits, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, I even had a cluster of pimples that looked like permanent rashes. Those horrible things lived on my face until I graduated high school. It didn’t help that my bratty little sister who shall be named Juice chanted, “pimple, pimple face!” everywhere we went. I wanted to her to be shipped off to China.

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(I want to mention that many years later, she actually ended up in China for a bit. hahahah…Juice – Don’t mess with your big sis. My wish came true). Anyway, high school was not very fun with acne as my companion.

As I am writing this blog, I got inspired and decided to try this face pack. You can pick it up at any H-mart store for $1.99. Cheap, eh?

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Facial Essence – Aloe

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My zoolander face

So, before I begin reviewing 3 skin care items that I personally believe are a must have, I wanted to share a summary of what a daily skincare routine consists of for the average Korean female. Be prepared to be amazed.

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Song HyeKyo – One of my favorite Korean actress

The following products are layered to the face in the order outlined (lightest to heaviest concentration) on a typical night before bed.

1. Cleanser – The cleansing process is broken down to two parts. First, we have the oil cleanser to remove stubborn makeup and debris from face. Then, a foam cleanser is used to completely wash off all residue. In addition, a facial exfoliator is used to shed off weekly buildup of blackheads, whiteheads, and stubborn dirt once or twice a week.

2. Toner – Softens and balances the skin’s ph and prepares skin for more add ons

3. Face Masks – clay masks, essence masks (this is what i am using now. See above), green tea masks, egg yolk masks are some of the masks used to target various skin conditions such as dryness, dullness, redness, etc…

4. Emulsion – lighter version of a moisturizer

5. Eye cream – reduces puffyness, provides intense hydration, reduces bags under the eyes

6. Moisturizer – protects the skin and prevents skin from drying. In other words, it moisturizes. Duh.

7. Essence – targets specific skin problems such as wrinkles, dryness, enlarged pores, dullness etc…

8. Serum – thicker and stronger version of essence.

9.Sheet masks/sleeping masks – mask saturated in essence (Can be used once a week or daily)

Nope, not done yet.

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10. Night Cream – Heavy version of a moisturizer. the idea is that it seals all the layers slapped on your face.

Finished? yes, I am done listing it all. But as an added bonus lets add the mist spray!

11. Mist Spray –  Locks in moisture.

ALL OF THE ABOVE, I kid you not is applied to the face on a single seating. Generally, a nighttime routine takes about an hour. As this is a layering process, everything is articulated with precision and patience since you have to wait for products to sink into face before applying next in line.

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Now this might seen a bit much to those that are not familiar with this practice. In fact, I think its insane in the membrane! But I have heard that it really does lead to healthy younger looking skin. Ma korean sistas swear by it.

If you have the time, the patience and the budget and want that healthy, glowing, youthful looking skin, I recommend you give the Korean method of skincare a try.

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Introducing a sample of the gazillion products to put on your face. Go crazy!

As for this busy mom, I honestly don’t have the time nor the patience to go through this rigorous routine Every Single Night. I really wish I did. Honestly, who doesn’t want healthy, younger looking skin? I do I do! But trying to catch as much snooze as possible is up there on my priority list. I just don’t have half an hr let alone 5 minutes to sit down and slather 20 products on my face while baby is howling for my attention. (But I have time to write this blog.. ahahah the irony) However, that doesn’t mean I should completely ignore my poor skin and leave it to hang dry, especially since I don’t have great skin to begin with as mentioned previously. Instead, i wanted to share what i thought are 3 must have skin care items that are essential and believe every woman should include in their daily routine.

1. Moisturizer. A must have, must use, must eat, must must must! Sooo important! I can not stress this enough but this might as well be my second skin. I slap it on my skin religiously every morning and night. As you have read above, the basic function of a moisturizer is to moisturize and keep your face from drying. This is crucial as you don’t want to be walking around with flakes on your face. I’ve experimented with various moistuizers and settled for Kiehls moisturizing lotion. I love the way it feels on my skin. Not too oily and doesn’t dry out my skin.

kiehl moisturizer

2. Serum. As soon as I hit 30, the first thing I went out to buy was Serum. Unless you want to start looking like yoda from Star Wars at a scary speed, I highly recommend including serum as part of your daily routine.

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Serums are packed with a high concentration of vitamins and anti oxidants to treat, repair and provide nutrients to your skin. The difference between a moisturizer and a serum is that a serum is made up of smaller molecules to effectively penetrate through layers of your skin. A moisturizer is made up of larger molecules that can only sink into the top layer of the skin (I aint no Einstein, so I had to do some research to get a better understanding of the various skincare products to share with y’all. Hehe. Your welcome). The serum that I currently use is also from Kiehls (Yes,  I am a Kiehls fanatic. As I don’t have the time at the moment to go into an indepth review of the products, I will cover that another day. Keep an eye out for it!)

kiehl serum

3. Sunscreen. Something that I completely ignored and didn’t realize how important it was until I started seeing some wrinkles and sunspots on my face!! FML.  I am deeply repenting from my lazy, don’t-care-im-asian-so-my-skin-Is-naturally-radiant attitude that I held in my 20’s. Learn from my mistake and drown your face in that sunscreen! Rain or shine, you better make sure you are wearing that stuff every single day. The stronger the spf the better. I now make sure to have both moisturizer and sunscreen on all day err day! The sunscreen that I am currently using is the Misscha sp 50 sunscreen. I used to use the clinique brand but I being a forgetful, careless klutz lost it somewhere on my trip to Korea. This is where Mischa enters my life and completes it once again.

misha sunscreen

As you can see, I am simple gal and a disgrace to the Koreans for ignoring their 20 step nightly routine. Believe me, I do want nice glowing skin and in a perfect world, I would definitely try to follow this religion but in mommy world, the 3 items that I have listed will have to do for now. Sigh. #aintnobodygottimeforthat!

Ess.

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