Confession: I am a total sucker for beauty products. I can be talked into anything, and I am the proud owner of products including a hangover face mask, which I admit is an oddly specific use but makes your skin so soft (or at least that's how I justified it to friends who made fun of me for buying it)! That said, I hesitate to spend more than $20 on any one beauty product (hangover masks apparently being the exception), so my collection is largely comprised of drugstore items.
So, when I started to notice some of my favorite bloggers talk about the Korean beauty skincare trend a few months ago, I was intrigued. Touted as high-quality, effective, and inexpensive facial care, the Korean skincare 10-step beauty routine is apparently a miracle worker and will completely change your face. Obviously, as soon as I read about it, I was desperate to spend way too much money on beauty products I would probably only use twice. Plus, I couldn't pass up a chance to try out one of those sheet masks I see all over Snapchat.
Lo and behold, once I started using this stuff, I was actually able to keep up with the routine, and I can really, truly see a difference. I know, that's what everyone says, but I PROMISE IT'S TRUE! My skin is way softer, more hydrated, and acne-free, and my complexion has evened out. Plus, at $10ish a product, nothing broke the bank. I only do a few of the steps on a daily basis because 10 is wayyyy too many, but it's worked for me and I can't stop recommending it to my friends. This stuff below is what I use, but the general steps are the same if you have other products you prefer! I did do a fair amount of cost vs. quality research, so as far as I can tell, this stuff has the best bang for your buck. So, without further ado, my Korean skincare beauty regimen:
1. Face wash. I guess I should really break this into 1a and 1b - the double-cleansing process starts with an oil cleanser and then you wash it off with a water-based cleanser. The oil cleanser helps break down things like makeup and sunscreen, and the water-based washes off everything else. It sounds like a pain, but the pump top on the oil cleanser means it's the same amount of effort as wetting your face before cleansing. The 10 step process puts exfoliation next, but I just use my Clarisonic brush with the water cleanser a couple times a week and knock both out at once.
2. Essence. Okay, I know it sounds gross, but a lot of Korean beauty products use a bit of snail mucus due to its healing properties. I don't know how big a role that plays in how soft my skin has been, but I am all for it! Plus, I've read a lot about the benefits it has for healing things like acne scars, so it sounds like you can't go wrong.
3. Ampoule. I add this right on top of the essence. I've also used this for things like little cuts on my hands, due to the aforementioned healing properties of snail mucus (I know, ew). But it works!
4. Gel cream. This is a super interesting combination of a very moisturizing lotion that's still very matte. I'm still actually shocked that it works. I always end the skincare portion with this, prior to putting on any makeup. I'd throw on some eye cream if I were you, but I don't use a K Beauty-specific one so won't recommend anything here. I think I got mine at Nordstrom Rack (which, BTW, has great beauty products).
5. Sheet mask. This is not an every day thing, but it is so fun. Use it once a week or so for some extra moisture. Tim freaks out when I use this and thinks I look like someone form a horror movie, but whatever. My face has never been softer than after I use this. There are a ton of different types of these, but, as mentioned, I'm kind of obsessed with this whole snail mucus thing, Seriously, just try it. It sounds gross and weird but is so amazing.
6. Blackhead mask. Okay guys, I saved the best for last. Have you ever used a Bioré strip? These are so. much. better. Honestly, if you're going to try anything on this list, try this. You put on a layer of the face mask, let it dry, and then slowly peel the whole thing off from the bottom. Your face will be super soft after, and, even better, it pulls out all of the stuff in your pores which is, obviously, the best.
I know that seems like a bunch of steps, but the daily steps 1-4 are just quick layering steps and don't take too long. The last two are once a week or so, and who doesn't love a spa day?! I am a total convert and have honestly been trying to google whether there are full-body products like this - snail hand cream? Yes please! Let me know if you've tried any of this stuff in the comments, or if you have any other suggestions - you know I'm a sucker for this stuff!