Instagram is raving about skincare threads these days. These threads usually feature drugstore brand products (which, nothing wrong with) but I decided to share my take on those skincare threads; a K-beauty version.
Let’s talk about my skin. Before I got into skincare, I had a plethora of skin troubles; acne scars from puberty, blackheads galore, bumps, open pores and lots of sebum. The truth is, I didn’t care much about skincare and relied more on makeup to cover everything up.
However, makeup itself didn’t sit well on my skin, and I was very self conscious about it. Thus the start of my skincare obsession.
During that time, K-beauty is thriving but it wasn’t as big as it is now. I figured, hey, there’s a stereotype that these Korean girls have really good skin. I need to know their secrets. So I went on YouTube, searched for ‘Korean skincare’ and man, I got schooled.
I’ve spent hundreds of dollars over the past 4 years trying out different Korean skincare products but after learning more and more about my skin and my preferences, I’ve finally found my happy place in terms of my skincare and the products I use.
I’m not sure if age plays a part in how my skin has improved recently, but right now, my scars have almost completely faded away, my pores are tiny and I only get breakouts when my period is about to arrive (which I don’t get bothered by because it’s just the nature of womanhood).
Before trying out the products I listed, note that we all have different skin types. It’s very important to first know your skin type so that you won’t be trying out every single attractive product you see on a store shelf that may not even benefit you.
My skin is very sensitive – like my personality – and drugstore brands break me out constantly. Those brands are really not for everyone so if you find that your skin hasn’t gotten better, it’s time to look for alternatives online.
I also prefer to use products with less chemicals and more natural ingredients like charcoal, clay, essential oils, plant and fruit extracts.
My Skin type: Dry, Sebaceous, Sensitive
Preference: Less chemicals, more natural ingredients, moisturising, anti-ageing
Cleanser – B&Soap Black Block
Currently Sold Out from Althea
B&Soap is what I like to call SoKo’s own Lush. The packaging is similar, they use natural ingredients, handmade and they do not test on animals. This bar cleanser is a charcoal soap which removes extra sebum without drying out my face. It’s also affordable too.
The Black Block is currently sold out on Althea but I will be getting the B&Soap Relaxing Block after I’m done with it. Overall I really like this brand and what they stand for.
Toner – Real Skin Healthy Vinegar Skin Toner: Makgeoli
S$13.00 from Althea
Do not be fooled by the hideous packaging (I mean what font is that). This is a natural fermented toner and it’s basically a carefully diluted vinegar with organic minerals, vitamins and acids. The brand offers different types of this vinegar based toner for different skin types so you can totally find one to suit your skin. It’s gentle enough that it doesn’t sting my skin like some toners do, and no matter how clean I thought my face is, this toner will still draw out extra dirt from my face. It is moisturising as well, and the quantity is generous.
Moisturiser – Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Face Creme
S$16.22 from iHerb
What is this? This is not a SoKo brand?! Yes, it’s not. But it is what I am currently using. Although, I am on the hunt for a better moisturiser. This one works okay, in a way that it does the job, but it is a little too heavy for day wear. Before this one, I used DEAR, KLAIRS Rich Moist Soothing Cream which I prefer, however, it is currently sold out on Althea. You can still get it from other sites that source from SoKo such as the WISHTREND shop on Qoo10.
Since I wear makeup about once or twice a week, I’ve added a good makeup remover in my skincare routine.
Makeup remover is ESSENTIAL if you wear makeup because simply washing your face with cleanser is not enough to remove everything and makeup residue is probably the most likely cause of any skin troubles and breakouts.
I also take the time to double cleanse after removing my makeup even though the makeup I use is not long-wearing or waterproof (for easy ambulation). A really clean face also helps the toner and serum to absorb better into the skin.
Makeup Remover – Vegeeco Olive & Nut Cleansing Oil – DISCONTINUED
Sadly, the best makeup remover I have ever used is now discontinued. This makeup remover has a chunk of simply fruit and nut extracts in its ingredient list which is impressive. It removes makeup really well and one pump is enough per wash. I like oil and balm type makeup removers because water type removers not only waste so much cotton pads, they dry out my skin far too much.
Serums are underrated. In fact, I think adding a serum into your skincare is the easiest way to level up your routine. Serums helped plump my skin with moisture and fade my scars really fast. It also helps reduce the chances of getting premature wrinkles which my 23 year old typical asian ass worries about all the time. There are two kinds of serums that I use, a lights one for the day and a heavier, more intense serum before I go to bed.
Daytime serum – REAL SKIN Phyto Serum: Vegetable
S$17.00 from Althea
This is a plant based serum where more than 50% plant extracts that are healthy for the skin. There’s also vegetable peptide which is good for firming, anti-wrinkle and lifting. Lifting?? I have no idea what that even means.
This serum is great because it has US certified organic ingredients and no harmful ingredients like artificial fragrance, ethanol, paraben and synthetic mineral oil.
I use this serum during my daytime routine right after toner, followed by moisturiser and a layer of sun protection (which I will feature later on).
Night time serum – Natural Pacific Fresh Herb Origin Serum
S$19.00 from Althea
This serum is nicknamed the Cursing Serum because apparently, when you apply it, it will hurt. Yes, very intriguing right? The reason for the tingly feeling is the absorption of Amino Butyric Acid which is a sour anti-ageing element that gives you younger looking skin. The more cracked your skin is, the more it will hurt as the serum heals your skin. After 2 weeks of consistently using this serum, my skin is plump, balanced and my pores are almost non-existent.
Sun protection – The Face Shop Clean Face Oil Control Sun Cream
S$?? from The Face Shop
I wear sun protection daily after my moisturiser before I head out under the blazing hot sun. Sun damage can cause premature wrinkles which is really not what I want as a typical early adult asian. I’m not too keen on the ingredients The Face Shop uses but this sun lotion is very moisturising and I’ve been using it every day for about a year now.
Mask – the SAEM Natural Daily Original Coffee Mask
Currently Sold Out from Althea
Once, I tried the Lush coffee scrub, and my skin inflamed into a red mass of nope. Years later, I found this mask on althea and I thought perfect! The Saem is one of my favourite SoKo brands and this mask is all I needed. It’s a mild to gentle scrub that I’ve used on my face as well as my body. It exfoliates well and actually moisturises my skin instead of stripping all my natural oils away. I use this scrub once a week on both my face and my body. Also, the scent. If you would like to know the scent, go to Lush and smell their coffee scrub. It’s the same scent and it smells amazing.
Consistency – Practice your skincare routine regularly, even on lazy days.
Water – A very typical tip is to drink water. But if you want to level up your water, make detox water by adding cucumber slices, lemon slices and mint leaves into your water.
Diet – Try not to eat too much junk or fried food. But even if you do, drink lots and lots of water to wash it all down. I usually get a pimple after eating a candy bar, which means my diet affects my skin almost immediately.
Sleep – Get enough sleep! Or at least try to. Lack of sleep can cause your skin to dehydrate and cause breakouts.
Makeup – Some makeup brands can be the cause of your skin troubles. Personally, I get breakouts from most western brands, which is good for my wallet too. SoKo brands just work better for my skin but I’m lucky enough to be within their skin tone range. I also prefer makeup that is easy to remove to ensure that there won’t be much residue left after cleansing my face.
Woah what a long post. Anyways that’s basically it with the addition of blackhead strips from various brands, a clean towel and rinsing my face with ice cold water.