Updated from 29th April, 2015. I have never personally believed in striving for fair skin. In fact, I am wheatish to brown in skin tone and I love my skin. I like to keep it glowing and thus my fetish for using different products. So, here is my take on the popular 10-step Korean skin care routine for glowing skin.
Since quite long, I have been seeing a trend of questions from people who are either getting married or who have darker skin tones. They always want to know how to lighten their complexion or becomes fairer. So, first of all, I would like to say that you can’t really lighten the skin complexion. The skin color is determined by the amount of melanin your skin has and you can’t do anything to reduce the amount of this pigment inside your skin.
What you can instead do is focus on getting glowing skin and making sure your skin is not getting tanned or getting prone to hyperpigmentation which turns the skin darker than its original skin tone. So, the steps in your skin care routine should include protect and repair segments of products. Protection usually includes using sunscreen on a regular basis diligently and repair involves a plethora of other steps which I shall be discussing here.
Please note that the following skin care routine can also be termed as the new age skin care. I have tried to include everything I know here.
Glowing Skin Step #1 – Vitamin C Serum
Contrary to usual belief, Vitamin C serums increase the strength of your sunscreen and do not make your skin photo toxic. It is only citrus fruits which make your skin so.
I use Kiehl’s vitamin C serum as my first step of day time skin care. Make sure your skin is completely dry before applying the vitamin C serum as vitamin C gets neutralized on contact with water. Whatever serum you may use, I would definitely suggest including vitamin C as part of your day care routine as it increases the strength of the sunscreen and gives the skin necessary antioxidants to counter the damage done by the rays.
Glowing Skin Step #2 – Use Sunscreen Diligently
No matter what, no matter the weather, your first rule is to use sunscreen. I would suggest Neutrogena Ultra Sheer but my favourite is MVO Moisturizing Face Screen. I have also tried out other sunscreens and loved Shiseido the best. Currently, I am not using any sunscreen which is something I would not suggest anyone to do. Please do your skin a favor and get a good sunscreen.
Use a nickel size of product for your face and another nickel size for your neck.Using the right amount of sunscreen is extremely important for proper protection.
I have often heard complains that the sunscreen does nothing but the secret lies in using the proper amount of sunscreen to provide full protection. You have to use a nickel size of product for your face and another nickel size for your neck. It might sound too much but unless you are using this much amount of sunscreen, you are not really protecting your skin.
Also remember that other products you are using in conjunction in your day care routine may interfere with the sunscreen. For example, avoid using facial oil in the morning as the oils can dissolve your sunscreen formulas. Instead, stick to serums.
Or, better yet, use a hyaluronic acid serum for hydration followed by a vitamin C serum followed by your sunscreen. The day care routine goes some what like this after your shower – serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, makeup.
Glowing Skin Step #3 – Reapplication of Sunscreen
Not a step per se, but you must be aware that any sunscreen lasts only two hours on our face. The sebum on our skin dissolves the sunscreen and renders it ineffective. So to avoid getting affected by sun rays later in the day, follow up with mineral sunscreen which can be applied on the makeup. Like, using a compact with higher spf. Avoid going out in the sun at noon unless absolutely unavoidable. And, use sunscreen even when you are indoor.
Glowing Skin Step #4 – Relief from Sun Exposure
Are you aware that sun rays can continue affecting your skin even after you have gone inside for almost 30-45 minutes.
If you can not avoid roaming in the sun, do your skin a favor and give it some TLC right after getting back home. This step is for those days you have been out in sun in the noon time. Wash your face and apply a thick layer of aloevera gel, preferably chilled. This will soothe your skin and not let the sun rays continue their after-effects. Or, you could choose a hydrating mask. This also helps to get rid of tanning.
Glowing Skin Step #5 – Double Cleansing
Sunscreen is also like makeup. It is not water soluble but the ingredients are oil soluble. Thus, a simple face wash is not enough to wash away the product. It is advised to double cleanse to remove the residual sunscreen. So, make sure you have a stronger face wash for your evenings to follow up after a cleansing balm or a cleansing milk or even micellar water. I like to use clinique take the day off cleansing balm and Ponds pollution face wash.
Glowing Skin Step #6 – Scrub and Mask
This is an optional step which acts as a pampering treatment or your spa day out. Exfoliate your skin at max twice a week and treat yourself to a mask. Currently, I am using the body shop vitamin C microdermabrasion and just herbs petalsoft rose face pack for face and forest essentials crystal rose sea salt scrub and moroccan rhassoul mask for body.
Glowing Skin Step #7 – Tone
I have not really been a very firm believer of the ritual of toning. But, the idea of spritzing the face with a fine mist of mineral-infused water sounds exotic. I did like using the vichy eau thermale. After washing your face, you have about just one minute to lock in the moisture. A toner is useful in creating extra moisture layer in your skin care routine. Currently, I am trying out the Kama lavender water but it is not really doing anything for me I feel.
That said, you could also do acid toning instead (I have yet to try it out!). The new age skin care routine includes using acids for the skin for exfoliation and clearing away the blackheads and pores. A swipe of the acid toner every alternate day (to avoid over-exfoliating) or every third day is give fresher looking and glowing skin. It also allows better absorption of the following products to be put on skin. Skip this if you have already exfoliated your skin or skip the exfoliation.
Glowing Skin Step #8 – Targeted Treatments
This is the time to apply the hardworking products like retinoids and serums meant for addressing a specific issue. am currently in love with Estee Lauder ANR which I follow up after Kiehl’s vitamin C which I use in the night sometimes. You could use retinoids or other serums. This is the step for on the spot treatments as well like for your acne or blackheads or anything else specifically.
Glowing Skin Step #9 – Moisturizer or Face Oil
After the serum, you have to seal the products to give them time to work while you rest. So, follow up with a moisturizer without spf or even a face oil or both! Two drops of face oil should be great. Always follow up with face oil and then moisturizer but if you have so many products layered up on your skin, you would hardly need both unless you are in thar desert. Currently, I am using Kiehl’s midnight recovery face oil and forest essentials teenage night cream but only occasionally.
(Optional) Glowing Skin Tip – Simplify your skin care routine and use the correct products
If you are just like me and love to use only one product for day or night, I would just suggest to keep the routine simple and wrap it up as quickly as possible.
- In the morning, vitamin C -> sunscreen
- At night, double cleanse -> toner / floral water -> serum + oil (mix 2 drops of face oil with your serum and you are good to go)
- Exfoliate once in three days and pamper with a mask
This has definitely worked for me and will work for you. Just that, your skin needs regular maintenance so listen to what your skin needs and you will have the glowing skin you want and deserve.
What is your secret to glowing skin?
What is your skin care routine? Do you like to do it the 10 step way like the korean skin care recommends or wrap it up as soon as possible with as few products as possible? Currently, I am testing out a face cream so I am using only the face cream both morning and night and nothing else and I have to say my skin is not really doing bad.