Holy Grail Skincare – Korean

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Winter has arrived here in the mid-west and it is brutal – temperatures have been subzero! But, unlike years passed, my skin is doing W E L L thanks to all the wonderful things I’ve been incorporating into my HOLY grail Korean skin care regimen. Bare with me, this is going to be lengthy.

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So through the work week and as I wind down the night, I start my routine by taking off my makeup with the Garnier cleansing water. When I started this over a year ago, I liked it and felt that it did the job well. However, as of late, it’s become sort of a nuisance. It takes so many rounds of dabbing and rubbing, and yet there’s still residue left over. *thumbs down* Once I finish this current bottle, I’m definitely switching over to……………………..cleansing oils. So excited to try, already have a shipment on the way

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So here’s where the tediousness really begins; on Wednesdays and Saturdays I exfoliate with this magnificent gem.  First I get my face dampened a bit, not so much though, otherwise the crystals don’t work too well. Then I work in a small dab of product all around my face really focusing on the problem areas like my cheeks and nose. The sugar crystals are fairly granular so do be GENTLE – and even so the end result will still AMAZE you. I kid you not, the first time I used this I was blown away. My skin was so supple and soft afterwards, but that wasn’t even the best part. I noticed a drastic change in the appearance of my pores – that in itself speaks for this product. I have very large pores! Now as good as these results may be, because of it’s strong effects, I only recommend using it 1-2 times a week. $17 (?)

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On the days that I don’t exfoliate, I jump into the shower to cleanse after taking off my makeup. Don’t let the simple name of this product fool you, I got a miniscule amount of this stuff (if even), splattered into my eye in the shower once and I almost cried like a baby! Potent stuff! Of all the Korean cleansers I’ve tried, I wouldn’t say this is the best one. Some mornings I wake up and my skin does look very refreshed and bright, but I don’t know if I just had a good night’s rest? Plus, it doesn’t give me that “squeaky clean” effect afterwards – does that make any sense? I probably wouldn’t repurchase this, but the price point was great. $12.00 (+ -)

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Side note – I never use bath towels or any towel really to dry my face (if I can help it). I normally use paper towel (conveniently store on the bathroom shelf), or I air dry, all dependent on the kind of time/night I’m having.

As soon as my face is dry, I apply essence next. Some people like to dab the product onto a cotton pad first but I prefer pouring the solution onto my hands and then lather and dab it onto my face – that way, I can rub the remaining solution over both of my hands – this stuff is so WONDERFUL. My skin has significantly improved in the last year and a half and I have to give thanks to this product since it’s the one thing that I’ve kept consistent in my regimen. I no longer have break outs, my acne scars have healed, and my once bumpy skin now feels smooth to the touch. As always, I highly recommend this product given it’s quality of ingredients, effectiveness and overall price point. $20-$36

**In Korean skin care, the order in which products are applied is very important so a lot of the products/names will usually include phrases/words such as “the first”  “first step” “Initial” – that’s a good indicator that that’s the first product you should apply after cleansing**

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I have been loving this toner – notice the name says “serum”. That’s another quirk about Korean skincare. It’s not really a serum, what you and I would normally consider serum. This actually works like a toner if you read the fine print. It’s to “prep the skin” for what’s to come next. Does the orange not say it all? I love3 the citri-ness(?)! It’s so light, yet so refreshing and clean once it’s on the skin, don’t know how else to describe it. Does it do anything magnificent to my skin – I can’t be sure, but I just know that I love the way it feels. $20 (?)

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Next is serum. I’ve been trying out this new one by Su:m 37 (currently rotating between 4 – Missha’s Time Revolution, Mammonde, C20 Vit. C, Innisfree). I just wanted to share this product because it’s so new to me. I’ve used it for about a month now – not enough to see anything dramatic yet but my skin does feel very delicate and soft in the morning after application. I don’t think there’s any kind of scent, other then it smells fresh – if there’s such a thing. Su:m 37 is one of Korea’s luxury skincare line, so it’s not consumer friendly in the $$ area. It indeed looks and feels that way though, packaging is beautiful, but I have yet to find out if it’ll pay off and if I’ll get the bang for my buck. Serums either come in an eye dropper applicator or a small pump (the one’s I’ve used any way). This bottle comes in a pump form so I just squeeze out 3 small pumps onto my middle/ring finger and then dab and massage it into my skin mainly focusing on problem areas; acne scar, wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation etc. $60

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**I strongly recommend all my lady friends to start using eye creams/products**

Next – eye cream. Another Su:m product. So far I can’t complain nor compliment. It’s only been about a month so I haven’t seen much changes if any at all. The consistency of this “cream” is a lot thinner than any eye cream I’ve used before, but it doesn’t bother me, or my skin. It also has a very gentle smell – kind of like an old lady perfume, but not really, not in a bad way anyway :-). $60

**I’ve always used Lancome eye creams and also recommend them**

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And now to my favorite, if not the funnest and  maybe even most important! Sheet masks! It’s taking the beauty world by storm, myself included. It’s so addicting! I have a ton and wear one EVERY NIGHT. I cannot begin to tell you the wonders it’s done for my face/skin. This is my favorite step for a lot of reasons, first and fore most, I feel like a million bucks at the end of my night after I’ve completed this step along with the other 100 steps and products. It’s basically like having a miniature spa/pampering…every night, who doesn’t want that?!

Secondly, and most importantly, not a lot of people know this, but it’s packed with a ton of wonderful nutrients and high potent goodness for your skin, so it’s not just CUTE or for FUN. There’s a sheet mask formulated for every skin issue you can imagine. In addition, if you can take nothing out of this holy regimen or Korean skin care in general it’s that opening up a package and slapping something form fitting on your face packed with derma-essentials is so EASY, not to mention disposable, it’s the solution to a lazy girls skin care routine! And there’s more, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg either, especially when you buy in bulk. These masks range anywhere between $1.50 – $25 per sheet. I have yet to spend more than $5 on a sheet.

**(tip) if you want to try sheet masks but don’t have time or want to worry about ordering something you don’t like, or just want to pick something up on the whim – Walmart is now carrying a Korean brand sheet mask! Soo Ae. I highly recommend the “Deep sea water collagen essence mask”. My skin LOVED it. $2.50**

And that’s pretty much it for my routine. I promise, it sounds worse than it really is, especially once you start getting into the routine and seeing the results. Remember that it’s an INVESTMENT – keyword. Everything that I share with you is my complete honest opinion, this is nothing more than woman to woman talk. I appreciate and enjoy nothing more than when other women share their beauty secrets! As always, I do want to mention a disclaimer that I’m not a skin expert nor am I suggesting you go out and buy all these products or that you’re going to end up with the same results as I did. We are human, we are all built and made differently, so it’s not a one size fits all. I am only recommending what’s worked so well for me and the reasons I enjoy the products that I have. It’s been over a year now since I’ve exposed myself to Korean skin care and I love it so much and am so passionate about it. I definitely plan to blog and share more with you all, especially if you’re new to this whole trend and don’t really know where to start!

And I apologize, I really wish I can film an actual tutorial but I found out the hard way that it’s….a lot harder than I think it is. LOL. I’m sure most people have a filming partner? And the other part of it is probably just me, warming my way up to sit in front of the camera 🙂

Thank you for reading. Stay warm mid-west!

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