I’ve been obsessed with skincare since I was 21 years old. It’s hard not to be, when you have a Dominican mom and abuela who look 15 to 20 years younger than they actually are. I’ve always had a mix of oily to normal skin, leaving me prone to breakouts. As a result, my way of taking care of my skin was doing the absolute minimum. You know so I don’t break out? That meant applying oil-free moisturizers, cleansing with acne-fighting products, and applying eye cream – that’s it. My routine barely had any steps to it. Little did I know that I’d one day introduce the Korean multiple-step skincare regimen into my life.
Things started to drastically change when I interned at the beauty department of Self magazine. I was 23 years old and being schooled on anti-aging. I’ve always known about avoiding too much sun and being that I’m already naturally tan, I was never one to roast myself at the beach. But I also didn’t know that I had to apply sunscreen to my face and neck all year long – even when there was absolutely no sun out. Next thing you know I’m cleansing with gentle and fancy face cleansers, exfoliating twice a week, face-masking weekly – if not more – and applying serums, hydrating moisturizers, sunscreen, night creams, and day creams every damn day.
Fast forward eight years and now I’m 31 and still often confused for 23 or in many cases 21. I look at pictures of myself in my early twenties and my skin looks better now. But being that I’m now in my 30s, I have become obsessed with learning how to preserve this face – for at least another 20 years. Also, I still have oily skin, making me prone to occasional breakouts especially when it’s hot and nasty out.
I had been hearing about Korean skincare for years now, but became especially intrigued when I learned that more and more of their brands were now becoming available in the states. The challenge for me was, did I want to add more steps into my already long and dedicated skin care regimen? And was Korean beauty going to work for my skin type or were all their face oils and toners going to break me the eff out?
What I discovered was a skincare regimen that drastically transformed my skin, I get so many compliments for it – even from guys on first dates. That’s huge considering skincare isn’t something most guys even notice.
The first step in adapting to this new system, was incorporating double cleansing into my routine. Double cleansing is exactly what it sounds like. You cleanse first with an oil cleanser and then with a foam, water-based cleanser. This helps to thoroughly remove oil based impurities, followed by removing water-based impurities, including sweat, dirt, and, makeup.
Peach & Lily Founder & CEO, Alicia Yoon promised me that the right oil cleanser wouldn’t break me out or leave me looking like a greasy dog. She recommended I cleanse first with the T.E.N Cremor Cleansing Oil followed by the ATOPALM Moisturizing Cleansing Foam. Within a week I noticed a much smoother, clearer, and more balanced complexion.
The next step was incorporating a toner. I was already using a rose water mist toner at least once a week but had no idea I needed to use it daily. I began applying a non-astringent toner every evening before putting on my night cream using the 7 skin method, which entails gentling patting on 7 back-to-back layers of toner to the face. I’m currently obsessed with betheskin Botanical nutrition Toner. This gives me the kind of glow I’d only used to get from facials. It’s pretty magical.
I was already using face masks throughout the week: think everything from clay masks, charcoal masks, detox masks, even hydrating masks made of rose petals or seaweed. What I wasn’t using enough of was sheet masks, which are just as if not more affective than they are hyped up to be.
Yoon recommended one sheet mask a day to me, but since money doesn’t exactly grow on trees – I opt for one once a week. Once a week I’ll do a charcoal or clay mask to detox followed by a moisturizing mask or a sheet mask. I don’t wash off the serum off from the sheet mask. Instead I leave it on and layer either a hydrating face cream or a snail cream that works to both hydrate my skin and banish acne. I’m all about the Mizon All-In-One Snail Cream these days.
Eye masks like the Shangpree Marine Energy Eye Mask really do leave you looking refreshed and wide-awake. Rubber masks leave your face feeling like a baby and I’m telling you, my face has never looked the same.
Seriously, just look at it!
I’ve been using Korean beauty tips and products since March and I don’t ever plan on going back to my own skincare ways. Whoever says Korean skincare only works for fair, dry, or Asian skin is SO wrong. I’m a Dominican woman with naturally tan skin and it’s give me a radiant complexion I had never ever experienced before. Cheers to looking even younger after 30!