Using a myriad of products but not achieving results? Perhaps your skincare routine needs to be simplified. Start by identifying your specific skin type, and then stick to a straightforward product-based plan focusing on the essentials suitable for your needs. You can still achieve your flawless complexion, just with fewer products – and far fewer steps!
A 10-step Korean skincare routine is no longer necessary if you use a personalised routine with the correct product that caters to your unique skin needs.
How to Identify Your Skin Type
Grab a sheet of blotting paper – they make figuring out your skin type a breeze – and gently pat it on your nose, cheek, forehead, and chin before you cleanse your skin in the morning. Now hold it to the light and assess how much oil is on the sheet.
- - Little to no oil? You have dry skin.
- - A little oil on half of the sheet or less? You have well-balanced skin.
- - A sheet soaked with oil and is transparent? You have oily or combination skin.
Here is one more thing you will need to know: you can still be prone to sensitive skin, regardless of whether it is oily or dry. Sensitive skin is a common condition where your complexion is more prone to inflammation or reactions than others. Symptoms include flushing, tingling or itchiness, or breaking out into a rash easily.
To ensure you do not break out into rash when using a new product, always conduct a patch test first. Using the thin layer of skin on your wrist as your test base, apply a small amount of the new product and look out for a reaction within the next 15 minutes. If your skin appears slightly pink but returns to its usual tone, there is no cause for concern. However, a stronger reaction indicates that you might be sensitive to a particular product.
Ready to meet your perfect products? Now that you have determined your skin type, the next step is selecting the right products based on your needs.
6 Essential Products for Your Korean Skincare Routine
Pick a hypoallergenic cleanser that is safe, even for sensitive skin.
1. Cleansing Foam
It doesn’t matter what skin type you have; morning and night cleansing routines are indispensable if you want healthy skin. Cleansing two times a day means not only removing makeup and ridding the skin of excess oil but also environmental waste (like pollutants and irritants) that have accumulated on your skin throughout the day.
However, if you have dry and sensitive skin, your dermatologist may recommend a water-only cleanse in the morning. Heeding this advice helps those with dry, sensitive skin keep their natural oils balanced as well as prevent damage to the skin’s barrier – both functions are vital to keeping dehydration at bay.
The next important skincare step is a thorough cleanse at the end of your day. Doing this ensures the removal of every trace of dirt, excess oil as well as pollution from your face. Begin your skincare routine at night with AHC Premium Ex Hydra B5 Soothing Foam. We love it because it is a hypoallergenic cleanser packed with 95% high-purity derma grade hyaluronic acid. It also contains 98% high-purity D-Panthenol (vitamin B5) to effectively lock in moisture and leave skin looking and feeling plump, supple and hydrated.
Like cleansing, toning is a morning and evening affair – so long as your skin can tolerate the formulation. If your skin type is oily or combination, a toner most definitely needs to be added to your Korean skincare routine. It refines your skin after cleansing, reduces the size of pores, and enhances the skin’s ability to absorb other skincare products. However, if you have dry skin or have experienced facial discomfort due to skin sensitivity in the past, take note that a toner with high alcohol content could further strip your skin of moisture or irritate it.
You can pick a hydrating toner that contains low alcohol in its formulation, so that your skin reaps the benefits of tightened pores, and is prepared for latter product penetration without risking dehydration. AHC Premium Ex Hydra B5 Toner is a powerful moisturising product that has been developed by dermatologists, and its hypoallergenic formulation contains high-purity, dermatologist-grade hyaluronic acids and vitamin B5 to provide a soothing effect. We love it because it helps to reduce inflammation, even for sensitive skin. This toner is clinically proven to moisturise instantly upon your first usage, as well as calm skin and reduce redness. With its ability to significantly lessen and soothe skin redness by over 5% after just two weeks of use, it is the answer to a complexion that is easily prone to flushing.
Serums come in different textures to suit different preferences and skin types.
Serums play a vital role in any effective anti-aging skincare routine. Think of a serum as a lightweight moisturiser, just with a high concentration of active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and vitamin C.
Serums can penetrate the deeper layers of skin to give it the clinical dose of treatment that it needs. They help to manage specific skin concerns, such as addressing wrinkles. With a thinner consistency than a moisturiser, a serum is ideal for layering underneath your facial cream. Serums come in different textures to suit different preferences and skin types. Gel-texture or light creams are ideal for oilier skin, oils are perfect for dehydrated skin, and heavier creams are the answer to mature skin that needs extra nourishment.
Serum layering and cocktailing – mixing serums to target multiple skin concerns – means creating a unique solution for your skincare concerns, especially if there are many you wish to treat. However, proceed wisely by first conducting a patch test to check for sensitivity, or consult your dermatologist for more advice.
For a perfect multi-purpose serum packed with the skin brightening benefits of vitamin C, look no further than AHC Peony Bright Luminous Serum, opens in a new window. We love it because it hydrates the skin and gives it a brighter look. It contains a transformative blend of ingredients such as peony extract, vitamin C derivatives, blend of kombucha and pink microalgae that works in harmony to reduce pigments. The result is skin that reveals beautiful radiance and brightness in just four weeks.
If your skin needs a boost of highly effective moisturising actives, such as D-Panthenol (vitamin B5), hyaluronic acid, and Alpinia galanga extract, find them all in AHC Premium Ex Hydra B5 Soother. We love it because it is the perfect intensive care hydrator able to calm and plump up dry and sensitive skin, and can be layered with other serums for boosting treatment benefits.
4. Sheet Mask
Mask at your leisure, be it morning, afternoon or at night! It also makes a great skincare treatment prior to a special event. Think of this product as a go-to for skin that needs to look its best on demand - whether you’re off to a party or simply pampering yourself at home with a self-care session. Masks will effectively nourish your skin with hydration, glow, nutrients, and various respective benefits, and are a treat to have in your routine.
For an ideal dose of luxurious treat, look to AHC Premium Hydra Gold Foil Mask, opens in a new window, which delivers an infusion of moisturising and firming ingredients such as vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid. A patented formulation, these ingredients have excellent water-retaining abilities to nourish the deeper layers of the skin and restore hydration, balance, and youthfulness. We love it because the three-layered sheet contains the active ingredients equivalent to a full bottle of serum. With an ability to trap heat from your skin, the mask effectively creates a steam effect, opening the skin’s pores for maximum absorption.
A must-have in your routine, a moisturiser provides suppleness to the upper layers of your skin. Applied day and night, you can directly improve your skin’s texture and protection against dryness thanks to the extra hydration it brings.
For those with oily or combination skin, look for moisturisers with more humectants (such as lactic acid) that can attract water molecules like a magnet. If your skin is dry, go for products rich in emollients (such as shea butter) – these richer hydrators can trap water into the skin and help manage dry issues, such as itchiness and flaky skin.
For a stand-alone facial moisturiser, AHC Premium Ex Hydra B5 Cream is a deeply replenishing hydration and wrinkle reduction treatment. We love it because of its derma-grade ingredients of hyaluronic acids and vitamin B5, flooding the skin’s inner layers and replenishing them with moisture.
If you're into skip-care – the latest Korean skincare trend that is all about going back to the basics by using a few essential products without sacrificing any efficacy – try AHC Pure Real Eye Cream for Face, opens in a new window. It works effectively as an eye cream and facial moisturiser, making it a unique and multi-functional product. This product solution will care for both your eye concerns and complexion hydration needs in one application; what’s more, it is made almost entirely from natural, plant-based ingredients. We love it because of its unrivalled Ultrafine Microemulsion system and 91% natural ingredients. In this innovative skincare technology, active ingredients have been broken down and passed through a diamond tube under high pressure into tiny particles so they can be absorbed deeper into the skin - and far more successfully. The clinically proven anti-aging formula also gives skin an essential youthful boost – think a face lifting effect, up to 24-hours of moisture retention and keeps the noticeable signs of aging at bay.
6. Sun Protection
Serums come in different textures to suit different preferences and skin types.
The saying that prevention is better than cure could not be more apt for sunscreen as the key to preventing anti-aging. It is the skin’s best protection against UV damage – which causes skin cells to die and leads to thinning and wrinkling – and helps reduce your risk of skin cancer. You do not want to leave home without it!
When selecting sun protection, ensure the texture is right for your skin type. Those with oily skins should try lightweight, oil-free lotions and gels or a stick format. Cream-based sunscreens, however, are more emollient-based, and therefore better suited to drier skin. If your skin is sensitive, ensure your sunscreen does not contain harsh chemicals that could cause a reaction.
A soothing natural option is AHC Natural Perfection Double Shield Sun Stick with its Phyto Protect Complex, in a convenient on-the-go application format. The Phyto Protect Complex, which is formulated from a selection of plant-based ingredients, can guard the skin from external irritations. We love it because of its patented ingredient: the UV – IR Block™ (with an SPF50+, PA++++) blocks harmful UV and near-infrared rays while guarding your skin against irritation, keeping flushing at bay. The result is a non-sticky and lightweight feel on the skin. It is also perfect for doubling up as makeup primer for your foundation by helping it glide on smoothly and last even longer. You can also re-apply it every couple of hours on top of light makeup when you’re out and about.
Now that you know the steps to skip-care, we are sure you are more confident to embark on it. Begin your journey by checking out what AHC has to offer, and don’t forget to choose the right products, opens in a new window for your skin type.
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