Expectation vs. Reality
A few weeks ago I read an article written by a Buzzfeed editor about her experience following the ten steps Korean Skincare Routine for one month. She listed all of the products that were recommended for her, but she only used about half of them. She documented her one-month journey and the results were amazing. Her skin was glowing! It looked clearer, more even, and brighter. I was curious. I wanted those same results. I wanted to glow! So I went to the website she recommended, SokoGlam, and looked up the products for my skin type: combination. The thing is I not only have combo skin, but I’m also in my mid thirties, and I want to continue to look like I’m in my mid to late twenties, and I have occasional breakouts. I’m also on the eternal quest for clear, even flawless skin. So with all of that I was a bit confused as to which products I should purchase. I decided to focus on anti-aging and even skin and breakouts. I already follow a pretty extensive skincare regimen that consists of: cleanse, tone, serum, moisturize, SPF during the day, exfoliate 2x a week and mask once a week. Adding a few extra steps that makes up the Korean skincare regimen didn’t seem like a big deal. My plan was to keep the products that I already used and just add the Korean beauty products to the steps where I was in need.
I watched a few YouTube videos and found that they did it all wrong and made the process seem far more daunting and complicated than it really is. They would exfoliate and mask everyday, which is a big no no. Please don’t exfoliate if you don’t want your skin to fall of in a matter of weeks. Okay well maybe not literally fall off, but it will be bad and there will be blood. I digress… I then read a great article that explained the process and what is necessary for each step. Here they are with a link to the product that I used:
1.OIL CLEANSER- Oil cleansers are an essential step for all skin types. They remove oil-based debris such as makeup, sebum and soot. What I used: Heimish All Clean Balm (Cleansing Balm 120ml)
2.FOAM CLEANSER-This is the second part of the double cleanse, which is necessary to thoroughly clean your skin at the end of the day. Foaming cleansers remove water-based debris such as sweat and dirt. What I used: Skin Clean Papaya Cleanser
3.EXFOLIATOR(OPTIONAL)-Not to be used daily, exfoliating renews your skin by scrubbing away dead skin cells. What I used: Sex A Peel by Sonia Roselli
4.TONER-This softens, moisturizes and preps your skin to better absorb the essences and serums to follow. It also resets your pH balance after using the cleansers. What I used: Mojito Tonic
5. ESSENCE-These typically contain an active ingredient that optimizes your skin’s natural cell turnover rate—think skin regeneration. What I used: Real Ferment Micro Essence
6. SERUM-This is a more concentrated version of an essence, usually thicker in consistency. Different serums can hyper-target skin issues and are meant to be layered. What I used: Day- Clarifying Drops Serum
7. SHEET MASK-These are sometimes used in place of an essence. What I used: My Skin Mentor Dr. G Aqua Collagen Mask, Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack, Skinfood Everyday Green Tea Facial Mask sheet
8.EYE CREAM-This is meant to hydrate and protect the skin around your eyes. What I used: N/A
9.SLEEPING MASK-Apply this to intensely hydrate and restore firmness as you sleep: I didn’t use this
I started the process with relatively okay looking skin.
Exhibit A: My skin before Korean Skincare
It was a bit a dull and I had a breakout on my forehead. I figured it would only get better from there. So I started out doing all of the steps except for the eye cream. My eye area is very sensitive and I have yet to find a cream that doesn’t irritate my skin. I waited for a day that I need to exfoliate and I went to town. I had never used one of the sheet masks before but everyone else seemed to like them, so I thought- Why not?!? I only use Indian Healing Clay Mask and May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver, but I was feeling hopeful. I was already practicing the new obnoxious, model poses I was going to do with my new skin, but like so many Pintrest fails, my reality fell very short of my expectations. This would end up being the biggest mistake of my quest for perfect skin, that and sleeping on bug spray mist- baaaaad idea. I started to break out and I couldn’t tell whether it was a skin purge or an actual breakout.
Exhibit B: My Skin After Korean Skincare
I decided to give it a few days and see what happened. A purge will usually only last for a few days to give way to new, fresh skin. This was not a purge. This was a horrible, nasty, breakout. I was still hopeful so I tried another sheet mask and my skin got worse. This is where I learned the wisdom and truth of the old age saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. My skin looked nice before and I yearned to be the before picture of this horrible experiment. I didn’t understand why my skin was reacting like this, everyone who tried Korean skincare had raved about, even the YouTubers who were doing it wrong. I’m not sure what their skin is made of but my skin is not made out of the same material. So I am posting this as a cautionary tale. I’m not telling you not to try it for yourself, but I will never go down that eighty-six dollars and seventy-two cents wormhole again. And to top it off SokoGlam does not offer refunds.
I was hoping to write about how my skin glowed like a fairy’s and smells like a unicorn’s farts but alas that is not the case. I will keep the double cleanser step and I do like the face balm that I bought that did not contribute to my skin plague. I am going back to my good ole skin care regimen that treated me very well and left me with beautiful skin that I now appreciate and will never mistreat again. Lesson learned- not everything on the Internet is meant for me.