I am in my early 30’s and recently I have become more conscious about my skincare routine. When I was younger, I really did not pay attention to my skin. I did the basics — washed my face followed by a moisturiser. I did not even bother using a toner as back then I did not quite get how a watery formulation could make any difference. Suffice it to say, time has caught up with me. I started seeing some changes on my face. First, the fine lines under my eyes and then some random, tiny brown spots that have seem to have appeared out of nowhere (I think these are the beginnings of what people call age spots).
I watched a few K-dramas, and I can’t help but notice how dewy and clear the actresses’ skin are. I got curious about Korean skin care and the 10-step process. It all sounds a bit too excessive and I am not quite sure how you could find the time to follow the process religiously but I was more curious than skeptical so I decided to give it a go.
The first thing I realised about the 10-step process is that you don’t really need to do the whole 10-step process every day. 5 days out of the 7, it’s more an 8-step process and only on 2 days do you need to do the full 10-step.
I have been following this routine for 2 months now and I have already started seeing noticeable differences in my skin. The fine lines and the brown spots are still there (though I think I have lesser brown spots than when I started), but the overall appearance of my skin has improved. My skin is smoother and feels bouncier. I have oily skin, so my forehead tend to have constant small bumps that are not quite acne but more like whiteheads. I still have some of that but they’ve noticeably lessened as well.
Very recently I came across a book called The Japanese Skincare Revolution while I was doing my food shopping in Japan Centre. I browsed the book and there were a couple of recommended facial massages. It reminded me of the time when I was living in Tokyo. A Japanese friend brought me with her to see an aesthetician. At first, I was not really sure what was special about this particular aesthetician so my friend explained to me that she will massage your face to improve the circulation and to prevent it from sagging.
At that time, my friend was in her late forties but she had very good skin — just a few wrinkles but what I noticed most about her skin is that it had a supple quality to it. The aesthetician started massaging just half of my face and after a couple of minutes, she handed me a mirror. I was so shocked to see how half of my face looked like I had undergone a face lift! I was only in my mid-20’s then but there was a big difference between the 2 halves of my face. So when I saw the face massages in this book, I bought a copy so I can try them myself. I have only recently been doing the massages so I can’t really tell the difference yet but I think this book is worth the investment.
In terms of the steps involved in Japanese/Korean skincare, I think both are very similar when it comes to:
- Cleansing (removing make-up then cleansing again with face wash)
- Exfoliating (1-2x a week)
- Applying toner
- Applying essence/face lotion
- Applying serum
- Using a face mask (1-2x a week)
- Applying moisturiser (and sunscreen for day time)
I think the Japanese skincare goes a bit further with its facial massages ensuring that the products are all absorbed by the skin whereas Korean skincare routine recommends a tapping motion to help with absorption. I personally do a combination of both. I guess only time will tell if my efforts will pay off.
Have you heard of other Asian skincare tips? Share you thoughts here.