As someone who suffers from severe eczema, sensitive skin, and dermotagraphia, as well as being in a career that requires heavy makeup, skin care is essential to my daily routine. I take as much care and time to remove my makeup, cleanse, and moisturize as I do in applying my makeup. By now, you’ve probably already heard about the hype surrounding “K-Beauty” and Korean skin care. Koreans really value their skin and go to great lengths to ensure it radiates even without makeup. Below is my everyday skin care routine, which has made a world of difference for me. I hope it helps you, too!


1) Triple-cleanse! I first use micellar water, then I apply the Clean It Zero cleansing balm (I’ve also tried and loved this Innisfree apple-scented cleansing oil), then I rotate a number of cleansers throughout the week. My current favorite is this Boscia detoxifying black cleanser. I know many people just use cleansing wipes, but I find this never gets all of my makeup off. Triple cleansing may seem excessive, but I’d rather ensure all of my heavy makeup is removed.

2) Exfoliate I only exfoliate once a week, but this step is key to removing all the build-up and letting your pores breathe. The Skinfood black sugar scrub is my go-to. I can definitely see the difference after exfoliation, and this product smells amazing.

3) Toner To restore some moisture and balance my pH levels, I apply toner. Since my pores can be annoyingly visible, I use the Wonder Pore toner by Etude House. You can do this step with a cotton pad or with your hands.

4) Essence This is a step many skin care routines miss. Essence, especially the SK-II essence or the more affordable Miisha essence, is the holy grail for many Korean skin care routines because it works to hydrate, brighten, and repair skin.

5) Ampoule There are all kinds of extra treatments and serums to target what you may be most concerned about, such as wrinkles, large pores, and redness. I’m currently using this Propolis Sparkle Ampoule, which is supposed to reduce redness and give the skin a smooth, poreless appearance. It is also paraben-free and great for sensitive skin.

6) Anti-Aging Serum If you’re in your mid-20s or your 30s, you might not be worried about the effects of aging on skin. However, many serums are designed for use starting in your 20s! I apply the Clarins Double Serum to my face and neck before bed and pray this investment now will pay off as I age.

7) Moisturizer This step is crucial for me, especially since, as my brother often jokes, my skin can look more like a cactus at times. I have incredibly dry skin, and I need to lather on moisturizer to get to any semblance of normalcy. This Avene moisturizer is very thick and has been great so far. I use a foundation with SPF in it, but if you don’t, make sure to choose a moisturizer with at least SPF 15.

In between steps six and seven, you can also use sheet masks during the week and apply eye cream. This lengthy routine may seem like a daunting process, but I believe it is an investment for a lifetime of clear, healthy, and glowing skin.

What’s your skin care routine?

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