This is something I had never dreamt of putting to paper.
But, before I do, I want to really stress that this is MY journey. The products that worked for me do not necessarily have to work for you.
These curated bottles of what I now cannot live without, were not an impulse buy, nor were they a randomly suggested and carelessly picked lot.
These went through two whole years of experimentation, reading and discipline – Not to forget the myriad of emotions that I faced – dejection, hopelessness, sudden pangs of hope – ‘hmmm maybe it’s working’ closely followed by ‘oh, wait, spoke too soon’, and then finally, the light at the end of the tunnel.
A stressful journey indeed but totally worth it in retrospect.
Now that the elephant in the room has been addressed, here is my story.
Way back when I was a little girl, probably in my pre-teens, my parents enrolled me in swimming classes. And I looked forward to them a great deal every single week!
Well, I was definitely in love with the sport, but my favorite part of the whole experience was what came after the class.
Call me crazy, but right after the showers post classes, I spent a good deal of my time stealthily admiring the line of skincare products that the women were using.
While I barely owned anything but soap and a bottle of shampoo then, these little bottles of I-don’t-know-what’s-in-them, filled the room with their scent. The women slathering these gorgeous aromatic creams and lotions on them oh so elegantly made me question my horrendous bathing practices.
Lather, rinse and out. That’s the norm, no? Or was it just me?
And it wasn’t just one bottle. No. There were several of those. And the women seemed to know perfectly well which product goes on when and how gently you had to do so.
Maybe I was just a little girl entering my teens and was riveted by makeup and skincare or maybe I just really loved the smell of those products.
Soon after, the most dreaded phase ensued! Puberty!! Which, needless to say, brings in its wake…..
Acne. Pimples. Zits. As if one word was not sufficient to bring out the complete nuisance it is.
And never did it come alone. No Sir! They always came as a FAMILY of 4? Maybe 5. Ughhh!
I think I know when my period is due, Mother Nature. No need for fanfare, thank you very much.
Like all girls and boys battling with acne, I tried almost everything. Working out, eating healthy, medications that dried up my face and the 1000s of bottles of face cleansers I had hoarded, hoping that something would work.
And somehow it was already 12 years of dealing with low self-esteem and high zit-infestation.
Until one day in 2017, I stumbled upon Chinmayi’s post on Korean Skincare. That was the first time I had ever heard about Korean skincare regime and THAT was my launchpad.
I got instantly hooked to it. And I started reading everything under the sun about k-beauty products. Their 2-step cleansing method, multi-step routines, the layering, etc.
Here are the top K-beauty bloggers I religiously followed, learnt from and I am ever grateful to:
1. Fifty Shades Of Snail
2. Kind Of Stephen
3. Holy Snails
4. Snow White And The Asian Pear
After much research, understanding and a lot of determination, I decided to take the plunge.
For a whole year, I was trying several products that suited me, that broke me out, that made no difference, that gave me false positives countless number of times.
And finally after much dedication and resilience, my Skincare routine was set. I was stuck with this lot for a whole year before I was confident enough to try out or add-on other products.
Mostly because I had no intentions of going back to where I came from.
K-beauty skincare touts its 10-step skincare routine. Mine worked wonders with 7 and 7 it shall be for now.
So here it is.
1. COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
2. Thayers Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel Facial Toner with Aloe Vera Formula
3. COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
4. Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream
5. ROHTO Skin Aqua Super Moisture Milk (SPF50 PA ++++)
1. Banila Co Clean it Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm
2. COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
3. Thayers Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel Facial Toner with Aloe Vera Formula
4. COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
5. Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream
6. Mizon Multi-function Formula Snail Repair Eye cream
I occasionally add Sheet Masks or an overnight mask to my routine. But these are my holy grails.
As hard as it was to discipline myself to follow this seemingly tiresome process, it is now a lifestyle I cannot do without.
Let me know what else you would like to hear about Korean skincare in the comments below! 🙂