We’re proud to announce that Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, who founded Glow Recipe after twenty plus years as marketers and product developers in the US and Korean beauty industries, are our new official K-Beauty columnists! Glow Recipe is renowned for natural, cruelty-free and harsh-free Korean skin care innovations and a stringent curation process that includes product testing on a multi-ethnic test panel. Here is Christine and Sarah’s guide to a complete spring refresh for your skin…
For some reason, this winter has been a never-ending cold and dryness marathon. In addition, with the unhealthy eating and partying from the holidays, your skin might have lost the glow you had at the beginning of the season. The best way to destress and start fresh? Spring cleaning for your skin!
1. Slough Off Dead Skin Cells of Winter
With the hectic holiday season, you might have had to take a bit of a detour from your regular skin care regimen. So start your spring cleaning by exfoliating dead, dulling skin cells to give yourself a purer canvas to work with. The hallmark of a solid K-beauty routine starts with being very gentle with the skin. This applies to every step of the routine, from gentle patting instead of rubbing in products, to avoiding exfoliators with harsh scrubbing ingredients. Korean women often like to rely on gentler powder or chemical exfoliators, like Dr. Oracle The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash, with its water-activated fruit enzyme powder that foams instantly, or Glow Recipe’s latest curation, Wish Formula Squish-and-Bubble Mesh Mask. It’s an innovative mask in a mesh-clad puff, which makes it the easiest, gentlest peel you can do a couple of times a week for glowing, baby-soft skin — just wet the little puff that’s just big enough for a good, comfortable grip, squish to work up a lather, and buff the face for two to three minutes. A little goes a long way, which enables you to use it for the body in your shower. Bonus points for using the puff on the drier areas of your body, such as your elbows and knees. Here is a thirty-second how-to video.
If you want to get your exfoliation on while curled up on the couch, there is a fun and easy alternative! Just swab your face with the giant, easy-to-use cotton swab applicator of Yoon Dermaline Marine Aqua Peeler. Or if you want an easy way to replicate a dermatologist office treatment in Korea, try DoYou 2-Step Milk Peeling Kit — first apply the alpha hydroxyl acid-soy milk complex with the oversized swab, then hunker down for a soothing sheet mask drenched in soy milk, green tea, and rosemary.
2. Get Back To Your Rigorous Cleansing Routine
If you’ve been skimming on your cleansing, that’s okay. It’s not too late to reboot your cleansing routine this spring and reveal clearer, brighter, glowing skin. What we recommend – especially for the night skincare routine – is a double-cleanse.
The double cleanse method is commonplace in Korea, where there is the belief that, because multiple ‘layers’ are needed to achieve a finished day-time look (skincare, make up base, UV protection, BBs or foundations, concealers), more than one step of cleansing is needed to truly remove everything.
The first step requires either a cleansing oil or cleansing water. These products are formulated to remove even the most stubborn oil-based products and eye makeup. Apply to dry, not damp, skin so as to not dilute the efficacy of the cleanser. Another benefit of cleansing oils is that they can be used to gently massage facial pressure points, which can help to improve circulation and relieve puffiness.
Our favorite find is Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Cleansing Oil – a gentle formula packed with antioxidants that is not runny or sticky. Massage in upwards circular motions to cleanse deep into the pores, focusing on any congested areas with smaller circular motions. Emulsify with warm water after massaging and rinse off.
The second step is to clean dirt and debris with a gentle sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) free foaming or gel cleanser. Healthy skin is slightly acidic and SLSs are highly alkaline, which disrupt the balance of the skin. Try Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Creamy Foam Cleanser, packed with aloe vera extract, chrysanthemum extract and green tea extract.
3. Purge with a Mask
Once you’re done clearing away all that drying and dulling debris from your skin’s surface, eliminate deep-down impurities with a mask. Long used as a detoxifier for celebrity facials in Korea, charcoal acts as a magnet of sorts, drawing out dirt and oil and whisking them away; rubberized masking does this in the most effective way. Lindsay’s Charcoal Modeling Rubber Mask offers the best of both worlds — its rubber-like texture vacuums your pores without drying out the skin. This is a simple DIY mask that is a pre-packaged all in one product with a spatula in a single cup. Super easy to use, but also reveals an amazing result – check out the video demo here.
4. Refresh and Treat
Your skin is now clean and ready to absorb some serious skin-loving treatments. We recommend using a good amount of antioxidants to flush out skin-damaging free radicals caused by seemingly everything from UV rays to pollution to stress. Korean women consider using antioxidants akin to taking a multi-vitamin for skin – something that’s a daily must-have to keep up skin health. Start using an ampoule, which is a supercharged version of a serum, meant to speed up results for when skin needs that extra push. Glow Recipe team’s favorite anti-oxidant treatment is LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule, which basically does everything from infusing a massive dose of antioxidants (50% propolis), nourishes the skin, and instantly creates a healthy glow. For ways to ‘glow’ with this glow creator, check out this mini video here.
5. Don’t Neglect Your Neck and Chest
We’ve all waited to reveal a little more skin this spring as we’re getting tired of layering sweaters and turtlenecks. Your neck and chest are often neglected areas when it comes to skincare. The truth is, these are very delicate parts of your body that will showing signs of aging before you know it. The great news is, you don’t necessarily need a dedicated product for each of these areas. We recommend using a drop or two of LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule and pat on to your neck and chest in a gentle, upwards motion for maximum absorption and a little anti-aging massage.