My skincare routine has been changing and evolving over the last few years. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am obsessed with skincare. I am also obsessed with trying all the different teas in the world but that’s a topic for another day.
My skincare backstory.
My journey with skincare can be traced back to my teenage years when I had my first breakout; or as I like to call it “the bane of my existence”. I suffer from cystic acne and it has been my constant companion since my teens. I was one of the many young people under the misconception that it would go away once I become an adult.
Suffice to say, that did not happen. I woke up a couple of years later, a fresh adult, ready to conquer the world and still riddled with acne. Discovering that falsehood made me want to curl up into a ball and cry. Honestly, I may have shed a few tears. Such was the emotional toll acne had on me.
After declaring war on my skin with harsh cleansers, scrubs and an infinite number of drying acne treatments, I realized none of it was working. I was essentially just damaging the largest organ in my body. One pitfall of having troubled skin is trying to throw everything but the kitchen sink at your skin in the hopes of finding that magical cure. What actually ensues is this cycle of acne, harsh treatments and inflammation that leads to even more breakouts. Talk about ‘ouch’.
Introduction to the 10 step Korean skincare routine.
So, I decided to educate myself on how to better take care of my skin and slowly learned how to embrace it; acne, scars and all. I stumbled upon Korean skincare practices and particularly, the Ten-Step Korean Skincare Routine. I watched multiple videos, read a million articles and blogs about it and I was hooked!
The before and after shots particularly sealed the deal for me. I too wanted that plump, smooth, healthy-looking skin that came from gentle skincare practices all while indulging in all those magical elixirs and glow-inducing treatments. After thoroughly educating myself, my healthy skincare journey began and my skin will forever thank me.
I threw away the harsh acne cleansers and alcohol-laden treatments and started using gentle but effective products. My morning and night time skincare routines completely changed.
I began double-cleansing, toning, exfoliating, masking and incorporating gentle actives, essences and serums into my routines. Hydration and moisture became my focus (something that I was completely neglecting before) because while I have oily skin, it’s also very dehydrated. So the 7 Skin Method with a hydrating toner became another step I would do especially at night.
Last but not least, sunscreen became my best friend and it went a long way in helping me deal with my post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIH).
In short, my skin improved by leaps and bounds. I was still breaking out from time to time but it was nothing like before.
However, I soon started becoming overwhelmed with all the skincare that was out there. I wanted to incorporate as many steps into my skincare routines as I could, trying to chase the ever elusive picture-perfect skin. I was essentially doing too much; sensitizing and stressing out my skin instead of giving it what it needs at that time.
My skin needed a break.
So, what did I do? I #pressedreset on my skincare routine.
One of the skincare gurus I avidly watched when starting my skincare journey was Liah Yoo. She gives honest reviews and solid advice on healthy skincare practices as she openly shares her acne journey with us. Her candid approach to skincare products and simple breakdown of ingredients drew me in and I’ve been part of the PALM PALM FAM ever since. To say I was excited when she launched her own skincare line, Krave Beauty, is perhaps a bit of an understatement.
The whole philosophy of pressing reset ties in with the #skincaredietchallenge: cutting down your skincare routine to the basic essentials of cleansing, moisturizing and protecting. This gives a chance for your skin to recover from sensitization due to product overload.
7 steps to press reset.
You’ve read why I pressed reset, now let’s talk about HOW I pressed reset on my skincare routine with these 7 steps:
- I reduced all my skincare steps to the basic essentials of cleansing, toning, treating (only when needed), moisturizing and using sunscreen.
- I stopped using a cleanser in the morning. Or if my skin was super oily, I only used micellar water.
- I changed my PM moisturizer to a more hydrating one to offset the need for more steps using serums and essences.
- I cut back on exfoliating from two to three times a week to only once a week.
- I stopped using actives and treatments everyday unless necessary (this includes my AHAs, BHAs, retinol, niacinamide, ferment filtrates, etc) except vitamin C. However, instead of using vitamin C daily, I paired back to only using it on alternate days.
- I kept a skincare diary to record my progress and any changes I saw in my skin.
- Finally, as Liah advises, I committed to the routine. To see tangible results of any skincare routine or product you have to stick it out.
My current AM and PM routines.
Here’s how my skincare routine looked like:
AM: I usually splash my face with water alone or if I’m particularly oily, cleanse with micellar water then rinse it off. Then, I use a hydrating toner and follow that with a mild vitamin C serum on alternate days. I then apply a light gel moisturizer. I follow that with SPF which I reapply throughout the day.
PM: I double cleanse with an oil cleanser followed by a mild low-pH cleanser. I would mist with some rose water then pat my face generously with a hydrating toner. Then, I would either follow that with a gel moisturizer and apply a light layer of oil; or use a heavy moisturizer and call it a night. Once a week, I would exfoliate with an AHA before moisturizing.
I did this for two months and my skin is healthy and glowing. I now only get the occasional hormonal breakout but no more blackheads, whiteheads or redness due to irritation. Frankly, my skin has never been better.
Update: The brand launched their Oat So Simple Water Cream moisturizer in October and I’m very excited to try it. I’m sure it’ll definitely live up to the standards of the rest of the KraveBeauty line up of products.
I will share my detailed skincare routine soon, including the Krave beauty products review. Meanwhile, I’m curious, have you pressed reset yet? If you have, what has your experience been like?