By Vivian Lee
Arsenal to look au naturel
I can’t be bothered with wearing that much makeup most days, but I do invest in a good skin care regimen. I like to use spot-treating serums, high quality moisturizers, and BB cream to address concerns with sun spots. The days of a perfect porcelain complexion are far gone. We covered the basics and importance of a good, simple skin care routine in my last post. Now let’s talk about what comes after that all-important step of cleansing as part of your AM routine. I love a dewy complexion.
Skip toner and essence in the AM
When it comes to Korean skin care, there are a series of steps and products that consist of toner, serum, essence, and ampoule. And that’s before you even put on the main event! Because of the impossibility of me following such an involved regime, I generally skip the toner and essence in the mornings and save for the evenings.
Indulge with an Ampoule
An ampoule is part of the same family of serums and essences. An ampoule is sometimes defined as a “supercharged” serum with higher concentrations of active ingredients designed to target certain skin concerns. If you’re going to use an ampoule, use it before your chosen serum.
Since my concern are dark spots, I like my go-to Skin Food Yuja Water C Whitening Ampoule. Don’t let the term “whitening” worry you. Korean skin care products typically use the term “whitening” to mean “brightening”. Semantics are different here. In other words, you will not turn a ghostly shade of white. The Yuja extract oil in this particular ampoule is touted for its higher concentration of Vitamin C to help with fading dark spots, melasma, and general hyperpigmentation. It’s light and watery to the touch, and feels like nothing on your skin. This ampoule also packs in some niacinamide, a popularized ingredient in K-Beauty products that helps with repairing those fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother texture.
Serum comes after Ampoule
Because I deal with hyperpigmentation, I alternate between a couple different serums. Some mornings I like to use the pricey Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, but the savvier side of me enjoys Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum, or the Soko Glam exclusive (and bestseller) COSRX Triple C Lightening Liquid. One serum will do.
COSRX Triple C Lightening Liquid feels slightly more potent than Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum. It’s a personal preference. If you’re skin is on the more sensitive side, go with Klairs. I’ve personally never had any problems using the Skin Food Yuja Water C Ampoule and following that with another Vitamin C serum like COSRX Triple C Lightening Liquid or Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum.
I could just jump ahead and skip the basic skin moisturizer with a double-duty BB cream, but I love the feel and texture of the EasyDew EX Repair Control Renewal Moisturizer. It’s basically a lightweight moisturizer that works for all skin types and is particularly formulated to deal with sensitive skin. It’s super light and velvety to the touch, so I’m a fan. It is on the pricier side, and definitely not a must-have. This particular brand and line of products contain what’s called medical grade EGF. EGF is apparently a type of protein that is designed to target fine lines by supporting cell regeneration.
Or “Glowy” Moisturizer
If you’re keen on perfecting that dewy honeyed complexion, then take a gander at Son and Park Beauty Filter Cream in Glow. Considered now a cult classic as stated on Soko Glam, you’ll find that it gives a pearlescent sheen to your face. So get that luminous complexion and apparently it has ingredients to help with controlling sebum production.
BB Cream (skip the foundation)
Since I hate wearing foundation or liquid makeup, I just go straight for the multitasking BB cream, which gives you some level of tinted coverage and SPF. At the moment, I’m sporting the Super + Beblesh BB Cream Triple Function (Pinkish Label). Considered one of the famous OG BB creams in Korea, it’s a moisturizing 30 SPF cream that provides light tinted coverage to help even out your skin tone. I like BB Creams because they help with treating blemish-prone skin while masking imperfections. I therefore completely skip foundation altogether. On alternate days, I go with Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream (BB cream, SPF 40 PA++) that comes in a slim tube. I prefer the illuminating vs. matte version for a more natural look. The small tube of Klairs is easy to conceal and carry when traveling or just on the go.
Ampoule-Serum-Moisturizer-BB Cream, and I’d say it’s time to rock n’ roll. I skip the eye creams unless I’m having a particularly tough bleary-eyed morning. After the application of BB cream, I dust on some extra sun screen (in mineral powder form), and I’m generally good to go.
If I’m going out, I’ll take extra steps to line my eyes with liner, fill in the sparse areas of my brows, and dust on some blusher.