How I Do K-Beauty: Alice’s Skincare Routine
Just like everyone’s skin is unique, the way everyone cares for their skin is also unique. After all, there’s no right or wrong way to do K-beauty; it’s what works for you. In this series, we take a deep dive into the individualized skincare regimens of some K-beauty insiders. Here, Alice Bang, director of brand engagement at W2Beauty, gives us a peek into her 11-step routine.
If you ask Korean native Alice about the necessity of the multi-step skincare regimen Korean women are known for, she’ll answer, “Why not?
“If you really care about something, you want to do as much as you can for it. Imagine taking care of a baby. You’d wash your hands first before you touch the baby. You’d try to find the purest baby products like baby wash, diaper cream, and baby lotion. And before going out, you’d dress the baby in several layers of nice, warm clothing. So just consider treating your skin with the same care that you would a baby.”
Indeed, for Alice, skincare is like clothing — for the face. “Skincare products are the only protection for our facial skin,” she says. “And like wearing several thin pieces of clothing is much warmer than wearing one thick piece of clothing, so should skincare progress from lighter textures to richer textures to allow the skin to absorb each layer step-by-step.”
That being said, Alice isn’t strict about the number of steps one must follow. “You can skip steps depending on how your skin feels,” she says. “When your skin is feeling sensitive, don’t use products that can irritate like a foaming type cleanser or exfoliating peels or scrubs. It’s important to know that our skin condition can change every day.”
For Alice, who has combination and sensitive skin, that means she’ll sometimes truncate her usual 11-step skincare routine, which focuses on hydration but also enlarged pores, hormonal breakouts, and easy flushing of the face. “My essential steps are cleansing milk or balm, cleansing water, toner, face cream, and sunscreen,” she says. “But when I’m really feeling lazy or I want to treat myself, I’ll go to an aesthetic spa for a facial.”
Skin type: Combination & sensitive
Skin issues: Enlarged pores, hormonal breakouts, easy flushing
Skincare steps: 11
Alice’s 11-step skincare routine
1. Eye makeup remover
I use a mascara remover first, then an eye makeup remover with a cotton pad, followed by eye makeup remover on a cotton swab to clean up the residue.
2. Cleansing milk or balm
I apply a cleansing milk or balm on my face and wait about one minute for it to melt my makeup. Then I massage my face to remove all the makeup and rinse with warm water.
3. Cleansing foam
I will use a cleansing foam afterwards if I feel that I really need it. I usually skip the cleansing foam when my skin feels sensitive. When I do use a cleansing foam, I always try to make a thick, foamy lather and then gently massage it on my face using only my third and fourth fingers. I also massage under my chin and along the sides of my nose. I usually massage for the length of a song.
4. Special care/exfoliation
This step may include a pore mask, peeling, or a scrub. When I use a peeling exfoliator, I only apply it on the thick parts of my face, like my nose area, under my chin, and my forehead, never on my cheeks or around the eyes.
5. Cleansing water/toner/mist
Sometimes I will use a cleansing water to make sure I’ve gotten all my makeup off. Otherwise, I’ll use a hydrating toner or facial mist on a cotton pad and gently wipe my face twice.
6. Hydrating toner
Next, I sprinkle a hydrating toner on my palm and pat it on my face gently. I’ll usually do this once or twice, but sometimes up to seven times.
7. Special care/sheet mask
Before a special event, I’ll use a deeply moisturizing gel-type mask, like Leaders Coconut Water Gel Mask or Eclado Gold Essential Mask. For everyday, I use a variety of sheet masks, like Innisfree It’s Real Mask Packs, Moksha Dear Mask Sheets, and Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack.
8. Serum, essence, ampoule
Right now, I’m using CELLNCO Rose Therapy Nutrient Boost Ampoule, Eclado Cell Phyto Anti Wrinkle Serum, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop for its brightening properties, and Benton Fermentation Essence for when my skin is sensitive.
9. Face cream
10. Facial oil
11. Sunscreen (day), sleeping pack (night)
For day, I use different sunscreens depending on my skin condition. For everyday, I like Primera Skin Relief UV Protector, but when my skin feels oily, I reach for Innisfree Daily UV Protection Cream No Sebum. Eclado Natural Perfect Sun Cream is great as a makeup base, and when my skin feels sensitive, I use Missha All Around Safe Block Mild Sun.
What’s your skincare routine? Share in the comments below!