This is What Happened When I Tried a Korean Beauty Regimen for a Month
Michelle Persad swaps out cleanser and cream for K-Beauty's 8+ product regime.
ICYMI: We've tasked HuffPost Style Editor Michelle Persad to try out everything from Kardashian-esque hair extensions to skipping shampoo to test-driving Beyoncé's 22 Days Vegan program. Now, we've asked her to ditch her minimal beauty routine of only two products and take on the eight step Korean beauty regime for an entire month—here goes nothing, right?
"When it comes to skin care, I like to think of myself as somewhat of a minimalist (read: I'm very lazy). My nightly regimen consists of a cleanser and then a face cream. I never use toner, I stopped using eye cream a year ago, I don't own exfoliator and my foray into face masks ended when I stopped having slumber parties. So when The Coveteur asked me to swap out my skin care routine and use Korean beauty products for a month, I laughed.
Yoon's perfect, glowy skin convinced me to ditch my two-product bedtime routine in exchange for her eight-plus product regimen.
But then I met with Alicia Yoon, founder of Korean beauty e-commerce site Peach and Lily, and her perfect, glowy skin convinced me to ditch my two-product bedtime routine in exchange for her eight-plus product regimen. Yoon, who graduated from Harvard Business School, is a skin care expert who frequently travels to Korea, where she interviews top dermatologists and aestheticians and stays up-to-speed on the latest beauty advancements in Asia. So when she gave me an in-person consultation and suggested products that would be good for my extremely dry skin, I listened. Soon after we met, she sent me a five-page PDF (no joke) explaining all the products, serums and sheet masks I was to use over the next four weeks.
So, it began. For an entire month my morning and night skin care routine went as follows: First, I started with Cremorlab Cleansing Gel Oil to remove my makeup, then I used Shangpree Cleansing Mousse to remove skin impurities, afterwards I applied Be the Skin Botanical Nutrition Power Toner to balance the pH of my skin. I followed up with Cremorlab Aqua Essence Water Fluid to hydrate and repair, and three drops of Mizon Peptide 500 to smooth fine lines. Next, I mixed Be the Skin Botanical Nutrition Power Serum with Aromatica Argan Oil to hydrate with lipids. I moved onto Cremorlab Shadow Off Eye Cream to brighten my under eyes and finally, I finished with another Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Melting Cream to seal in all the other products I had just put on my face. If it was the morning, I would have added an SPF and a couple times a week, I would also pepper in an exfoliator, a sleeping mask, under eye masks, face masks and a black head remover. If you're exhausted just reading that, so was I—at first.
To give you a better sense of how many new products I started using, below are two photos: one shows the products I used before my Korean-skincare conversion (which costs approximately $170 every three months) and the other is a photo of the products Yoon suggested I use (which would cost about $662 every three months).
So, did it work? Am I now evangelical about Korean skin care products? Without sounding like I totally drank the Kool-Aid: yes. My skin is glowing—it's so much softer and smoother than it ever was and it never feels dry or irritated, ever. Will I continue to use eight or more products twice a day? Probably not. I don't think I'll ever go back to my old ways, but I plan on streamlining the routine Yoon gave me to make it more realistic for my busy life (and let's face it, my budget).
Until I started this skin care routine, I would blindly try products that I thought might work for my skin. But having an expert tell me what I needed and why, made me completely rethink how I go about taking care of my face. While Peach and Lily doesn't offer in-person consultations, they do have offer consultations via e-mail from licensed cosmetologists for every skin type.
Long story short, I'm now one of those girls who sheet masks."