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 regimen.
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 regimen 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 skin-care 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 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.”