Words by Kathlene Masilongan
We all love skincare. Who doesn’t? I mean, yes, we get lazy sometimes and don’t have the energy at the end of the day to follow a thousand steps to pamper our skin, but the good news is that you don’t need to do every single step if you don’t feel like it. On off days I’d cleanse my face, slap on some moisturizer, and sleep. Funnily enough though, on my toughest days, I’d follow my full extensive routine. It’s a form of self-care, after all!
While most of us don’t do the whole 10 steps (I know I don’t), I’m still going to go through each of those steps so that you’ll have options! If you don’t want to put serums and oils on your face, it’s totally fine, but at least you’d know what to do if you did want to. Today, we’re going to divide product recommendations into three categories: BUDGET (under Php500), MID-RANGE (Php500-Php1,000), and LUXE (Php1,000+). It’s good to mix and match to figure out what your skin needs. Just because a product is more expensive doesn’t mean it would work better. Trust me on this!
PS. Not all products are necessarily going to be Korean, although most of them are. It still depends on the quality of the product and its availability. Rest assured, all the products are available locally!
ALSO READ: A Simple Skincare Routine For The Dudes
Step 1: Cleanse
The most important step. After a long day, you’d want to rid your face of the gunk and makeup. One of the best ways to cleanse is with a cleansing oil or cleansing water. Just slather it all over your face or wipe it gently onto your skin with a cotton pad and you’re done. Although your favorite make-up wipes would do just fine, I don’t recommend it personally because it could cause unnecessary friction against your skin and damage it in the long run, and we don’t want that!
BUDGET: Human Nature Gentle Cleansing Oil, Some By Mi Gentle Lip/Eye Cleansing Oil, The Face Shop Bright Cleansing Cream
MID-RANGE: Innisfree Apple Seed Cleansing Oil, Neogen Real Fresh Cleansing Stick, Heimish All Clean Balm
LUXE: Banila Co. Clean It Zero, Dear Klairs Black Deep Cleansing Oil, Laneige Pore Cleansing Oil
Step 2: Cleanse Again
Yes! Again! The secret to Korean skincare is double cleansing. Having a squeaky clean face would not only make sure nothing gets stuck in your pores but it’ll be better prepared for all hydration and correction you’ll be packing on later. The second step is usually a facial cleanser that you typically wash your face with.
Pro tip: if you have dry skin (like me), avoid extra foamy cleansers. A good gentle cleanser is your friend!
BUDGET: It’s Skin Cleansing Foam, Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Foam, Naruko Raw Job’s Tears Foaming Wash
MID-RANGE: CosRx Good Morning Gel Cleanser, Pyunkang Yul Cleansing Foam, Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Foam Wash
LUXE: Laneige White Dew Milky Cleanser, By Wishtrend Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash, Huxley Be Clean Be Moist Cleansing Gel
Step 3: Exfoliate
As a dry skinned ate, this is probably one of the things I went ham with when I first got into skincare because my face would be super soft after. However, I learned that over exfoliating isn’t good in the long run, especially when you’re using physical exfoliators (aka scrubs). I’ve since been using chemical exfoliators such as acids and I know that sounds hella scary, but trust me and trust science! It’s actually a lot gentler than scrub exfoliators. There are still scrubs in this list though, don’t worry!
Remember to only exfoliate once or twice a week!
BUDGET: Skinfood Rice Brightening Scrub Foam, Ra & Gwoori Honeylemon Gel Peeling, Hello Gorgeous Glowing Peel Gel
MID-RANGE: Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel, CosRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
LUXE: Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling, Dear Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish, Pixi Glow Tonic
Step 4: Tone
A lot of people think that toners exist to get rid of the dirt that’s left on your face after cleansing, but if there’s still something on your cotton pad after cleansing it only means that you didn’t cleanse properly! Toners exist to rebalance the pH level of the skin so that everything that you put on it afterward sinks deep into your pores. There are exfoliating toners out there but based on my experience they don’t really do much. Hydrating toners though? Hydrating toners are bomb.
BUDGET: Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner, Secret Key Tea Tree Refresh Calming Toner, Nature Republic Fresh Green Tea 70 Toner
MID-RANGE: Mamonde Rose Water Toner, Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner, CosRX Poreless Power Liquid
LUXE: Dear Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner, Hera White Program Hydrating Water, Sulwhasoo Essential Balancing Water Ex