Month of Asian Skincare Review

On January 2 I started using an Asian beauty routine in the morning and at night. In the post, Korean Skincare Routine, I discuss the steps involved and the purpose of each step. I discuss the individual products I used in Products for a Month of Korean Skincare. I used samples from Beauty Beyond Borders to create my routine. Beauty Beyond Borders is a monthly subscription that is $14 per month. To see what comes in these boxes check out Beauty Beyond Borders January 2017.

I’ll start with my morning routine. I washed my face in the shower using  UNT Aqua Nettoyant Perfect Balance Deep Hydrating Cleanser. I used my konjac sponge and the cleanser made lots of foam. I enjoyed this cleanser. It left my face feeling clean and soft. It had an odd sweet-sour scent but I could live with that. The sample tube lasted almost 3 weeks.

Once I finished it I used Benton Honest Cleansing Foam.  This facial cleanser begins as a rich cream, but transforms into a luxurious foam by lathering with water. It cuts through grime and pollution to leave skin soft and moisturized with conditioning botanical extracts.Best for normal to oily skin types. I was afraid that this might be too drying for my skin but it was the only other cleanser I had. I actually liked this too. It was a much lighter cleanser than the UNT. It did not leave my face feeling dry at all.I think it may have dried my neck out though.

I exfoliated 2-3 mornings per week using Freeman Key Lime Face Scrub. Regular exfoliation is part of the k-beauty routine. Cleansing is important because a clean face is better able to absorb all the products that follow.

When I got out of the shower I applied Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum. This was my active ingredient for the morning. I applied it first because I didn’t want anything blocking its effectiveness.

A toner balances the pH so that the other products will be more effective. In the morning I don’t have a lot of time so I used a product that combined toner with essence. Essence provides extra hydration and that is a key feature of k-beauty routines. I used Wei Five Sacred Grains Rapid Glow Liquid Milk. This did soften my face some but it also left it with a tacky feel that took a while to go away.

I followed this with my moisturizer, Welcos Kwailnara Aloe Vera Moisture Real Soothing Gel. This was pretty much pure aloe vera gel and was a light moisturizer. I don’t like a heavy moisturizer under my makeup. This one worked well with my sunscreen and my foundation but would not be heavy enough in really cold, dry weather.

No k-beauty morning routine would be complete without sunscreen. For this month I used 3W Clinic Intensive UV Sunblock Cream SPF 50 PA+++. I enjoyed this sunscreen. It went on light and non-greasy. It dried down to a semi-matte finish and foundation looked good over it.

The nighttime routine begins with a double cleanse. You remove your makeup with an oil based product before using your cleanser. I started out with Heimish All Clean Balm and really liked it. It was a soft solid that was like coconut oil and it melted the makeup wonderfully. It was a fairly small sample that lasted a bit over 2 weeks. I finished up my month with Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Oil. I have used this before and it works well. It rinses so clean, with no oily residue.

Once I have totally cleansed my face I apply my nighttime active. I have been using tretinoin, generic for Retin A, for almost a year now. It needs time to be absorbed into the skin so I wait 1-2 hours before continuing with the other steps.

For my nighttime routine,  I had several products from Etude House’s Honey Cera line. My toner was Etude House Honey Cera Toner. This was a thin, milky looking toner. It absorbed pretty quickly into my skin. My essence was Hada Labo Anti-Aging Hydrator and it was a thicker, serum-like product. It was slippery feeling but did absorb easily.

Serums, ampoules, and boosters are the step that comes after essence. These are the products that target specific concerns – anti aging, acne, dark spots, brightening, etc. I used a serum and had several packets from V10 Plus Serum. I used the Vitamin A serum, the Collagen serum, and the Stem Cell serum. They were thin serums that were absorbed almost immediately.

Emulsions provide extra hydration before moisturizers. The emulsion was my favorite product that I used this month. Etude House Honey Cera Emulsion is a wonderful product. It is a pale gold sticky substance. It melts into the skin as soon as you apply it and leaves it feeling super smooth. This is the one product that I will probably purchase in a full size.

I finished up my night with  Etude House Honey Cera Cream and Etude House Honey Cera Priming Eye Serum. The Honey Cera Cream looked like beeswax. It came out in little chunks that melted on contact. It did feel very moisturizing and made my skin feel wonderful. The eye cream was just ok. I use eye creams religiously but never really see much difference.

Three times per week I used a mask. I used mainly sheet masks since they are a staple in a k-beauty skincare. I  used pur~lisse Blue Lotus Seed 5-in-1 mud mask + exfoliant which came in Ipsy Bag January 2017. It is a decent mask. I also used the e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask. Bubble masks are an Asian skincare product. I have tried a sample from my Beauty Beyond Borders of a bubble mask and loved it. They are such fun!

So, I have talked about the products I used and now I will discuss what I thought of the routine. K-beauty routines are an investment in time. All the steps take time. Lots and lots of time! I wasn’t really prepared for that piece of it. That is an issue with me. I found myself dreading having to go up and layer all the steps on each night. In fact, I skipped the steps after cleansing twice during the month. It is almost unheard of for me to skip my nighttime routine so that says something.

On the positive side, my face did feel really soft and smooth in the morning. At night it tended to look very shiny but it all absorbed inti my skin overnight. I think I would have felt like it was more worthwhile if my skin was really dry. My skin is normal with a tendency to shine if it gets warm.

I will probably try this month of Asian skincare again in the future. Possibly in the fall. I think it would be too much for my skin in the spring and summer. It is just too many layers on my face. I think it might make me an oily mess in the summer.

The bottom line is that I did not see any improvement in my skin to justify all the extra steps involved. My skin felt just as soft and smooth as when I was doing my usual  A.M. Skincare Routine and P.M. Skincare Routine. I am looking forward to getting back to all that, to be honest.

Do you use an Asian skincare routine? Does it work for you? Have you incorporated any Asian skincare products into your routine? Any recommendations for me?

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