BLOG

Erin Sykes

Breaking Down the Korean Skincare Routine for an American Attention Span

The Korean skincare routine is the Holy Grail of beauty rituals; lasting anywhere from 10 to 17 steps, depending on how enthusiastic you are during the serum portion of the regimen. Almost more important than the products, is the order in which you apply them, as it directly affects how well they're absorbed. I’ve tried a variety of methodologies, but being a realist, decided to break it back down to a more manageable 6 steps. The Korean ritual of ‘double cleansing’ is becoming more popular stateside with the first step being removal of stubborn eye, lip, and face makeup with an oil cleanser (e.g. GloTherapeutics Cleansing Oil) followed by a pore freshening foaming cleanser (e.g. Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Foaming Cleanser); both applied with circulation-boosting circular massage. Double-cleansing is the most effective way to wash your face as it first removes oil-based debris (makeup, sunscreen and sebum) completely. Otherwise, the foam cleanser would just push these elements around on the surface of the skin, leaving a residue, preventing future products from fully penetrating.

The next most impactful treatment, also gaining popularity from Asian culture, is the use of an essence lotion (e.g. YonKA HydraNo1 Fluid). This product may look like your typical toner, however, it is packed with powerful anti-antiaging ingredients. Still liquid, but lightly thicker and with a slight slip, this product is best applied when skin is still damp from cleansing and using fingertips (no cotton pads needed). Its light texture will allow for the deepest pore penetration.

Waiting 30 seconds between each product to allow full penetration is essential to magnifying effectiveness. After 30 seconds has passed, apply your targeted serum (waiting 30 seconds), follow with your favorite eye cream (wait 30 seconds) and then follow with moisturizer (with SPF). Note the order of product application moves from thinnest to thickest… i.e. from deepest penetrating to surface protectant.

Soup to nuts, less than 5 minutes… and it’s actually a bit therapeutic. The key is daily prevention, which eliminates any need for expensive facials. Sure, if you’re stumbling home a bit toasty, do yourself a favor and at least wipe off the day’s makeup with some cleansing tissues. Sleeping in your makeup is the universal ultimate skincare sin—whether you're in NYC or Seoul.

SYKESSTYLE TIP OF THE DAY 4

tip4-2

How can probiotic supplements help with acne? Probiotics help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Since skin is the largest organ of the body, its serves as a phenomenal indicator of when our bodies are off-balance. Often, generalized inflammation can manifest itself as acne, psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis. Thus, taking a probiotic may not only help with your digestion, but also help with the clarity of your skin!

Most probiotic supplements include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, two of the most well-studied strains. Most experts say a supplement with at least 20 billion live organisms per dose to be the most effective. Also, try switching supplements every month or two to keep your system fresh.

tip4-1

 

Ultimate Flora 50 Billion Available at Vitamin Shoppe or Whole Foods

NATURAL BEAUTY

arcona

Despite significant effort, there have been few truly luxurious, all-natural skin care lines that successfully combine effectiveness and responsibility. Two shining stars, however, are ARCONA Skin Care, a spa brand from Los Angeles and Intelligent Nutrients, a relatively new line from Horst Rechelbacher, the founder of AVEDA. [lightbox link="http://www.seriousdesigner.com/erinsykes/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/arcona.jpg" thumb="http://www.seriousdesigner.com/erinsykes/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/arcona.jpg" width="180" align="left" title="arcona" frame="true" icon="image"] ARCONA has upgraded all-natural, small-batch formulation to include ultra-high concentrations of antioxidants, plant lipids and extracts, sea vegetables, essential oils, vitamins, and minerals. These actives are then cold-pressed to maintain freshness (just think about the LA juicing craze) and the processed using chirally correct technology in order to minimize allergic reactions and enhance effectiveness at a molecular level. [lightbox link="http://www.seriousdesigner.com/erinsykes/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/arcona2.jpg" thumb="http://www.seriousdesigner.com/erinsykes/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/arcona2.jpg" width="156" align="right" title="arcona2" frame="true" icon="image"] Intelligent Nutrients is a ‘global apothecary’ line offering USDA Certified Organic skin care, hair care, lip care, baby care, pet care, love therapy, and functional foods. All Intelligent Nutrients products are created using 100% renewable energy and are 100% food based, safe, and non-toxic. The core of both the skin care and the functional food line is ‘Intellimune’ antioxidant blend formulated with cold-pressed seed extract to create a super-supplement that fights off free radicals and inflammation, protects health cellular activity and growth, and helps thwart premature aging and disease in the process.