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k-beauty routine tips

Charlotte Cho’s 3 Best Tips on What to Expect When You Start Your K-beauty Routine

There’s no one better to get K-beauty routine tips from than the master herself, Charlotte Cho! Here, she responds to three questions she often hears when people first start the Korean beauty routine.

If you’re reading this article, bravo! You just made the first step towards getting started with your very first K-beauty routine.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: You’ll soon find out that this routine is really an addicting habit that’s more of a pleasure than a chore. Once you get started, you won’t want to stop—and your skin (and confidence) will be all the better for it!
To make sure you can confidently start your skin care journey, I’ve compiled my top three tips to the most common questions I get when people start the routine. If you’re looking to dive head first into a K-beauty routine, read up! 

Do I start my routine with all 10 steps?

I recommend starting a new routine by introducing products into your routine one by one, especially if you’re sensitive or acne-prone. For those who deal with acne, I suggest looking into our five-step acne routine, which contains the hard-working Skinfood Tea Tree Bubble Cleansing Foam. Slow and steady wins the race!
For example, start with an oil cleanser and if your skin seems to be in a happy state for a few days, add a water-based cleanser to the mix. A few days later with no issues, you’ll be ready to add a toner. Continue this method for the rest of your new skin care products!
Skin care will always be trial and error, and this is true for both newbies and experts.
If you introduce 10 new steps at one time and you break out, it’ll be hard to figure out which product or ingredient is the culprit. I would hate for a single product to cause a breakout or irritation (which happens!), and that experience can keep you from pursuing a skin care routine!

Why does my skin feel and look oilier after starting Korean skin care?

Two things come to mind when I hear this feedback:
First, did you select your products by skin type? If you have oily skin, emollient creams and treatment products may not be right for you and cause even oilier skin. Make sure you get recommendations based on skin type. Don’t know what your skin type is? Check out the article here.
Second, if you’re using the right products for your skin type, are you sure it’s not just a hydration issue? There is a difference between oil and moisture, and your new healthy, glowing skin could be a product of intensely hydrated skin versus oily skin. Korean women stick by the golden rule of using several intensely hydrating treatment products to achieve that glow, and many products in the Korean skin care routine are designed to hydrate and lock in moisture.
If you still prefer the matte look over glowing, then apply a bit of setting powder on top of your skin to tone down the glow. One of my favorite setting powders is the Banila Co. Prime Primer Finish Powder—it absorbs oil so well and leaves skin matte yet still luminous. 

I used the routine for a few weeks and I’m not seeing results! When will I see them?

Skin care is all about consistency. Unlike makeup, your skin won’t achieve results instantaneously. It will take at least several weeks to see changes to occur. I would allow

one to two months

of using the right routine, consecutively both morning and night, to see major changes.
Let’s also make sure we have the same expectations. A slightly brighter skin tone, a smoother skin surface and less acne compared to last month are all wins! Does your makeup look better now that you have smoother skin texture and a healthy dose of hydration? Another win! All of the above may seem like small wins, but they’re huge in the world of skin care. Your journey doesn’t end here, because you’ll tackle your concerns one by one. You’ll continue to see the slight changes turn into big changes, and you’ll be rewarded with compliments from your friends and family (and the occasional cute stranger!).
Finally, keep this in mind: A large part of the Korean skin care philosophy involves prioritizing prevention over turning back the clock. We put on sunscreen daily not because it’ll necessarily make your skin look younger, but it’s to prevent brown spots or fine lines from even occurring in the first place! My absolute favorite sunscreen right now is the My Skin Mentor Dr. G Brightening Up Sun because it’s a tone-up product, meaning it not only protects your skin with SPF42 but it also brightens and evens out skin tone

+ What other K-beauty routine tips would you like me to give? Share them in the comments below!

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