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Skin Tip: Don’t Get Squeaky Clean

Editor’s note: We asked our readers to share the best skincare advice they’ve ever received or learned. Nearly 300 of you responded, and your tips were great. I’m sharing some of them here on The K-Beauty Log (read the first one here). I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me. 

This tip is from Samm C.:

For the longest time, I’d just scrub my face and use a really stripping astringent toner, because I thought that putting moisturizer on my face would cause my oily skin to break out even more than it already did. I finally learned that replenishing the oils your skin has lost, and being gentle with your skin, treating it like a delicate flower rather than, say, a dirty pan, is much better in treating issues, and the path to beautiful skin  I use a several-step skincare routine now, and my skin has never looked or felt better. – Samm C.

Samm, I agree! Treating your skin like a delicate flower as opposed to a dirty pan is great advice. Thank you for sharing. As the largest organ skin works so hard for us, protecting us from pollution, providing a line of defense against infection and disease, letting us sense the world through feeling, and much more. It deserves some serious TLC.

Enjoyed your insight about astringent toners, too. These types of toners usually use ingredients such as alcohol and witch hazel. They are very popular in the western world but can be too drying and even weaken your skin’s barrier function.

Same goes for cleansers: People are left with a “squeaky clean” feeling after using a product that is too alkaline, or drying. Clean is great, but squeaky is bad. It means your skin has been stripped of its natural oils that keep it soft.

It sounds weird, but having some natural oil and using a well-formulated moisturizer product with humectants (that help bind moisture to the skin like glycerin, hyaluronic acid and honey) are good for oily skin — otherwise your skin goes into over drive with oil production as it tries to overcompensate.

Korean toner formulas tend to be more hydrating and provide different kinds of ingredients for different skin types. That’s why you often see them labeled as “skin,” “refreshers” and “softeners.” They still clean effectively, but are often kinder and gentler to your face.

It’s about choosing products (and ingredients) that work for your skin. I’m so thrilled that you’ve found some that work for you, Samm!


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