In this post you will find my night Korean beauty routine:
- Step 1 & Step 2: Double cleansing
- Step 3: Essence-Toner
- Step 4: Hydrating lotion
- Step 5: Eye cream – Snail Repair Eye Cream
- Step 6: Moisturizing level 1
- Step 7: Moisturizing level 2
- Step 8: Sleeping mask (optional)
- Bonus step: Essential mist
When friends discover for the first time my skincare collection – they are like “whoa what is THIS?” to which I like to reply “my magic potions”. Since I discovered Korean cosmetics, something like two years ago, and especially since I realised the importance of having a regular routine (yep, I read somewhere perseverance is key, and now I agree!) every morning and every evening I perform something like a beauty ritual. I admit, on evenings when I come back tired, I just put on my face one product after the other without giving it too much thought. But usually, I enjoy each and every step of my skincare and I can tell you that my skin enjoys it as well! I am totally a beauty product junkie, I meticulously read all the instructions, skincare benefits and ingredients (this part is sometimes tricky with Asian cosmetics).
This blog post is on my night beauty routine, hoping it may help some of you to create your own routine!
You have probably already heard, that a Korean beauty routine is all about layering. Each step of the routine has its own function and benefits. Your skin has many different needs, some may seem contradictory like for instance a dehydrated yet greasy skin, so it is very hard for a single product to meet all these needs! When you create your routine think about all the things you would like to address – ageing skin, lack of moisture, dull skin, acne? A well designed routine can answer all these issues! Special attention needs to be given to the specific order of products. For a good layering you need to first clean, then prepare the skin, and finally moisturise and treat. It is safe to assume that you should go from the most ‘watery’ products – towards the more creamy and heavy ones. I am an avid advocate of moisturising, thus a lot of the skincare I use can be used whether you are young or mature skin.
So, without further due let’s jump into the fun stuff – the products I currently use.
Step 1 & Step 2: Double cleansing!
For double cleansing first I use an oil-based cleanser to remove most of the make-up and dirt and then I follow with a water-based cleanser. I prefer oil cleanser that are in the form of a balm like the SU:M37 melting cleansing balm, they are easier to use, more enjoyable (they form a nice little foam!) and they definitely create less of a mess in your bathroom! Then I use a water-base cleanser that finishes the job by removing the remaining dirt (and the rest of the previous cleanser). For that step I really alternate between different products, currently I use the SU:ME37 miracle rose cleansing stick. This stick is amazing! It cleanse well, smells amazing, is super gentle and so easy to use! Additionally when I am feeling fancy (usually when I play diva in my bathtub) I use a gentle face peeling such as the be the skin non-stimulus face polisher. The ‘be the skin polisher’ is a bit of struggle because it works best on dry and clean skin (which in practical terms means you need to first wash your face then dry it, obviously a bit troublesome when you are wet in the bathtub) but I really like how it is super gentle and still does a great job.
You will immediately notice that I have a (slight) bias towards the brand SU:M37, this is simply because I totally love this brand! For some reason, I am convinced that fermentation in cosmetics can do wonders! I have never been disappointed with any of their products, and I would probably keep repurchasing them if they were easily available in the US at a lower price.
Where to find it?
- SU:M37 melting cleansing balm (W2Beauty)
- SU:ME37 miracle rose cleansing stick (W2Beauty)
- Be the skin non-stimulus face polisher (Peach & Lily)
Step 3: Essence Toner Bitgoa Hue
I came across this product a few months ago while I was looking for inspiration. Recently I am very much into “essences”, and I am even tempted to layer one essence on top of the other – which most probably doesn’t follow international best practices! When looking for this product I was in the mood to indulge myself with a fancy product. And taaaaaadaaaam I found the Bitgoa Hue Essence Toner from Shangpree. I use it just after double cleaning, with a cotton pad (but I guess you could also apply it directly with your fingers!). This product is again about fermentation of seven natural fermented extracts from lotus, soybean, pomegranate, rice, pumpkin, milk, and rye, plus ginseng root! It has a slightly milky/watery consistency and is very gentle on my skin. So far it feels as a good “prep” product just after cleansing, and I feel it also calms down my skin.
Where to find it?
- Bitgoa Hue Essence Toner (Peach & Lily)
Step 4: Rohto Hadalabo Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (Moist) or Waterest Lasting Water oil Goodall
The Rohto Hadalabo Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion is my little infidelity to Korean skincare, as it comes from Japan. I was doubtful for quite some time about its usefulness despite its glorious prescence in virtually all (or most) beauty blogs. Finally I decided to give it a try!
It arrives in a Japanese packaging and almost everything on it is written in Japanese, which was a hard one for me as I love reading and rereading all the indications and ingredients from the bottles. This product is made of hyaluronic acid which is supposedly one of the best skincare ingredients out there. The consistency of this “watery lotion” is a bit tricky to put on your face, I usually just use my fingers and try to gently tap it into the skin. For me, it takes I would say 2-3 min for the product to really sink in (otherwise it’s really hard to put a cream on top as it as leaves at first a slightly watery film on your face). The lotion has no specific smell, so it’s definitely a refreshing choice if you use a lot of products. The best thing about this product is of course that it works! I have a lot of redness and dryness around my nose and mouth, and since I am using this product the condition of my skin improved a lot. The same product also exists in the form of sheet masks – if you simply want to give it a try without committing to the whole bottle this can be a good choice!
As an alternative I like to use the Waterest Lasting Water oil from Goodal (which I also use in my morning routine). It is a decent product, and a good introduction into “fermented” cosmetics. Goodal is a reliable brand that specialises in fermented ingredients. Its products are paraben, synthetic fragrance, synthetic dye, mineral oil, SLS, alcohol and Phenoxyethanol free – so it’s a good option if you try to go more ‘natural’ in your skincare.
Where to find it?:
- Rohto Hadalabo Gokujyn Hyaluronic Lotion (Amazon link)
- Waterest Lasting Water oil (I got it in Urban Outifitters but at the time of writing it appears sold out – so I am not including the link but I am sure it will come back!)
Step 5: Eye cream – Multi Function Formula Snail Repair Eye Cream from Mizon
For the eye cream I tend to be a bit picky. First, I have very sensitive eyes, so many products simply make me cry and irritate my eyes. This applies to make up removal products, tonics and of course eye creams. Second, I start to get concerned by the appearance of tiny lines (em… yes wrinkles…) under my eyes. Your under eye area is the most sensitive and delicate area on your face, so it is crucial to find a good and yet still gentle product. The snail repair eye cream is a safe choice: it is very gentle, deliciously creamy and effective! It is part of the whole Korean “snail” hype – which half intrigues and half scares me (like honestly – how do they get this snail extract thing? yeaaaaakk better not dig too much into it). This Mizon cream, is a bit too heavy for a morning routine so I apply it mainly at night. I usually have very pronounced dark under eye circle, and I find that this product makes them somehow less visible. Smell wise – this Mizon cream has a very “creamy smell”, like an old fashion good old cream that your mum or grandma was using, and at least for me, it is a very comforting and relaxing smell.
Where to find it?
- Multi Function Formula Snail Repair Eye Cream from Mizon (Peach & Lily)
Step 6: Moisturizing level 1 – either SU:M37 Water-full rebalancing Gel lotion or Sea Daffodil Aqua Gel Lotion from Aromatica
Just like I do double-cleansing, I have found benefits for my skin doing what I call double moisturising. I superpose two types of moisturiser at night, first a light gel lotion type of moisturiser and then a more creamy heavy moisturiser. Currently for this 1st moisturising step I use either SU:M37 Water-full rebalancing Gel lotion or Sea Daffodil Aqua Gel Lotion from Aromatica. I am kind of bipolar when it comes to natural, kind of organic products. I have moments when I am totally into them, reading all the ingredients lists scrupulously and choosing only the purest of the pure. And then other days, when I am tempted by chemical progress, and I tell myself that all this intense scientific research can’t go to waste so I shouldn’t discriminate less ‘natural’ products. Well, I bought the Sea Daffodil gel lotion, during one of my ‘organic-natural episodes’ and I totally didn’t regret my choice later. Aromatica products have all kind of natural certifications, including the EWG’s Skindeep Champion Status which is given to toxin-free products! The Sea Daffodil gel had a light consistence, a very gentle fresh smell and the best thing is that it just sinks into skin instantly – thus it is perfect if you want to put another moisturiser on top of it. This product definitely spiked up my interest in the Aromatica brand that I can’t wait to discover more! As for the SU:M37 gel… well it’s a good product of course, but for some reason it doesn’t make me too excited, and I probably won’t purchase it again.
Where to find it?
- Sea Daffodil Aqua Gel Lotion from Aromatica (Peach & Lily)
- Su:m37 Water-full rebalancing Gel lotion (Sokoglam)
Step 7: Moisturising level 2 – SU:M37 Water-full Timeless moisturizing Cream
The SU:M37 Water-full Timeless moisturising Cream has a very classic creamy consistency, that is a bit on the heavy side, and is perfect for a mini facial massage. It has a fresh, yet not overwhelming smell, and is well absorbed by the skin. What I also love about this product, it is its stylish and super practical packaging! I am a person that believes in keeping your cream pots as germ-free and clean as possible, and I love how Korean creams always come with a little ‘spatula’ to dig out the cream. It’s just that I always loose them! Well, no more – because the SU:M37 cream’s spatula has a little magnet that makes it stick to the pot (so smart!) and gives it a look of highly luxurious precious cream (yes I admit to expose it in my bathroom, like an art piece, when inviting people….). And of course, as all SU:M37 products, it really works! It is one of the best moisturisers so far, and I will definitely purchase it again.
Where to find it?
- SU:M37 Water-full Timeless moisturising Cream (Sokoglam)
Step 8: Sleeping mask (optional) – Water Sleeping Pack – EX from Laneige
Finally the last step! The ‘sleeping mask’, I currently use the very popular Water Sleeping Pack – EX from Laneige. Putting a sleeping mask as a last step of your routine is really a nice finishing touch for your routine but it calls for extra dedication and patience. The Laneige mask comes in a rather generous pot (80 ml) and has a super fresh smell. It looks a bit blue inside the pot – but no worries, it has a clear transparent gel texture once applied. I usually use this ‘sleeping mask’ when I have a bit of extra time before really going to bed, if I want to watch or read something before sleeping for instance. This last cream takes indeed a bit of time to sink into the skin, and if you sleep on your belly (like me) it is a total nightmare as the cream will go all over the pillow. So yeah – you apply it, and then… you wait. But hey! it’s totally worth it, and your skin will be grateful for this extra love in the morning.
In this picture I also included a sheet mask, the Glacier Water from Skinfood – I usually use this type of product rather at the beginning of my routine and just after cleansing. I try to use a sheet mask at least once per weak so I use a lot of different types! (You can find posts about sheet masks I use on the blog as well).
Where to find it?
Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX 80ml/2.6oz – (ebay)
Bonus step – Cremorlab Hydro Plus snow falls essential mist
As a finishing touch I love to apply a bit of facial mist in the evening (and the morning, and during the day as well!) because it just gives you the most relaxing heavenly feeling! And the Cremorlab facial mist smells A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It is a great introduction to a good night rest! A nice, an slightly cheaper alternative is the The Face Shop Arsainte Eco Therapy Essential Mist. It doesn’t have such a bewitching smell as the one from Cremorlab (and I would even say it does’ really smell anything at all) but it is very refreshing and calms my skin.
Where to find it?
- Cremorlab Hydro Plus snow falls essential mist (Peach & Lily)
- The Face Shop Arsainte Eco Therapy Essential Mist (Amazon)
Voila, that would be all for my current night-time skincare routine! If you have some recommendations please share them with me in the comments! Thank you!
(PS note – the included links in this post are not sponsored and I won’t get any financial benefit from them – I just added them for your convenience)