We all envy that girl with radiant, dewy, youthful skin. You can achieve this too; it will require you taking time to show your skin some TLC! Start programming yourself to care for your skin so you can reap the rewards later in life. It will be the ultimate investment – the results will be worth it in the long run. I have provided you with a 10 step skincare routine which will ensure you achieve the skin you’ve always dreamt of. Remember, prevention is better than cure – it is never too late to start adding these steps into your daily skincare routine. Step 1. Remove your makeup The ultimate skincare sin would be to sleep with your makeup on. You want to truly remove all your makeup before starting your skincare routine. I suggest either makeup remover wipes or an oil cleanser (or both). Makeup remover wipes: The guide to using wipes is to be gentle, especially around the eyes. Do not tug or pull at the skin. Oil Cleanser: Massage onto dry skin to melt off makeup, then draw out sebum and bacteria using lukewarm water. Oil eliminates impurities without drying out your skin. Step 2. Cleanse your skin (double cleanse) Cleanse again? Yes! Double cleansing is a very popular Korean skincare routine. Proper cleansing is the key to radiant, acne-free complexion. This time use a mild water based, foam or cream cleanser. Massage onto wet skin in soft, circular motions. This will make sure that all the leftover residue and impurities from the previous step are gone, leaving your skin as clean as it could be. Tip: The key to applying any product is to use circular motions. Korean women believe that massaging your face increases circulation, which equals brighter skin. Step 3. Exfoliate You will only need to incorporate this step into your routine about twice a week, once if your skin is sensitive. Exfoliating is crucial to achieve bright, soft, clear skin as it helps slough off dead skin cells. It will also clean out your pores. Focus mainly on the T zones or where blackheads frequent (cheeks, nose, forehead). Step 4. Toner Toning is a popular skincare regime worldwide. It helps remove pollutants and residue from your cleansers, while also restoring your skin’s pH balance. You will find that Korean toners (sometimes called ‘refresheners’) are much gentler than Western toners which are mostly full of harsh alcohol causing the skin to dry out. Toners are suppose to rehydrate the skin, prepping it for the upcoming steps. The best way to apply toner is to dispense onto a cotton pad and gently wipe your face and neck, working outwards. Step 5. Essence Time to get technical. Essences affect your skin on a cellular level, speeding cell turnover rate which results in brighter and smoother skin. This cellular renewal process will also help increase skin’s elasticity and firmness. Possibly the most essential step in Korean skincare routine, essence is a hybrid between toner and serum. Tap the nourishing liquid into your skin and you will instantly notice a difference. Tip: The correct way to apply all products is to tap. This will ensure that your skin is absorbing all the ingredients. Step 6. Ampoule Ampoules, boosters and serums – they are all super concentrated versions of an essence that will help treat your personal skin concerns. It will help target dull skin, large pores, pigmentation, wrinkles as well as addressing potential anti-aging issues such as uneven tone, loss of collagen or elasticity. Tap this skin-perfecter gently into your skin. Step 7. Sheet Mask This is the step you’ve been waiting for! Pull out those infamous Korean sheet masks at least twice a week to apply on your face and chill out for 15 to 20 minutes. On days you are feeling a little lazy, skip right to this step after toning your skin as the masks are already soaked in rich ingredients. The fun is in choosing from the endless variety of masks available for whatever your skin needs. The way sheet masks work is that it forces your skin to absorb all the nutrients and moisture. You will see immediate results which make this routine addictive and necessary. Masks also come in eye patches, lip masks or clay form. Tip: There will be plenty of essence left in the packet. Don’t waste it by throwing it away, instead you can apply the remaining essence on to your neck and arms. Tip2: Applying a sheet mask in the morning before makeup will make a big difference! Step 8. Eye Cream There is a misconception that eye cream is only used by older women. Eye cream is not only for wrinkles, it can be used to prevent fine lines, dark circles or puffiness. The skin around your eyes is extra thin and delicate, be sure to tap gently with 1 or 2 fingers around your entire eye bone. Rubbing, pulling or tugging at the skin will create premature lines. Be generous, letting the delicate skin around your eyes dry out will also lead to fine lines. Step 9. Moisturiser Last but not least! Moisturiser, emulsion, gel, lotion or cream – we are restoring the skin’s hydration and locking in all the beneficial ingredients you have applied previously, instead of letting them evaporate out of your skin. Hydration is the key to dewy, glowing skin. Know your skin type (dry, normal, oily, combination) and purchase a moisturiser that is suitable. You will need to apply this twice a day, morning and night to ensure your skin stays supple and youthful. Massage and tap on to your face and neck with gentle strokes ensuring that it is truly penetrating your skin. Step 10. Night Cream/Sunscreen Night Cream for night routine: By this point your skin is feeling caked in a different way – with skincare. Everything that you have applied onto your face will work its magic while you are recharging overnight. Pat in a ultra-rich night cream to keep your skin hydrated throughout the night or if your skin is feeling extra dry, opt for a sleeping pack and you will wake up with healthy, restored skin. Sunscreen for morning routine: Sunscreen is a daily must. Even during winter, especially in a summer country like Australia. Sun exposure is the fastest way to premature aging skin. Daily SPF or BB cream will ensure that you keep those premature fine lines and dark spots at bay for as long as you can (and skin cancer!). Apply every morning; winter or summer and then reapply throughout the day to protect your skin from harsh UV rays. It may sound like a lot, but once you get used to the routine it should only take 15 to 30 minutes. Follow this skincare routine and you will see a noticeable difference, you won’t believe what your skin has been missing out on. Good skin will give you more confidence and the less need to wear makeup every day. If 10 steps daily sounds like a burden, minimise it and pamper yourself when you have the time. The key is to nurture your skin.