The Indian Version of the 12 step Korean Skin Care Regimen, and Why Indian women should get introduced to K Beauty

The Indian Version of the 12 step Korean Skin Care Regimen, and Why Indian women should get introduced to K Beauty

No, I am not a Korean, neither I have been to Korea or stayed there. I am a regular Indian women who too, just like you damaged my skin by lack of skin care and more make up. Correct me if I am wrong but it isn’t unusual to see Indian women depriving their skin of the care and then at the age of 30, when the wrinkles and all the damages are all visible we spend fortune trying to recover the years of damage. Guilty as charged, I started 5 years early, when I have already damaged my skin through out my college year and my early working days. When I was around 16-17 I followed the Mantra of Cleansing, Toning, Moisturizing and drank tons of water, but as soon as I entered college it all changed to a harsh cleansing foam which could take out all the dirt without any effort. No I didn’t use any moisturizer, neither a night cream. As for Sunscreen, I have a super sensitive skin and I didn’t know the difference between a physical sunscreen and a chemical one up until a few months ago, so after trying out around 20 different sunscreens I gave up. So my entire skin care regimen was based on a harsh face wash, and later (after finishing college, that’s when I actually got the time) got followed up with occasional scrubbing and face packs, which never got summed up by any toner or a cream. To cover up my skin sin I used to get a De-tan facial done once a month, whose effect never lasted more than 4-5 days due to lack of follow up.  So you can actually imagine what my skin condition was.
A few months ago my skin condition got noticed by a colleague, and I tried to recover it by applying  night creams, serums, weekly scrubs, packs and other such things and it turned out that the damage was too severe to recover. And that’s when I got introduced to the 12 step Korean Skin Care Regimen. The very day I read the article (http://fashionista.com/2014/05/12-step-korean-skin-care-regimen ) I followed only 7 steps and I noticed the miracle the very next day. Since then I have been following the regimen and improvising it since all the products are not available in our country, and I must say that I am obsessed, I keep bragging about it to my friends and colleagues and have been considering Alicia Yoon and Charlotte Cho as my Guru 😀

So here’s everything about the Korean regimen and how I improvised it according to the products  available in India. And before I continue with the regimen I should tell you that I always try to eliminate products containing paraben  unless I have no other choice.

Korean women are all about layering products and how gentle you can be on your skin.
The cleansing process itself contains two step

1: Cleansing: First they massage their face gently with an oil based cleanser so that all the make up and dirt comes out easily, then the cotton pad gently takes it all out, rather than ruthlessly rubbing the skin with a cotton pad. You can skip this step at the morning since your skin is already clean from the night before.

2: Foam Cleanser: It removes whatever is left over. I personally love the Cetaphilprescribed by my dermatologist and am not flexible about it.

3: Exfoliator: The difference between a scrubber and an exfoliater is that scrubbers are harsh and can damage your skin. Exfoliators gets rid of the dead skin while scrubbers only renew them. However  Indians women are more about scrubbing than exfoliating. I am no exception. After getting introduced to the SoKo Regimen I tried out the exfoliator from Za range but somehow I liked my scurbbers more than the exfoliator. H2o+ AqualibriamSea Mineral Scrub is one of the best scrub I have ever used. The particles are very small so you don’t have to worry about over scrubbing.

One thing you must keep in mind while scrubbing or exfoliating is that you have to be very very gentle during this step. Always keep in mind that the more harsh you are with your scrubber the more melanin secretion you are causing, which results as a darker skin. And of course, this step should be limited to twice a week, in fact Koreans use an Exfoliator only once a month.

4: Toner/Refresher: A toner balances the pH level of the skin and prepares your skin to accept the bounty you are about to heap on it. To avoid skin drying you must avoid the ones which contain alcohol. Yes, the most celebrated toner here in India is Rose Water, but Dabur Gulabari contains parabens, so again it is a no no for me. Two of the best toners I have used apart from Gulab Jal is Amway Artistry Toner and Oriflame Pure Nature Aloe Vera Toner. 

5: Essence: Let’s be honest, this step is a mystery to me. It is a lighter version of a Serum but I am not aware of any Essence that is available in India. So let’s just skip this thing for now.

6: Serum: Here comes my favorite part of the Regimen. In Korea most of the serum treats single issues so they mix and match and make a cocktail serum,  But we have ‘one can do all’ products.
 The only serum I have used is Neutrogena Fine Fairness Serum. When I first used this product I didn’t notice much visible result, but after I added it to my Korean inspired regimen, the result was crazy ( Before following the regimen I was using it once a day, but later I started using it twice daily). Sometimes I think that it’s just the Serum which is doing the wonder.

7:  Sheet Mask: It provides extra hydration and plumps up your skin. It is like a single serving serum and locks all the goodness in your skin and doesn’t let the serum evaporate. Yes, I have been skipping this step too, but I am considering trying aMaskerAide mask, and maybe I’ll fall in love with the mask concept and add this to my regimen, (it’s too expensive though).

8: Eye Cream: I’ll take it that you are already familiar with this step so I won’t tell much about this product except for giving a shout out to my favorite one.

Epique Intensive Revitalising Eye Formula
It is the only eye cream which fought my stubborn dark circles I had since my boards.

9: Moisturizers/ Sleep Masks/ Night Creams: Some times the Korean Women take it to 2 steps, 1st Moisturizer, then Sleep Mask or a Night Cream. It’s up to you if you want to cover both steps but I talk only Night Cream. And the only paraben free night cream that I used and loved is Kama Ayurveda Rejuvenating and Brightening Night Cream.

I am not saying that I won’t try out a sleep mask, I totally love the concept since it locks in all the goodness but I searched in a lots of sights and phew I haven;t got one without parabens.

10: Sun Care: One of the most important steps which you are already aware of. While choosing a Sunscreen you must go for a physical one, mostly if you have sensitive skin, they never irritates your skin though they are a little tough to blend.

11: Mist: To maintain the dewiness achieved through this 10 step regimen Korean Women use mist periodically. I have been ignoring this step too, but I might buy one provided by FabIndia to figure out if it’s worth it.
12: Maintenance Facials: It is worth noting that Korean Women partake in Weekly Facials, yeah that sounds expensive. I used to get de-tan facials done on a monthly basis, but that was before I shifted to my new apartment and had money in my hand after the 1st week of the month, but now it’s a luxury to me which I can afford only once in a while.
So these are the steps, but trust me it takes less time than you fear it does. You should wait for around 30 secs to 1min after each step and let it absorb. If you are considering trying out this regimen then I’ll suggest go for it, if you cannot  connect to any step then avoid it. And once you get used to the regimen you will find yourself putting on the jeans or doing something else during the 30 second waiting period.
So while I am on my Korean beauty product hunt, do try out the regimen and let us know the results.
Lastly, I must say that I am very eager to try out the actual Korean Products.
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