Trying Korean Skincare for the First Time

June 16, 2018

I am positive that at some point you must have heard about the wonders of Korean skincare or about an "extensive" 10-step Korean skincare routine that involves everything but the kitchen sink being applied to your face. And if either of those things has ever peaked your interest, this may be the post for you. While I don't break down my entire skincare routine in this post, I do share my experience with Korean skincare products thus far.

A while back, I was on the hunt for some sort of facial essence to add to my routine, but an exhausting online search, everything seemed to be a bit richly priced for my liking. I just cannot justify spending close to $100 on a single skincare item that may or may not result in a significant change in the visible appearance of my skin... at this point in my life. But then it dawned on me that this may be the perfect opportunity to give Korean skincare a try.

So I went online, in search of a facial essence that would be suitable for my sensitive skin, and what I was met with was endless options- all of which were fairly priced and had great reviews. I think after 3 days or so of constantly researching every brand and sifting through ingredient lists, I finally settled on an essence. I also picked up an oil cleanser, but we shall get into that later on in the post. 

Behold. The latest, but not yet greatest, addition to my skincare routine- the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. 

I know 1 word alone has already captured your attention and maybe your gag reflex has been triggered, but hang on. You came this far, you can't back out now. 

Yes, this facial essence contains snail mucin, or snail slime, but this key ingredient is actually great for hydrating the skin and improving the look of wrinkles & hyper-pigmentation (mainly acne scarring). I think I will save my in-depth explanation of facial essences (their purpose and how they actually work) for another post, just to keep this one from being too lengthy (which it already kinda is...) so I can stay on topic. 

It has been a few weeks since I started using my Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence (a.m. and p.m.) and so far, so good. I am not someone who currently has any wrinkles or any visible signs of aging, but I still noticed a difference in the texture of the skin on my forehead specifically. My forehead looks much smoother and almost seems to be tighter (in a good way, like I just shot botox into it... except I didn't. It was just snail slime). Obviously if you are vegan, sorry, this is clearly not the product for you, or if you happen to be squeamish when it comes to texture, you may also want to bow out on this one. This is not your typical essence because it is quite viscous, unlike most others which tend to be more of a liquid like regular water or toner would be. I personally do not mind the texture of this essence at all, but I wanted to be sure to share this since it can be such a big part of choosing a product that is applied directly to your face (it can be a deal breaker for many). 

*Application Tip*
I literally apply the product to my hands and make sure to pull my hands apart, AWAY from my face, before applying any essence because it can get quite stringy from the slimy texture. I got some all over my mouth the first time I applied it to my face, which was not the most pleasant of feelings, so I learned what NOT to do reeeeal quick. 

This next item was bought more so out of curiosity than necessity. I did not particularly NEED a new oil cleanser, but I read so many great reviews about this product that I had to give it a try.

I'm sure many of you have probably seen this oil cleanser already if you've ever seen a Korean skincare routine, but incase you have not, Banila Co makes these gorgeous "Clean It Zero" oil cleansers that come in 4 different varieties- Clean It Zero Original (pink tubthe one I purchased), Clean It Zero Nourishing (yellow tub), Clean It Zero Purifying (purple tub) & Clean It Zero Revitalizing (blue tub). 

You just need a little of this soft balm to melt away any makeup or to break down oil and impurities from the surface of the skin. It resembles coconut oil when solidified at room temperature, but is not nearly as hard; with the spatula provided it is so easy to scoop out a bit of the balm, and when massaged into the skin, it turns into an oil. I think the best part is when you remove the cleanser with a bit of water, there is NO oily or greasy residue left behind (which can happen if you use actual oil to cleanse the skin. It can sometimes take forever to get rid of the greasy feeling).

So far, I have been using my Clean It Zero oil cleanser in the evening (as part of my p.m. skincare routine) and I have been loving it! I already know that I'll be purchasing another one once I get through this tub.

*Application Tip*
I keep my container in a drawer in my bathroom, keeping it away from any steam and heat so that it doesn't melt. And I have my spatula right next to it in the drawer so that I don't lose it. Every time I need to use my oil cleanser, I just scoop out a nickel size amount and that is enough to cleanse my entire face. If I need to remove a long-wearing foundation, I simply use a little more of the balm and that really helps to melt down any face and even eye makeup (for mascara I still go back in w/ eye makeup remover). 

I already have my eye on a few more Korean products, so once I get through what I currently have, I think I will go ahead and pick out a few more items (cleansers, masks & exfoliants included...). As usual, I would love to know your recommendations. Have you ever tried any Korean skincare or beauty products? How did you get on with them? What are your favourite Korean skincare brands? I'd love to know!


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