The New Minimalist 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine: 'Skip-Care'

Photo by ONNE Beauty on Unsplash

Photo by ONNE Beauty on Unsplash

Like most Korean beauty junkies, I couldn't wait to try the 10-step skincare routine when it was all the rage. I bought the oil cleanser, the foaming cleanser, the exfoliator, the toner, the serum, the essence (still don't know what the difference is), the sheet masks, the moisturizer, the eye cream and the sunscreen in hopes of achieving perfect, supple and dewy skin.

I ended up sticking to it for a week before I got lazy and returned to my 3-step clean, tone and moisturize. Most of the products ended up forgotten and expired on my bathroom counter.

The truth is I don't know of a single person who's stuck to it. Like meditation, exercising and journaling, the 10-step routine is something we wish we could do every day. But in reality, we barely have enough time to sleep let alone contemplate what goes first, the serum or the essence.

There is an overall trend towards a simpler life amongst millennials. We're living in tinier spaces, donating our possessions and deciding what is truly important to us and worthy of our attention and time. It's no surprise that our skincare regimens have become simpler too. Korean millennials are trading in the 10-step routine for a simpler one called Skip-Care, which saves them both money and time while still providing the same exact benefits.

"Skip-Care is a skincare method that allows you to identify the essential ingredients for your skin and avoid the use of unnecessary products for a simpler, yet proper, skincare routine." - Representative from Korean brand AmorePacific.

It's literally about skipping products in your skincare routine and replacing them with products that offer more than one benefit. Here are some ways you can get started on becoming a Skip-Care convert.

1. Get A Customized 3-step System to Address All Your Skin Concerns and Needs

photo by Helloava

photo by Helloava

First, figure out what your major skin concerns are. Do you have acne, fine lines or dark circles? Or are you just looking for something to nourish your overly dry skin? Then choose a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer that address those problems. These three products are the foundation of any skincare regimen.

If you have no idea where to begin, services like Helloava can help you out. HelloAva is an artificial intelligence-powered skincare platform, that uses computer algorithms to personally curate a skincare regimen for every user. You fill out a quiz online, which helps you figure out your skin concerns even if you have no idea, and the computer, along with skilled skincare advisors, would curate a personal skincare routine for you. You get to choose what to buy based on their recommendations and the personal skincare advisor is there to answer any questions you have. You can use my code NANCY20 for 20% off your 1st order and free shipping if you do decide to try it out.

2. Choose Products that Do More Than One Thing

photo by sk-ii

photo by sk-ii

"Using more product means more potential irritation." -Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City

You don't need a separate essence or serum if your toner has the necessary ingredients already. Japanese women swear by the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, which not only tones but also moisturizes and provides nutrients and vitamins to create a more radiant appearance.

Sleeping masks are great replacements for your night-time moisturizer. They repair your skin and provide vital ingredients while you sleep. The Laneige Water Bank Sleeping Mask is a favorite of mine.

3. Skip Products You Hate Using but Feel Obligated to

DO YOU SEE ME NOW (Photo by Effie Liu/Very Good Light)

DO YOU SEE ME NOW (Photo by Effie Liu/Very Good Light)

For the longest time, I tried to convince myself I enjoyed sheet masks because it's a part of the 10-step routine and everybody in Asia was using it. I hate how cold and slimy they feel and I get super OCD about how well they fit on my face. I rarely ever use one even though I have about 50 sheet masks sitting in my bathroom drawer right now. If you hate using a certain product don't force yourself to use it only because everybody else is. In true Mari Kondo fashion, use what gives you joy.

My current skincare routine consists of a cleansing oil, a foaming cleanser, a toner, and a day and night moisturizer. That's it. The day moisturizer has SPF, so I don't have to worry about layering a separate sunscreen over everything else. This is what I've learned works for me and a routine I can stick to without going crazy over.

How many steps are in your current skincare routine and what products are you using?