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Nowadays, skincare is more important than ever. It’s apparent that in times past, not enough was done to protect this vital organ, leading to a variety of serious health concerns. However, there are now so many routines, products, and beauty videos that knowing what to do for your skin is confusing at best. Don’t worry! It is possible to simplify and still have glowing, blemish-free skin.

One of the most popular routines is the Korean beauty routine. It can be very effective, but certain versions of it can include up to fifteen steps! Never fear; it can be whittled down to its essential steps and still make your skin healthy and happy.

So, what are these essential steps that define the Korean skincare routine? What can you cross off the list, and what should you keep? Korea has created some iconic treatments for the face that can improve every concern and address many different needs.

1) The double cleanse. Because there are many impurities that collect on the face, the double cleanse is necessary to truly clean the skin. First, an oil-based cleanser is used. Often, these are thick textured products, meant to be applied to the skin and then wiped away. Try a fragrance-free version for sensitive skin, and avoid ingredients like coconut oil as it can cause a condition called closed comedones, small bumps that linger under the skin.

2) Essence. Generally, this is a lightweight spray or treatment that serves to prep and calm the skin. It is sometimes confused with or even interchangeable with ampoules, but usually, ampoules have a much heavier, more oil-like texture.

3) Ampoules. Ampoules can address a wide variety of skin concerns, such as dullness, redness, spots, and more. Choose one that addresses an important skin issue that is personal to you for maximum results. This step will help even out the complexion, brighten, and combat wrinkles.

4) Masks. Masks come in many forms and also address a myriad of issues. Some may be used to nourish the skin’s acid mantle, a protective layer that contributes to PH balance and keeps bacteria and other antagonists away from the delicate layers beneath. If the acid mantle is compromised, dryness and breakouts are likely.

Still, other masks might address irritation, blackheads, dryness or oiliness, or moisturize overnight or before makeup application. Masks can be purchased in individual packages, or in a larger size jar. The single serving masks are applied by wearing a literal mask, imbued with helpful ingredients, over the face. Masks in larger jars are merely applied as a liquid and then wiped or washed away.

While it might be hard to find the time to indulge in a fifteen step skincare routine, skin still benefits from a more conservative routine that incorporates some Korean skincare elements. Remember to patch test when trying new products, and for sensitive faces, consider products without fragrance or alcohols. In just a few short days, your skin will glow like never before!

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How to Transition Your Closet From Summer to Winter

With winter chills officially in the air, many of us are reaching for clothes that we haven’t seen since spring. Unless you have an enormous closet, you probably need to do some re-organizing around this time, rotating your seasonal clothes into and out of storage. Out come the jackets and scarves, and away go the summer hats and maxi dresses.

Transitioning your closet from summer to winter can be overwhelming, but there are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure that you’re taking good care of all your clothes.

For Clothes You’re Putting Into Storage
  • Clean your clothes before you store them. Wash or dry clean each item one last time before it goes away. If any grime, mildew, stains, or other ickiness is on your clothes now, it’ll be twice as hard to remove after sitting there for several months.
  • Take this time to purge. Take note of the items that you didn’t wear all summer. This is a great opportunity to make a “donate” pile and drive it to the local thrift store.
  • Choose the right containers. Stow your summer clothes in air-tight plastic containers with a lid. Avoid plastic dry cleaner bags, which trap moisture and suffocate your clothes, or cardboard boxes, which attract insects. Vacuum-seal bags work, but will wrinkle your clothes.
  • Pack properly. There’s a “right” way to pack every item. Shirts, dresses, and other flexible items should be rolled up, rather than folded, so they take up less room. For clothes that should stay hanging, use a rolling garment rack. Hats can be placed in a hat box or regular plastic bin; stuff them to maintain the shape and don’t place anything heavy on top.
  • Don’t put everything away. Only store items that are truly limited to one season, like shorts and sandals. Other items, like short-sleeved T-shirts, can be useful all year long.
  • Add a pest-repelling sachet. A sachet full of lavender or cedar will discourage pests and also make your clothes smell great through the winter. Don’t forget to replace it occasionally!
For Clothes You’re Taking Out From Storage
  • Organize as you go. Transitioning a closet can be daunting, and it’s tempting to take shortcuts and just kind of toss everything in. But truthfully, this is the perfect time to organize, since you have to go through each item anyway. Sort similar pieces together – sweaters in one place, jackets in another, and so on. It makes everything much easier later.
  • Inspect your clothes for damage. Did moths get to your sweaters? Are your boots intact? Take a look at each piece as well as the storage containers. Even if there aren’t any holes in your clothes, moths leave behind other evidence, like casings or cocoons.
  • Get rid of musty smells. Depending on your summer storage situation, your clothes may develop a musty smell after a few months despite your best efforts. To get rid of the smell, mist them with a mixture of one part vodka and two parts water. If that fails, consider the dry cleaner.
  • Refresh down coats. To help puffy coats regain their natural, full shape, toss them into the dryer with a few tennis balls or hang them in the bathroom during a hot shower.

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