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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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