Change is said to be coming, but in case it hasn’t, well, bring the change yourself. If you’re like me, who recently swore by the virtues of Asian skincare, you’d know that adopting its philosophy doesn’t mean simply hoarding Nature Republic masks and samples from Laneige.
Now that we’re ushering in a new year, pick up these four habits to complement your routine. I’ve learned this the hard way: Products work only when you practice these frequently.
The double cleanse
You’ve heard it before. The double cleanse, a necessary step that washes away a bad combo of surface oil and deep-seated grime, is a method you should adopt religiously, and not only on occasion.
Asian skincare—at least Korean and Japanese—is rooted in the belief that half of our skin’s problems can be solved by proper cleansing. Add an oil-based cleanser like Banila Co. Clean It Zero Cleansing Balms to pick up the sebum and makeup on your skin, while employing a gentle, water-based wash like the Aromatic Sea Daffodil Cleansing Mousse to get rid of everything else but your natural lipids. Not only do these guarantee a clean face, they prep the skin for better absorption of serums and creams.
In 2017, it’s time to stop rushing through our skincare routine and start embracing slow facial massages.
Asian skincare places as much emphasis on the manner of application as the products we patronize. Start by warming your hand with a moisturizer-and-essence mix (I suggest the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum with Dewytree Ultra Vitalizing Snail Cream) and pat on the skin firmly, covering each area.
Applying pressure, according to Koreans, helps the skin better absorb the product. With continued practice, massaging areas like our necks and cheeks with our fists is supposed to help flush toxins out and slim the face.
Our skin is a big enough crib for germs to inhabit, but when bacteria start infiltrating the very products we turn to, it’s a problem we can’t just ignore. This happens when we double-dip into our tubs and jars of creams.
The compact, moist environments of our products are the perfect breeding ground for mold, yeast and bad bacteria to thrive. To avoid this, scoop the amount of product you need with a clean spatula like those that come with the Rosette Ceramide Gel, and make sure to wash with each use.
Layer and wait
For those newly converted by acids, wait times are as crucial as applying sunscreen the morning after. Chemical exfoliates like beta hydroxy and alpha hydroxy acids are dependent on proper pH for them to work best.
The element pH measures how acidic a substance is compared to distilled water, and is important to the skin. A healthy pH of 4.0 to 4.7 keeps our skin soft, supple and stable. Waiting 20-30 minutes between acids (which often carry a pH a little lower than 4) and our next skincare product (pH higher than 4) is a must to avoid canceling out their functions. Only then can you layer properly, from thinnest product to thickest. —CONTRIBUTED