Thursday, August 4, 2016

6 weeks of Korean skin care - or how I learned to focus on me.

I've never been one to worry about every wrinkle and line.  I'm just too busy to obsess like that.  In December I will turn 50 and no amount of expensive cream is going to change that face.  However, I have recently gotten addicted to Korean skin care.  Not because it works for me (it does) but because it's time I set aside just for me.  I'm very very bad about that.

Week 1 vs Week 6

I don't see many articles on it from the perspective of a woman my age.  Yes, it gives young women glowing skin - so does the being young part.  What can it do for a middle aged woman who has not really focused on taking care of her face for the past 5 decades?  A lot actually.

The thing about it is that it takes time.  It seems like a LOT of time, but really it's only 10 - 40 min twice a day.  The variance is that some days I use a mask and that adds 20 - 30 min.  Like the old commercial says - "I'm worth it"

So what's involved.  First step is to clean - twice.  I use

[Missha] M Perfect Bb Deep Cleansing Oil 105ml Korean Cleanser
and Equate Wipe Away the Day Cleansing Balm (Wal-Mart)

for mornings when I feel like I had a sweaty night I will use

 My favorite is the Missha M.  It smells great I like the feel.  I use the Equate one less often, but it also works well.  With both, a little goes a long ways, so the product will last awhile.

The theory behind cleansing with oil is that oil and water don't mix so you want something oil based to draw the excess gunk out of your skin so it can be wiped away.  You start with oil, rub it in for a few seconds then use a hot rag to wipe it off.  I read that you're supposed to hold the rag to your face and then use the other side, but not really wipe.  I don't do that.  I gently wipe it off.  I only really use oil in the evenings because morning faces don't have all that grime built  of from being out and about.  Sometimes if hot flashes take over or I just have a sweaty night, so I use the ELF gel melt.  It's lighter than the oils.

Then you clean again.  This time with a foam.  I use several foam cleansers depending on my skin's needs for the day.

Most mornings I use the Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming face wash.  I have a tendency to get red so I like calming products.  
It's gentle and cleans well.  For the evening I alternate between a couple of them.

It smells so so so good.  I also love that it's a stick so I can travel with it.  You just swipe it on and when you get it wet it foams up nicely.  

Then there is the one from ELF - The Daily Face cleanser

I tried a small bottle of the Equate mild foaming facewash that's a dupe of clinque, but it wasn't my thing so I won't be buying it again.  

Every couple of days I use a small exfoliating pad to rub in my foaming cleanser.  These are cheap and easy to find at any store that sells skin care.

Next it's time for a toner.  I use a few of these as well.  I always start with good old fashioned Witch Hazel.

it works wonders for all sorts of things, but especially for those time of the month (yeah I'm still stuck with that) breakouts.  

Not that my face isn't super clean by this point.  It is, but I just like the way this one makes my skin feel.

I follow that up with Rose Water or Orange Blossom Water.  Both have been used for centuries for skin.  I choose which to use based on how much I am breaking out.  I go for rose when I'm not but for that week of the month when the hormones like to play boss I use the orange blossom.  

Now that my face is super clean it's time to mask or not mask.  I'm a huge fan of sheet masks.  I like the way the feel and how I can sit and relax while I'm using them.  Most of the time anyway, more on that in a bit. 

I've tried several varieties.

The animal ones are fun

The otter one an I don't seem to work so well together.  LOL

I like the stretch lace ones from Pikngo Girl, but I'm not a fan of theirs that are just cotton.  A little flimsier than the others.

I get Malie and Dermal in bulk.  Dermal is my go to.  I know there are fancy one that are probably better, but I use a ton of them.  I do use one most days in at least my evening routine.  Paying $5 a day is out of my budget.

I choose which one based on my needs for the day.  cucumber if my skin is red, vitamin c if it's dull, snail if it needs some tlc and so on.

I found this one at a local store.  The black really freaked my dog out.  It felt more astringent than many of them.  Not as moisturizing but I don't think it was supposed to be.

Sometimes I just want to refresh my eyes - so there are these

I'm a saver so I get what i can out of the masks.  If there is enough left over serum in the packet I will take them and put the mask back when I'm done.  I keep these in the fridge for days when I need something cold and refreshing.  I can always get two uses out of the eye patches.  They can be slippery so as you can see from the pic, they will slide down.  For cotton masks where the serum is used up I still find a way to put them back to work.  I wash them out and let them dry.  Then I soak them in a rose water/witch hazel mix.  After they have soaked for a bit i lay them flat on a pan in the freezer with some wax paper between the two.  Now I have more cold masks for after a workout.  I can usually do this twice for each mask.  The stretch lace ones I save and will use to help old other masks in place. for days when I have to walk around and not just chill.

I also use this for when I need to hold a mask in place. 

It keeps the serum from evaporating but it also holds in the heat so it acts as a mini sauna.  Some days I want that, some days I don't.  Most of the time I like to just sit still for 20-30 min and let the mask do it's thing.

I know 
so much stuff
After toning but before or instead of a sheet mask I will use clay mask (or whatever Hell Pore is) 

I love love love bubble clay.  It's so much fun!!

You put it on as clay and then BOOM!  Your face is covered with bubbles.  It's hydrating and cleansing and FUN.  I have two. Elf and Elizavecca Milky Piggy.  Of the two I find ELF is easier to dispense and maybe the product lasts longer, but I prefer the action of Milky Piggy.

Goes on like a clay

Then you look like you are in the middle of a car wash!  

You let it bubble up and do it's thing for awhile and then you rub it in and wash it off.

For days when I need some deep pore cleaning there is this
Put it on and peel it off.  It's like a liquid pore strip.  Which is I guess what it is.

For more targeted pore cleaning 
Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Black Head 3-step Kit

I've always struggled with blackheads and very large pores on my nose.  As I got past 45 these were much much worse.  this is basically a complicated pore strip.  First you soak with step one, then step 2 is the traditional glue style strip and step 3 is a soothing lotion the closes pores up.

For a more traditional clay I have 
red lips really add to it, don't you think?  It's grayer than the photo suggests.  Lighting in my house kind of sucks.

This one is my teenage daughter's favorite. She uses it a couple of times a week.  I use it once a week or so.

With any of the clay or pore masks it's important not to overuse them.  You'll strip your skin and end up with sore, broken out redness.  Learn from my mistakes grasshopper.  they all came in the mail at once and I was soooooo excited, then it took me a week to get back to normal.

skin is clean, toned and possible masked.  Now we layer serums.  Start with watery ones first.  I actually always start with my eye area.  TAP these in, don't rub in circles like you were cleaning a window.  The tapping helps them be absorbed AND keeps them from flaking.  That's a thing when it builds up instead of going in and it's weird.  Again - learn from my screw ups.

In the morning I use the Puffy eye pen thing from Garnier.  I don't use this at night because sleep is supposed to help with puffy eyes.
Then it's time for eye cream.  I've only tried the elf one, but I like it well enough.

Next up is dark spot corrector - 50 + sun = darker spots and uneven tone.
I've been using one from Equate, but I'll try another when this is gone so I can compare.

Hyaluronic Acid for deeper wrinkles

Plumping serum.  I don't know how well this one works yet, but I love the smell of all NIP+FAB products.

ELF soothing serum
Oil of Olay dupe from CVS

I like both of these products

I don't use all of these every day.  I try to focus on what I feel I need for that moment in time.  Skin is dynamic, my skin care routine should be as well.

for night time
This has become one of my favorites.  I tried it because I had a coupon at CVS.  It's worth noting that CVS has one heck of a skin care section.  Check it out sometime.

Serums are all applied now we moisturize

In the morning I use this one from Aveeno.  It has some sunscreen in it but doesn't weigh my skin down.

In the evening I go with this one from elf

I have tried two of the Equate dupes for Clinque products and neither worked well for my skin.  Other people love them, so it's really what works for you.

The last step for the morning is an IMPORTANT ONE


I know my moisturizer has it in it, so does some of my makeup - but I'm trying to never leave the house without sunscreen.  After moisturizer but before makeup.  After 6 weeks it's become much more of a habit and I don't even think about it anymore.
I use one made for faces from Neutrogena 
so much stuff, but it's really not.  I enjoy the experience.

You have have noticed that my hair changed in some of the pictures.  Over 6 weeks I slowly bleached out all the old brown dye that had built up and for a short time I was blonde.  Just not my color

THIS is my color or I guess I should say colors

I really really love my colored hair

letting it dry so it's not in my face
omg I need coffee
it's 6am
why am I not drinking coffee?

someone turned on the heat today

Here are my comparison pictures.  3 weeks and 6 weeks.  All on the porch with no filter or makeup

It's not a total fix that will make me look 20 again.  I have not been 20 in some time and I don't mind being my age.  I do like looking less tired and stressed though.  Even if my life is still tiring and stressful.  It's not just the products.  It's the time I take for myself to use them.  It's like a tiny gift to myself which is really a gift to my family and business.  I cant' take care of them if I don't take care of me.