Skincare Challenge: A Complete K-Beauty Routine Using Just Three Products

Skincare trends may come and go but it’s looking like K-beauty is forever. Steadily changing skincare regimens all over the world (beauty goods 카지노사이트 are now one of South Korea’s largest exports), the K-beauty takeover is one that wouldn’t be complete without the nitty gritty that sets the routine apart from all others: the fascinating, meticulous act of layering skincare products.

Clear, lit-from-within “glass” skin” by way of the multi-step skincare routine is the be-all and end-all in the world of K-beauty. The least complicated of which rounds up to five steps (this is basic by Korean beauty standards), while more elaborate routines can involve up to 14. That’s a lot of product, a lot of time, a lot of money.

The Real Hang-up with the Multi-Step Routine

What any beauty aficionado who has subscribed to this beauty routine for a long while will tell you is that the 14 steps are not absolutely essential. In my experience switching to Korean skincare, I did, and foolishly, permit myself to satisfy my curiosity. I dove headfirst into the 14-step bonanza everyone raved about. What I learned, though, was that my approach was all wrong: I didn’t take nearly as much time to learn about what my skin needs as I did obsess over the steps and products themselves.

“Honestly, the 10-step Korean skin-care routine is not a real thing. I’m not sure who came up with that marketing-friendly coined term. I grew up in Korea, and from a Korean person’s perspective, it’s a little bit funny. Korean women don’t think, ‘Oh, I have to do my 10-step regimen.’ Instead, what they think is that flawless, radiant skin that is very healthy is a sign of true beauty,” Alicia Yoon, founder of Peach & Lily and one of the K-beauty girls I avidly follow, told The Coveteur. “It goes back historically for centuries, where the noble class never went outside in the sun and had porcelain-like skin—healthy skin. I think it boils down first and foremost to achieving healthy skin from the inside out. It’s not about symptomatically getting rid of acne or fine lines, it’s about how your skin health is really doing—your skin’s inner environment.”

The Power of Three

Then came a new buzzy skincare line that media outlets were quick to pick up. A K-beauty brand switching up the skincare game not by adding something, but—shocker—rostering things down? Could it be that it’s possible to further simplify the multi-step routine? Condense it to just three steps? With just three products? What a promising proposition.

The line in question is Bare Essentials. As the name suggests, the brand focuses on, well, the bare essentials: supercharging the basics so beauty guys and girls don’t have to pile on any more product.

With countless variations of the same 10-step Korean skincare routine, this three-step rendition is a breath of fresh air. It debunks myths that the more steps involved, the more astounding the results and improvements on the skin.

While it may have garnered words of praise (with a 10,000-person waiting list on its launch, to boot) and turned naysayers into believers, I wanted to see what the fuss was about for myself. It may have taken me a little over a year to get the multi-step skincare routine just right, but the prospect of further condensing my routine did excite me. So, for a month, I abandoned the beloved eight-step routine I religiously followed and took Bare Essentials for a test drive.

RELATED: Face Off: The Lowdown on K-Beauty Versus J-Beauty

The byproduct of taking on an elaborate skincare routine is eventually believing that great skin is something you have to work for. It was strange seeing just three products on my beauty counter for a change. Now a breakdown of the new, shorter but improved regimen:

Step 1: Contour Cleanser

Claim to fame: “This cleanser is densely filled with microcapsules that burst upon contact with water to gently cleanse, exfoliate and detoxify skin. The Contour Cleanser reduces bloating and swelling for a defined, enviably slim face shape.”

The steps it replaces: The double cleanse and exfoliation

The experience: A little goes a long way, which makes this economical. At just P300 apiece, where a pea-sized amount is enough per application, this makes for a smart beauty investment. On to the application: It’s easy to work into the skin, uncomplicated and does the job. I’m reluctant to lather on anything with microbeads, but the exfoliant in this cleanser is gentle and non-irritating (the cooling effect is a great bonus). My face feels clean, supple and smooth afterwards.

Step 2: Primer Water

Claim to fame: “The Primer Water contains patented dewdrop technology (Macro Fluidic Dispersion technology) that gently fills the gaps between pores and allows hydration to penetrate deep within the layers of the skin.”

What it does: Deeply moisturizes and enhances the skin’s natural glow

The steps it replaces: Toner, beauty water/essence and primer

The experience: Multi-step skincare routines take anywhere between 15 and 40 minutes given proper intervals are needed for the skin to absorb the good stuff from each step. This lightweight product definitely speeds up the process, so it’s perfect for people on the go. It’s easy to tell that it’s heavy-duty but fast-acting. A couple of dabs on a cotton round and application using upward motions are all it takes. With prolonged use, this helps achieve the “glass skin” effect.

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