In 2018, I’m donating my body to science.
Just kidding. I already ticked that box when I renewed my Driver’s License. But, in addition to improving my French, my other big 2018 Obsession is to take better care of my skin. Step one will be ten steps, or, really, twenty (thousand?) steps a day….
Between now and Valentine’s Day, or, for the next 4 weeks, I’ll be test-driving a Korean 10-Step Skin Care Regimen.
What does a 10-Step Skin Care Regimen look like?
According to all the hot mags, blogs, and vlogs, it includes the following 10 steps, attempted twice daily, applied by hand, unless otherwise noted, preferably whilst wearing a cute headband or turban. Of course, if you’ll notice, it’s not necessarily a ten-step process…it can be as little as six steps, or as many as 12 or 13!
- CLEANSER I, Oil-based: Removes make-up, cleans deep, Can be reserved for Nights [$10-60]
- CLEANSER II, Water-based: Light or Foamy, cleans what’s left, Day and Night [$7-60]
- EXFOLIATOR: Serum, scrub or pad, sloughs dead cells. Can be used before hydrating toner, or replaced by an exfoliating type serum or sheet mask. Can be used Daily, but more often 1-3 Times a Week [$5-150]
- HYDRATING TONER: A few drops hydrate skin, applied by hand or with cotton pads, Day and Night [$15-150 and $2+ pads]
- ESSENCE: a few drops hydrate and help rebalance skin, making it amenable to treatment & nourishment, often made of fermented product, Day and Night [$15-100]
- SERUMS AND OILS: a few drops nourish skin, treat “Problem Areas” with moisture or gentle acid, 1-3 per regimen, or, up to 6 per day, Day and Night, can differ on different days [$5 – $200 each]
- SHEET MASK: Nourishes Skin, Can be used in place of Serums and Oils, Once a Week to Once a Day [$1.50-$15 per]
- EYE CREAM: hydrates, plumps, or whatever it says on the label, Day and Night [$10-200]
- MOISTURIZER: Hydrates, plumps, or whatever it says on the label, Day and Night, Products may differ Day and Night, some Nights a “Sleep Mask” may replace. [$7-250, can be different night and day]
- SPF: Prevents Sun Damage, Day Only [$7-100]
+ HEADBAND, optional, [$1-$35]
So, that’s a total of 10-15+ products to be used in a week, with at least 6 or 7 steps per Day or Night regimen, at a price range, from scratch, of anywhere from $85 to $1250+. (The mind reels!) Of course, you might find you have more of these products on hand, already, than you’d willingly admit….
Am I still intrigued? Since my January theme appears to be to “pile it on,” I’ll say, ABSOLUTELY.
My Proposed Regimen & Products
I’ve tried, as much as possible, to use products that I already own or which I could purchase easily from the drugstore, with amazon prime, or from the budget-friendly local Abnormal Beauty Company/Deciem, makers of The Ordinary line. Prices listed are in Canadian Dollars.
- CLEANSER I, Oil-based: NIGHTS ONLY, Heimish All Clean Balm, Amazon, $32
I’ve never used one of these before, so I am relying on recommendations and ratings for this make-up removing deep cleanser. This balm is a fave of my new fave skincare vlogger, Gothamista.
- CLEANSER II, Water-based, DAY & NIGHT, CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, Well dot ca, $17
I already own and use this cleanser, which I swap out for CeraVe’s even-lighter foaming cleanser in the spring and summer months.
- EXFOLIATOR: 1-3 TIMES A WEEK, DAYS, Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, The Ordinary $8.50
I am not a huge fan of exfoliation, especially in the winter. I bought this toning solution for my daughter. I’ll probably use a few drops a few times a week in the morning. Some of the vitamin C suspensions/serums I already use do a fairly good job of exfoliating on their own.
- HYDRATING TONER: DAY & NIGHT, Pyungkang Yul Mist Toner, Amazon, $15
I’ve only ever tried (and disliked) acidic toners. So, this will be a new experience! This is a universally beloved Barberry Root Based Hydrating Toner. When I ordered this product, it was in stock and shipped immediately. Looks like it’s so popular they need to restock.
- ESSENCE: DAY & NIGHT, Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence, Amazon, $20
I have never heard of nor used an Essence before. Cosrx brands are highly recommended by SokoGlam, the queen of Korean Skincare. I’m going with this particular one because I am a fan of brighteners, particularly in winter.
- SERUMS AND OILS: DAY & NIGHT
Buffet Serum, The Ordinary, $14.80
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil, The Ordinary, $9.90
These are already my favourite new additions to my day! OMG! OMG! New loves!
SERUMS AND OILS: DAY ONLY, VITAMIN C, 1-5 x Week, One of the Following…
Neo Strata Skin Brightener Serum, Shopper’s Drug Mart, $78
Vitamin C Supsension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, The Ordinary, $5.80
I already own the Neostrata, which has a lovely orange scent The Ordinary lacks, but I’ll be interested to see how a $6 product compares to one that’s more than 13 times the price….Now, I know that some people find these Vitamin C formulations rather gritty or that they burn. But, frankly, I love these. I feel they make my skin pearlized and glowy. Update: Do NOT use the Rose Hip Oil and the Skin Brightener/Vitamin C Suspension together, because the oil makes the Vitamin C pill…I used the Buffet before the Vitamin C product, though, and applied my moisturizers afterward, and I had great results! If you’re in to more traditional oils, you might try, instead, Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution, 2%, The Ordinary $12.90.
SERUMS AND OILS: NIGHT ONLY, RETINOL, 3-4 x Week
Granative Retinoid 2% in Squalene, The Ordinary, $9.60
Retinoid treatment will be a new addition to my evening skincare routine. Wish me luck! [Oops, pictured below right is The Ordinary’s 2% Emulsion, which is probably lovely. But, I’ll be using the one in Squalene, because it was recommended by a very radiant woman shopping alongside me and Bea at the very busy Abnormal Beauty Co on Bay Street in Toronto.]
- SHEET MASK: 1-2 x WEEK, Life Brand Hydrating Facial Sheet Hyraluronic Acid and Konjac Mask, Shoppers’ Drug Mart, 3 for $5
I already have a ton of these sheet masks on hand. And, I absolutely love them. I’ll more likely use them during a long bath than during a treatment regimen.
- EYE CREAM: DAY & NIGHT, La Roche-Posay, Redermic C Eye Cream, $44
I already own and adore this product, which I use below my eyes and between my brows. I got it for free with my drugstore loyalty points.
- MOISTURIZERS: DAY & NIGHT,
Vichy Idealia Day Care Moisturizing Cream, $45
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer, Sephora, $19
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, The Ordinary, $5.80
Vichy Ideal Body Replumping Lip Balm, $15
I already own the Vichy and Clinique moisturizers and lip balm. I might swap in The Ordinary product for a slight change of pace. The Vichy Lip Plumping Balm became a staple in my purse and morning kit just before the holidays.
MOISTURIZERS: NIGHT ONLY, 1-3 x WEEK
Lancôme Visionnaire Nuit Beauty Sleep Perfection, Sephora, $102
I received a jar of this luxurious gel for free via my drugstore loyalty points. I’ve had it for over a year, and it is still as lovely as the day I opened it.
- SPF: DAY ONLY, La Roche-Posay, Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60, $29
This is another product I already own (via drugstore points) and have been using for ages. It’s the only sunscreen that doesn’t make my face feel chalky or inflamed.
+ HEADBAND: DAY & NIGHT, Lululemon Free Flow Headband, $9
While I’m a fan of the terry cloth cat ear headbands lots of skincare vloggers use, I’m more of a traditionalist. I received a headband like this one for Christmas a bazillion years ago. It’s rather black-tie, if I do say so, myself.
Here’s the Stash in Real Life
My Face, Before and After
You really want to see what I look like? Okay. Here’s my #nofilter #nomakeup bare face from yesterday, both Before and After my normal skincare routine of CeraVe Cleanser, Vichy Moisturizer, and Vichy Lip Plumper.
I’ll finish the experiment on Valentine’s Day, Ash Wednesday, February 14th, a.k.a. the day before my birthday. This seems like the perfect time to make a decision about the future of this crazy skincare regimen. If I like it, I’ll be even-more ready for fancy birthday date night than I might normally be. And, if I don’t, well, the Ash Wednesday stopping point gives me the opportunity to use my favourite line from the movie, The Trouble with Angels: “Now you have something you hate you can give up for Lent!”