My mother used to tell me that if it was in a bottle, I would buy it. Admittedly, I am a product junkie but a discerning one. I fall in and out of love with products, but there are some that are my tried and true. My current routine is a mix some old French pharmacy favorites as well of a few new obsessions, particularly from the Korean beauty market.
Korean skincare has become popular because it’s not just about the products or makeup, but caring for your skin first. You have only one face, so why not protect for the long haul. Korean beauty products incorporate innovative formulas and well-researched ingredients. They are also often more affordable than department store prices, which makes them a great buy. My go-to place for Korean skincare is Sokoglam, but there are a few other retailers that offer the products as well.
I have listed a lot of products, but my routine is fairly quick. I don’t use every product morning and night or even daily, but these are my favorites
The first thing I do is wash my face. In the morning it helps wake your skin up and at night it is crucial for cleaning away the day. Be diligent about face washing.
I have two favorite cleansers. The first is the Bioderma Makeup Removing Micelle Solution. I have been using this for years, and it never goes out of my rotation. When I’m in Paris, I stock up on this at a French pharmacy. I probably have about five bottles of this in my personal “back stock”. It’s a non-rinse formula of micelles that help to rebuild the skin’s protective barrier. It’s gentle on sensitive skin, but excellent at removing make-up and will help clear up any irritated skin.
My other favorite is the Filorga Foam Cleanser. This is another cleanser that is perfect for removing make-up and is enriched with hyaluronic acid, a great moisturizer that will fight the signs of aging. Don’t rush this process. Apply the cleanser with your fingertips in a circular motion, taking the time to give yourself a mini facial massage which, in addition to cleaning your face, stimulates circulation. I find that Filogra Foaming Cleanser leaves my face feeling very clean, but not dry. I have sensitive skin and have found that using an oil based or cream cleanser leaves me feeling like I have an invisible layer of product on my face after washing.
After cleansing your face, it’s important to apply any follow-up products while your face is still a bit damp. Your skin is more permeable when it is damp. Also, don’t forget about your neck, it needs love too.
Nannie Inez Hydrating Rose Toner, Our rose toner is ideal for balancing ph after cleansing. The formula is composed of rose hydrosol as well as rose and frankincense essential oils, which have wonderful anti-aging properties. The formula is in a spray bottle, but I prefer to use the toner on a cotton pad after I wash my face. It not only tones but also removes any final traces of daily gunk. When using the toner to hydrate and refresh during the day, I use the spray.
After the toner, I use Time Revolution First Treatment Essence. This essence contains 80% Fermented Yeast Concentrate which helps repair damage and Niacinamide, a Vitamin B3 component, that protects and improves skin evenness and texture.
After cleansing and using a toner, I apply a pure Vitamin C serum from Klairs. I put just a few drops on my fingertips and then spread evenly over my face. I love the freshness that the serum provides. The antioxidants in the Vitamin C serum act as a skin brightener and an anti-age protectant.
SPF is the final daytime step and one that absolutely cannot be missed! I use SPF on my face even before walking the dog in the morning, and I wish I had started this years ago. Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 is super lightweight and won’t block your pores. It’s only available through your dermatologist, and I bought into this because other SPF formulas that I had tried were too heavy for daily use under your makeup. They felt too thick and made applying the little makeup that I do wear look very oily. I have since discovered my new favorite SPF by Missha, Essence Sun Milk, that is even lighter than Elta with a milky/watery consistency and an even higher SPF of 50.
My nighttime routine is very similar to day, except that I skip the SPF and switch out the Vitamin C serum for Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule. The ampoule contains Bifida Ferment Lysate, a fermented yeast that reduces the signs of aging, improves elasticity, and evens skin tone.
If you haven’t added a serum or ampoule to your skincare regimen, I highly recommend it. Serums and ampoules are like highly concentrated skin treatments because they don’t have the fillers that products like cleansers and moisturizers do. You can use them as spot treatments (like for hyperpigmentation or acne spots) or use a few drops for your whole face.
I also use an eye cream at night. I stock up on Filorga Optim-Eyes whenever I’m in Paris. Some eye creams are too rich and make the puffiness around my eyes even worse. This formula feels more like a serum than cream and is light but moisturizing for the delicate skin around your eyes.
My last step before bed is to moisturize my lips. The idea of brushing my teeth and not immediately applying lip balm sounds like a form of torture. My favorite is Kiyoko lip balm. In addition to being a great product, the minimalist packaging goes a long way in my book.
The Extras —
A few times a week I use an exfoliator and my favorite is Neogen Gauze peeling wine. The red wine formula removes the dead and dull skin without damaging my skin. I’ve found that even the finest exfoliating scrubs can damage my skin, but Neogen’s formula is more like an exfoliating wipe than a scrub.
Nannie Inez red algae mask. This product is still under development, but I am so excited to add this to our mix! Algae can stabilize the minerals that help keep your skin moisturized, soothe irritation, brighten skin, and has anti-acne properties, which makes it perfect for a mask. To use, mix ½ a teaspoon of our algae mask formula with equal parts water and then apply all over your face and neck with your fingertips.
One of my favorite things about Korean skincare is the sheet masks, but since most are geared towards moisturizing, I don’t use them as frequently in the summer. Sheet masks are relatively inexpensive, and I highly recommend trying different masks to find your perfect fit. Right now I’m loving the Missha Time Revolution sheet mask. Also, in Korean skincare, when you see a “whitening formula”–the intention is not to “lighten” your skin, it is to brighten your skin and even out skin tone.
Alexis Smart Beauty Formula number 8. This formula targets the 8 emotional causes of aging. I believe in flower essences but I know there are skeptics, so I like to tell people that whether or not it is the placebo effect, I feel like my skin is more radiant when I’m taking Beauty Formula #8.
Kiss My Face Sensitive side 3 in 1 SPF. As I said before, I never skip SPF these days. This formula has broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of 30. It is a cream, but it’s not heavy like a lotion. It’s made of oat protein, which is anti-irritating, and it is free of parabens, fragrance, and oxybenzone. Don’t leave the house without applying this to your neck, décolletage, arms, and for us Texas drivers, especially your hands!