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Beauty

Step Up Your Skincare Regime For Skin Like A K-Pop Star

When it comes to beauty, we like to follow the Korean mantra of more is more.

The three must-have skincare steps we are all taught to follow are cleanse, tone, and moisturise. Sounds simple? Because it is. But unless you’re one of the few genetically blessed individuals with a poreless, dewy complexion that needs little to no help, then just doing the basics are not going to be enough to keep your skin looking at its best. 

There’s a reason why most Korean women have gorgeous complexions (and no, it’s not just because of all the probiotics they get from eating a steady diet of kimchi). It’s less nature than burture. Koreans simply put in more work. I once interviewed one of the head honchos at Sulwhasoo who had glowing skin that looked so perfect that I couldn’t help asking her what her secret was. She told me her extensive skincare routine (that made my head spin) but also shared that she went for a facial once a week.   

If you really want to improve your skin health and achieve a clear, radiant complexion, then you might want to power up your skincare regime by adding in some extra steps. Think of them like going for after school tuition. While they might not be absolutely necessary, you’ll definitely see an improvement. Here are some to try to give your daily routine a little more oomph.

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Pre-Serum
Similar to how a makeup base primes your skin before your foundation, a pre-serum helps to prep your complexion so essential ingredients from the rest of your beauty regime are able to penetrate better. They are ultra-hydrating and keep your skin moist so it absorbs skincare products like a sponge. As an extra benefit, most pre-serums also strengthen your skin’s protective barrier to improve overall health, as well as boosts radiance. It’s a must-have to help your serums and moisturisers work harder for you.  Try: Cle de Peau Beaute The Serum, $380 To be applied as a first step before your toner, this watery serum will give you an instant glow. It helps to prep your skin so it can better absorb the rest of your skincare products, as well as softens the texture of your complexion to leave it smoother and more even. Skin Booster
These should be treated like an SOS to your skin to treat specific problems like breakouts or redness, and can usually be mixed into your regular skincare. There are a ton of different boosters in the market to address concerns from dehydration to inflammation, dullness to sensitivity. Think of them as vitamins for your skin. They are ultra-concentrated and you can pick and choose according to what you currently need.      Try: 111SKIN 3 Phase Anti Blemish Booster, USD$113.03 (approx. $154), www.net-a-porter.com Infused with Willow Bark Extract to balance skin’s pH and prevent the over-production of sebum, Colloidal Sulfur to target acne-causing bacteria and Colloidal Silver to heal scars, this liquid booster can be mixed into your moisturiser or foundation – two to three drops is sufficient – to treat breakouts, or directly onto your pimple.    Facial Oil
This is one step you definitely do not want to skip. Applying an oil after your moisturiser is like adding a shield to your face to prevent moisture loss. Facial oils form a protective layer on the top of your skin to keep your complexion hydrated and soft. And if you’re worried that they’ll make you look greasy, you shouldn’t. Most facial oils today are extremely lightweight and get absorbed extremely quickly, leaving you with a dewy, healthy glow.   Try: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, $102  Rich in essential antioxidants, this helps to moisturise, rejuvenate and nourish skin to give you a youthful glow. Used over time, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, redness and blotchiness, while helping to boost skin elasticity.  Exfoliating Treatment
Your skin has a natural turnover cycle that repeats every 28 days. As your body produces new skin cells, these cells will migrate to the top as surface dead skin cells get sloughed off, leaving you with a radiant, youthful complexion. However, as we get older, our renewal cycle slows down and stubborn, older cells will start to clog up the process, leading to issues like dullness, dryness, roughness and even breakouts. Exfoliating your skin will help to get rid of surface dead skin cells and increase the rate of cell turnover.  Try: Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate, $99 Made with fruit acids, cactus extract, phytic acid and quinoa husk extract, this gentle exfoliating serum helps to accelerate cell turnover and remove surface dead skin cells without irritating the complexion. Used daily, it will help to refine skin texture and even out skin tone.  Sheet Masks
These treatments are a staple in every beauty junkie’s arsenal. They are not only easy to use but also give faster and more instant results than your basic skincare. We like masking every day, however, it’s important to remember to mix it up for best results. Try using a combination of masks that target different concerns (brightening, hydrating, anti-ageing, etc.) and trust us, you’ll see a difference in no time.  Try: Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Sheet Mask, $8 per sheet An instant skin pick-me-up, this revitalises skin, boosts luminosity and provides up to 24 hours of hydration to leave your complexion looking dewy and feeling soft.