My New 5-Step Korean Skincare Routine
I can’t help but love all things Korean. Korean dramas, variety shows, music and food are no strangers to me. Naturally, I also gravitate towards Korean skincare and makeup products in hopes of looking like Blackpink’s Jennie.
Because I have acne-prone skin, my daily makeup look is pretty minimal. I apply a layer of sunscreen and foundation for a little coverage, then do my brows and lips. Even then, these products can sometimes wreak havoc on my skin.
So when I was tasked to embark on a 5-step Korean skincare routine to reset my skin, I was more than happy to take on the challenge. Since we’re all working from home due to the Circuit Breaker measures, there’s no better time to give my skin a complete break.
Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Rejuvenating Radiance line
The first skincare series I would be trying out on my 2-week journey was THEFACESHOP’s Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Rejuvenating Radiance range. The products focus on anti-ageing effects, with the aim of improving skin elasticity, treating wrinkles and giving you radiant skin.
Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating line
For week 2 of my Korean skincare routine, I would be trying out THEFACESHOP’s Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating line. The anti-ageing range is formulated with 12 medicinal herbs to improve skin elasticity and circulation, as well as heal and brighten your skin.
Both ranges contain ginseng extract, which is known to be the biggest skincare secret of one of the most beautiful women of the Joseon Dynasty, Hwang Jini. Another main ingredient is Lingzhi mushroom extract, which has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help to fight acne, making it perfect for my blemish-prone skin.
I’m hoping that the healing properties of the products will solve my acne issues, get rid of my acne scars and give me glowing skin.
The first week
Step 1: Foaming cleanser
On the morning of the first week, I picked up the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Deep Moisturizing Foaming Cleanser. I was delighted to see that it came in a pretty pink-and-white tube.
With a bit of water, the cleanser foamed up easily and got rid of all the oil that had accumulated on my face through the night. It also smelled like herbs, possibly due to the ginseng root extract.
Step 2: Toner
After the face wash, I was ready to start on the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Rejuvenating Radiance range proper. I paused to appreciate the gorgeous design as I pulled out the toner from the box. The body is in a stunning ombre gold while the cap is an elegant metallic gold.
This is not your typical watery toner. The Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Rejuvenating Radiance Toner reminded me of a slightly more liquefied gel with its texture and transparent look.
I applied the product, and my skin ate it all up. The toner absorbed quickly into my skin and left no residue on my face.
Step 3: Serum
Next up, the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Rejuvenating Radiance Serum. The serum is chock-full of nutrient-rich ingredients like white willow, which helps to cool the skin, leaving it looking refreshed and radiant.
This serum caught me off guard with its thick, cream-like texture, something I don’t usually associate with serums.
While I thought my skin would have a hard time absorbing the serum, it sank into my skin quickly with no hint of stickiness after.
Step 4: Emulsion
Similar to the other products in the range, the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Rejuvenating Radiance Emulsion had a soft herbal scent.
Compared to the serum, the emulsion was more watery. I rubbed a dollop of the emulsion on my face. Immediately, I noticed that my skin felt plumper and firmer.
Step 5: Cream
I was most excited to try the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Rejuvenating Radiance Cream, since it came in a luxe-looking box set. After I pried the box open, I was pleasantly surprised to see travel-sized versions of the toner, serum and emulsion included within.
The cream is in a tub and comes with a spatula so you don’t need to dip your fingers to get to the good stuff.
The cream was unexpectedly light in terms of texture. But by this point, I had already applied the toner, serum and emulsion, which were all considerably rich and moisturising for someone who usually uses lightweight skincare products.
As a result, the cream did not sink in as quickly, and a soft glow from the residue remained. I sprung into action and massaged the cream into my face, and it was completely absorbed in about 3 minutes.
Day 4 of the first week
By the fourth day, my once highly inflamed skin had calmed down significantly. I was adjusting well to the new Korean skincare routine because the cream no longer sat awkwardly on my skin, but sank in almost instantly after applying it.
Week 1: day 1 (left) and day 4 (right)
The huge pimple that had been threatening to emerge had also disappeared by itself, which made me very happy.
Final thoughts after week 1
Week 1: day 1 (left) and day 7 (right)
My skin was initially red and blotchy, with acne scars and unripe pimples. By the end of the first week, I couldn’t believe that the red spots on my cheek had reduced so dramatically and my skin was less inflamed.
At first, I had thought that since this is an anti-ageing line, the products would be too rich for my skin, which would result in more acne and pimples. However, this was not the case at all. Most of the products absorbed easily into my skin and I didn’t have to worry about any sticky residue.
Having seen the amazing results after just 1 week, I dived into my new 5-step routine for the second week with high hopes for the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating range.
The second week
Step 1: Cleanser
Similar to the first week, I used the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Deep Moisturizing Foaming Cleanser to get rid of oil and prep my skin for the products in the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating line.
Step 2: Toner
This second range is meant for a more mature audience, and my first thought when I saw the bottle was that it seemed like something the rich and classy ahjumma in Crash Landing On You would use. The Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating Toner has a stunning purple body, topped off with a gold cap that has a gold flower bearing a red gem in the middle.
As I applied the toner, I noticed that it had a stronger herbal smell compared to the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Rejuvenating Radiance range. The main difference between the 2 lines is that the Ultimate Rejuvenating range contains a “Bo-yoon-dan” complex, which consists of white truffle and a velvet extract to boost the skin’s metabolism and vitality.
The toner is slightly thicker than water, kind of like an essence. It seeped into my skin with no problem. It also moisturised my skin enough such that the areas that are normally dry, like the corners of my mouth and tip of my nose, were no longer flaky.
Step 3: Serum
The main purpose of a serum is to prep your skin and allow it to fully absorb all the goodness to come from your moisturiser and other skincare products to follow.
The Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating Serum has ingredients including peony flower, leaf, branch and root extracts that also stimulate circulation for a glowy complexion.
The serum has a gel-like texture, due to its translucent look and slight pinkish hue. It has the same soothing scent as the toner, which reminded me of a spa—calming and luxurious. My skin felt soft and smooth after application.
Step 4: Emulsion
Next in line was the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating Emulsion. As my mum would say, this cream is a mixture of all the hao liao, meaning “good ingredients” in Mandarin.
It contains safflower flower and seed extract, which is high in vitamin E. And like all the other Yehwadam Hwansaenggo products, the emulsion has ginseng extract.
The emulsion wasn’t very thick, so it was easy to spread across my face and it eased into my skin quickly. I could feel that my skin was plumper after the application.
Step 5: Cream
As with the other range, the star of the show is undoubtedly the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating Cream.
The cream comes in a set with travel-size versions of the other Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating products, namely the toner, serum and emulsion.
This cream is formulated with a “Cheon-hye-myeong-ui-dan” complex, which includes 12 medicinal herbs for healing, brightening, improving skin elasticity and anti-ageing.
In terms of texture, the cream was smooth and easy to spread. Since it was the second week of the trial, my skin had adjusted to the creamy products. I applied the cream across my face, and it was eaten up by my hungry skin cells in no time.
Day 4 of the second week
By the fourth day of the second week, my skin had become much brighter. I also realised that my skin did not break out with new pimples or acne, which was a miracle for me.
My skin had adjusted well to the new 5-step Korean skincare routine, and my T-zone was less oily.
Final thoughts after week 2
Week 2: day 1 (left) and day 7 (right)
When I gently brushed my fingers across my forehead, I noticed less of the crater-like texture that I was so used to, and overall smoother skin. The acne scars on my cheeks and forehead had also faded slowly, but surely.
The Ultimate Rejuvenating line felt much more inviting for someone my age, because the products are less thick and heavy. Even the cream I used in step 5 eased into my face with no residue, so you don’t have to be concerned about clogged pores from the products.
I Reset My Skin With A 5-Step Korean Routine During WFH
Day 1 (left) and day 14 (right)
By the end of the 2 weeks, the most major change was that my red and blotchy skin had healed. I had no new pimples, and the existing ones had reduced significantly. The acne scars on my cheeks had also faded, which gives me hope that if I keep up with this new regime, they will disappear completely.
My T-zone is now less oily in general, and my forehead has less of a crater-like texture. Overall, my face is brighter and I’m very thrilled to see the improvements.
The best part is that those impressive results were obtained with a hassle-free 5-step Korean skincare routine. All I did was slather on products from the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Rejuvenating Radiance line and the Yehwadam Hwansaenggo Ultimate Rejuvenating lines one after another, and voila, my skin looked much better.
You can learn more about the products by checking out THEFACESHOP’s website and check them out for yourself in THEFACESHOP boutiques when they reopen after the Circuit Breaker period.
This post is brought to you by The Face Shop.
Product photography by Alif Ramli.
Background illustration: Source