After launching my skincare blog this past week, I've received so many questions and comments on Korean skincare. All of these questions and comments mean a lot, so thank you!
Today, I'm going to tell you a little bit about my toner, emulsion, ampoule, essence, eye cream, and face cream. Instead of mixing and matching these, I use NATURE REPUBLIC's Snail Solution line. In my opinion, I think that this line is suitable for all skin types.
The reason I don't mix and match and use the entire line as it is made is because I believe that each product in a line builds on each other. The number on the bottle represents the percentage of snail mucin extract, which is used from the highest percentage to the lowest percentage for maximum results.
Snail sounds scary and disgusting to some people, but to me, I've never been bothered by it. Studies have shown that snail slime/mucin contains amazing cell repair nutrients such as hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, collagen, vitamin E, elastin, and protein. It has been said that snail mucin helps to heal wounds faster, is anti-aging, and rearranges acne tissue. With all of these benefits, why wouldn't you try it? (Rest assured, because most snail skin products contain only extractions of snail instead of globs of snail slime.)
I'm going to skip the washing and cleaning portion for today, but please remember to clean your face before applying the first step, which is the important toner. Let's begin in order, as the order really matters in Korean skincare, especially with the way the products are created.
The most important out of all of the steps is toner, which is absolutely ESSENTIAL. Unlike Western toner, which usually claims to fix problems and isn't really emphasized in the skincare regimen, Korean toner is different. After you wash your face, the pH level of your skin either becomes more alkaline or acidic. Your skin's neutral pH is the most ideal so that your oil glands don't go haywire trying to work towards pH 7. When your oil glands work too hard, they may begin to produce more oil, which can cause blackheads and whiteheads. Toner helps your skin to bounce back to its ideal neutral pH 7. It also helps your skin to absorb all other products that you put on after. Toner is a MUST in Korean skincare, but it cannot be used alone.
I use NATURE REPUBLIC's Snail Solution Toner (they call it a skin booster) with 90% snail extract. Most people use cotton balls to tap toner into their skin, but I ditch the cotton and use my hands to tap it in instead. Out of all of my other products, I run out of toner first all the time. I'm very generous with it, and I let my skin drink it up. Later, you will find that I actually use three toners, but I use them at different times of my day.
After applying toner, I use emulsion, which is thicker than toner but still very light. The skin has many layers, but not all of them can be penetrated by cream alone. The lighter the fluid, the smaller the molecules. These smaller molecules are able to penetrate the inner layers of the skin. The heavier the fluid, the larger the molecules. These larger molecules are only able to penetrate and remain on the outer layers of the skin. That is why - if you use a cream before a toner - you don't see maximum results because your cream is blocking your toner from passing through to the innermost skin layer. This may also be why you think that a product doesn't really work... because you applied it incorrectly.
I use NATURE REPUBLIC's Snail Solution Emulsion with 80% snail extract. Emulsion is usually water based and acts as a light moisturizer. NATURE REPUBLIC has made the emulsion with less snail extract because it is working to treat your skin from the inside out.
After applying emulsion, I apply an ampoule, which is a highly concentrated fluid that is very light, so it penetrates the skin quickly. Ampoules come in smaller bottles than essences (which is the next step). It is often compared to Western serums, and like Western serums, it is normally made to target a certain area of concern.
I use NATURE REPUBLIC's Snail Solution Ampoule with 80% snail extract. I use an ampoule before an essence because it is lighter than an essence, and I don't want to block its passage! For this ampoule, because it is a snail product, there is no specific area of concern as snail extract helps in many areas such as anti-aging, smoothing out wrinkles, getting rid of blemishes, moisturizing, etc. That's why I love snails!
After an ampoule of goodness, I apply essence, which is less concentrated than an ampoule. This step is also usually made to target an area of concern. Ampoules are usually more expensive and come in lesser quantities, and since it is just like an essence, many Korean women remove the ampoule step and just use an essence. I really, really care about my skin, so I use an ampoule regardless.
I use NATURE REPUBLIC's Snail Solution Essence with 70% snail extract.
5. EYE CREAM (SMILE LINE CREAM)
After essence, I jump right to my eye cream. Because there is really no such thing as smile line cream, I use my eye cream as one.
I use NATURE REPUBLIC's Snail Solution Eye Cream with 70% snail extract. I know many of you are familiar with eye cream, and it works the same as the Western ones. EXCEPT, I encourage you to use it for your smile lines as well.
Lastly, but also not lastly if I'm applying a sleeping mask after (I will explain this further in another post), I apply cream. Cream, of course, is the thickest out of all of these products, which is why it goes on last. It moisturizes and traps all of the products I have just applied to my skin.
I use NATURE REPUBLIC's Snail Solution cream with 70% snail extract. Korean cream works the same as Western cream.
In my previous post, I listed out all of the steps in my skincare regimen. Today, I have only included the most crucial post-cleaning steps for people who are just starting the Korean skincare regimen, who prefer to spend as little time as possible with their skin, and/or who may be working on a tighter budget. I find that steps outside of these are additional to these core steps and may not be necessary if you don't feel the need to do anything extra. However, remember that the skincare line that you are working on in your core steps may be lacking a few nutrients that your skin may need or may come to need (for example, our bodies produce less collagen as we age). That is why, if you can, I think that the other "extra" steps (face masks, eye masks, lip masks, sleeping masks) may be very helpful and should be considered as necessary steps if you are able to work them into your regimen.
NATURE REPUBLIC SNAIL SOLUTION AMPOULE > You can only get the ampoule if you purchase this set that includes a small skin booster and emulsion, which are actually great for travel. If you want to try this purchase before deciding if you want to invest in the others, I recommend purchasing this set, applying the skin booster, then the emulsion, and then the ampoule. I would then add an eye cream and face cream of your choice to finish it off.
NATURE REPUBLIC SNAIL SOLUTION CREAM > You can only get the cream if you purchase this set that includes a small skin booster and emulsion, which are actually great for travel. You can also use this purchase as a starter set if you just want to try it out. If so, use the skin booster, then the emulsion, and then the cream. There is no need to add anything extra for this set if you're just looking to use it as a trial, but an eye cream of your choice before the snail face cream may be ideal.
*Please note that some of these products may be shipped from South Korea, so it may take some time for your purchases to arrive.
I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions or comments, please leave me a comment below and I will work to respond to you as soon as I can. If it is a question that I think many people have, I will create a post and address it in detail.
Until next time!