Asian Skincare Self Care Tips

Author: Connie

Hey Besties! We get that having a great skincare routine and maintaining problem-free skin is not an easy feat. Depending on environmental factors, genetics, and other biological factors, our skin can certainly play tricks on us. For me personally, it took years to develop and master my skincare routine. Because our skin is always changing, one year you might have oily skin and perhaps as you age you might develop combination or dry skin.

I’m here to help make it easy on you by sharing some of my top tips on skincare and self care! Connie, to the rescue! Check it out! ✨

Keep your skincare in the fridge!

This is such a basic “hack” that isn’t really a hack, but feels like one. Things like face/sheet masks, eye creams, rollers, gua shas, massagers, that kind of thing. These are all perfect candidates for skincare fridge friends! Nothing quite says relaxation like putting on a nice cool face mask when you need to soothe your “angry” 🤬 skin. Or taking an 🧊 ice cold 🧊 guasha or face massager and rolling it over puffy eyes after a long day. This is one of my favourite skincare “hacks” that doesn’t technically cost you a lot of money, and produces instant results. Also, instant gratification. It feels cool and it feels like I’m pampering myself while not hitting my wallet hard.

Treat yourself to a face mask 2-3 times a week

Ahh, there’s nothing quite like a face mask. Honestly, the feeling of a clay mask or some sort of washable face mask is a luxury I can’t quite describe in less than 100 words. 💆🏻‍♀️ I love the way a good wash-off mask feels. A sheet mask from the fridge? 🥶 Sign me up. Peel off mask that pulls off dead skin and/or blackheads? All for it. Whatever mask gets you going, get it!

Personally, I am OBSESSED with the Beauty of Joseon Red Bean Refreshing Pore Mask. I love the way it looks, how it feels, and just the sense of overall wellness that I feel when I’m using it. It’s perfect for those with combination and oily skin types and I like that it is a light exfoliant. The little pieces of red bean work perfectly as a gentle scrub! 💕

Another mask I really love is the PDC Wafood Made Sake Kasu Face Pack. This masks gives me the best hit of moisture and softness whenever I need it. This was my go to mask for the longest time (and still is). I keep mine in the fridge of course, because it adds so much more, and feels great. This mask is made of original sake lees extract, which is produced during the sake brewing process at the Kawazu Brewery in Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture. Sake masters discovered that their hands would still be baby soft and wrinkle free. 💫

The reason? Making sake involves working with koji (cultivated mold used for rice fermentation). This good stuff is packed with enzymes and aminos to keep that skin moisturized and nourished. The more you know, right? Every time I use this mask, my skin comes out super soft and that’s worth it on that basis alone!

I think face masks are the most budget-friendly way to really pamper yourself, because you don’t have to break the bank to feel good. They’re truly the simplest and easiest to do. Ten to fifteen minutes is all you need. While you wait you can read a book, or take a bath, or even watch a show!

In your late 20s or early 30s and are concerned about fine lines and wrinkles? Get a prescription strength retinoid cream or an over-the-counter retinol cream

I discovered prescription strength retinol a little late in the game. Retinol, also called Vitamin A, is a fat-soluble vitamin in the Vitamin A family. Basically retinol helps neutralize free radicals in the middle layer of your skin. It’s known for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and enlarged pores, and also helps with other skin conditions such as acne. When you use an over-the-counter retinol, the results can take at least several months. The reason it takes so long is because it converts on the cellular level of the skin.

Prescription strength retinoids are no joke. They are one of the best known skincare ingredients on the market, targeted towards those concerned about anti-aging. If you’ve ever hear of Retin-A or Tretinoin, then you’ve already heard of retinoids. Not all Retinol is the same though, while the over-the-counter retinol has fewer side effects, they are on the weaker side, so you may be waiting several months to a year to even begin seeing visible results. Prescription retinoid creams work a lot faster, the reason being that there is no conversion in the skin that has to take place. You will see results much sooner than you would with an over-the-counter.

How does it work? As you age, your skin produces less collagen, and when this happens, welp, you get fine lines and wrinkles. What retinol does is it stimulates the fibroblasts, which are a type of cell that contributes to the formulation of connective tissues. These cells are found below the surface of the skin. They get the memo to make more collagen, which then moves towards the surface of the skin, and the magic is that the rate of cell turnover increases. The new collagen is spread evenly and when those fresh skin cells come out to play, the appearance of those fine lines and wrinkles diminishes over time.

The dark side of retinoids

I say this, having just applied my bi-weekly retinoid cream. All that glitters is not always gold. They say beauty is pain, but they really don’t know until they’ve tried prescription retinoid cream. If you’re ready and able to commit to the quest against fine lines and wrinkles, then know that it’s not gonna be an easy journey.

When using the prescription strength goods, you should only apply a PEA-sized amount to cover your whole face, especially when you’re just starting out. When I first started using prescription strength retinoid cream, I ignored the instructions and just applied it wherever, whenever. WRONG! I burned my skin and had so much retinol burn, my face was a hot peeling mess. This to say, ALWAYS FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS! When using retinoids you absolutely MUST wait 20 minutes between each skincare step before and after applying the cream.

For example, I’ve cleansed, toned, and applied a serum to my skin. At this point I set a timer for 20 minutes and then I apply the retinoid. After that, I set another time for 20 minutes, and then I apply an emulsion and moisturizer. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, get cocky with your retinoid! You will experience some dry patches and peeling, but equipped with an exfoliating scrub and some lanolin cream, you can patch those up in no time!

This should be a no-brainer but ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN!

I can’t stress this enough, so just in case the memo was missed, I’ll say it again. Always wear sunscreen! Even on cloudy days, even on rainy days. UVA is Ultraviolet A, which has a longer wavelength. UVA is associated with signs of aging skin. UVB is Ultraviolet B, and has a shorter wavelength. UVB is associated with skin burning. The effects of UVA and UVB on the skin put you at risk for sunburns, skin cancer, and premature aging, to name a few. 😎

Find a sunscreen that has broad spectrum (protects you from UVA and UVB). Despite being of the shorter wavelength UVB is the stronger of the two and can really up your skin. 🌞 Some of my favourite sunscreen brands are Rohto (Japan), Beauty of Joseon (Korean), Anessa (Japan), and Allie (Japan).

If your skin is dry, get you an emulsion!

Emulsions are great. Sometimes your skin needs an extra boost. Emulsions are super popular in Japan and are also known as milks. They’re ideal as a moisturizer that is lighter in texture compared to a cream, and are more ideal for oily types or in warmer climates. In both Korean and Japanese skincare, it is recommended to “layer” your moisturizers, first using an emulsion followed by a cream to create the most healthiest looking skin.

The best way to get that extra hit of 💧moisture when you need it is to add an emulsion to your routine. My go-to skincare layer routine always involves a cleanser, (oil cleanser or cleansing balm at night as a Step 1), toner, serum/essence, emulsion (entirely optional), moisturizer, and sunscreen during the day. On periods where my skin is particularly more on the oily side, I skip the emulsion. Some folks with really oily skin opt to skip a moisturizer, and use an emulsion instead. Whatever works for you!

Life Pro Tip: Right now, Kiyoko is having a 20% off sale on ALL emulsions! Check it out here. The sale is on for a limited time only, until April 1, 2023!✨

We know that skincare is a really hard thing to master, especially when everyone’s skin is different, and what works for some people might not work for others. No single step or method is the be all, end all for great skin, and that is part of the exciting journey of exploring what works for you! Hopefully some of my tried, tested and true tips can help you find the most beautiful you. ❤️‍🔥

And just remember, your Kiyoko Besties are here for you. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout if you have any questions or just wanna chat about your faves! 😊

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