Ask any bridal make-up artist on what they wish they could tell their brides point-blank and it would be, for their brides to invest in a skincare routine. Seriously ladies, makeup can only do so much. At the end of the day, you need glowing skin which you can't expect concealers and airbrushed makeup to just magically do for you. In the first place, every woman should have a skincare routine regardless of whether you are engaged or not. But here in the Philippines, skincare is sometimes non-existent or just bare minimum for some. But there is so much more to just washing the face.
That's why in our books, you are actually a rebel if you have an extensive pre-wedding skincare routine because it's not a common part of pre-wedding preps to some brides yet. And you can have a wide range of pre-wedding skincare ideas to choose from. Some religiously do diamond peeling and glutathione shots 6 months before the wedding, while some pamper themselves with a lot of spa treatments days before the wedding. Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is you invest in skincare period. Why is it important, well for starters, we don't exactly live in a clean first-world country. Our skin is exposed to so many pollutants every single day and not to mention the heat of the sun from this side of the globe is as harsh as it can get. Even if you think your skin looks "fine", on a micro-level it might not be. And the older you get, the duller your skin will get.
Me on my wedding day. Rebellious Bride Mica called me "The SPAmpered Bride"
I am personally obsessed with skincare these days. I have been going to the derma since I was 15 years old--back then, I decided to go to the derma as part of my pre-prom skincare routine--see? PROM. LoL. For my own wedding, I subscribed to monthly facials, did a lot of "spampering" and drank lots of anti-oxidant smoothies and ate a lot of veggies. I am also now more aware that skincare should be gentler and milder so I ditched my chemical-based derma products and replaced it with Korean skincare products.
Speaking of Korean, Koreans have the most amazing, porcelain-like skin that I have ever seen. They were taught to take care of their skin and subscribe to a beauty regimen at such a young age. For example, they are known to religiously apply sunscreen everyday even if there's no sun--and even on rainy/winter days! How I wish Filipinos had that same kind of skincare culture!
Koreans have a 10-step nightly beauty/skincare routine which I also religiously do. It sounds daunting but it's not. First of all, why wouldn't you want to have some alone time, taking care of your face every night for just a coupe of minutes? Your face is probably your biggest asset so you should give your face as much love and attention as you would on the 8 hours you are probably tinkering with your phone. Second of all, if 10 steps seem like a lot, then all you have to do is watch TV while you are doing the 10 steps and before you know it, you are done!
So here are the 10 steps for your glowing wedding day look:
Step 1: Prep and Pre-Cleanse:
Koreans believe in double (and maybe even triple) cleansing. Which makes a whole lot of sense since there is still residue on the face even after you already washed your face. Imagine that in Korea they do a lot of cleansing when it is a lot cleaner there--and here in Manila it's probably 100x more polluted and we don't double cleanse! Crazy, crazy! So for the pre-cleanse this actually entails using a facial wipe, then removing makeup with a makeup remover after. For the wipes, I like using COSRX's One-Step Pimple Clear Pad which is basically like a round towelette that removes all the dirt on your face--and also treats pimples in the process. For my makeup remover, I use Banila & Co's Clean It Zero's makeup remover --which is one of the BESTEST makeup removers I have ever tried. It can literally remove everything and I love that it's in sorbet form.
Step 2: Cleanse Again
Koreans believe that the secret to pimple-free skin is to cleanse several times and I have to agree with them on this one. For this step, they use a mild cream or a foam-based cleanser and apply it in soft circular motions. I like SwissPure's Le Petit Prince Bubble Foam cleanser because first of all, who doesn't love the Little Prince?!? But I love this because it has a bubble foamy texture that leaves my skin feeling soft and light after.
Step 3: Buff & Exfoliate
Now it's time to remove those dead skin cells by applying some scrubs. I like using Innisfree's Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask because it's very gentle and my face feels soooo squeaky clean afterwords. It's a bit of an overkill to buff the face every day so focus only on problem areas and not the whole face. Example: Just the nose today, then the cheeks tomorrow, etc.
Lee Ji Ham Tea Tree Mist Toner from The Skincare Curator
Step 4: Toner
Use a toner to tighten the face and bring back the pH balance of your skin. Although most Pinays already use toners, we are usually more used to applying alcohol-based toners on the face whereas Koreans use natural toners that have gentler effects on the skin. I like using Lee Ji Ham's Tea Tree Mist Toner because first of all, it has tea tree which is good for relieving the skin of any irritations, and I love that it's in mist form so you can spray it on your face for an instant pick-me-upper. Put it on the fridge for an added cooling effect.
Step 5: Essence
After toning, it's time to apply Essence. Essence is believed to be the SUPER MOST IMPORTANT part of the Korean beauty regimen. Why? Because Essence is a highly concentrated liquid form that renews cells and makes your skin firmer and brighter--and since we are talking about pre-wedding skincare, the most important of all is to have that brightened, glowing face. I like COSRX's Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence because it truly packs the punch! My face instantly feels tightened and whitened immediately after application.
COSRX Essence + Ampoule from The Skincare Curator
Step 6: Ampoule/Emulsion
An ampoule or emulsion is an even more concentrated, slicker, oil-based form that is similar to an Essence but this time, it's supposed to directly address any problem areas that you might have like wrinkles, oily skin, or dull skin. If dull skin is your concern, I would recommend COSRX's Mela 14 Whitening Ampule. But if you are like me who has super oily skin, I would recommend Lee Ji Ham's 5 Alpha Control Emulsion which helps control oil and creates a matte finish.
Lee Ji Ham's 5a Control Emulsion from The Skincare Curator
Step 7: Masks and Facial Massages
The 7th step is one of my favorite steps which is applying the sheet mask. This step is crucial in nourishing and relaxing the skin as you would in a spa. I like L'Herboflor's Black Pearl Extract Mask which is rich in amino acids and trace elements. It alleviates skin dullness and give the skin luminosity. I like storing my masks in the fridge for that additional cooling effect. But note that you should only apply masks 2-3 times a week for maximum effectiveness. So on your off days, do some 5-minute facial massages. I like Tony Moly's Tomato Massage Pack--the packaging is so cute plus it has an amazing thick consistency that is perfect for massages. It also helps in brightening the face.
The Skincare Curator
Step 8: Eye Cream
I used to think that I was too young to use eye creams because I never ever get dark circles. But it's never too early to start an eye cream routine because as you grow older, it's going to get harder to remove wrinkles and dark circles around your eyes. Prevention is key! I like using Farmstay's Snail Cream Eye Cream because snail-based fermented products are supposed to be amazing key ingredient in keeping the eye area young and bright.
Step 9: Moisturize
After everything that you just applied on your face, now it's time to apply your moisturizer. Since this a pre-wedding routine, I recommend Banila & Co's White Wedding Dream Cream which is not only a moisturizer but also works as a lightening cream.
Step 10: Sleeping Pack
And finally, it's time to lock-in everything that you just applied on your face with a cream-based mask so that it keeps your face hydrated all throughout the night. I use COSRX's Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask which keeps my face feeling very smooth and moisturized until morning.
So this is me after a few weeks of being on the Korean 10-Step Skincare Routine!
COSRX Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask from The Skincare Curator
If you want to try a new skincare regimen, try it at least 6-8 months before your wedding. Glowing skin doesn't just happen overnight, my dears!
Except for the sheet masks which you can get for 50-200 pesos per sheet, most of these products range from P600-P1,000. Which seems quite a lot but they usually last for 6-8 months. So if you divide the cost per month, it's just basically the amount of visiting the derma and getting your facial products anyway.
Once you start your skincare routine, don't end it after the wedding! Remember that as we grow older, we are not as invincible as you might think! Our skin is prone to darkening and aging and remember that we live in one of the most heavily polluted places in the world so love your skin!
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