Poreless in Seattle
Raise your hands if you’ve been in basic Fall girl mode since October. I’ll admit, that’s been me. I’m all about wearing layers, pretty coats and I love breaking out my hat collection. I’m enjoying the colder weather here in Washington, it’s so different than the Fall in San Diego. In San Diego, the Fall normally means Santa Ana winds so it’s very dry and it fluctuates from cold and hot weather throughout the day. Here in Seattle, Fall means that it’s cold most of the day and you can expect rain 70% of the time. The rain and the colder weather doesn’t bother me, but what’s taking some getting used to is how dark it is here. It gets dark at like 4 pm, I have class from 6-10 (that isn’t depressing at all). You can’t even imagine how creative I’ve had to get to take good pictures for the gram.
Overall, I really can’t complain about how things have been going. I love my grad program, I’m learning a lot and even though it’s difficult I really do love it. However, my skin hasn’t been loving it. My skin has been feeling really dry and tight lately, and I’ve definitely had to layer on more hydrating products than I usually would. I’ve also noticed that my pores are getting a little more clogged than usual, so I’ve had to increase the number of times I exfoliate throughout the week. I really had to adjust my routine to better suit the weather in Washington and keep up my dewy skin.
Luckily, my skin hadn’t changed too much. I haven’t developed any sensitivity toward any ingredients so I can safely say I still have normal skin even if it’s a little drier than usual. My focus for my skincare routine shifted from brightening to hydrating skin. If you want to take a look at my previous routine, you can read about it here.
Before we start, I just want to remind everyone that I am not a licensed esthetician. I’m merely a skin enthusiast with an unhealthy obsession with good skin. Remember to space out any new products just in case you experience an adverse reaction. If you’re using too many new products at the same time, you won’t know who the culprit is. Remember to treat your skin like your most valuable asset.
1. Pre-Cleanse (Daily, every night)
Fun fact: Pre-cleanse + Oil cleanser + Foam Cleanser = Triple Cleansing. I really got into triple cleansing in the last few months, and that’s basically using a cleansing tissue, cleansing water, or makeup remover as your initial prep for double cleansing. I want to clarify that I’ve always used makeup remover before double cleansing, but I feel like it deserves to be its own step. This step is important because it’s begins the process of breaking down the makeup and products on your face. You apply your makeup and product in layers, you have to remove them in layers too. The pre-cleanse takes off the first layer of products, the oil cleanser and the foam cleanser will take care of the rest. You can choose whatever product you want, I tend to switch back and forth depending on my mood (or level of laziness).
SKINFOOD Rice Brightening Cleansing Tissue: These are really convenient and quick to use. They don’t leave your face feeling tight and they do a good job of removing eye makeup.
- Pearlessence Micellar Cleansing Water: This is not a Korean product but I came across it at Marshalls. So far, I really like this product, it removes makeup really well and it smells super clean.
2. Oil Cleanser (Daily, morning + night)
At this point, you’ve probably gotten tired of how much Jane and I go on and on about the importance of double cleansing. You can read more details about double cleansing in our Beginners Guide to K-Beauty. Oil cleansers are oils (liquid or solid) that break down oils and sebum on your skin. I find massaging the oil into my skin to be really relaxing, and it helps to reduce puffiness in your face. It’s basically like giving yourself a little facial twice a day. To adjust for the WA weather, I had to find an oil cleanser that provided a little more hydration than usual.
- Etude House Real Art Cleansing Oil Perfect: This really cleans your skin very thoroughly, it smells awesome and it doesn’t dry your face at all.
3. Foam Cleanser (Daily, morning + night)
The second step in double cleansing is using a good foam or water cleanser. This step will remove any residual products and dirt on your face. Your skin should not feel tight or excessively dry after using a foam or water cleanser – if it does, be sure to switch the cleanser.
- SKINFOOD Egg White Pore Foam: I was attracted to this product because I was looking for something that would deep cleanse and take care of my pores. A little goes a long way, so you only need a pea-size amount to get a good lather going. It doesn’t dry your face and it’s gentle enough to use daily.
4. Exfoliant (3-4x a week, at night)
Exfoliation is important to remove dead skin cells from your skin to avoid clogged pores and blemishes on your skin. This is important to promote cell regeneration and it helps your skin absorb products more effectively because they won’t just sit on the surface of your skin. I found that I had to increase the number of times I exfoliated, I felt like my skin was slightly more clogged since moving to WA.
I use a manual exfoliant about twice a week, but I make sure to space out when I do so. I use chemical exfoliants once a week, and only on my nose which is my current trouble spot.
- COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid (you can read my review here).
- SKINFOOD Black Sugar Mask Wash Off: Oldie, but a goodie. The sugar in this product is gentle enough that you don’t have to worry about over exfoliating.
5. Toners (Daily, morning + night)
Toners are basically primers for the rest of your skincare routine (you wouldn’t skip primer before going out, RIGHT?). Toners restore the pH on your skin, hydrate your skin and prep your skin to properly absorb the other products you put on.
- MIZON Intensive Skin Barrier: This product contains hyaluronic acid which provides 6x the amount of hydration than most ingredients. This product called to me because I really needed that boost in hydration.
- EGF Bomber Soother Day: I got this product from 0.8L in exchange for a review. It’s advertised as a lotion, but I found that it’s more of a toner than a lotion. I use it as a second toner. It contains 7 different tea extracts which provide a ton of hydration.
6. Essence (Daily, morning + night)
Essences are a combination of a toner and a serum; they’re lighter than a serum but thicker than a toner. Essences are not common in Western beauty, but once you try one I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised of how much you’ll like them.
- COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence: Snail mucin is a strong ingredient that provides a ton of hydration. This choice was a no brainer because it contains 96% snail mucin. I’m a huge fan of this product.
7. Serum (Nightly)
Serums are highly concentrated products that are used as spot treatments. They generally only have one purpose. Be wary of using too many different products at the same time, these products are very strong and can cause irritation if used incorrectly.
- COSRX Triple C Lightening Liquid: Jane and I swear by this, this product brightens your skin and you should see visible differences almost immediately.
8. Masks/Sleep packs (2-3x a week)
Masks and sleep packs are my favorite part of my routine. There are so many options out there, and they’re just fun to use. I say try anything that catches your eye.
- E-Nature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack: This product is so light and refreshing, your skin will feel amazing when you wake up
- Let Me Skin Ultra H20 Water-Jelly Modeling Mask (Hydrating): This mask is a lot of fun to use and your skin will feel super hydrated and refreshed. You can also view the review Jane and I wrote here.
- MIZON Enjoy Vital-Up Time: Anti-Wrinkle Mask: Solid choice, I love the serum in this.
9. Eye Cream (Daily, morning + night)
You’re never too young to start wearing eye cream. Eye cream hydrates and plumps the skin around your eyes to prevent fine lines. Think of eye cream as a prevention treatment, you need to use it before you actually need it.
- MISSHA Misa Cho Bo Yang Eye Cream: This is the og eye cream I’ve always used. This product is really concentrated, so a little goes a long way to brighten the eye area. I use this cream year-round.
10. Moisturizer (Daily, morning + night)
Moisturizer is my second favorite step of my routine. Moisturizers protect against the environment by soothing and hydrating your skin. I put a lot of value in choosing the right moisturizer because the right moisturizer will top off your routine and make you feel awesome.
- Belif True Cream Moisturizing Bomb: This is my absolute favorite moisturizer, it really hydrates your skin. Your skin will feel immediately more hydrated and look smoother.
- COSRX Oil-Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion: This moisturizer is super light and very soothing and it doesn’t have a lot of fragrance.
- MIZON Vita Lemon Calming Cream: The lemon in this cream brightens and soothes your skin.
11. Sunscreen (Daily, 2-3x a day)
Even though 90% of the time it’s overcast in Seattle, it’s still important to wear sunscreen. Even if it’s overcast, UVA and UVB rays can still get through the clouds and cause damage on your skin. Always choose a sunscreen that provides “broad” protection (for both UVA and UVB rays) and one that has PA+++/SPF 50+ protection (at least). DON’T SKIP SUNSCREEN. EVER.
The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Power Long Lasting Sunblock SPF 50+/PA+++: I've used this product for a couple of years now and I love it. It goes on matte and it's lightly fragranced from the natural ingredients.
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF 50+/PA +++: This product goes on super smooth and goes on matte. The aloe in this helps your skin feel refreshed.
12. Lip care (Daily, every night)
I had to add specific lip care to my cold weather routine because the weather was messing up my lips. I accidentally gave myself a bit of cold burn a few weeks ago because I have the bad habit of rubbing my lips. My lips are constantly chapped, and not feeling their best; since I love wearing matte lipstick, it definitely put a strain on my lipstick game. My recommendations for lip care are exfoliate and moisturize.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask: This product works really overwell overnight to undo the damage my poor lips endure during the day.
e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator in brown sugar: This exfoliator does an amazing job to remove dead skin from your lips and leaves behind a little bit of shea butter to moisturize.
I had to change my routine a lot to adapt to the new weather I’m living in, but that’s part of the fun for me -I like finding new products to try out. This routine was a huge adjustment for me because normally I’m all about brightening, now my priority is hydrating. My recommendations for a cold weather routine would be to stock up on the hydrating products, trust me, they will make a huge difference.
I would love to hear how you had to change your routine!