Sometimes when I walk around Paris I see beautiful Asian tourists visiting the City of Lights. They are dressed in a minimalistic and elegant style, they have beautiful healthy hair and a skin that glows. I also wanted to have a perfect skin, especially after reading the « The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin » written by Charlotte Cho.
And since I have exactly 6 months till my next birthday, I have decided that this is a perfect moment to start my perfect skincare routine.
For months I have been religiously watching the youtube tutorials of Korean beauty-guru. But here in Europe, Korean cosmetics are quite expensive. Moreover, I thought that it would be easier for me to use French cosmetics I can find in nearby Parisian pharmacies.
Korean skincare routine and French cosmetics: will it work?
French skin care routine is known for being simple and efficient. Famous French brands like Bioderma or Avène encourage us firstly to clean our face (with a micellar solution or a cleanser), then to use a moisturizer and to go to sleep. Sometimes we can add a hydrating mask to this routine. And there is nothing wrong with this « down to earth « French skincare style! But I wanted something more.
Korean skincare routine vs French skincare routine: how do they differ?
I don’t have a feeling that French brands encourage us to buy 10 different products when it comes to skincare. But at the same time, there is nothing wrong with combining them and creating your own beautifying night routine.
“Koreans recognize that skin care is a holistic practice. There are several individual steps that contribute to the overall goal of beautiful skin.” – Charlotte Cho
Korean skincare is all about layering many cosmetics. French brands promise you a perfect skin within just few, short steps. I think it’s easier to show it in a chart:
French skincare routine vs. Korean skincare routine
Looking for Korean inspired skincare cosmetics in a Parisian pharmacy
In Europe, we can find many creams, serums, oils and different products to cleanse our faces (micellar solutions, gels, foams etc.) Korean inspired sheet masks are also becoming popular. Two things that are yet not so popular are essences and lotions – one of the most important steps in the Korean skincare routine. But few French brands have decided to introduce new products to their lines. In Caudalie, I have found a concentrated brightening essence – inspired by the Asian skincare routine. I tried it and loved it!
‘’Essence is the heart of the Korean skincare routine, and it is a skincare category that was created in Korea,” – Charlotte Cho
In Patyka I found an Essential Lifting Lotion – another step that is a « must do » for Korean girls. Patyka brand is getting more and more popular in France, so I wanted to test some products for a long time.
Creating your perfect night skincare routine: basic rules
I have experience in using French cosmetics but when it comes to creating my perfect night skincare routine, I have decided to follow the advices of Charlotte Cho.
- I was not using products of one brand, preferred to joggle between the products I already know and like, and new ones, that seemed interesting;
- I have focused on 3 steps: cleansing, toning my skin and using active products;
- I added a sheet mask and a cleansing mask twice a week to my night routine;
What did I want to achieve?
I can’t say that my skin was in a terrible condition when I started my long skincare routine. But as always during winter, I had the impression that my face looks more dull, tired, not dewy and radiant. So first I wanted to bring back the glow, fight against the blackheads and big pores on my nose. And of course, not give the wrinkles any chance 🙂
My Korean inspired night routine with French products
Part I: Cleansing my skin like a Korean Lady
I start my night routine by removing eye-make up with the legendary Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Solution. My absolute favorite! Next, I cleanse my face with Uriage Cleansing Face Oil, that is supposed to « capture » all the dirt and at the same time moisturize my skin. Then – as Charlotte Cho is suggesting – I use a water-based cleansing cosmetic, Bioderma Sensibio Soothing Cleansing Gel. Double cleansing is supposed to leave my skin glowing… and it really does! Maybe because this gel has lipid-restoring and moisturizing properties? Then, twice a week, to give a « double kick » to my skin, I use a Purifying Mask from Caudalie. Since ages I have been fighting against blackheads and big pores on my nose, I hope that adding clay mask will help me… For now, I see a big difference on the next day, after using a cleansing mask.
Part II: Essence is the essence!
After cleansing, there is a time for Caudalie Essence and Patyka lotion. For Europeans, essence seems like a pointless gesture, but in the end, it’s the essence that gives your skin a hydration layer. It also gives your skin ingredients – in this case, glycol acid – that is supposed to: « eliminate dead skin cells, whilst extracts from White Peony revitalizes the skin to reveal a more even, healthy glow. «
Part III: using active products
When it comes to serum, I had a really big problem – so many options and yet, we need to pick only one! First I was using a sample of Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum, and it was working really well. Now I am using an Avène Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum to which I have been loyal for many years. It works well with my day cream and I have the impression that Avène thermal water really sinks into my pores. I love this feeling. The oil I use is Caudalie Overnight Recovery Oil (Vinosource line). It smells like a thousand roses and perfectly melts into my skin.
Since Korean beauties love their sheet masks, I couldn’t plan my night routine without them! Luckily, Sephora has just introduced a line of sheet masks for many different skin problems (aging, dryness, etc.) so I have picked Orchid, Pearl and Lotus masks and use them depending on my skin mood.
Last step for me is a night cream. I have decided to use two of them – changing between the days.
Since many years I use Avène YsthéAL with retinol to reduce early signs of aging. And it works! Retinol creams are not easy to use, they don’t smell like roses and leave your pillows dirty in the morning, but they really keep the wrinkles away. I use Ysthéal on days when I don’t use sheet masks and cleansing clay mask.
“Once you experience skin that is chok chok, you’ll decide that it not only feels better; it looks better, too.”- Charlotte Cho
On the remnant days I use Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Cream, to keep my face moist and give it another boost. This cream works well also during the day, so when I travel I don’t need to take two different products with me.
Korean skincare routine and French cosmetics: does it really work?
In my opinion yes.
The first change was visible on the next day. My face was visibly less tired than usual, and it looked really hydrated. Between travels, cold air outside and dry air in my apartment I was really tired of waking up and looking as if I have been partying all night (especially when I haven’t!). One week later I still see the difference, especially when I keep to my routine and use sheet masks in the evening. When it comes to large pores on my nose, I think my skin needs a little bit more time.