- Skin becomes significantly oily mid-to-late afternoon (true oily skin types are significantly glossy before 12 noon or even morning)
- Tight skin after cleansing face (before putting on a moisturizer)
- Possible dry patches on the cheeks
- Powder makeup appears “caked-on” when freshly applied
- Possibly flaky skin
- Gets sunburned easily and turns pink in the sun, oftentimes even with sunscreen
- Mostly found in but (not limited to): Caucasian and lighter skin types
- People ages 35+ are commonly affected by dry skin (but not all the time)
Before you go crazy on me, hear me out: over 1/2 my clients believe their skin is oily when they actually need to hydrate their skin more to balance it out. If you continuously try to rid your skin of its natural moisture, it will, in turn, produce more! You can read more of this crazy science in my blog post here.
Some people may not like the greasy or heavy feel that moisturizers are often associated with, but let’s be real. Your skin was designed to produce oil to protect and moisturize itself, and dry skin types don’t have this luxury. Moisture is your friend – it’s time to find a moisturizer that works for your skin type.
If your skin type is the rigidly dry skin type – tight, dry or even flaky skin – you’re probably missing a few steps in your skincare regimen, which isn’t allowing your skin to shed its cells. You may need some exfoliating products to encourage the dead skin cells to shed and let new cells surface from underneath.
It’s also extremely important to moisturize when using exfoliating products! After exfoliating the superficial surface of the skin, your skin needs a protective barrier.
Dry skin also puts you at risk for accelerated aging, so it’s very important to have a regimen that moisturizes and also offers sun protection.
*I am not a dermatologist nor do I have extensive medical training. I cannot prescribe you any medications or drugs to address your problems. I am, however, a licensed esthetician that can recommend products according to your skin type. If you are seeking medical advice or a professional medical evaluation, please speak with your doctor or dermatologist.
Step 1: Remove makeup
It’s very important to cleanse not once, but twice. The first cleanse removes all your makeup, and the second cleanse removes the rest of the leftover dirt and debris.
Contrary to popular belief, using an oil-based makeup remover gives better results, and here’s why: oil has more lubrication, so you’re not irritating or pulling at your skin when trying to remove long-lasting makeup. This is crucial for areas like the eyelids, where the skin is thinner and more fragile. Oil also helps remove sebum build-up inside the pores, so you’re actually getting a thorough cleanse.
The best oil cleanser for you: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. There’s a reason 1 of these is sold every 10 seconds. DHC’s cleansing oil contains vitamins and antioxidants that help hydrate and nourish parched skin in desperate need of help. It removes even the toughest of makeup.
How to use: Apply a dime-sized amount and remove all face makeup, using circular massaging motions. Be gentle when removing eye makeup. Afterward, use cotton rounds to wipe off the excess oil, paying careful attention to the eyes. To remove eye makeup, swipe the cotton rounds in a downward stroke, following the direction of the lashes. Never pull sideways – this can irritate the thin eyelid skin and cause accelerated wrinkling.
Step 2: Cleanse
The best facial cleanser for you: Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleanser. This low-pH cleansing stick is wonderful for people with sensitive skin. It also contains rose flower extracts, which is perfect for parched skin.
How to use: A little bit goes a long way. Lather up a pea-sized amount and massage into the skin.
Step 3: Exfoliate
Exfoliating is a very important step in Korean skincare. A popular practice of exfoliation is scrubbing off dead skin cells to encourage new cells to the surface. However, there are plenty more methods other than abrasive scrubbing. One of the most popular exfoliating methods include gentle chemical exfoliations with acids or peels, and these are highly encouraged in the Korean regimen.
The best exfoliant for you: Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel. This AHA-based peeling gel is perfect to gently exfoliate thin and loose skin without causing any aggressive abrasions.
How to use: On dry skin, apply a quarter-sized amount and massage onto face. As a general rule of thumb, if you find your skin growing more dry, sensitive, or even extremely oily, you may be exfoliating too frequently. Give your skin a few days to recuperate in between exfoliating treatments.
Step 5: Tone
After cleansing, your skin is stripped of its protective barrier. More than likely, your skin won’t be at its normal 5.5 pH level. 5.5 is slightly acidic because the skin actually has what is called an “acid mantle,” or a protective barrier comprised of fatty acids. If your skin tends to be dry and sensitive, this is a sign of weaker acid mantle, meaning your skin is too alkaline. A toner helps bring your skin’s pH levels back to normal and creates a balanced environment for the next step in your skincare regimen.
The best toner for you: Skinfood Gold Caviar Toner. The Russian caviar extract helps nourish and moisturize the skin, making your skin soft and hydrated.
How to use: Using a cotton round, swipe all over face and wait until dry before proceeding onto next step.
Step 6: Ampoule
Ampoules are another leave-in treatment that addresses specific skin concerns. Because it is far more concentrated than both essences and serums, I recommend using an ampoule during your nighttime routine in place of an essence or serum.
The best ampoule for you: Mizon’s Hyaluronic Acid 100 Ampoule is one of the star players in any dry skin routine. This ampoule features hyaluronic acid to deliver moisture.
How to use: Drop a pea or dime-sized amount onto palm and pat into face until dry. Be sure to avoid physical contact with the dropper to avoid contamination.
Optional Step 7: Sheet Mask
The best sheet mask for you: Benton Snail Bee Sheet Masks. These sheet masks contain snail extract and bee venom, which both help to smooth and tighten the skin. An added bonus is that both help the skin retain moisture.
How to use: Simply stick on the mask and leave on for 30 minutes, then remove the sheet. Do not rinse the product off – massage into the skin until absorbed. If you feel there’s too much, pat down with a tissue and then proceed to massage into skin.
Step 8: Eye Cream
The best eye cream for you: Etude House Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream. Featuring baobab tree extracts and marine collagen, this eye cream helps to restore the resilience of tired and thin skin around the eyes, promoting a youthful appearance.
How to use: Using a fresh cotton swab to prevent contamination, scoop a tiny amount of eye cream the size of the white moons of your fingernails. Distribute this amount onto both ring fingers and gently pat the cream onto your eyelids, paying special attention to the area directly underneath your lower lash line. Use quick, light tapping motions until the product is absorbed. Do not rub, pull, or stretch the eyelids.
Step 9: Moisturize
A thicker moisturizer helps to seal in all the product and prevent the skin from drying out as the hours pass.
The best cream moisturizer for you: The Face Shop’s Mango Seed Facial Butter is literally like ambrosia in a jar. It seals in moisture without feeling too heavy and is perfect for the drier winter months. A little goes a very long way with this product, so this jar could probably last you almost a year.
How to use: Scoop a dime-sized amount with a clean cotton swab and pat into the face until product is absorbed.
Optional Step: Nighttime Mask
Sometimes your skin is in turmoil and you just know you need to do a little something extra to help it. When we sleep, our body works hard to regenerate and heal itself in every department, and your skin is no exception to that. Incorporating an extra step during your slumber can help boost your skin’s ability to repair itself.
The best sleeping mask for you: Cosrx’s Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask is a game-changer for those with dry and flaky skin. It contains 85% bee propolis content and royal jelly, which help restore hydration while healing any irritation from dehydration and flakiness.
How to use: When your skin is suffering or if you’re prepping for a huge event, use this the day before. After your moisturizer is fully absorbed, massage in a pea-sized amount of this mask right over your moisturizer until your skin soaks it up. Since it functions as an extra layer that seals in everything underneath, you don’t want to lay it on too thick and suffocate your skin. Leave it on overnight and then rinse off in the morning, followed by a moisturizer.
Step 10: Sunscreen
Sun exposure is the #1 cause of physical aging in the skin and is something that is also avoidable. Aside from wearing hats or staying out of the sun completely, sunscreen not only helps you age slower but also helps slow down the process of hyperpigmentation. Did you ever notice that after a day in the sun, your dark spots look even darker? The sun acts like glue to pigment and makes it harder for the spots to fade.
The best sunscreen for you: A’Pieu’s Pure block Natural Sun Cream is a very creamy, non-tacky sunscreen containing aloe and raspberry extracts that moisturize parched skin without leaving a greasy residue. Not only is the texture perfect for thin skin, but it has a huge amount of SPF and PA. SPF only protects from UVB rays, whereas PA protects from UVA rays. And you see those +’s? That’s actually a PA ranking: the more +’s the better. Just like SPF’s number: the higher, the better.
How to use: Apply all over face, neck, and all other areas exposed to the sun. Reapply every 2 hours – no ingredient remains active all day!
Optional Step: BB Cream
If you’re an avid makeup lover and can’t seem to put the foundation down, a BB cream is a great alternative to taking care of your skin while getting the coverage you need. BB creams serve as a foundation with hydrating and brightening effects and can also double as a sunscreen. While BB and CC creams have made their debut in America, Korean-brand BB creams have still remained superior to their American counterparts.
Fun fact: Many BB creams have a limited selection of colors, but that’s because they actually change color to match your skin. They may appear gray at first, but give it some time and some window light and the product will oxidize.
The best BB cream for you: Skin79’s Super+ VIP Gold BB Cream is perfect for those looking for coverage while receiving anti-aging benefits. This formulation contains gold and caviar extracts that provide a healthy dose of nutrition to the skin and also tons of collagen to retain moisture.
How to use: Pump a small amount onto the back of your hand, and using either your finger or foundation brush, apply it to the face as you would with a foundation. I personally like using my finger and blending it over dark spots for a more natural look. Give it time to oxidize, and then set with powder.
I hope you found this guide informative! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email at contact @ theballeronabudget.com. I’ll be checking up on you to see how your skin is soon! In the meanwhile, please check out my other beauty posts.
Looking for more product options? Visit my complete 10-Step Korean Skincare Guide.