New Year, New Korean Skincare Routine (Cruelty Free)

While babies get talked to, cuddled, dressed in the most fashionable outfits and are given things (so many freaking THINGS) their mothers look on, smiling, and largely ignored. We mothers wear the same yoga pants for days and drink cold coffee. Our hair is a perpetual rats nest pulled into a bun.

mom bun

The one thing I’ve clung to as a new mom is self-care. Around bedtime, I ask my husband to take the baby for a few minutes and I brush, floss and do my nighttime skincare routine. It’s simple and quick but so important to me.

I was fortunate to receive some funds from family this year at Christmas and I thought I would save it for a trip to the hair salon, as I usually do. I’m a new mom running ragged and I felt like I deserve it. A haircut and balayage which would probably last for the next few months but take out my entire budget. Well this year I decided to treat myself in another way: invest in a revamp to my skincare routine. What is the point of having nice hair if I’m not doing the best I can for my 28 year old skin? It’s past time to get serious about my skincare. Not to mention, I barely have time to apply makeup so to have such glowing skin that I could feel confident going makeup free is the goal!

In visiting skincare subreddits, like Skincare Addiction, I found out about the Korean skincare routine (see Asian Beauty, Korean Beauty). The skincare industry is enormous in Korea. Not only do skincare lovers largely agree that their products work better and are ahead of Western skincare advancements, but the products are often much cheaper.

 

apink
K-Pop Band, APink

Although the 10-step Korean skincare method seems daunting at first glance, remember that may of these steps you’ll only need to do about once a week or whenever you feel like it. Here is a great article going into detail on each step and a journalist who tried it for 7 days. The process is a great time to listen to music, catch up on podcasts, unwind and mamas can have their partner take the baby for a bit.

The 10 steps:

  1. Oil Cleanser
  2. Foam/ Gel Cleanser
  3. Exfoliation
  4. Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Ampoule (Serum)
  7. Mask
  8. Eye Cream
  9. Moisturizer
  10. SPF

skincare

My only reservation: while Korea actually voted to ban animal testing on cosmetics by February 2018, most companies still test on animals and many others that don’t test in Korea still sell in mainland China (which means they are still being tested). It’s extremely difficult to determine which are completely cruelty free. There is no comprehensive updated list out there right now and many are actually incorrect.

Brands that do NOT Animal Test and do NOT sell in mainland China as of 1/11/18:

  • AllNATURE
  • Aromatica
  • By Herb
  • Belif
  • Benton
  • B-Lab
  • Byherb
  • CosRX
  • ECO ROUND
  • Half Moon Eyes
  • ISNTree
  • Klairs
  • Leaders
  • Mizon
  • Neogen
  • Pyungkang Yul
  • RE:P
  • Sevendrops
  • Skincure
  • Skin Watchers
  • Thank You Farmer
  • withmy

Even though the above companies don’t test on animals (or have China do it), be sure to double check the ingredients list. Popular animal ingredients in K-Beauty include horse/ pig fat, silk, bee venom, snail secretion, placenta and shark squalene. (Apparently some placenta and squalene can be plantbased, as well).

snail

Today I made a trip to Marshalls to start trying to curate my Kbeauty skincare routine. The only Asian skincare brands I found were a Cosmetea jelly cleanser (Korean brand), a few Shiseido anti-aging products, and a box of silk finger balls for blackhead removal (not sure of brand but I’ve been seeing them everywhere!). Nothing vegan or cruelty free.

I did find a few things that fit into the KBeauty routine even they they aren’t Asian brands. DermaE DMAE firming eye lift, Olivia Care Organic Rose Water facial mist and Good Things Micellar Water.

I will continue to shop on places like JolseKorea Depart, and Amazon to get the rest of my Korean skincare.  If you’re interested in finding KBeauty skincare read this amazing article.

Stay tuned! Please shoot me a message if you have any suggestions.

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