Ever since the K-beauty boom happened a few years ago, we’ve seen a flood of new skincare products on the market inspired by the infamous 12-step routine that many Korean women are said to diligently complete twice a day.
Essences, ampoules, sheet masks and lotions (nope, not the body kind) are just a few of the words we’ve had to add to our beauty lexicon, with brands claiming that adding these extra steps will give us the skin we’ve always wanted.
But research from Mintel shows that the Asian trend may be on the way out, as 28% of women have reduced the number of products in their skincare routine in the last year.
If you’re one of these women, you may be wondering: what’s the minimum you need to do each day to keep your skin in good condition?
We asked aesthetic and dermatology nurse Emma Coleman to go back to basics and break down the essential steps of a morning and evening routine, listing the products that will clean, protect and hydrate your skin without taking hours to apply.
Here, Coleman reveals the skincare steps you should never skip…
"Your skin detoxifies and regenerates at night, leaving a layer of toxins and dead cells, so is in need of a light nourishing cleanse in the morning. This will also help brighten up your complexion for the day.
"I recommend Emma Coleman Roses & Lemons Cleanse Balm and Dr. Levy 3 Deep Cell Renewal Micro-Resurfacing."
"Serums are concentrated formulas that usually contains vitamins and nutrients which will help the skin stay healthy, repair itself more effectively and increase circulation.
"Choose a weightless textured one for day time with antioxidants to reduce damage from daily pollution. Apply a few drops of serum and press into the skin."
"Finish with moisturiser with SPF of at least 30 on a daily basis all year round – it is important it is to protect your skin from the sun, no matter the weather.
"There are some moisturising formulations that offer the best of both worlds of hydrating the skin and protecting."
"Washing your face before bed helps rid the skin of excess sebum, dead skin cells, and pollution that has built up on your face throughout the day.
"It also helps with absorption and penetration of ingredients that you may apply that will help fight ageing or acne."
2. Face mask
"I like face masks whatever the skin issue and as an example, often recommend easy homemade face masks for clients struggling with mild to moderate acne skin – honey and turmeric, for instance, to deal with flakiness and inflammation."
This isn’t a daily necessity, however. Coleman recommends applying a face mask two to three times a week.
Retinol should also be applied just two or three times a week, Coleman recommends.
"This will help to unclog pores, boost collagen to reduce fine lines, and speed cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth the skin."
"Use an antioxidant overnight moisturiser every evening before bed – try Emma Coleman Natural Healing Night Balm.
"Don’t forget the neck and using a face massage technique during application will aid absorption and blood flow."