What Happened When I Tried A Korean Skin-Care Regimen For A Month

Photo: Courtesy of Michelle Persad/The Coveteur.
We've tasked HuffPost Style editor Michelle Persad to try out everything from Kardashian-esque hair extensions to skipping shampoo to test-driving Beyoncé's 22 Days Vegan program. Now, we've asked her to ditch her minimal beauty routine of only two products and take on the eight-step Korean beauty routine for an entire month — here goes nothing, right? Read on for what Persad has to say about the regimen.

This story was originally published on August 26, 2015.

When it comes to skin care, I like to think of myself as somewhat of a minimalist (read: I'm very lazy). My nightly regimen consists of a cleanser and then a face cream. I never use toner, I stopped using eye cream a year ago, I don't own exfoliator, and my foray into face masks ended when I stopped having slumber parties. So when The Coveteur asked me to swap out my skin-care routine and use Korean beauty products for a month, I laughed.

But, then I met with Alicia Yoon, founder of Korean beauty e-commerce site Peach and Lily, and her perfect, glowy skin convinced me to ditch my two-product bedtime routine in exchange for her eight-plus product regimen. Yoon, who graduated from Harvard Business School, is a skin-care expert who frequently travels to Korea, where she interviews top dermatologists and aestheticians and stays up to speed on the latest beauty advancements in Asia.


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Yoon's perfect, glowy skin convinced me to ditch my two-product bedtime routine in exchange for her eight-plus product regimen, beginning with this cleansing gel.
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After cleansing, I applied a cleansing mousse, intended to remove skin impurities.
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The toner, which was third in line, I used to balance the pH of my skin.
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I followed up with a water-based formula to hydrate and repair my skin.
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After that I applied three drops of another serum (this one with peptides) to smooth fine lines.
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Next, I mixed yet another serum with an argan oil to hydrate my thirsty skin with lipids.
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Until I started this skin-care routine, I would blindly try products that I thought might work for my skin. But, having an expert tell me what I needed and why made me completely rethink how I go about taking care of my face.
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After the serum-argan oil combo, I applied an eye cream to brighten my undereyes.

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Finally, I finished with another cream, which was supposed to seal in all of the other products I had just put on my face.

If it was the morning, I would have added an SPF, and a couple of times a week I would also pepper in an exfoliator, a sleeping mask, undereye masks, face masks, and a blackhead remover.

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Photo: Courtesy of Michelle Persad/The Coveteur.
But, did it work? Am I now evangelical about Korean skin-care products? Without sounding like I totally drank the Kool-Aid: Yes. My skin is glowing — it's so much softer and smoother than it ever was, and it never feels dry or irritated, ever.

In case you're curious about what this skin-care conversion would've cost me, here's the breakdown: I was spending $170 every three months with my two-product regimen; the Korean skin-care routine would've cost me about $662 every three months.

Will I continue to use eight or more products twice a day? Probably not. I don't think I'll ever go back to my old ways, but I plan on streamlining the routine Yoon gave me to make it more realistic for my busy life (and, let's face it, my budget).
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