A Crash Course on the Basics: Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturize
Cleanse, tone, and moisturize. These are the building blocks of skincare as we know it: the truly essential if you want to keep your skin in good condition; the absolute non-negotiable if you want to pare down the proverbial K-Beauty 10-step to a more manageable 3-step.
As skincare regimens have expanded to include serums, exfoliants, masks, and so on and so fort, they’ve gotten so complex that quite a few of us—especially those just looking to start—are understandably confused about where to begin...
We at KPOSH are more than happy to help you out. Before we dive in to the intricacies of K-Beauty, let’s start simple by zeroing in on what the basics are and why they matter.
Whether you have a plethora of care products on your bathroom vanity or just the bare minimum, the cleanser is most definitely part of that line-up. You’ve been washing your face since… well, forever, but it’s important to check in and ask: Am I using the right products? Am I doing this right?
Choosing a cleanser that suits your skin type is crucial. If you have oily skin, a product made for dry skin can yield results that are opposite to what you want—and that goes the other way around, too. You also have to make sure it’s effective enough to get rid of all that dirt and grime but gentle enough on your skin. It may take awhile to find a cleanser that’s perfect for you, but there are a lot of options out there.
Use lukewarm water to wash. Lather up the cleanser and gently apply it all over your face and neck for at least 60 seconds to ensure you get the job done. Rinse off afterward and pat dry (please don’t rub) with a towel. Be mindful not to wash more than twice a day as you may be stripping your skin of its natural oils.
Sometimes overlooked and often thought of as a surplus, toners actually matter. Not only do they remove the remnants of the dirt and grime (simply cleansing doesn’t do the trick), but they also restore the pH level of your skin. If this rises into the alkaline range, your skin loses water and dries out, leaving the epidermis unable to function as a protective barrier. Toners are also formulated to refresh skin without irritating it or causing dryness.
Just like every other product, there are different formulas designed to suit the different skin types. If you have oily skin, this is definitely a key step as it will help keep sebum production in check. If you have dry skin, there are toners that are specifically meant to help hydrate—just look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, rosewater, and aloe.
Application is easy. Simply soak a cotton ball or pad and wipe.
There are numerous factors that can wear skin down over time: exposure to sunlight and pollutants, changes in weather, and the natural aging process, among others. Moisturizing helps beat back the effects of such, maintaining the skin’s health and keeping it in the best condition possible. As different ingredients are used to formulate different moisturizers, this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of product. But regardless of what works for you, moisturizing reduces the chance of problems, helps the skin stay young, and even combats against wrinkles.
When applying, pat the product onto your skin instead of rubbing it in; this helps distribute it evenly without causing damage to your skin cells. It is recommended to apply with upwards strokes to discourage sagging. Moisturize at least twice daily: after showering and right before going to bed.