As some of you may already know, Korean skincare routines tend to be long and pretty intensive — with up to seven-plus steps including but not limited to cleansing, toning, and usually several different treatments (serums, ampoules, etc.) In recent years though, a trend known as “skip care” has amassed a ton of popularity, and well, that’s likely because it provides a far more streamlined approach to Korean skincare.
Basically, when it comes to skincare, more definitely does not always mean better. In fact, in some cases, using too many products can cause the epidermis to become congested and/or sensitized. “Even good cosmetics can irritate the skin or cause skin problems such as pimples and acne due to oversupply of nutrients,” says the CEO of Mipamun Dermatology, Deuk-gon Moon. “The more products you use, the more ingredients your skin must accept, and the more likely you are to be exposed to chemicals that naturally irritate your skin. That's why you need skip care.”
Ok, so how do you practice skip care?
The overall goal with skip care is to reduce the number of steps in your routine — but it’s also about listening to your skin and learning what it wants so you can nurture it accordingly with the right products. For example, if you have oily skin with a well-spring of sebum production, you can get away with skipping a heavy cream and just stick to the basics: cleanser, toner, and lotion. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t use a serum or ampoule if you’re trying to treat a specific concern, such as melasma, but again, it all comes down to getting in tune with your skin and what it needs — that, and not overdoing it just because you’ve been conditioned to believe that more is better.
A few tips for following a skip care routine:
- Take advantage of hybrid products as they combine the function of multiple steps into one. An example of this would be a thicker, lotion-like toner that can double as your essence and serum.
- Par down your treatment steps. For instance, instead of using an essence, serum, and an ampoule — all of which have similar functions — try using just one or two.
- Pay attention to how your skin responds when you stop doing a step. This way, you can start to learn what your skin really craves, as well as what it doesn’t require. Ultimately this will help you get more strategic about the skincare steps that you do and don’t practice, and what works best for you.
Are there steps I should never skip?
Great question. The answer is YES. Three skincare steps you should never, ever forego are cleansing, moisturizing, and most important of all: sun protection. Why? Well, for starters, cleansing is super important because it removes the dirt, pollution, and dead skin cells that build up throughout the day and over time, all of which can lead to issues like congestion, breakouts, and a dull appearance. As for moisturizing, well it’s pretty key if you want to keep your skin optimally hydrated — especially, that is, if you’re on the drier side — as well as to protect your barrier from environmental stressors like pollution. Lastly, protecting your skin with sunscreen every single day is crucial as the sun’s rays are not only responsible for skin cancer, but also premature signs of aging (i.e. fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, loss of elasticity, and so on).
Skip care by skin type
If you’re oily… consider skipping your essence and serum steps because your skin should already be well-moisturized as a result of how much sebum you make.
If you’re dry… try skipping your essence step and just using a serum and thick cream to lock in hydration. You can always layer a facial oil, or a barrier-protecting product like our Bouncy Balm, on top if you need extra moisture.
If you’re normal.. Go ahead and give cleansing, toning, and moisturizing a shot. Three steps might sound like it’s not enough, but if you don’t have any specific concerns to address, such as dehydration or acne, it shouldn’t take much to keep your complexion in good shape.