K-Beautified: My Road to Healthy Skin

A great skincare routine that doesn’t break the bank or break you out is hard to curate. After 15 years of trying products from boutiques to drugstores, I’ve finally found a routine that fits. 

I did so much damage to my skin as a teen that I’m still dealing with it. My cystic acne left pockmarks on my cheeks and chin that have taken years–and lots of money–to fade away. I would punish my skin for breaking out. I’d aggressively pick my pimples and slather drying topical creams onto my face. I was a chronic over-exfoliator and my skin was constantly trying to recover from the damage it was receiving. Because of that, my skin started to overproduce oil to compensate for all the dryness–I was actually making myself break out. I’m shocked to say that I didn’t even use moisturizer back then. I figured my oily skin had no need for it. Turns out, my skin was actually parched.

Images via Stylenanda

I remember the first time I tried a sheet mask and felt the nourishing serum seep into my skin. I loved how supple and relaxed my skin looked after I peeled it off. I was hooked to the brilliant results of K-Beauty instantly.

The following routine was curated by myself after years of trial and error as a lone Mexican-American girl trying to navigate the ever-saturated world of Asian beauty. A major focus of this routine is preventing breakouts and nourishing my skin. I’m seeing the results and even a bad skin day doesn’t get me down anymore!

Image via Stylenanda

10 Steps to Nourish and Protect Your Skin

Wash Your Hands.

Wash your hands using warm water. What’s the point of everything else if your hands are covered in bacteria?

The Double Cleanse.

Image via Honeysu

The saving grace of my skin. I start with an oil cleanser, like Banila Co’s Clean It Zero Balm, and follow up with Neogen’s Green Tea Foam Cleanser. The double cleanse is a great way to ensure that your skin is completely clean and free of aging free radicals, pollution, and toxins.

Micellar Water.

I like to change this up for fun. Right now I’m using Yes’s Soothing Cucumber Water because the weather change is making my skin feel tight and malnourished. I usually let this dry on my skin before moving on.


If I’m seeing dullness, skimped on my routine the night before, or am having a breakout, I use The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. I prefer glycolic acid, over the more popular salicylic acid, as my skin is sensitive and gets easily inflamed. Glycolic acid only penetrates the first layer of the dermis while salicylic acid goes a few layers deeper. I also like to let this sit on my skin till it dries.

Hyaluronic Acid.

Image via LauraLouiseBeauty

Discovering NIOD’s Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex was a game changer. Light, airy, and fully moisturizing–this is the skincare product I would want on a deserted island. You only need a few drops patted onto your skin to see a difference.


My collagen level has begun to reduce since turning 26 and I have acne scars. Because of this, I use collagen to help boost my skin’s elasticity. Collagen is a protein that gives skin strength, elasticity, and helps to replace dead skin cells with new growth. Collagen is a great ingredient for anyone with scarring as it will help boost cell growth in that area. I’ve started reaching to Etude House’s Moistfull Collagen Emulsion. I apply it with a cotton pad and tap it onto my main areas of concern: my acne scars, my forehead (where faint expression lines are starting to appear), my smile lines, and my neck.

Lactic Acid.

The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% serum helps to slough off stubborn skin cells and neutralize acne-creating bacteria.


Image via Asos

The Ordinary’s Advanced Retinoid 2% serum rejuvenates my skin and prevents fine lines and dullness, which are signs of aging. It also can be used to prevent clogged pores and blackheads.

Sleeping Pack and Oil.

I use Etude House’s Moisture Collagen Sleeping Pack with one drop of Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil. I like to apply this to the outside of my ears where the lobes meet my face and on my neck using upwards motions as these areas show signs of aging along with the face.

Eye Cream.

My all time favorite eye cream and longest running resident of my medicine cabinet is 100% Pure’s Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. Make sure to apply this with your ring finger. This is the favorite part of my nighttime routine because the hydrating cream smells like vacation on a tropical island.


Image via Soo Joo Park

If you’re feeling extra luxurious, add a hydrating sheet mask in after applying your toner. My current favorite is My Beauty Diary’s Hyaluronic Acid sheet mask. Also, be sure to use small amounts of each product. A little goes a long way and you don’t want one product to block the efficacy of another. Additionally, I’ll use my Neutrogena Light Therapy Mask to target any lurking bacteria after all the products have soaked in. If you’re skin isn’t as sensitive as mine, you can use a higher dose of acids. I recommend making this a meditative time. I often light a scented candle and listen to an audiobook while I indulge in some self care and wind down for bed with a glass of wine. How do you incorporate your skincare into your nighttime routine? Share below!

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