Monday, February 8, 2016

Intro to Asian Beauty | Build Up The Basics

Welcome to step two of my "Intro to Asian Beauty" series! In my first post I covered what I felt were the basics of AB, as in basics to dip your toes into your new skincare journey. Hopefully by this point you've narrowed down a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer that work well with your skin - so in this post we'll move on adding more steps in the Asian beauty regimen.

1. The Basics: Cleanser, Toner, Moisturizer & Checking Ingredients
2. Build Up The Basics: YOU ARE HERE!
3. Individualized Treatments: Essences, Serums, and Ampoules
4. Overnight Healing: Spot Treatments & Sleeping Packs

In this post:
>Oil Cleansers
>First Essences

Where they'll fit into a routine:
Oil cleanser > Cleanser > Toner > Vitamin C > BHA > AHA > Prescription Treatment > First essence > Essence > Serum > Ampoule > Sheet mask > Eye Treatment > Emulsion/Lotion > Cream > Spot Treatment > Sleeping Pack or Sunscreen

Before we get started, I want to note that this post does contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This is what helps fund this blog and everything I do here - including purchase review items and host giveaways.

Oil Cleanser:
Like sunscreen, which will be discussed later on in this post, oil cleansing should also be one of the earlier investments in your skincare routine -  but because it can be so difficult to find one that works for you, I'm adding into my second post instead of the first. An oil cleanser will be your first step in your routine in the evening and is important because it removes makeup, sunscreen, and any buildup or oils your face has accumulated throughout the day. This may sound simple enough (or sound like a totally gross step that you don't want to put on your face haha) but something I've noticed over the past couple years is that there seem to be a lot of people who have issues with mineral oil - which happens to be in many (if not most) oil-based cleansers.
The great thing about Asian oil cleansers, (and now some western ones) is that they emulsify with water. This means, after you've spent your preferred amount of time massaging them onto your skin and allowing it to mix with and pull away the crud from your skin, you can easily rinse it away with water, and continue with your regular cleanser and the rest of your routine. You can find them in a liquid or balm (soft solid/sherbert) form, so I'll list some of each for you to take a look at.
>Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil (Jolse, Amazon, Memebox)
>Banila Co Clean It Zero (Original) (Jolse, Amazon, Memebox)
>illi Total Aging Care Cleansing Oil (Jolse, Memebox)
>Elizavecca Natural 90& Olive Cleansing Oil (eBay, Memebox, BBCosmetic)
>DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (Amazon)

First Essence:
An essence is going to be one of your first hydrating steps in your routine. An essence adds back a light amount of moisture after cleansing (and using actives, if you're that advanced into a routine) and gives further products in your routine a better surface for absorption. Products tend to absorb better into damp skin vs dry skin, and by using an essence with a slippery texture, you're setting your skin up to drink up everything else you're planning on adding in. My favorite essences contain galactomyces, because this amazing yeast extract helps with anti-aging and antioxidant effects as well. Some even contain ingredients like niacinamide, which will help brighten the skin and any hyper-pigmentation too!
>Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence (Jolse, Amazon, Memebox)
>SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (TesterKoreaSephora)
>Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (Amazon, Memebox)
>TonyMoly Intense Care Galactomyces First Essence (Jolse, Amazon)
>Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Intensive (Jolse, Amazon)
>Goodal Waterest First Essence (Jolse, Amazon)

Sunscreen is like the unicorn of the AB world - no-one should be without one but it's impossible to find one [that works for you]. I noted in my first Intro to Asian Beauty post that I've been dabbling in AB for about two years now, and I just a few months ago found a sunscreen that I think is ok.
There are different types of sunscreen, but we're just going to think about traditional creamy or essence-type sunscreens right now. There are two different "types" of sun protection - physical and chemical. Chemical sunscreens are seemingly more popular and available because they do not leave a white cast (making your skin look much more pale than it really is), they absorb very well, and they dry down fast. The problem with chemical sunscreens is that sometimes they can cause more irritation to the skin than a physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens provide a physical barrier which protects your skin from the suns' harmful rays, and since they don't absorb as much into the skin they generally do not cause much irritation. However, they can leave a ghostly finish on your skin which can be a problem is you're not already pale as a beautiful sandy beach or wearing makeup over your sunscreen. Below I'm going to list a few popular sunscreens, and I'll separate chemical and physical sunscreens to make it easier for you to sort them out - I'm in the physical-only sunscreen camp thanks to my lovely sensitive skin, and I need sunscreen without alcohol too because of my allergy.
Physical-Only Sunscreens:
>Goodal Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++ (Amazon)
>Innisfree Eco Safety No Sebum SPF35 PA+++ (Jolse, Amazon)
>Innisfree Eco Safety Perfect Waterproof SPF50+ PA+++ (Jolse, Amazon)
>Sunkiller Baby Milk SPF45 PA+++ (Amazon)
Chemical-Only Sunscreens:
>Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA++++ (Amazon)
>Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++ (TesterKoreaAmazon)
>Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel SPF50+ PA++++ (Amazon)
Physical/Chemical Blend Sunscreen:
>Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++ (Jolse, Amazon, CupidropMemebox)
>Innisfree Eco Safety Daily Sunblock SPF35 PA++ (Jolse, Amazon)
>Innisfree Eco Safety Perfect Sunblock SPF50+ PA+++ (Jolse, Amazon, Memebox)
>EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 (Amazon) - Not AB

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The Glitter Chic blog will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products reviewed. If you have any questions, please contact me at gothickornchic at gmail dot com. This blog contains affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using one of those links. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


  1. Sunscreen is a big part of my beauty routine, living where I do. But I'm really intrigued by the idea of essence.

  2. My skin gets really dry so I think an oil cleanser would work for me. The Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbert is something I'd like to try.

  3. I am allergic to most all sunscreens so I have to be super careful about ingredients. I just may try one of those oil cleansers-I like that they are water soluble.

  4. My skin can get really dry, especially during the winter. I have never heard of First Essence before, but I think I owe it to my skin to try it.