I'm thinking about getting into skin care and I was wondering if anyone could recommend me some products.

Also what does toner actually do?

Hi!

I made a thread years about about Korean beauty products.  Check it out and see if anything piques your interest: http://mydramalist.com/discussions/general-korea-t...

As for toner, Korean/Asian toners are a bit different from Western toners.  Asian toners tend to restore moisture to your skin after a wash for balance, give some nutrients, and basically prep your skin for the next stages of your routine!
I use cosmetic-love.com to get my products (the shipping is free) and as for my toner, I use this one (https://cosmetic-love.com/products/cosrx-aha-bha-clarifying-treatment-toner) which works quite well :)

Hello!

As someone who has gotten into Korean skincare this year~ I'd love to help you out! Especially so that you don't make the same mistakes I did. 



Here is the sequence of things you should do:


1. Determine which skin type you have.
(Oily, Combination, Dry, Normal) > (Oily & Sensitive, Combination & Sensitive, Dry & Sensitive, Normal & Sensitive)


2. Determine what you want to take care of.
> Acne / Breakout
> Blemishes
> Dark Circles
> Anti-aging (Start if you're 18+) 
> Reddness
> Dull looking skin / Uneven skintone
> Tiny bumps (clogged pores)
> Dry patches



3. Keep in mind if you have any allergies.
(Example: Rose, Snail, etc)


4. Determine your budget.
> For your first time, don't go all crazy. Please. Trust me. I DID~ big mistake.


5. Research products.
> read reviews, search up ingredients on cosdna(site).
> This subreddit (Asianbeauty) on Reddit is really helpful. Lots of resources there.


6. Find a store/ stores for you.

My suggestions:
> Jolse (Free shipping worldwide, Free EMS over 50USD or something)
> IBBI (Cheaper than Jolse. But free Normal shipping over 50USD worldwide. You have to pay if you want EMS shipping.)
> Wishtrend (Pay by weight. Unless Free shipping offer on package worldwide.)
> RoseRoseShop (Cheap products but shipping by weight. Do the match T_T. Worldwide.)
> Testerkorea (Same situation as RRS.Wordlwide.) 
> Sokoglam (Check it out if you're in the States or Canada)
> Try Ebay or Amazon (If you're in the States or Canada)
> Memebox (States?)
>AltheaKorea (Expensive, shipping as well I think. I've never bought from this place. Worldwide.)



Where have I bought from so far?
> Jolse
>IBBI

Little note: Boy do these folks give out samples. Crazy amount of samples!

7. Purchase & Track.

8. Follow My Advice.



EDUCATION TIME:

The Korean Skincare Routine:



1. First Cleanser (Only in night routines~ unless you want double cleanse in your morning routine as well)
2. Second Cleanser 
Korean skincare followers firmly believe in Double Cleansing. Firmly. Washing your face once is not enough. During the day, if you have makeup on, or even if you don't~ your face is filled with gunk that needs to get removed ASAP (Especially if you're like me and you keep touching your face like an idiot.) Thus, double cleansing is very very important.

The first cleanser should always be oil or balm based. This helps with the gentle removal of your makeup/suncreen/ etc.
You can not use a foam/gel cleanser first. You can also not use two foam/gel cleansers as both the first and second cleaners.

Your second cleanser should best be a foam cleanser. Foam cleansers are better because they are more gentle than the gel cleaners.
Something to remember:
> You know that bathing soap you use? Don't wash your face with that. It actually clogs your pores, and this can result in a lot of tiny bumps or breakouts. Keep that soap away.
> For your second cleanser, DO NOT buy cleansers with High PH. NOT GOOD. (eg: Skinfood egg pore wash or something)


3. Exfoliation (2-3 times/week)

There are two types of exfoliation, Physical and Chemical. But basically what exfoliation does is help in the dead epidermal layer of your face. (Dead skin) and help your face feel like a baby's bottom. 

Physical exfoliation includes: Rubbing grains against your face, peeling masks, konjac sponge, a piece of washcloth.
Chemical exfoliation includes stuff like: Neogen biopeel [Product] ~ or stuff with AHA, BHA, PHA [Cosrx])

I suggest you do your research before you decide on your exfoliator. 


4. Toner
A toner is like something that helps your skin to absorb all of the products that you will apply on your face afterwards. It also helps in moisture retaining and to balance the PH of your skin.



5. Sheet Mask (whenever you feel like it)
Sheet masks are magical products that can do anything. Like moisturize, brighten, firm your skin, help with breakouts, give youthful glow, provide nutrients, etc)



6. Essence
These guys are amazing. So they are lighter than Serums/Ampules and focus on a number of things (according to your need). For example: Pumpness, antiaging, breakouts, brightening, soft glow effect. Food for your skin, man. 


7. Serum/Ampule
These guys do a lot of stuff, especially if you're into addressing specific issues like brightening, dark spots, wrinkles, etc. 
(Example: Vitamin C serums are used to remove blemishes and brightening) 


8. Moisturizer
IMPORTANT. IMPORTANT. IMPORTANT!
I hate feeling like my face is roaming the lands of Sahara! Moisturizers can be classed in two categories: Emulsions or Creams. Basically, Emulsions are thinner than Creams (I like creams better)~ but I'm sure you know why this is important, right?


9. Eye-cream/Spot cream/ etc.
After moisturizer comes the spot for adressing more of your specific places of interest. Such as darkcircles or active pimples. 

10.SPF (Only used during morning routines)
SPF IS IMPORTANT! TRUST ME. JUST TRUST ME. 
(My product suggestions: A'Pieu Daily block or Biore [Japanese brand]) 



ADVICE TIME:

Yes, there are 10 steps. Yes, all 10 steps are important in some way or another. Yes, Korean skincare works ~ you just have to find products that work for you. 

However: NO, you should not start with all of the steps. No, you must not buy everything from the routine. No, there is no guarantee that everyone's holy grail product will work for you. No, you should not put everything you've just once onto your face all at once without patch testing them first.


Believe me, on this one~ I'm warning you against everything I've done and am regretting :P

Okay, so since you're new to the Korean skincare world, I really advise you to just purchase the following things first:
1. First Cleanser
2. Second Cleanser
3. Moisturizer
4. SPF
So you'll research your 4 products --> You'll purchase them online ---> Your shipment will come ---> and then what??


YOUR PATCH TESTING JOURNEY WILL BEGIN!

Here is how it will go:
Once your four products have arrived, you can start using the products, one at a time, from number 1 to number 4. What I mean is:

> First you will begin with your SECOND CLEANSER (I'll tell you why in a bit)
Wash your face (or the spot you pick out on your face for patch testing) with the second cleanser 1-2 times a day. For 5-10 days. Remove as soon as you see tiny bumps forming or you start breaking out. 

> After you're done patch-testing your 2ND CLEANSER~ patch test your FIRST CLEANSER.
Wash your face (or the spot you pick out for patch testing) with the first cleanser during your night routine. For 5-10 days. Continue to use your 2nd cleanser (it'll help remove the oil/balm residue from the 1st cleanser). Remove as soon as you see tiny bumps or break outs. 

>After youre done with patch testing both your cleansers, time to add in your moisturizer. 
Apply on the spot you want, or whereever you want for 5-10 days. Remove as soon as you see any reaction occuring.

> Done with your moisturizer too? Time for the SPF. Same rules apply. 


Next purchase:
You can buy whatever you want if it's in your budget, but I suggest going slowly~ maybe an exfoliator and toner only?
Anyway, whatever you do buy, continue to add in those products and patch test them for 5-10 days before moving onto the next product. 

THINGS TO NOTE:

 Actives such as Vitamin C, Retinol, AHA, BHA, PHA, SPF, etch have some points to keep in mind.

Such as do not use the following together:
- AHA/PHA/BHA & RETINOL/RETINOID
- AHA/PHA/BHA & VITAMIN C
-SALICYLIC ACID & RETINOL/RETINOID
- BENZOYL PEROXIDE & RETINOLS

When to use actives:
>BHA/PHA/AHA - Use Only at night
> VITAMIN C - Daytime
> SPF - Daytime
> HYALURONIC ACID - Day & Night
> RETINOL - Nighttime


 If you apply something (like a sheet mask) and it burns? REMOVE IT. Burning is not gaining.
 
If you apply something and your skin begins itching like cazy? REMOVE IT. Itching does not mean it's cutting at all those nasties. 

When you're cleansing your face remember to not apply too much pressure. That's your face there, not the bathroom floor. 

When you're applying all the other products on your face, remember to apply gently and then pat. Treat your face like a baby's bottom.

When you purchase a toner (Whichever one you like) - purchase those application pads as well ~ will make everything easier. 


& That is all! If you ever feel like you need some advice or someone to talk to~ message me :D

I know purchasing only 4 products when you're so excited may seem like a hard thing, and then patch testing each one for 5-10 days~ that must feel like torture but it's totally worth it.

I spent a fortune because I was an over excited moron & and then proceeded to jump into the whole routine at once~ without a patch test~ because I was an even bigger moron... and here I am... a face covered with blemishes and tiny bumps. :P 

So trust me with this... and you'll be fine.

Best of luck to you! Here's to better skin days!

@Soju omg that's such a helpful, thorough guide for all of us, thank you so much

Anyways, I agree with what Soju said. If you're going to purchase products, make sure you are aware of your skin type whether it is dry, combination, sensitive or oily (everyone's is different). There are some shops in my area where they could test my skin type for free by just damping my face with something to tell what skin type I have.

Anyways, if you're specifically looking for KOREAN beauty products, I suggest Nature Republic (https://www.naturerepublicusa.com/). I don't use much of their skincare products but I have bought some face masks and shampoo from this place. It's at a decent price because the quality is really good and the products are all so appealing.

The amount/type of products you buy also vary depending on your age. If you're a teenager like me, I suggest purchasing a face cleanser or facial wash & moisturiser (SPF) to begin with, as they are the best starter items. If you get pimples every now and then, also try purchasing targeted gel to reduce the pimples. It has helped me a lot as I do this routine twice a day, using day cream in the morning and night cream in the night. If these products work successfully on you, then you could expand furthermore and buy toners, face scrubs, nose pads, eye cream etc in the same brand of what you started with as it would most likely benefit :)

Good luck xo
@soju thank you so much
I just got my order of Korean face products from w2 beauty. The packaging and delivery time was excellent. Also I was pleasantly surprise by the number of free samples included in my order. Some of the lines I would recommend are Etude House, Amorepacific, Su:m 37, Hera, Innisfree, Missha, Laneige, Iope, Sulwhasoo, Son and Park, Hanyul and Skinfood. I would also suggest using sheet masks, Essences and a sleeping mask on a regular basis to maintain hydration. 
oh ya sheet masks are the best! i use one every weekend :)
Has anyone used the product Aronia Power Control all in one ( Eavan). The directions are in Korean. Is it a cleanser or lotion? 
^ @ddanwyl: Not really. I haven't even heard about that brand yet. Have you tried out their products? 

There are a lot of good cosmetics, especially Korean, so come one - you have a wide choise 

I'm glad I found this post by Soju. Thanks a lot!